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Saturday June 5, 2010 10:03 am

Best-of-three for Lord Stanley’s Mug




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Championship, NHL, Playoffs,

Chris ProngerWhat’s the story of this Stanley Cup Final? We know that the Chicago Blackhawks, after clinching the Central Division, have cruised through the first three rounds in the Western Conference while the Philadelphia Flyers, after squeezing a playoff berth away from the Rangers in a shootout victory, had a roller coaster ride through the East by making quick work of New Jersey, then becoming just the third team in history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit, then obliterating the weary Canadiens. But how do those two paths converge into something entertaining?

The truth is; they don’t. There’s nothing to tie these two teams together, other than their respective Cup-less droughts (1961 for the Hawks, 1975 for Philly). The two teams have different personnel, a different style of play, a different philosophy, and a different reason for wanting to win. To summarize, these two teams couldn’t be more different. The only unifying fact is that these two teams are playing with one goal in mind: to win the Stanley Cup.

Before the puck dropped in Game 1, it was hard not to feel the media bias towards the Hawks. It was over before it began. Now, after four games, we have a best-of-three on our hands, and almost ironically, with four one-goal games, the two teams are tied in goals scored as well. The home team has also won every game in the set, so with Game 5 coming up in Chicago, but a two-game win streak for Philadelphia, it’s hard to say who will have the momentum going into the game.

So what’s the story? A great series, that’s what. It has been a while since we’ve seen great hockey games headline a hockey series and it couldn’t have come at a more welcome time. With all the potential storylines that could have been with other teams that were spoiled, these two teams have filled a void with a fantastic on-ice product. There are at least two games left in the season, and if nothing else, these two teams have proven once again that it’s never over until the final horn blows.

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