10 Stanley Cup final tidbits about Blackhawks, Bruins | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in Canada10 Stanley Cup final tidbits about Blackhawks, Bruins

Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 | 12:34 PM

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Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, middle, outlines a drill at morning practice at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Monday. (Brian Snyder/Reuters) Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, middle, outlines a drill at morning practice at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Monday. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

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Here is 10 tidbits about this year's Stanley Cup finalists, the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. 

In 2009-10, the Chicago Blackhawks ended a 49-year drought with their fourth Stanley Cup title. The Boston Bruins won their sixth the following spring to snap a 39-year titleless streak.

Here are 10 tidbits about this year's Stanley Cup final between the two teams:

1. It's been awhile

Even though these pre-expansion Original Six rivals have been around for more than eight decades -- the Bruins in their 89th season, the Blackhawks in their 87th -- the two franchises never have met in a Stanley Cup final.

They have met in the playoffs on six occasions with the Bruins winning five times, the most recent meeting being a four-game sweep for Boston in the 1978 Stanley Cup quarter-finals.
They also haven't played each other in the regular season in more than 600 days because of the NHL lockout. The Blackhawks and Bruins last met on Oct. 15, 2011, which resulted in a 3-2 shootout win for Boston at the United Center.

2. It's been awhile II

This is the first Stanley Cup meeting between two teams from the six clubs that existed before 1967-68 expansion since the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers in five games in 1979.

That series marked the last time Scotty Bowman was behind the Canadiens bench.

3. Bowman factor

Bowman, who will turn 80 on Sept. 18, will be part of his 17th Stanley Cup final. He was 35 years old when he coached the St. Louis Blues to his first final in 1968. Since then, he has earned 12 Stanley Cup rings.

Bowman won a record nine NHL titles as a coach with Montreal (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979), Pittsburgh (1992) and Detroit (1997, 1998, 2002). He was the victor in three more as a front-office executive with the Penguins (1991), Red Wings (2008) and Blackhawks (2010).

With the Blackhawks, Bowman has been the senior advisor of hockey operations since July 2008 under his son Stan, the Blackhawks 39-year-old general manager.

4. Red-hot foes

Both the Blackhawks and Bruins found themselves on the brink of elimination this spring, but managed to survive. Chicago was down 3 games to 1 in its second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings. But the Blackhawks have since rallied to win seven of their past eight games to advance.

Boston trailed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in the third period of Game 7 in their first-round series, only to storm back with three goals in the final 10:42 to send the series finale into extra time. Patrice Bergeron made sure the Bruins advanced with the overtime winner. Including that victory, Boston has reeled off nine victories in 10 games.

5. Bruins defence

The Blackhawks will have to cover the points in their own end. The Bruins defence has scored 15 of the team's 50 goals in 16 playoff games. Johnny Boychuk has scored five times followed by Torey Krug (four), Zdeno Chara (two), Adam McQuaid (two), Matt Bartkowski (one) and Wade Redden (one). 

In comparison, Chicago's defence has checked in for six goals in 17 games.

6. Blackhawks penalty killing

Chicago's penalty killing has been solid in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. It has killed off 55 of 58 chances (94.8%) through three rounds. The Blackhawks went a perfect 29 for 29 in their first eight games, a feat that matched the longest streak of games without allowing a power-play goal to begin a playoff year since NHL expansion in 1967-68.

The Bruins will be in tough in man-advantage situations because they went 0-13 in the Eastern Conference final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

7. Old teammates

Boston's Tyler Seguin and Chicago's Patrick Kane became friends during the lockout earlier this season when they wound up teammates for EHC Biel in Switzerland. Seguin scored 25 times in 29 games, while Kane scored 13 goals in 20 outings.

The pair faced each other in the Spengler Cup over the Christmas break, too. The host team Davos HC picked up Kane for the tournament, while Seguin joined Bruins teammate Bergeron on the winning Canadian side.

8. Going back to the final

While this will be the fourth final in the past six years for Chicago forward Marian Hossa, Boston's 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr will make his first Stanley Cup final appearance in 21 years. He hasn't been back since he won back-to-back titles with the Penguins in 1990-91 and 1991-92.

9. Windsor Spitfires connection

Trivia question: Name two former Windsor Spitfires defencemen who have won the Stanley Cup as a coach? Answer: Joel Quenneville (Chicago, 2009-10) and Claude Julien (Boston, 2010-11).

The 54-year-old Quenneville played three seasons with his hometown Spitfires between 1975 and 1978 before turning pro. The 53-year-old Julien was traded to Windsor from the Oshawa Generals early in his second year of junior in 1978-79, the season after Quenneville had left to play for the Maple Leafs.

One of them will become only the 15th coach in NHL history to win two or more Stanley Cups.

10. Dropkick Murphys

The Dropkick Murphys are a band from Quincy, Mass., but have strong followings in both Boston and Chicago. In fact, the Bruins and Blackhawks sometimes play the group's best-known song, Shipping Up to Boston, during a television timeout in the third period.

For the past few seasons, when he has been in attendance at the United Center, Blackhawks fan Chris Pisani occasionally performs his version of an Irish jig in an aisle to further rile up the local fan base. He has even been called up on stage when the band performed in Chicago. 

Wonder how Bruins fans feel about this?

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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