Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Boston Bruins take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
I would not be surprised to see the Bruins win this game, sometimes Chicago needs a wakeup call and they may receive one tonight.
Puck drops sometime after 8:00pm ET on NBC, CBC and RDS.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins each have the chance to stake claim to a title neither has held very much, if at all, during 176 years of combined existence: The best team of its generation.
While another championship this spring won’t completely lock that up — the Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings may yet still have something to say on the topic — it would unquestionably put either the Blackhawks or Bruins in pole position.
After all, one of those teams will soon become the first with multiple Stanley Cups over the last decade.
“From my perspective, it says a lot,” Bruins president Cam Neely said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s really easy to spend to the cap if the owners allow you. It’s making sure you’ve got the right guys.
by Eli Epstein, TiqIQ
It all comes down to seven games in June, and you can bet the NHL execs are happy with the way this one turned out: two of the league’s best teams--the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins--and members of its “Original Six”s squaring off to decide who gets to take home Lord Stanley’s Cup.
For what figures to be a tenacious battle between two historic franchises, ticket prices will be $1,000+ on average in both Chicago and Boston. Overall, all seven games average out at $1,478.99. To be exact, the average seat at TD Banknorth Garden for all possible Bruins home games is currently, $1,405, which is 32% increase from their Cup win in 2011 ($1,064).
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
It is not a clash of civilizations, if only because the Chicago Blackhawks led the league in goals allowed this season, which means they’re not exactly the ’84 Edmonton Oilers. It is a meeting of solitudes, since in this lockout-shortened season Chicago and the Boston Bruins did not play one another, and did not play anybody else who did, either. They have examined tape, but they won’t know what they are until they are on the ice in the Stanley Cup final, Wednesday night, with the anthem still ringing in their ears.
This is a Stanley Cup of cracked mirror images, and the burnishing effects of age. Two Original Six teams; two familiar ones, in more ways than that. Chicago won the Cup in 2010, and its core is similar, but more mature. (“I feel like I’m more focused about hockey now,” said Patrick Kane on Tuesday.) Boston has 17 players left from the team that won the Cup in 2011. (“Mostly I was just glad that Vancouver didn’t win,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.) Both have had near-death experiences this spring — Chicago’s climb back from a 3-1 deficit against Detroit, and Boston’s miracle escape from over the lava pit the Maple Leafs had so unexpectedly built for them.
The following information was provided by the NHL PR department...
GAME 1 TRENDS
Teams winning Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final have gone on to win the championship in 56 of 73 seasons (76.7%) since the League introduced the best-of-seven format in 1939. The Blackhawks and Bruins are a combined 6-0 in Game 1s during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Blackhawks have won a League-high nine games on home ice this postseason, including five straight, and have outscored opponents, 33-17, at United Center.
Overall, home teams have won 56 of the 80 games (.700) contested in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL record for most wins by home clubs in one playoff year is 57, set in 92 games during the 1991 postseason (.620). The last time home teams had a winning percentage of .600 or higher during the playoffs was in 1993, when they went 52-33 (.612).
Today was media day in Chicago and in my mind the hightlight video of the day was the Jagr interview.
Watch the entertaining segment below...
The NHL Network is streaming from Media Day in Chicago.
The Blackhawks are up now and the Bruins should start appearing around 2:15pm ET.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So Boston will largely be a mystery to Chicago when the best-of-seven Stanley Cup final opens Wednesday, and Chicago will be equally unfamiliar to Boston.
“I’m sure the rivalry could return instantly come Game 1,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think it’s good for the league and it’s good for hockey, two great hockey markets. We’re very excited to be a part of it.”
The last time the Stanley Cup final spilled this far into the late spring/early summer was in June of 1995, the other time the NHL played 48-game season because of a labour squabble. The final series began on June 17, and ended a week later on June 24, a mostly anticlimactic four-game sweep for the New Jersey Devils over the Detroit Red Wings.
If Chicago-Boston goes the distance, it could go until June 26, which would be the latest ending in history for an NHL season.
Ultimately, the on-ice test will be to see if great defence and goaltending can trump great offence, the way it did in the Eastern Conference final, when the Bruins limited the Pittsburgh Penguins to just two goals. Pittsburgh went into that series as the No.1 offensive team in the regular season.
Odds provided by Bovada,
Boston Bruins (Series Price) +130 (13/10)
Chicago Blackhawks (Series Price) -150 (2/3)
If you don't understand the above, bet $10 on Boston, win $13.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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