17 Seconds' is a unique project that doesn't just document the Stanley Cup win, but tells the story from an inside vantage point, something not usually captured in sports films. The access ... See full summary »

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17 Seconds' is a unique project that doesn't just document the Stanley Cup win, but tells the story from an inside vantage point, something not usually captured in sports films. The access and rapport the Banner Collective team has with the Blackhawks players and organization ultimately gives fans an intimate look into the thrill of a historic victory and the subsequent celebration. Written by Chicago Blackhawks

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30 October 2013 (USA)  »

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What incredible things can be done in seventeen seconds?
22 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

17 Seconds is a favorable showcase of what wound up being an extremely memorable year for the NHL when it looked like anything but. With the NHL lockdown halting the season several months, resulting in half a season of hockey, I was one of the many expecting a relatively lame, rushed season. I certainty didn't expect to see my hometown team take home the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years.

I'll be the first to admit I'm an on-off hockey fan who got into the sport, admittedly, when Joel Quenneville took over the coaching position of the Blackhawks in 2008. No longer did the Hawks seem to be the mediocre, overlooked team they once were. They seemed more polished, sneakier, and more breakneck thanks to Coach Q's coaching techniques and the new line of players on the Hawks. I remember my father would get dozens of free tickets for Blackhawk games from business representatives. We went to maybe two games and threw the rest away. Now, Blackhawks tickets - even for the standing room - are like gold.

When I get the time, I'll tune into the Blackhawks game, always hoping in the back of my mind the team wins and we can have at least one Chicago team we can be proud of. But it wasn't until the playoffs that I tried to make an effort to watch the games, sometimes inviting a buddy over to join me. I was working the night of game six when the Hawks played the Boston Bruins and was mopping prior to celebrating their incredible win.

It wasn't long until I heard about Patrick Dahl's 17 Seconds, a short-documentary that does an efficient job at creating a montage of the celebration had by the team and the fans after this miraculous win. The title refers to the conclusion of the final game in the championship. The Bruins scored during the last few minutes, upping the score 2-1 before the Hawks answered with a goal from Brian Bickell, tying it again. When the game resumed, Dave Bolland scored again, making it 3-2 Hawks with only a minute left in the game where the Bruins were unable to respond. The two goals by Bickell and Bolland happened within seventeen seconds of each other, grating the Hawks with a nailbiting cut win - the second in four years.

17 Seconds shows the breathtaking conclusion of game six in Boston along with the celebration the Hawks earned back home in Chicago and in many of the players' specific hometowns. Dahl follows the team back home, where a parade in downtown Chicago was held to honor the team's win. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel states that 2.7 million people live in the city and 2.5 million attended the parade. Of course, not everyone in the city went to the parade, but many flocked from suburbs all over Illinois. Think: almost the entire city of Chicago at one place, at one time to support their hockey team. The allegiance and dedication is as unfathomable as the team's win.

If anything, 17 Seconds should be viewed as a documentary that shows a city experiencing unity after one big game. It was a day when people came together to support and honor an incredible team (that started out its series on a twenty-three game winning streak mind you). The film shows just how seriously people take the sport of hockey in Chicago. I couldn't help but recall last year's Stanley Cup finals where the Los Angeles Kings were graced with the cup. Celebration in Los Angeles consisted of, maybe, a large parking lot of Kings fans. Despite Los Angeles being a humongous city like Chicago, their fanbase simply isn't as large as Chicago's, nor does hockey seem to have the equal prominence in Los Angeles that it does there either.

The last half hour shows how Hawk players like Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, Captain Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw, Patrick Sharp, and Bryan Bickell spent their day with the cup in their hometown. Many had large family get-togethers, some took it to the children's hospitals so those less fortunate could take their mind off calamity for a little while, but you can bet all took dozens of pictures of them and their families hoisting, kissing, or posing with the cup in its glory.

17 Seconds is only fifty-three minutes and unfolds how most of us would expect. There are no underlying themes to the film, no real personalities develop when it comes to the players, an awful lot of buzzwords used to describe the feeling of winning the Stanley Cup, and so forth. The film isn't very surprising and unfolds like a highlight reel of TV broadcasts from the day and the follow up days after the Hawks won. However, even if you're not a Blackhawks fan, the film comes giftwrapped in pride, unity, and happiness so much so that criticism of any significant kind is difficult to dish out. The film is a nice substitute for those NHL Stanley Cup Championship DVDs the NHL has discontinued. But after witnessing Hawks fans celebrating, the city of Chicago better brace themselves when the Chicago Cubs finally win.

Directed by: Patrick Dahl.


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