Stanley Cup Finals Preview
It’s an Original 6 Stanley Cup Finals, the first since 1979 and the first finals since 1972 between American Original 6 teams. Bruins and Blackhawks. Here is a preview of the series that will eventually end in one of these teams hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup, the most coveted trophy in team sports.Why the Bruins will win: Style, physicality and forward depth. Boston works harder than any other team in NHL history. The wearing and tearing down of the opponent is boring yet entertaining but most importantly effective. The use of the body. The effort to the puck. Winning the battles on the boards. And they do it with four lines. There seems to be a different star every night on this team, with the big line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic leading the way.
Why the Blackhawks will win: Corey Crawford. The guy is fearless between the pipes and has shown to be the most under-appreciated netminder in the NHL. Crawford, playing with that unflappable style, keeps the Blackhawks calm and collected and allows the team to take chances at both ends.
Key Bruin: Zdeno Chara. As with every other match-up, Chara will be asked to shut down superstars. Chicago has plenty. Chara will be a busy guy.
Key Blackhawk: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. They teamed-up on the double-overtime goal that sent the Kings packing and are starting to play better at the right time. That is a good thing for Chicago, because without these two against a Bruins team that is hard to score against, the skaters from the Windy City are toast.
Key to the series: Power-play goals. These two teams are the best in hockey at killing penalties. The team that can score with the man advantage could very well win the series.
Prediction: Bruins in 7. These teams are so close. Well-coached, deep, solid goaltending, great penalty killing and clutch players. But in the end, it is that uncomfortable feeling that Chicago will experience because of the Bruin style, forecheck and forward depth. Boston will raise the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years.
By: Mike Lindsley, “Mid-Day with Mike,” 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.