It seemed like a very real bet on sports possibility that the Presidents trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks and the big, bad Boston Bruins would meet in the Stanley Cup Finals when the 2013 NHL playoffs got underway. That match up has come to light with both teams earning the chance to play on the biggest stage, although their road to the Stanley Cup Finals has been anything but predictable. The Blackhawks trailed three-games-to-one against the Detroit Red Wings in the second round before allying all the way back to take the series in seven games, and then went on to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in five games. The Bruins meanwhile only barely escaped their opening round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs with a historic comeback in game seven, only to dismantle the New York Rangers and then sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins. That has set the stage for an intriguing finish to the 2013 season, and at this point it’s clear that anything can happen.
Both teams are entering this live betting series on an absolute tear, with Boston winning eight of its previous nine games and Chicago the winner of seven of its last eight. The Bruins seemed to find their rhythm during their epic comeback from down three goals with under 11 minutes to go in the third period of game seven against Toronto, and they rode the momentum of that win right through both New York and Pittsburgh. The Blackhawks meanwhile faced their own adversity down three-games-to-one against Detroit, and after winning three-straight to clinch that series they needed just five games to eliminating the defending champion Kings. The fact that both teams are hitting their stride heading in to this series only adds to its intrigue, as only one team will be able to hoist the Stanley Cup when it is all said and done.
On the surface it would seem as though Chicago is the more skilled team, with All Star forwards like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa leading the way once again. However, Boston has its share of skilled forwards as well with David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic, only the latter two have a ton of muscle and are known as absolutely bullies on the ice. Brad Marchand has emerged as a legitimate top-six forward and scoring threat on every Bruins’ rush, while Bryan Bickell has enjoyed a breakthrough sports betting postseason with the Blackhawks. Boston certainly owns the tougher defense score with Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, and company holding the line, but the Chicago defense core is impressive in its own right with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Perhaps the most interesting match up will be between the goaltenders, with Tuukka Rask set to start for the Bruins opposite Corey Crawford. Both goalies have played excellent to this point in the playoffs and are a big reason their teams have come as far as they have, but there will be a ton of pressure to perform on the biggest online betting stage. Rask has posted a 1.75 goals against average and .943 save percentage this postseason, while Crawford has posted a 1.74 goals against average and .935 save percentage. One of these goalies will raise the Stanley Cup in 2013, and it will be interesting to see how the two netminders match up opposite one another in the Stanley Cup Finals. For all of the latest NHL news and game odds, be sure to check out the best online betting sites