NHL Stanley Cup Finals 2013: Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks Original Six Championship Has History, First Series Since 1979 Starts Wednesday With Game 1

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Jun 12, 2013 02:06 PM EDT
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (R) defends his goal as teammate Jamal Mayers (L) shoots during their final practice for the NHL Stanley Cup finals to be played against the Boston Bruins in Chicago, June 11."

The NHL is a league steeped in history and tradition and that will continue with the Stanley Cup finals as the Boston Bruins take on the Chicago Blackhawks in a matchup of Original Six teams that hasn't happened in over 20 years.

Both the Blackhawks and Bruins are Original Six teams with the Rangers, Canadiens, Maple Leafs and Red Wings and after all the teams made the playoffs this season, just two are left and it is in a matchup that hasn't happened in 86 years. The two teams have never met, although its cities have battled for championships in football and baseball in the past, but somehow the two seem to miss each other as champions are crowned over the years.

Game 1 is on Wednesday night at the United Center as the Blackhawks have home ice and the history between the two teams adds some extra intrigue to the process. The matchup has two of the past three Stanley Cup winners, as the Bruins won it in 2011 and the Hawks in 2010. The two teams appear to be fairly matched, although the Bruins have looked dominant in the East, especially after sweeping the number one seed in the Penguins. The Bruins will be physical and they will try to disrupt the strong play of late from players like Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell.

The play of the goalies will be a determining factor in the Cup and the Blackhawks have a great one in Corey Crawford, but it is Tuukka Rask of the Bruins that leads the league in postseason save percentage among net minders. The Bruins have one former Blackhawks player in Shawn Thornton, while the last time the two played was back in 2011, which saw the Bruins win 3-2 in a shootout. The Bruins have been playing better than anyone and one team that could stop them is the Blackhawks, who have momentum after coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Detroit Red Wings before taking down the Stanley Cup champion Kings in the previous round. The last time Thornton played in Chicago.

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