by PuckStopsHere on 06/22/13 at 10:14 PM ET
Chicago is a game away from winning the cup after a 3-1 win with an empty net goal to make the margin of victory look larger than it should have been. This series is clearly a battle where stamina and health play a big role in the eventual winner. Three games so far have gone to overtime. Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron both missed the third period today and it is uncertain how available they will be in the remainder of the series. Many players are playing hurt. One notable example is Marian Hossa who missed a game due to undisclosed injuries in this series.
Boston is better able to survive a war based on stamina and health because they had a much easier regular season playing in the East Conference than Chicago did playing in the much larger West Conference, with much less travel. Chicago is the better team and that appears to be a more significant factor - at least so far. Let's see if they can close out the series.
One interesting question that I wonder about is the Conn Smythe Trophy. I assume a Chicago win would mean that they would like to give the Conn Smythe to a Chicago player. There isn't a Chicago player who has outplayed the equivalent Boston player at this point in the playoffs. I take this to mean that Chicago is winning despite the fact their best players have been beaten up. Chicago has more depth and more recently, Patrick Kane has been the best player on the ice. There is no argument that Kane has been on his game throughout the whole playoffs but he may be MVP of the finals.
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