Sunday, June 9, 2013
Original Six finals: Hawks to take on Bruins
By Jesse Rogers
Tuukka Rask has been brilliant in the postseason and will be next up for Chicago.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will face an Original Six foe -- the Boston Bruins -- for the first time ever in the Stanley Cup finals. Game 1 is Wednesday at the United Center.
"It's a special couple places; the tradition of the Bruins and the Hawks is special," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "I'm sure, you know, the rivalry could return instantly come Game 1.
"I think it's good for the league. It's good for hockey. Two great hockey markets. We're very excited to be a part of it."
It's a matchup of two of the past three Stanley Cup winners. The Hawks took home the Cup in 2010, and the Bruins won the following year.
Due to the prolonged lockout, the Hawks and Bruins did not face each other this season. In their last meeting, in October 2011, Boston beat Chicago 3-2 in a shootout.
The Bruins swept the Pittsburgh Penguins to capture the Eastern Conference title and are led by goalie Tuukka Rask, a Conn Smythe candidate who leads all netminders in the postseason with a .943 save percentage.
The Bruins play a physical style. They were 10th in penalty minutes per game during the regular season, including the fourth-most major infractions in the league. By contrast, the Hawks took the third-fewest majors and were tied for fewest penalty minutes per game in the NHL. The Bruins ranked 10th in hits, while the Hawks were last.
The Bruins employ one former Hawk, forward Shawn Thornton, whose last season with Chicago was 2005-06.
Thornton and his former team had a small dispute during a game in late March 2011 after Thornton was cut by a skate. He claimed that Hawks players were "chirping" at him as he left the ice to be checked out by the Bruins' training staff. Each side was critical of the other after the contest, which the Bruins won 3-0.