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Cup finals questions: Can both teams stay so remarkably healthy?

Jun 12, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT

Michal Handzus #26 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates with teammates Patrick Kane #88 and Patrick Sharp #10 after Handzus scored in the second period of Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on June 2, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Kings 4-2.
(June 1, 2013 - Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

When people talk about how deep the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks are, it’s partially because of how well these teams were assembled, but it’s also due to how close they are to operating at 100% going into the Stanley Cup finals.

Obviously, the Boston Bruins don’t have Marc Savard (concussion), but beyond that the only player on either team that isn’t available for Game 1 is the Bruins fourth-line center, Gregory Campbell.

Will that streak of relatively good health last for what’s left of the playoffs? Maybe, but it’s far from certain.

At this time of the year, these guys will play through a lot. In fact, not too long after Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews or his Bruins counterpart Zdeno Chara lifts the Stanley Cup over his head, we will probably start to learn of players that were battling through significant injuries.

Still, this figures to be a close series that’s sure to feature a lot of big hits and blocked shots. The fact that both teams are so good at killing penalties and mediocre to bad with the man advantage, means that they can feel a little more comfortable playing aggressively.

Hopefully both sides will stay healthy, but if guys do go down, the silver lining is that these teams have players that can step up if need be. The Boston Bruins did just that when they lost defensemen Wade Redden, Andrew Ference, and Dennis Seidenberg, so we know they’re deep in terms of blueliners.

Boston is already shorthanded as far as forwards go, but they do have a promising youngster in Jordan Caron if they need him. Tyler Seguin could also stand to take on more responsibilities if one of Boston’s top players gets hurt, given that Seguin has been logging just 15:14 minutes per game in the postseason.

The Blackhawks have some solid forwards that can step up if need be, as evidenced by the fact that Viktor Stalberg might not even make their Game 1 lineup. They also have Daniel Carcillo ready and waiting. However, they might be less prepared to handle the loss of a key defenseman.

Chicago was able to endure Duncan Keith‘s recent one-game suspension, but his replacement, Sheldon Brookbank, had a minus-two rating and logged just 6:50 minutes.

Probably the worst case scenario for either team is that they lose a goaltender, although in Chicago’s case, they do have an accomplished – albeit rusty – backup in Ray Emery.

For more 2013 Cup finals questions, click here.

 

  1. pastabelly - Jun 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Calling Campbell simply a fourth line center doesn’t do him justice. He’s one of the team’s best penalty killers and the third best center on the team. Chris Kelly is the fourth and I’d rather lose him than Campbell. The Campbell loss hurts. As for Savard, unfortunately, his career has long been over thanks to Matt Cooke, Mario Lemieux’s goon.

    • hockey412 - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Jesus you guys never stop…now Campbell is being disrespected, no body gives the Bruins enough credit to suit you guys blah blah BLAH.

      Honestly, I understand there are a lot of Bruins fans on this site, and you’ll get plenty of ‘thumbs up’ for BS like you just wrote…but at some point you need to understand that it makes the entire fan base look like a bunch of withering crybabies. There was nothing wrong with the description of Campbell, and calling Cooke a goon is inconsistent with being a Bruins’ fan. Savard returned from Cooke’s hit. I do like Ryan Miller and Pacioretty, though, and I’m glad they can still play.

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