Sunday, June 23, 2013
Hawks, Bruins have been here before
By Scott Powers
BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins have both won a Stanley Cup in the past four seasons by being in the exact same position they are now in this season’s Stanley Cup finals.
The Blackhawks currently lead the Bruins 3-2 in the series after winning Game 5 in Chicago on Saturday. Game 6 will be in Boston on Monday. If necessary, Game 7 would be in Chicago on Wednesday.
Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said winning Game 6 would be one of the most difficult challenges of his career.
In 2010, the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 in Chicago to take a 3-2 advantage in the Stanley Cup finals, and they closed out the series by winning on the road in Game 6.
In 2011, the Bruins faced a 3-2 deficit to the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals after losing Game 5 on the road. The Bruins won Game 6 in Boston and captured the Stanley Cup by winning in Vancouver in Game 7.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp knows his NHL history, so he was aware of the situation.
“You know, it's a similar feeling [to 2010], especially having the series tied 2-2, taking Game 5 at home and coming on the road for Game 6,” Sharp said at TD Garden on Sunday. “You've got to be careful; you’ve seen a couple years ago Boston was down 3-2, they won at home and then won Game 7 in Vancouver. We know this team is capable of coming back.
“For us, I know it's a big game, but you want to play it like it's any other game, play the way we have all season, and try to pull one out here on the road.”
Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson went as far as saying winning Game 6 would be one of the most difficult challenges of his career.
“It's going to be tough, obviously,” Hjalmarsson said. “We've got confidence, too. We were in the same situation in 2010 and won on the road. We're obviously going to try to win the game [Monday].
“We all know it's going to be the toughest game of the year, maybe in my whole career so far. It's going to take a lot for us to get away with a win here. We're all looking forward to it. It's going to be a great challenge. It's going to be a great atmosphere, and this is the type of games you want to play. This is the type of game where you want to perform and have good games.”
On the other side, the Bruins also possessed confidence because of their familiarity with the scenario.
“We've been in this position before, and it's obviously a tough one to be in,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “But we just want to make sure that we focus and lay it all on the line. There could be no tomorrow, so you have to make sure that we give everything we've got.”
Now, both will be looking to repeat history come Game 6 on Monday.