Monday, June 24, 2013

Stanley Cup Finals: Did That Just Happen?

Even though the Boston Bruins held a 2-1 series lead at one point, some people were already counting out the Chicago Blackhawks. Many folks were saying that the series was in the bag.

They were just speaking from the heart and not from the head. 

Not only did the Blackhawks even the series at two games each, but momentum was clearly on their side. Also, they had regained home-ice advantage and this is a team who preys on playing hockey in their building. They needed that win in game four. They needed home ice back on their side.

With both goaltenders being lit up during game four, they took the ice along with their respective teams on Saturday night for the swing game.  

Carl Soderberg replaced Kaspars Daugavins on the fourth line for the B's in game five. It was his first action this postseason. Soderberg is clearly the better all-around player while Daugavins was in there just for offense. It is possible that this move was made after the Bruins allowed six goals in game four.

Saturday night definitely belonged to Chicago. The Bruins were not on top of their game, especially in the defensive zone. However, they certainly were the more physical team as they out-hit the Blackhawks 53-22. Patrick Kane beat Tuukka Rask for two goals early on in the game. Zdeno Chara pulled the Bruins within one, but it was not enough. Dave Bolland added an empty-net goal for the Hawks to seal the 3-1 victory.

Patrice Bergeron left the game in the second period via an ambulance after apparently aggravating a lower-back injury. Also, Jonathan Toews did not play a single shift in the third period after taking a huge hit from Johnny Boychuk. Both were back in the lineup for the next game.

Speaking of which, game six took place on Monday night back at the TD Garden. The Blackhawks had the chance to win the Stanley Cup on road ice, something that is never easy to watch if you are the home team.

That awful thought came into fruition late in the third period of Monday's game. With the Bruins holding a 2-1 lead with minutes remaining, the Blackhawks beat Rask for two goals in 17 seconds to steal the game and the Stanley Cup.

This was the first time in the "Claude Julien Era" that the Bruins lost a playoff series in less than seven games. At least they never go down without a fight.

Congratulations to the 2013 Stanley Cup champions: the Chicago Blackhawks. As for the Bruins, there is always next season. Let's see which players will still be here come October. 

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