2013 Stanley Cup Final: Breakdown of Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins
The Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins to get to the final round while the Hawks were able to best the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings and defending champion Los Angeles Kings.
Both teams bring lots of unique variables to the table. Here is how each facet of the teams breaks down.
The Bruins have been riding high on the back of their goalie Tuukka Rask. The young netminder has been a force, particularly against the high-octane offence of the Penguins. He only allowed two goals in the four-game sweep.
Rask also has an excellent playoff save percentage of .943, which ranks first in the NHL. Calm and cool in the net thus far, he has been nothing short of a wall for the Bruins.
On the flip side, Corey Crawford has been flying under the radar the entire year for the Blackhawks. He has provided his club with quiet yet solid goaltending through the postseason.
He currently leads the league in goals-against average with 1.74 and has consistently made key saves when called upon.
The Bruins have been a very responsible defensive team so far in the playoffs. They are led by 6'9" captain Zdeno Chara, who has 11 points and a plus-12 rating in 16 games.
The B's also have dependable blueliners such as Andrew Ference, Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid and rookie scoring sensation Torey Krug.
The Blackhawks are no slouch on defence either, as they boast the smooth-skating Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Keith's 11 points rank him first among Hawks blueliners this postseason.
The Bruins have been doing just fine putting the puck in the back of their opponent's net. Both their forwards and defensemen have had no trouble piling up points.
The B's offence is led by the dynamic line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic. Krejci has an astounding 21 points to lead all skaters while Horton and Lucic are right behind at a solid 17 and 13 points, respectively.
Boston is also a team that is able to ice a full four forward lines. Each line knows its job and has been very effective in these playoffs.
Chicago also owns some speedy and dangerous skaters to ice against the Bruins. Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane are all tied for the team lead in points with 14.
Captain Jonathan Toews currently sits at nine, while surprise playoff scorer Bryan Bickell is only one point off the team lead with 13.
Both teams have won the Stanley Cup in recent years, with the Hawks taking it in 2010 and the Bruins a year later in 2011.
Both teams have a number of game-changing Cup winners on their rosters. The Black and Gold have Chara, Bergeron, Lucic, Horton, Krejci and many more. They also have a two-time Cup winner in veteran Jaromir Jagr.
Not to be outdone, the Hawks also have some quality players from their 2010 Cup team on their current roster. Names such as Toews, Keith, Seabrook, Kane, Bickell, Sharp and David Bolland.
Both clubs have great goaltending, defensemen that can make huge plays and a bevy of forwards that are able to change the game`s momentum with a single shot.
The greatest prize in hockey is on the line as these two teams clash. Only one can emerge victorious. Who will that be? Only time will tell.
Tweet me your thoughts on who wins @FuscoNation16.
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