Cup Finals: Game 1 Sets Tone for Original Six Match for the Ages

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Updated: June 13, 2013

History creates itself everyday day. History has been made countless times this NHL postseason and last night was no different – it was made again. The Chicago Blackhawks battled the Big Bad Bruins in an original six matchup that has never been seen before.

Despite both having ended 40+ year droughts to capture a cup in the last 3 seasons, not even Gary Bettman could have dreamt a better matchup for this year’s finals.

Both teams were built the same way – defense first, with an opportunistic offense, and clutch playmakers who can score when they need it the most.

They were built through long years of ineptitude, high picks in the draft, and blockbuster acquisitions to put them over the top (See Chara and Hossa). The way it’s supposed to be done, in many eyes. Two teams, dominating the current NHL with big bodies, crushing hits, and soft hands, able to end a game within seconds.

It’s hard to find an advantage for either squad. Both were pushed to the brink of elimination and fought back from the depths of hell to be here. A true measure of a team’s will to win is how it responds when pushed to the edge of a cliff.

We all know the Bruins fight – the power of the bears within them, lashing out at the most “Lucician” of moments. An easy favorite for any casual hockey fan, the Bruins have steamed rolled opponents and haven’t been in a dogfight since Round 1 (still a sore subject). But I warn you – don’t overlook the Hawks. No ones mentioned much of their 24-game unbeaten streak to start the season, since, but one thing you can’t deny is their ability to win close games. 16 of those 24 games were one-goal games, and they won 13 of them. Add another one goal victory to the list. (added 1:04am)

Pittsburgh had spotty goaltending, the Rangers didn’t have enough fight, and the Leafs beat themselves. The Blackhawks fit none of those storylines, and won’t. If the Bruins plan to win the franchise’s 6th cup, they will find no harder roadblock then their fellow Original 6 foe. One who thrives in moments of desperation and closes the door when given the opportunity, just like the Bruins.

The X-factors for each team will need to be players that haven’t made any impact yet. Will Jagr find the back of the net? Is Chicago’s tested rookie, Saad on the brink of a breakout? Seguin who? Andrew Shaw? (added 1:05am)

There is no doubt in my mind that this will be one for the ages, making history at puck drop – but it’s what happens over the course of the series that will define this with the greats. Two more weeks of broken noses, missing teeth and scraggily beards.

If last night is any taste of what this series will bring, we may see twice as much hockey as we anticipated. (added 1:07am)

This is the NHL’s dream come true. Two favored teams of the last 5 years – my two picks for the finals since day one, the two best teams in the sport.

What lockout? We’re all back – all watching, to see our beloved sport played at it’s highest point – nearly two months after the regular season was over. The best is yet to come. Will Bergeron do it again? Will Pat Kane soar?

Hawks in 7. Their speed and pure finesse with a side of face wash will be just enough to put the Bruins into hibernation.

It’s been 71 years since the Original 6 were all that ruled the land in the NHL, and not once have the Hawks and Bruins met in a do-or-die, best of 7 war for Lord Stanley’s chalice.

History’s already been made. The rest is icing on the cake. So far – that all sounds about right. (added 1:08am)
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