The Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins begin the first Original Six Stanley Cup matchup since 1979 on Wednesday. The people of Tampa Bay will no doubt have their eyes turned northward as Patrick Kane -- coming off an impressive game-clinching hat trick against the Los Angeles Kings -- and Corey Crawford look to stymie the 2011 Stanley Cup winners.
Mike Shoro of Second City Hockey has a perfectly not-biased-towards-Chicago preview:
After a regular season you'll tell your grandkids about and a playoff run you'll never forget, this is it. This is what we've all been waiting for. All this storybook year needs is the proverbial icing on the cake.
This is going to be a helluva Stanley Cup Final. It's going to be nasty. It's going to be brutal. There's going to be a lot of uncomfortable clenching in uncomfortable places. Will it all be worth it? Definitely. Because it's the Cup.
Let's go Hawks.
Hot Tips for watching the game:
- Icing is when the puck crosses two red lines without touching a defender. You cannot be guilty of icing if you have fewer men on the ice (via penalty). And the opposing goalie cannot activate the icing call. Typically, a defender will skate back and give the ol' puck a touch.
- Offsides occurs when the puck crosses the second blue line (leaves the neutral zone) with a teammate on the opposing team's side. In other words, if another player crosses before the player with the puck -- WHISTLE! Offsides.
- Fighting is like mandatory, or something.
- Names are deliberately unpronounceable. This is a defense tactic to prevent opposing fans from adequately insulting the players.
- Canadians are permitted in the sport, though Russians and Eastern Europeans are encouraged.
- Non-white people have never played hockey and most have never heard of it, according to facts from the internet.