Middletown, N. J. – After three agonizing hockey-less days, the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals finally kicked off last night in grand style at United Center in Chicago.
With severe weather rolling across much of Illinois and thunder being heard over the cheers outside the arena, it was the Blackhawks and Bruins setting off their own explosions on the ice surface. Not content to have a feeling out process given that the teams did not meet in 2013 both squads came out crashing and banging, landing several big hits within the game’s first ten minutes.
From that point on, nobody would ever have thought we were watching a classic unfold right before our eyes. It would not be until 1am EST that everything would be settled and the Blackhawks would take a 1-0 lead in the best of seven championship series on a double deflection in the third overtime. It ended up being the fifth all-time longest Stanley Cup game of all-time with players struggling to stay physically fresh and mentally sharp by the end of the night.
Today at Eyes, we continue our summer report card series with a look at defenseman Andrew MacDonald. Tonight, given that I am lucky enough to avoid any severe weather that could cross central New Jersey, I will be on the SND Podcast show talking about the last series of the NHL season with Steve and Dan.
Eyes are also finalizing plans to attend the NHL draft in Newark, NJ on June 30 and we will be live-tweeting and blogging on-site for the first two rounds. As a bonus, staff writer Eric Bordin will be doing the same from the draft party at Nassau Coliseum. So we will have our dedicated readers covered from both angles.
Should be a fun day all around as we all experience our first such event live.
- Fan appreciation giveaway (EyesOnIsles)
- Anders Lee report card (EyesOnIsles)
- We officially say good-bye to Mark Streit (EyesOnIsles)
- 2013 Stanley Cup preview (EyesOnIsles)
- David Ullstrom checks in at #11 in the 25 under 25 series (Lighthouse Hockey)
- A look at the Streit trade from the Flyers perspective (Philly.com)
- ‘New’ Coliseum would would include sports bar (Newsday)
Around The Twitter-Sphere
- Isles fans are certainly having themselves a good chuckle about this and rightfully so, but I am not 100% convinced the Flyers can even get Streit signed. They were just trading for the ‘right’ to speak to him before he goes UFA on July 5. A lot of discussions about how to clear cap space is probably going on right now in the Flyers front office.
- This is great and all Isles fans can probably relate. Can you imagine if our beloved blue and orange would have had the audacity to put us through that emotional and mental torture last night? I for one would take it however.
- Capellini never fails to disappoint on Twitter and is a must follow for any hockey/football fan. Wealth of experience and information with just the right dose of humor thrown in.
- Funniest tweet of the evening (and there were plenty) goes to Andrew IMHO. Classic take on the ‘old’ Patrick Kane and his antics that used to dominate off-season headlines in Chicago.
Around The NHL
An absolute classic last night in Chicago as the Blackhawks take a 1-0 series lead on the Bruins with a thrilling 4-3 triple overtime victory. After Milan Lucic put Boston up 2-0 early in the second period with his second of the evening it looked as if this would not be Chicago’s night and they would relinquish home ice advantage very early in the series. But the Blackhawks showed the reason they are in the finals in the first place as the top seed in the entire league. Brandon Saad would finally net his first career post-season goal on a wicked wrister making it a one goal game heading into the third. That is when things got really interesting.
After Patrice Bergeron whistled a power play one-timer past Corey Crawford with just under 14 minutes to play in the third, the Bruins looked to be riding their way to a series lead. But Andrew Shaw and Crawford would steal the show from that point on. Shaw’s outstanding play at the blue line, first knocking down an errant Torrey Krug clearing attempt, then staying onside to re-enter the zone, set up David Bolland for a goal that would energize both the Blackhawks and the home crowd, cutting the deficit to one with still 12 minutes remaining.
At the 12:14 mark, Johnny Oduya would catch a break as his slapshot from the blueline would deflect in past Tuukka Rask off a Boston skate to the left of the goal to tie the game. It would stay that way for a very long, long time.
Overtime was all about Crawford, who was absolutely spectacular in this game and clearly deserves first star honors. He would, at times, single handily keep Chicago in the game until Michal Rosival would sail a shot towards the Boston goal at 12:08 of the third overtime. A double deflection would ensue, hitting Bolland before bouncing off Shaw and into the cage behind Rask, giving the Hawks the victory.
- Shots ended up 63-54 Chicago
- Dennis Seidenberg logged 48:36 for Boston while Duncan Keith played 48:40 for Chicago
- Chicago’s power-less play continued to rear its head this season, however, Boston and LA have won the last two cups with similar failures.
EyesOnIsles game one MVPs