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Stanley Cup Analysis: What We Have Learned So Far

The entire Stanley Cup Playoffs has been a wild ride so why would he have any reason to think that things would slow down and go as predicted in the Finals.

The No. 4 seeded Boston Bruins have upset the No. 1 seeded Chicago Blackhawks twice and are now ahead in the series 2-1.  It was clear that this was going to be a tough series from the very first game when it went into triple overtime before Chicago walked away with the victory.

Game 2 again had to go into overtime before we had a victor.  Meaning these two team competed against each other for 185 minuets over the course of just two games.  These long games are made even more grueling by the fact that both these teams play very physical hockey.  We have all ready seen a handful of injuries.  It was after Game 2 that I began to wonder if whichever team could keep their players injury free would be the team to win it all.

In Game 3 Chicago’s Marian Hossa did not play due to an injury sustained at some point during this series. Hossa was tied as the leading scorer on the ‘Hawks squad with 15 goals in 19 games.  While he hadn’t yet found his stride against the Bruins his abscence was felt as the Bruins would shutout Chicago in Game 3.  Hossa is now listed as “day-to-day.”

Each of these teams have been able to shut down the others’ top scorers.  Leaving these teams to scramble to find other guys to make big plays, which is not easy considering Chicago and Boston have the top two goalies in the NHL. What this series may come down to is who has the best players who have yet to shine.  This is not what a bettor wants to  hear as it leaves too many question marks, but it could very well be the truth.

The Blackhawks record setting season now seems like a distant memory now that Boston is up 2-1.  Even the sports books have began to turn their backs on the Blackhawks now that they have lost two in a row with Boston as the favorite in the opening odds for Game 4.  However, you cannot count the Blackhawks out yet as all three games in this series  have been very close.

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