The Bruins will battle the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup and if you haven't heard, it's an Original Six matchup. And if you're wondering what exactly that means, among other things, you're in the right place. As Bruins fever sweeps New England, this is the perfect opportunity to get to understand the basics of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins, the Blackhawks, and how to follow the series right here. Next
What's this about the Original Six?
The Blackhawks, along with the Bruins, were members of the "Original Six" era of the NHL, which was composed of six teams from 1942 to 1967. That means all the Bruins and Blackhawks did was beat up on each other or the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Original Six era gave way to the expansion era. We now sit comfortably in something called the modern era. This is the first Original Six matchup in the Stanley Cup Final since 1979. Next
What's at stake?
Lord Stanley's Cup, or better known as the Stanley Cup. The trophy originated as just the bowl at the top, and it was donated by Sir Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston, who was governor-general of Canada beginning in 1888. His interest in hockey led him to propose a championship for teams in Canada, and directed that the names of winning players be engraved on rings added below the bowl, and it has since been transformed into its current shape to accommodate the history of it.
The NHL took over full control of the trophy in 1926.
The Bruins have won the Stanley Cup six times, most recently in 2011. The Blackhawks have won the cup four times, most recently in 2010. Next
What’s the schedule?
All games for the seven-game series will be held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday or Monday, beginning on June 12. The series will be televised on NBC or NBC Sports Network and broadcast on SiriusXM Satellite radio.
Game 1: Bruins at Blackhawks—8 p.m. Wed. June 12 (NBC)
Game 2: Bruins at Blackhawks—8 p.m. Sat. June 15 (NBCSN)
Game 3: Blackhawks at Bruins—8 p.m. Mon. June 17 (NBCSN)
Game 4: Blackhawks at Bruins—8 p.m. Wed. June 19 (NBC)
*Game 5: Bruins at Blackhawks—8 p.m. Sat. June 22 (NBC)
*Game 6: Blackhawks at Bruins—8 p.m. Mon. June 24 (NBC)
*Game 7: Bruins at Blackhawks—8 p.m. Wed. June 26 (NBC)
*-if necessary Next
Blackhawks player to watch
The Blackhawks are spurred along by none other than 24-year old Patrick Kane, whose hat trick (that's three goals) helped secure the Campbell Bowl (Western Conference title). He's tied for a team-lead 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kane finished fifth in the league in points (55) and goals (23) in the regular season. Next
Bruins player to watch
Meanwhile, the Bruins' star is none other than their captain, defenseman Zdeno Chara. The 6-9 Slovakian has led all defensemen during the playoffs with a +12 (the Bruins have scored 12 more goals while he's playing) on a whopping 469:42 ice time. But what's more, Chara epitomizes the Bruins' selfless defensive attitude that has set the tone for the entire club. Next
The Blackhawks' netminder is Corey Crawford, who along with teammate Ray Emery won the William M. Jennings trophy this season as the goaltenders who allowed the fewest regular season goals. Crawford has a 1.47 goals-against average (an NHL playoff best) and .935 save percentage. Next
The Bruins are backstopped by Tuukka Rask, the Finnish-born player who has led the NHL with a playoff best .943 save percentage and two shutouts. He has a 1.75-goals against average. Next
Joel Quenneville coaches the Blackhawks. He's in his fifth year with Chicago and 16th overall in the NHL. He won a Stanley Cup in 2010. Next
The Bruins are coached by Claude Julien, who led the team to its first Stanley Cup title since 1972 in 2011. He's in his 15th year of coaching and widely known for his defensive-minded strategy. Next
What's the history here?
Boston and Chicago have competed for two pro sports championships. The Bears beat the Patriots in the 1986 Super Bowl and the Red Sox beat the Cubs in the 1918 World Series. But between the Bruins and the Blackhawks, the two franchises have never competed for a Stanley Cup.
However, because both teams come from the Original Six era, they have competed in six playoff series in the almost 90-year history of each franchise. The Bruins hold the edge, 5-1, sweeping the Blackhawks in their last meeting in 1978. Next
Where do the Blackhawks play?
The United Center. It's a multi-purpose facility the Blackhawks share with the Chicago Bulls. It's the same building with the Michael Jordan statue outside. The arena holds a little more than 20,000 fans.
Of course, the Bruins play at TD Garden, which also houses the Celtics. But seriously, you should know that. No excuses. Next
How to follow the series?
Well, you're in the right place, being on Boston.com and all. But if you consider yourself social media savvy, there are few people who are must-follows during the series. For instance, the Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) and Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) are hockey experts and also quite humorous. While you may follow them for hockey news, you'll end up enjoying them for their quips.
Boston.com’s Steve Silva (@stevesilva) and Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) will provide live updates, video, commentary and more throughout the playoffs in live blogs, our Bruins Blog, and on our video pages.
The Blackhawks have their own set of hockey experts. Follow the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) and Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) on Twitter. They'll give you insight on the Bruins' opposition and alerts on new stories you won't see here in Boston. Next
Who has the edge?
Many are expecting that this is going to be a very tight series. The Blackhawks have shown that they are very fast and are extremely talented offensively, while the Bruins play watertight defense and have proven they can shut down an electric scoring team (just ask the Pittsburgh Penguins).
Las Vegas currently gives Chicago a slight edge, with their odds of winning the Stanley Cup Finals at 5-8. Who do you think will come out of this series hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup?
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