It took five tough games and double overtime in the clincher, but the team with the best record in the National Hockey League is set to host the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Chicago Blackhawks, they of the record setting start of garnering points in 24 consecutive games, were fully expected to be here – and while it was improbable that the Boston Bruins would be on their way to Chicago to meet the Hawks in Game 1 on Wednesday night, it certainly wasn’t outside the realm of possibility.
Many feel that the Pittsburgh Penguins had the best team in the league, but Boston’s four game mugging of the Penguins – a series in which the Bruins completely shut down Pittsburgh’s high octane attack – dispelled that notion.
The Bruins play as a team, as do the Blackhawks, and the Bruins proved to the world that Pittsburgh was merely a collection of talented all stars and future hall of famers that fell apart at the seams when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were taken out of the picture by the Bruins’ stifling team defense.
The Blackhawks are balanced, play excellent team defense and sometimes seem as if they can score at will. The Bruins are balanced, play excellent team defense and sometimes seem as if they want to give us all heart attacks…
…and it all starts Wednesday night in Chicago:
Game 1: Boston at Chicago — Wednesday, June 12, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 2: Boston at Chicago — Saturday, June 15, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBCS)
Game 3: Chicago at Boston — Monday, June 17, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBCS)
Game 4: Chicago at Boston — Wednesday, June 19, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 5*: Boston at Chicago — Saturday, June 22, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 6*: Chicago at Boston — Monday, June 24, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 7*: Boston at Chicago — Wednesday, June 26, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC)