The Boston Bruins were founded in 1924. The Chicago Blackhawks in 1926. They have co-existed as NHL opponents and so-called Original Six rivals for 87 years, but this is the first time they will face each other on hockey's biggest stage, the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Chicago Blackhawks, fresh off a double overtime elimination of the defending champion Los Angeles Kings will play host to the Bruins, a franchise that just knocked off the highly favored Pittsburgh Penguins in an unexpected four game sweep.
The series doesn't begin until Wednesday night, but media outlets all over the continent are already beginning their build-up to the first Original Six Stanley Cup Final since 1979. Today in links, I'll start off with a small sampling of what everyone is talking about.
Yahoo!'s Greg Wyshynski takes a look at the 5 biggest questions to ask about the Finals on the [Puck Daddy Blog].
The New York Times goes into detail about the historic nature of two Original Six franchises facing off for hockey's biggest prize, and looks back at the Montreal Canadiens / New York Rangers series that is about to lose it's spot in hockey trivia lore. [New York Times]
The Chicago Tribune examines the plight of Corey Crawford, the goaltender that was designated as the reason Chicago wouldn't make it as far as they have. Last time Chicago was in this position, Crawford was on the sidelines, patiently waiting for his turn, but now his time has come. [Chicago Tribune]
The complete television schedule for the Stanley Cup Finals can be found over at Comcast New England's website. [CSNNE]
The only thing I hate more than reality television is Sean Avery. Now they're one and the same. This is on par with rap-country hybrid musical acts, or stepping in a puddle, wearing socks fresh out of the dryer, only to discover the liquid was sulfuric acid. Sean Avery will be doing some one-on-one male coaching, because obviously the man who got fired from his last two teams for his personality is exactly who you should take advice from. [Crain's New York]
The KHL is looking to expand it's already massive footprint in Europe. Is this too much expansion too soon, or are they simply filling a void for a premier hockey league in the region? [The Hockey Writers]
Dan Bylsma is giving a vote of confidence in his goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury. It's usually not a great sign when your coach has to make statements like these. There are a lot of questions to be answers in Pittsburgh these days. [TSN]
The Montreal Gazette seems to have figured out that playoff overtime hockey is more entertaining than your average regular season run-of-the-mill hockey game. Who knew? They credit an environment where coaches lost control of their teams. I credit the high stakes of playoff overtime, between two elite franchises. [Montreal Gazette]
I've worked for some pretty fly-by-night organizations in my life, but at least I've never been fired over webcam. That's more than former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger can say now, as he was informed the club was going a new direction over Skype. Classy. [Toronto Sun]
Today's video is a YouTube highlight reel of the newest Dallas Star, Sergei Gonchar. I think it's safe to say that he is at least the second best offensive Russian defenseman named Sergei in Dallas Stars history. Sorry, Mr. Gusev.