Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

This Cup Filled with History, Intrigue

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

This Cup Filled with History, Intrigue

Article excerpt

The rich sports histories of Chicago and Boston are filled with legendary names such as Jordan and Russell, Banks and Williams, Butkus and Brady, Hull and Orr (who actually finished his career in Chicago), Wrigley and Fenway.

Yet, these two worlds have intersected with professional championships on the line only twice: the Cubs and the Red Sox played in the 1918 World Series and the Bears and Patriots met in Super Bowl XX in 1986. It will happen a third time beginning Wednesday night, when the Blackhawks and Bruins clash in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

This will be the first time two of the NHL's Original Six will meet in the Finals since Montreal beat the Rangers in 1979. Here are some of the story lines that could make this matchup a special one:

Back from the brink

Don't expect either team to bow out easily. The Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 series deficit against Detroit in the Western Conference semifinals and needed defenseman Brent Seabrook's goal in overtime of Game 7 to survive. The Bruins nearly blew a 3-1 series lead against Toronto in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Trailing, 4-1, with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, the Bruins became the first team in league history to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period with Patrice Bergeron scoring the tying goal with 51 seconds remaining and the overtime winner.

New and old

Although they won the Cup just three years ago, the Blackhawks have only eight players left who played against Philadelphia in the 2010 Finals. The Bruins have 17 players who faced Vancouver in the 2011 Finals. Either Chicago's Joel Quenneville or Boston's Claude Julien will be the only active head coach with two Cup rings.

Long time coming

It's taken 21 years, but Boston's Jaromir Jagr, a pre-trade deadline acquisition, is finally back in the Finals. Jagr, 41, last played in the Finals with Pittsburgh against Chicago in 1992 when he won his second Cup in as many years in the league. …

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