Bergeron, Toews, ice conditions hot topics for Game 6 | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaBergeron, Toews, ice conditions hot topics for Game 6

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013 | 12:16 PM

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A mystery ailment has the status of Boston's Patrice Bergeron uncertain for Game 6. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) A mystery ailment has the status of Boston's Patrice Bergeron uncertain for Game 6. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Three storylines for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks on Hockey Night in Canada from TD Garden on Monday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET). The Blackhawks lead the series at 3-2.

BOSTON -- Three storylines for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks on Hockey Night in Canada from TD Garden on Monday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET). The Blackhawks lead the series at 3-2.

Chicago won its second game in a row, 3-1 at home, on Saturday. If a seventh and deciding game is necessary, it will be played back at the United Center on Wednesday.

1. What are the chances that Bruins star Patrice Bergeron and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will play after they both missed the third period on Saturday?

The chances are excellent that they both will play in Game 6. Toews participated in his team's morning skate and declared himself ready to go afterwards. Bergeron did not skate. But Bruins coach Claude Julien said that Bergeron will test his mystery ailment in the pre-game skate and Julien was confident his dependable veteran will play.

Bergeron spent time getting checked out in a Chicago hospital on Saturday evening, but was released in time to join his teammates for the flight home. When the Bruins arrived at TD Garden on Sunday, television cameras caught him gingerly getting into the passenger side of a black sedan before he was driven home.

If Bergeron doesn't play, expect 27-year-old rookie Carl Soderberg to skate in his spot between Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. Soderberg made his Stanley Cup playoff debut on Saturday and was moved from the fourth line to Bergeron's spot when he left the game for good.

To replace Soderberg on the fourth line, Julien will employ either Jordan Caron or veteran Jay Pandolfo. 

2. The Blackhawks and Bruins are in similar situations when they won their recent Stanley Cup championships.

When the Blackhawks captured the 2009-10 Stanley Cup, they won Game 5 at home. Then Patrick Kane clinched the title with his goal in overtime of Game 6 in Philadelphia. When the Bruins won the championship the next year, they lost Game 5 in Vancouver against the Canucks. Then battled back to win at home and again in Game 7 back in Vancouver.

"We have been here before, but it doesn't make it any easier," Bruins centre Chris Kelly said.

Quick facts:

  • The 2011 Bruins were only the eighth of 36 teams that have fallen behind 3-2 in the Stanley Cup final to rally and win. The others include: 1942 Toronto over Detroit, 1950 Detroit over N.Y. Rangers, 1964 Toronto over Detroit, 1971 Montreal over Chicago, 2001 Colorado over New Jersey, 2004 Tampa Bay over Calgary, 2009 Pittsburgh over Detroit.
  • Of the 22 times that teams have split the opening four games of the final, the club that won Game 5 has celebrated a championship 15 times. However, the team that has lost Game 5 has rebounded to win the series on four of the past six occasions since 2001.
  • Teams leading 3-2 in the final have won 28 of 36 series (77.8 per cent) since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939.
  • Twenty of those teams won in six games (55.6 per cent). Eight won in seven games (22.2 per cent).

3. It's hot, hot, hot in Boston. How will this affect the quality of the ice tonight?

Temperatures in Beantown are expected to hit a high of 34 Celsius on Monday. The NHL's resident ice expert Dan Craig has been a busy chap trying to keep ice conditions as good as possible this time of the year.

Today, June 24, matches the latest date the Stanley Cup has been decided. Back in the last lockout-shortened season, the New Jersey Devils swept the Detroit Red Wings on June 24, 1995 to win the franchise's first NHL championship.

The TD Garden has installed a few extra gigantic dehumidifiers that have been humming since 4 a.m. ET on Monday. A thin layer of fog hovered over the ice before the Bruins began their morning skate. If the ice conditions are poor, it may help the Bruins slow down the skilled and speedy Blackhawks.

"Obviously with some fans in the building tonight, it'll get warmer," Julien said. "I thought the ice this morning was in pretty good shape, and they've done a good job. Walking in here yesterday with 90-plus degree [temperatures] it was nice and cool in the arena. 

"But those doors are going to open I would imagine and some of the heat will come in. But those are conditions that you have to play with at this time of year. Everybody has been through it, and two teams are going through the same conditions. Both teams are going to tell you the same truth: keep the game simple and try and avoid those mistakes from over-handling pucks in those kind of ice conditions." 

Projected lineup for Chicago

Forwards

Bryan Bickell -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Michal Handzus -- Marian Hossa

Brandon Saad -- Andrew Shaw -- Viktor Stalberg

Marcus Kruger -- David Bolland -- Michael Frolik

Defence

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya -- Nicklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy -- Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Projected lineup for Boston

Forwards

Milan Lucic -- David Krejci -- Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- Jaromir Jagr

Daniel Paille -- Chris Kelly -- Tyler Seguin

Carl Soderberg -- Rich Peverley -- Shawn Thornton

Defence

Zdeno Chara -- Dennis Seidenberg

Andrew Ference -- Johnny Boychuk

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Goaltender

Tuukka Rask

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC.

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