Hello Hockey Fans! How are you? I want to say sorry in the most Canadian way possible for not having gotten a post up with a breakdown of what the Stanley Cup Finals will look like.
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins have met up in the Finals this year. Both are Original 6 teams and both have won recent Stanley Cups. The Blackhawks in 2010 and the Bruins in 2011. This East/ West matchup couldn't be paired better. Like an amazing glass of red wine and great steak these two teams entertain each other beautifully but mix as well as oil and water.
Game 3 is tonight at the TD Garden in Boston. You can expect a physical, fast moving, puck shooting game and perhaps another insane overtime!
There are some characteristics you will recognize about these teams from when they won their Cups. Both teams core players are still there. The Blackhawks have Captain Jonathan Toews, followed by Patrick Kane (who scored the Stanley Cup winning goal against Philadelphia in 2010) Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa to name a few. While Boston has Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Tyley Seguin, Captain Zdeno Chara, Shawn Thornton and Nathan Horton rounding out their top players.
One really huge difference is the goaltenders. Both teams have made it to the finals with different goalies. Chicago won with Antti Niemi in 2010 (now #1 for the San Jose Sharks) between the pipes and Boston won with Tim Thomas in 2011 (who decided to take a break from NHL hockey after the win). Now the Blackhawks have Corey Crawford while the Bruins have Thomas's former backup Tukka Rask stoppin pucks. Crawford had an amazing year during regulation with a 19-5-3 record while Rask went 19-10-5. The goalies could very well be the game changers in this series!
1) The Boston Bruins were founded in 1924 and the Chicago Blackhawks in 1926 making them Original 6 teams along with the New York Rangers (1926), Detroit Red Wings (1926), Toronto Maple Leafs (1917) and the Montreal Canadians (1909).
2) Boston has won the Cup 6 times including 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972 and 2011.
3) Chicago has won the Cup 4 times including 1934, 1938, 1961 and 2010.
4) Notice both teams went through huge dry spells in the 1940s and 50s.
5) The last time Original 6 teams met in the Finals was in 1979 when the Montreal Canadians ousted the New York Rangers in 5 games.
6) The only Original 6 matchup that hasn't happened in the Finals EVER is between the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers.
7) The last Original 6 teams to play for the cup before the expansion era were the Toronto Maple Leafs who beat the Montreal Canadians in 1967 in 6 games.
Like I said at the beginning of my post the strangest things have been coming out of my mouth since the Finals started. The one used most "Go Blackhawks Go!" and the always classic "Nice stop Crawford" or one of my favourites "Bryan Bickell, Amazing!"
With the Vancouver Canucks being my beloved #1 team, I do follow all 30 teams in the NHL. I certainly wasn't the only hockey fan in Vancouver or British Columbia for that matter to be making a decision. Hawks or Bruins? Hawks or Bruins? I settled for the Hakws like 99% of Canucks fans I talked to did. Nobody seems to be fully over the Game 7 loss to the Bruins in 2011 but everyone loves the contemporary rivalry between the Canucks and the Blackhawks. Plus the Hakws have Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook who all won Gold with Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics and that resonates deeply with Canadian hockey fans.
Game 3 is tonight. 5:00pm puck drop for people on the West Coast. How exciting! And don't forget the team cheer "Go Blackhawks Go!" (Still feels strange saying it but I had to pick one!) I will be back with more highlights and name dropping to really let you know which players from which teams stand out! Enjoy