The last time the Boston Bruins squared off against the Chicago Blackhawks it ended in disappointment; the Blackhawks skaters were taking turns gliding around the TD Garden ice with the Stanley Cup raised high in the air. Half a season later, the two teams are once again among the best in the NHL and could very well be on a collision course for another meeting in the Stanley Cup.
The most fascinating thing to me when looking at this upcoming matchup is the hatred between the two teams, well the lack of it. Now don’t get me wrong, each team is extremely competitive and when the puck eventually drops tomorrow afternoon I do not expect either team to take it easy on the other, but the feeling going into this game is completely different than the lead up to the other Stanley Cup rematch the Bruins had this season against the Vancouver Canucks.
There is a mutual respect between the teams because both teams play the “right” way. Each team fought hard in the finals last year and players from both sides speak with deference when referring to the other side.
“I wouldn’t say there was any other series where there was that mutual respect,” Boston’s Milan Lucic said.
Although the Bruins hold the Hawks in such high regard, they also remember the pain that came along with the game six loss. That alone should make for another great game between two of the original six teams.
This will be one of Boston’s toughest tests thus far and it will be interesting to see if the extra motivation going into the game will help the team get off to a good start. They will certainly need to because the Hawks have only lost three games in regulation at home this season.
I may be speaking with my heart, but I believe the Bruins will be able to get a bit of revenge tomorrow afternoon and get the victory over the Blackhawks. Although the Hawks have the second-best record in the Western Conference, they are under .500 on their last ten games. The Bruins are not much better, going .500 in their last ten, but they are coming off a good game against a pretty good offensive team in the Dallas Stars.
The Stanley Cup rematch gets underway in the United Center in Chicago tomorrow at 12:30 PM ET.