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Jun 8, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal during the second overtime in game five of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center. The Blackhawks won 4-3 to win the series four games to one. Mandatory Credit: Scott Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Blackhawks vs Bruins: Stanley Cup Preview

Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

 

After the long awaited NHL season/postseason, we have finally reached the Stanley Cup Final. For the first time since 1979, the Cup final will feature two original six teams which is quite a spectacle. Two great sports cities, two great teams, I don’t think things can get any better.

Battle Of Two Cities

In existence since 1924, the Boston Bruins have always been known as the team to beat. They’ve got size, strength, and flair up and down the lineup. The Big Bad Bruins made their last Finals appearance in 2011 when they defeated Vancouver in 7 games to capture their 6th championship in franchise history.

The Blackhawks came into the league in 1926, and have evolved into quite the powerhouse. Featuring Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa, this team has all the components needed to win the trophy. The Hawks have captured the title four times, their last one was back in 2010 when they defeated the Flyers in 6 games off the heels of Patrick Kane‘s ghost overtime goal.

Although the cities of Chicago and Boston don’t share a true rivalry, I’m sure they will when this series concludes. It will feature hitting, splendid goals, and remarkable saves. But, most of all, history will be made. Someone will come out as the unsung hero for their team, whether it be a 4th line grinder or a 1st line superstar.

Now I am going to talk about which team has the edge in the most important categories when it comes to winning a Stanley Cup:

Offense

Chicago: After an unprecedented 21-0-3 start to the regular season, this team was the favorite from the get-go. Coming into this season, many question marks were surrounding the team and lots of people were wondering how this team would fare with no training camp and preseason. Well, all those doubts were washed away fast when Chicago got off to one of the best regular season starts in NHL history.

In terms of offense, the Hawks are filled to the brim with explosive talent. Patrick Kane is one of the best forwards in the league and he showed it on Saturday night when he recorded a clutch hat trick in Game 5 to knock off the defending champion Kings. But Kane isn’t stopping there, he wants to lead his team to a Stanley Cup, and he is in the process of doing just that.

We can’t go without mentioning captain Jonathan Toews. Like Ryan Callahan, Toews leads by example, and is not afraid to play dirty with the opposition. He wins faceoffs, scores key goals, plays physical, which are things a coach loves to see out of his main leader.

Boston: Although the Bruins have been primarily known for their defense, it can be said that they are pretty dynamic up front as well. With players like Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, and Tyler Seguin, this team is a tremendous danger up front. They go to the dirty areas and look for rebounds and tip-ins, which is becoming the key thing in the NHL if you want to win.

I will give Chicago a slight edge though, because I can’t go betting against the unpredictable offense of the Hawks.

Edge: Chicago 

Defense

Chicago: A huge question mark coming into this season, the Hawks defense surprisingly held firm. You can thank Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook for that. Both of these players move the puck well and fly down the ice with what looks like very little effort. Also don’t forget Nick Leddy and Niklas Hjalmarsson, two players who fit in well with the Hawks and contribute night in and night out to their success.

Boston: When you have Zdeno Chara on the blueline, how could the advantage possibly go against you? This man is 7 feet tall when he puts skates on. Oh, and not to mention he has a 109 mph slapshot which he uses on occasion. As it has been said before, the Bruins have the best roster in the league, with every player having important qualities that bind together to help the team win. With Dennis Seidenberg, Torey Krug, and Adam McQuaid to accompany Chara, Boston has the edge in defense by far.

Edge: Boston

Goaltending

Chicago: I think it is safe to say that a flurry of question marks were surrounding the Hawks come regular season. Goaltending was one of them. When Corey Crawford was announced the starter, many thought that they wouldn’t even sniff success. But, as fate would have it, if it wasn’t for Crawford’s excellent play, the Blackhawks probably wouldn’t of went on their magical streak to start their season. We also can’t leave out Ray Emery, who came in as a solid backup to Crawford.

Boston: After the departure of Tim Thomas, Tukka Rask was finally able to step into the spotlight. Rask finished the regular season with a 19-10-5 record, a 2.00 GAA and a .929 save percentage. In the playoffs, Rask is posting an impressive 12-4 record, with a 1.75 GAA and a .943 save percentage. Now, Rask’s play has his team 4 wins away from the Stanley Cup.

Edge: Even 

It’s going to be a madhouse in Chicago and Boston when the Finals get underway. This is my favorite sport to watch and when the Finals roll around I get even more excited. Even though our beloved Rangers haven’t made an appearance since 1994, it is still a great spectacle to watch and I wish to someday witness a Stanley Cup Final game live.

Is it Wednesday yet?

History will be made.

AG 

 

 

 

 

 

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