Kukla's Korner Hockey
Before game 6 starts, lets take a look back at games 1-5.
Who knows, tonight might be the end of the "short" NHL season.
Puck drops a little after 8:00pm ET and can be seen on NBC, CBC or RDS (unless of course you live in the Detroit area, then you have alternatives if a Comcast subscriber).
from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
Temperatures in Beantown are expected to hit a high of 34 (93 F) Celsius on Monday. The NHL's resident ice expert Dan Craig has been a busy chap trying to keep ice conditions as good as possible this time of the year.
Today, June 24, matches the latest date the Stanley Cup has been decided. Back in the last lockout-shortened season, the New Jersey Devils swept the Detroit Red Wings on June 24, 1995 to win the franchise's first NHL championship.
The TD Garden has installed a few extra gigantic dehumidifiers that have been humming since 4 a.m. ET on Monday. A thin layer of fog hovered over the ice before the Bruins began their morning skate. If the ice conditions are poor, it may help the Bruins slow down the skilled and speedy Blackhawks.
"Obviously with some fans in the building tonight, it'll get warmer," Julien said. "I thought the ice this morning was in pretty good shape, and they've done a good job. Walking in here yesterday with 90-plus degree [temperatures] it was nice and cool in the arena.
more plus other SCF topics...
Also, Toews is on the ice for the Chicago morning skate and Hossa is not, but both are expected to play tonight.
Thanks to the NHL PR department for providing the following information...
DID YOU KNOW?
* Teams leading 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Final have won 28 of 36 series (77.8%) since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. (Elias)
* Twenty of those teams won in six games (55.6%). Eight won in seven games (22.2%).
* Eight teams have overcome a 3-2 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup Final (22.2%).
* Those eight teams: the 1942 Maple Leafs (vs. Red Wings), 1950 Red Wings (vs. NY Rangers), 1964 Maple Leafs (vs. Red Wings), 1971 Canadiens (vs. Blackhawks), 2001 Avalanche (vs. Devils), 2004 Lightning (vs. Flames), 2009 Penguins (vs. Red Wings) and 2011 Bruins (vs. Canucks).
* Teams have split the opening four games of the Stanley Cup Final 22 times since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. The team winning Game 5 has gone on to capture the Cup 15 times (68.2%). However, the team losing Game 5 has rebounded to win the series on four of the past six occasions (all since 2001).
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So Monday night, the Stanley Cup will be waiting in the wings for the Chicago Blackhawks, who have a chance to win it for the second time in four years, even as Chicago’s captain, Jonathan Toews, and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins are questionable for the game because of injuries sustained Saturday in a 3-1 Blackhawks victory.
Thankfully, hockey is still the ultimate team sport and there is a long and storied history of players picking each other up in the short term. Motivation will not be lacking when these two teams face off at the TD Garden, in what could be the denouement of the NHL’s twisting, turning 2012-13 season.
But if going out with a bang is what’s needed to salvage a year that started four months late because of the lockout, then that’s exactly what’s happening. They are five games into the series; two have been classics, and Saturday’s came close as well. Even as the injury toll mounts, these are high-paced, hard-fought games, with a higher entertainment quotient than, say, last year’s New Jersey Devils-Los Angeles Kings series.
For anyone interested simply in the spectacle of hockey, they are putting on a compelling show, even if the tank is edging toward empty for some of the heavy-minute players, such as the Bruins’ Zdeno Chara.
Information below provided by the NHL PR group...
KANE IS ABLE
* Chicago forward Patrick Kane, selected first overall in the NHL Draft six years ago yesterday, recorded his fourth career multi-goal playoff game. Kane has seven goals, including two game-winning scores, in his last seven games. That matches his total from his prior 39 postseason games dating to 2010.
* Kane has nine goals in 22 games during the 2013 playoffs, tied for second in the League and one behind teammate Patrick Sharp. His 19 postseason points also rank second in the NHL, six behind Boston’s David Krejci (9-16—25), who collected an assist in Game 5.
* Kane has 6-7—13 in 11 career Stanley Cup Final games. He leads the Blackhawks with 3-2—5 through the first five games of the 2013 Final and also led the club with 3-5—8, including the series-clinching goal in overtime, in six games versus the Flyers in 2010.
* Kane is the first player in Blackhawks history to record nine or more goals in three postseasons. He also did so in 2009 (nine) and 2010 (10). Over the last 20 years, the only other player to do that for any team was Colorado’s Joe Sakic (1996, 2001, 2002). (Elias)
* Kane, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., is only the fourth U.S.-born player since 1999 to score two goals in a Stanley Cup Final game. There others were New Jersey’s Jamie Langenbrunner in Game 5 of the 2003 Final (Cloquet, Minn.), Chicago’s Dustin Byfuglien in Game 5 of the 2010 Final (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Los Angeles’ Trevor Lewis in Game 6 of the 2012 Final (Salt Lake City, Utah). (Elias)
Should Michael Frolik been called for tripping on Torey Krug on the play at the blue line?
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The 2013 Stanley Cup Final has turned torturous for the Trencin Tower of Power. He was on the ice for five of Chicago’s six goals Wednesday night in Boston. He was on the ice for all three here in Game 6, including a pair by the clever, opportunistic Patrick Kane, and the empty-net dagger by Dave Bolland with 14 seconds left.
The Bruins are in a predicament, but that’s not solely because of their 6-foot-9-inch defensive zone monster. Hardly. Chara has not played well the last two games, but that’s a three-part issue: his own play, that of his teammates, and that of a rejuvenated, speedier Chicago attack that picked up its pace and pluck once Kane and Jonathan Toews were reunited on the same line for the start of Game 4.
The Hawks have played to their strength — their speed — and that has caused Chara to be uncharacteristically flat-footed a few times in the last two games. On Kane’s second goal Saturday night, Chara was near the Bruins’ goal line, fishing with his stick as Bryan Bickell dished out the pass that Kane expertly sent to the top shelf with a quick backhand lift.
A confident Chara would have reached Bickell in time, eliminated him on the spot, and instead of a pass to Kane, the play would have been headed out of Boston’s end. Chara knows that. We’ve seen it a million times in his years in Black and Gold. But we’ve also seen that if he struggles at all, it’s when small, skilled forwards zip around in Boston’s end and create options or skate into options.
The Boston Bruins are in Chicago and will play the Blackhawks tonight with the puck drop just after 8:00pm ET.
After tonight, will the Bruins be traveling back to Boston for game 6 knowing a win will secure the Cup or will it be Chicago trying to wrap up the series?
We should know what Monday will bring us between 10:30pm and midnight tonight.
Tonight's game can be viewed on NBC, CBC or RDS.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org