By Mike Cole
2:23 PM CDT, June 13, 2013
EDITOR'S NOTE: In the spirit of sports fellowship—and trash talk—RedEye and the New England Sports Network have set up a columnist showdown. Chicago vs. Boston. Blackhawks vs. Bruins. Bag Boy vs. NESN hockey writer Mike Cole. Have at it, gentlemen.
All it took for the Blackhawks to win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was a puck off of a skate, a few Bruins shots ringing posts and a triple-overtime deflection off two players before finally finding its way to the back of the net for the game-winner.
And despite all that, it still took more than 112 minutes for the Hawks to finally put away the B's.
So yeah, the Bruins should feel pretty good about their chances through just one game of the Cup Final.
They may be down 1-0, but there's still no reason to believe the Bruins can't (and won't) win this series. It's pretty simple actually. If they cash in on just one of their multiple chances in overtime, we're sitting here (gulping down extra-large coffees from Dunkin' Donuts) talking about how the Bruins are going to roll to the Cup.
Nothing is ever easy with this club, but maybe that's just the way they like it. The Bruins dropped the first two games in the 2011 Cup Final to the Canucks (remember that team, Blackhawks fans?) before storming back to win it all.
They're not concerned, nor should they be. The Bruins are still going to win this series, and it really comes down to one reason above all else. That would be the Finnish guy who stands between the pipes, Tuukka Rask.
He has carried the Bruins throughout the playoffs, and he's arguably the main reason the Bruins are where they're at. To put it another way, he's kind of like the Bruins' version of Aaron Rodgers, a comparison Chicago fans should understand a little more clearly, right?
Rask has stood on his head all playoffs, and had it not been for Andrew Ference's skate, we would have all gotten a little more sleep Wednesday night. It's nothing more than a speed bump for the wagon that is the Bruins.
This Bruins team feels like a team of destiny, mostly because they better personify the idea of team better than anyone in sports. They sacrifice for each other. They defend each other. They get tough for each other. Real tough. Did you happen to catch Gregory Campbell finish a shift with a broken leg last series?
That reminds me: Has Derrick Rose declared himself ready to return yet or do we have to wait until 2014 until we see him again?
We could sit here and make this debate about who has the better city, the better celebrities, the better food, the better river, the better bands and on and on. But Bostonians don't really care about that stuff. All they care about is winning, which is what separates the Hub from just about every other city.
Chicago is a great city, and the people are awesome, too. So you do have that. You'll also have your deep-dish pizza, some big shiny buildings, two last-place baseball teams and "Shameless" to fall back on. Hopefully that gets you through the rest of the summer and into football season (the first half of the season, at least, before the Bears fall apart again).
Don't get too comfortable with a one-game lead, Chicago. The Bruins are far from done, and so is this series. Stock up on coffee and Red Bull. This Stanley Cup Final between two of the best cities in the world, which has the potential to be legendary, is just getting started.
Mike Cole is a senior assistant editor for NESN.com.
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