Original Six Produce a Classic (2013 Stanley Cup Review)

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It didn’t take too long for hockey fans to see that the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals was going to be a classic series. The first game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins would set the standard going to triple overtime to solve Game 1. When the Bruins and Blackhawks first made the finals hockey fans began to salivate immediately. It may not be the teams that you follow but the fact that two Original Six teams would face off for the first time since 1979 was a good sign. The Original Six are the six teams that stand above the rest in the NHL as the original teams that would make up the NHL. They are the six teams who have the most history and the biggest fan bases with fans of all six teams spread around the hockey world. Chances are you knew someone who was a fan of one of these teams and you heard all about why they would win the Stanley Cup This year. It would also be a matchup of two teams that sat on opposite sides of the hockey spectrum making a matchup of two very different styles. On one side was the Big Bad Bruins who love to get teams into a physical battle. The Bruins are one of the biggest teams in the NHL and when they can get teams into a physical battle they usually win. This was expressed perfectly in their third round series when they would get the Pittsburgh Penguins off of their game and end up sweeping the series to eliminate a very talented team. Then on the other side was the high-flying Chicago Blackhawks with skill and speed on almost every line. The Blackhawks try to outpace teams by flying up and down the ice and keeping everyone else off-balance. They would do this against the Los Angeles Kings in round three beating a much more physical team in five games. The Bruins and Blackhawks would come together to see if they could do the same things they did in round three to become the first team to win two Stanley Cups in over nine years. When the puck dropped on Game 1 it began to look like Chicago was falling into the mistakes that Pittsburgh had as they were trying to outhit the Bruins. The Blackhawks would go down 3-1 in the third but would begin to realize their mistakes and would begin to adjust. They would start to play their game and would mount a comeback to tie the game at 3 apiece. From that point on it would be a war of attrition with the Bruins breaking first in the 3rd overtime period when Grant Shaw scored the winning goal. The standard was set for the series as everyone knew that this series would be a close one and that there would be little give on both sides of the ice. The Bruins would tie the series in Game 2 despite being outpaced by the Blackhawks for most of the game winning in overtime. An amazing performance by Tuukka Rask would highlight Game 3 as he would make 28 saves to earn a shut out giving the Bruins a 2-1 series lead. That shutout mentality would not translate to Game 4 though as the offence came out firing with the Blackhawks winning their type of game 6-5 in overtime to even the series. After doubts arose in Game 4 over Corey Crawford’s 5 goal performance he would shut the door in Game 5 with Patrick Kane leading the way on offence and helping them to a 3-2 series lead. The first elimination game of the series would be a perfect example of what this series was all about. The Bruins looked like they were in complete control going ahead 1-0 in the first and then 2-1 in the third. The Blackhawks would hang around in the third though and with less than two minutes left in the game would tie the game up before Dave Bolland scored the winner with 55 second left. It was a shocking end to a great series as the Blackhawks came out of nowhere to win and shocked the Boston crowd.

It was a great series and will be looked on as one of the best with the best team winning the Cup for the first time in a long time. The Stanley Cup almost never goes to the best team as it always goes to the hottest team before the playoffs. The team that can get hot at the right time like the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings who came out of nowhere to win. This was not the case for the 2013 Blackhawks as they would be the best team from start to finish. The season would begin with one of the most dominant performances in NHL history earning points in 24 straight games. That would put them at the top of the league and they would never look back even after the streak was broken. The Blackhawks would take the President’s Trophy after the regular season and would take that to the finals. They would not have the easiest path though coming very close to elimination in round 2 winning the series in seven games against the Detroit Red Wings. Overall the Blackhawks just played their game throughout the playoffs and that is a game that can beat everyone they face if all of their players are firing. Now the offseason begins in a condensed year and the Blackhawks look to be set. After 2010 when the Blackhawks last won the Stanley Cup the team would be blown up with the need to get under the salary cap. This offseason may be different with the Blackhawks seemingly set and ready to come back and defend their 2nd championship in 4 years when the season starts up again in 3 months.

 

Series Overview: 

Chicago Blackhawks 4 – 2 Boston Bruins
Game 1: Chi 4 – 3 Bos (3OT)
Game 2: Bos 2 – 1 Chi (OT)
Game 3: Bos 2 – 0 Chi
Game 4: Chi 6 – 5 Bos (OT)
Game 5: Chi 3 – 1 Bos
Game 6: Chi 3 – 2 Bos

Conn Smythe Trophy:

2013-06-25T031146Z_549264171_TB3E96P08VCWT_RTRMADP_3_NHL-STANLEY

Patrick Kane, RW
3 G
2 A
5 pts
+3 +/-

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