Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/16/13 at 07:03 PM ET
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
Even without a lockout, last year’s six-game final ended on June 11. Go back to 1956, when the Canadiens beat the Red Wings in five games, the final game was played at the Forum on April 10. They had endured a grand total of 10 playoff games to win the Cup after a 70-game season.
The effect, especially with the number of lengthy overtimes in today’s game, accounts for the way Chara and Toews and every other player who is still in this looks at this point. It’s almost a crime that either team has to lose (although local Boston-haters won’t see it that way) after giving so much to get this far.
There will be consequences. One of the safer bets you can make is that neither Chicago nor Boston will be back in the final next spring. The way the league is today, Claude Julien’s Bruins have accomplished a remarkable feat simply by getting this far twice in three years.
The schedule is a dynasty-killer. The process is brutal. And the champion, when one team skates around the ice with that elusive Cup, will have survived something the champions in other sports can only imagine.
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