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NHL on NBC: It’s time for Hawks-Bruins rematch

Jan 19, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

brybickellcharagetty Getty Images

NBC continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign this afternoon when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins at United Center at 12:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

Roughly seven months ago Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored back-to-back goals for the Blackhawks in the span of 17 seconds to give Chicago a 3-2 lead over Boston with less than a minute remaining in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. That was the last turning point in a fierce series between two of the league’s finest squads in recent years.

Since then, the Bruins and Blackhawks have endured some turnover, as is inevitable in the salary cap era, but many of the players that made that series great are still on their respective squads. On top of that, neither team has succumb to a Stanley Cup hangover as they both lead their respective divisions.

That’s where we stand as they get ready for their first rematch since the Stanley Cup was raised.

“It’s going to be exciting to play these guys again,” Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith told CSN Chicago.

This is sure to be a hard fought battle, but not necessarily a controversial one.

“I would definitely say it’s different [than Vancouver],” said Bruins forward Milan Lucic, according to CSN New England. “There was so much more…I guess you could say, chippiness in the Vancouver series. The bad blood has still carried over as you could see in the last Vancouver game [last month].

“There isn’t as much talk of that headed into [Sunday]. We both know what’s on the line. I wouldn’t say there was any other series where there was a mutual respect [like with Chicago.]”

Chicago in particular isn’t known for pushing the rules as they have the second least penalty minutes per contest in the NHL.

The Blackhawks have been charged with just eight major penalties and no game misconducts in 2013-14. Boston is far more likely to drop the gloves on any given night, but they are another one of the six teams to get this far without a single game misconduct.

Instead, this game might be better to measure in terms of offense versus defense. Chicago is the league leader in goals per contest while the Bruins have the second lowest team GAA.

Both of these teams are still facing stiff competition and need every point they can get, but more than that, this is an important test for both of these squads. They each know what the other is capable of. The question is how they will respond.

  1. titansbro - Jan 19, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Man Chicago is a great team but I still think the Bruins should’ve had that one. Bad bounces cost the game 1 & then they won 2 & 3. And then losing game 6 like they did? Heartbreaking. Still, a lot of respect for the Hawks. Classy & good.

    • tfilarski - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      I guess you do not remember the part when coach Q finally put his best lines together the hawks were a completely different team and the Bruins had no chance

      • thesportsjudge - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        “No chance?” So coach Q waited for the last 90 seconds in game 6 to do that?

    • thesportsjudge - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      The better team won titansbro. I’m sure a lot of Pens fans still feel THEY should have beat Boston in the East. SCF was a GREAT evenly matched series. Don’t sully it.

  2. themohel - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Didn’t Thornton get a game misconduct for the Orpik thing?

    • chanceoffleury - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      I’m pretty sure it was a match penalty, not a game misconduct. So I mean technically they really haven’t received a game misconduct?

  3. hwkspts - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Should be a great game, as long as I can hit mute quickly enough whenever Pierre McGuire speaks.

  4. titansbro - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    A sweep in the ECF is way different than a hard fought SCF. I do think the Hawks are probably better overall but the better team doesn’t always win, see 2011 Bruins Canucks series. That’s why we love sports. But the Bruins far outplayed them the first 3 games of that series & Rask was amazing & they should’ve closed them out is all I’m saying. Couple bounces, couple injuries, & they just couldn’t quite do it. Not to mention Kane went off. I give the Hawks tons of credit for battling back because they looked beaten after game 3.

  5. keltictim - Jan 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Last year was the best SCF in a long time. I wish the B’s had pulled it off but they didn’t. I don’t think saying the better team one is accurate. That’s not sour grapes that’s my belief in how equal the two teams were.

  6. amityvillefun - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Julien was a BONEHEAD for putting out Spooner first in the shootout. Spooner is a third liner with ZERO NHL goals! Nah, don’t put in Iginla, Lucic, Krejci or Eriksson…PROVEN goal scorers. Let’s go with Spooner.

    Idiot move and it cost the game.

    Only positive out of that game is that Marchand seems to have found his extra gear again.

    If I was Neely, I’d be having a long talk with Claude about that decision. You have guys making tons more than Spooner…for a reason!!

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