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After two shockingly short conference final series, hockey fans will have the pleasure to witness an original six matchup in the Stanley Cup Finals: the Boston Bruins against the Chicago Blackhawks. In a 2013 postseason that has been full of surprises, these two teams have demonstrated most so far that they have what it takes to win Lord Stanley's Cup.

Neither team is a stranger to the Stanley Cup Finals, nor winning the Cup for that matter. Only two years removed from winning hockey's ultimate prize, the Bruins look to bring the championship back to Boston. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks, having won the year before the Bruins, seek to prove that they are the best team in the league this season.

Although Chicago is the heavy favorite on paper out of the two, there really is little difference between the two teams, which should make for a highly competitive series. Both teams' backbones truly are their goaltenders. Corey Crawford has played consistently stellar for the Blackhawks throughout the playoffs, giving his team a chance to win game in and game out. Meanwhile, his counterpart Tuukka Rask of the Bruins has put on a show this postseason, including making 134 saves on 136 shots in Boston's series sweep of Pittsburgh in the Conference Finals. Furthermore, both teams' depth allows them to rely on secondary scoring. Although star forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have been relatively quiet during the playoffs, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have stepped up and produced for the Hawks. But when on their game, Toews and Kane are a lethal combination that will give the Bruins trouble. Meanwhile, the Bruins roll all of their lines, counting on their fourth line as well as their defensemen to score much of their goals. David Krejci has also had a breakout postseason, leading the league in scoring during this year's playoffs, while Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have developed a special chemistry, both scoring several timely goals throughout their playoff campaign. If the Bruins can continue to play their defensive style of game, they will frustrate their opponents and give the Blackhawks all they can handle.

Overall, this series features two evenly-matched teams that both play in outstanding hockey markets so there will be a loud, exciting atmosphere surrounding this series. Although these teams did not play each other during the regular season, expect hard-hitting, physical, tight hockey between these two soon-to-be rivals. May the best team win.
 





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