An Original Six Showdown
By Jonah Levitan aka Satan81
Boston fought their way through a nerve-racking series against the Maple Leafs, potentially embarrassed Lundqvist and the Rangers, and shocked everyone by sweeping the top seeded Penguins.
The Chicago Blackhawks went though the Wild, overtime with the Wings with kudos to Brent Seabrook, and off of Patrick Kane’s hat trick, eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champions in the LA Kings, and moved to the finals.
It now comes down to Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks, against a phenomenal Tuuka Rask and the Boston Bruins.
First, lets analyze the goaltending.
Tukka Rask in the Eastern Conference Final was nothing short of spectacular. He had the best playoff appearance in 4 games since the late 1920s by only letting in 2 goals. That’s something to be proud of. He denied the entire Penguins team with the exception of Kunitz and Sutter who notched a goal each, and also, for the first time in their careers, had Malkin and Crosby go 4 straight games without a point. Boston proved they have a brick wall in Tukka Rask, and Rask proved there is a deserving spot on his ring finger.
Corey Crawford was also great, especially in overtime. He made amazing saves against the Kings’ offense, and is a giant factor of why this surging Blackhawks team is onto their 2ndStanley Cup final appearance in the last 4 years. Mind you, this is Crawford’s first appearance in the finals, so watch for his goaltending. Great goalie, deserving of the ring, and we’ll see how it develops.
You could say the Pittsburgh Penguins are the offensive powerhouse of the east, well for the west, the same could be said for the Chicago Blackhawks. Patrick Kane is proving such with his hat trick, which concluded the Western Conference final with the defending Stanley Cup Champions in game 5 overtime in Chicago. Lest we forget the superstar in Bryan Bickell. He’s notched at least one point his past 5 games, and is arguably one of the best players in these playoffs so far. However, players such as David Krejci, the little ball of hate that is Brad Marchand, and the defensive Marvel Torey Krug have many points on their stick as well.
Torey Krug is a giant part of Boston’s defense, which they are famous for. They have the tallest NHL player in the books, in Zdeno Chara, as well as Hamilton, Seidenberg, and Ference who will be on the puck at all times, proved by Chara’s save at the end of Game 4 against Pittsburgh. But Keith, Oduya, and Rosíval will be right there as well, ready to snatch the puck from an unsuspecting Bruin.
Boston has the ability to get under the skin of players, through one specific player. The little ball of hate, Brad Marchand. Marchand is a big factor for the Bruins, as his antics can lead to retaliatory penalties on the Hawks, unnecessary fighting, or even getting the players off their game with frustration. In turn, one thing the Blackhawks will have to keep together is their composure and temper. But, will his antics pay off against the Hawks? It wasn’t so against Pittsburgh as the Bruins were scoreless in the PP column in the Eastern Conference final. However, they denied the Penguins any power play goals, with Chara and Seidenberg holding the line.
The Hawks were the best penalty killer in the Western Conference this season, and seven percent better during the post season. They have defensive anchors such as Johnny Oduya and Duncan Keith, who can clear the puck and deny a PP chance In the blink of an eye. But the power play might need some work, as they have only been around fourteen percent during this season.
So, who has the edge here? Well, it really is tough to say. Chicago’s amazing offense can match with the Bruins phenomenal defense, and the Bruins offense matches up with Chicago’s solid defense. With Quick and Vokoun left in the dust, it might be a low scoring series, but the William Jennings trophy might prove to be rightfully given, with the Blackhawks looking just a bit better.
It all depends on the play of Rask and Crawford, as well as the men skating around the 200ft long arena, in this Stanley Cup Final of 2013.
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With teammate Jonathan Toews unavailable, Patrick Kane will now sign for two hours – free of charge The Upper Deck Company, a co-sponsor of the 2008 NHL All-Star Trading Card and Memorabilia Show and the NHL Rockin’ Skate 2008 this weekend in Atlanta, has a change to announce to its scheduled lineup of autograph signers.…