Stanley Cup 2013: An Original Six Production
The hockey gods are smiling this spring.
For the first time since 1979, there will be an Original Six match up in the Stanley Cup finals. The Boston Bruins (the 2011 champions) and the Chicago Blackhawks (the 2010 titleist) are facing off for the best trophy in sports for the first time ever.
The Blackhawks dominated the regular season, winning their first six games and getting a point in their first 24 games on their way to the Presidents' trophy. Boston started 19-4-3, slumped a bit during the middle of the season, and finished second behind the Montréal Canadiens in the Northeast Division.
Both teams had moments in the playoffs where they could have been eliminated. Chicago easily beat Minnesota in the first round but fell behind Detroit, three games to one, in round two and had to go to overtime in Game Seven to advance on a goal by Brent Seabrook. The Hawks then beat the defending champion Los Angeles Kings in five tough games to advance to the finals.
Boston was almost out in the first round after blowing a three games to one lead to Toronto and falling behind 4-1 with 11 minutes left in Game Seven. But goals by Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, and Patrice Bergeron tied it, and Bergeron won it in overtime and the Bruins have been dominant ever since, defeating the Rangers in five games and Pittsburgh in a four-game sweep to move on to the final round.
The NHL is happy, and NBC is thrilled as two big cities and old rivals with great traditions will face off for the Stanley Cup. The Bruins are trying to win their second cup in three seasons after not winning for 39 years. Chicago is shooting for their second cup in four years after a 49-year drought.