The Chicago Blackhawks can clinch the Stanley Cup tonight as they take on the Boston Bruins in Game 6. Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on NBC. Currently the odds for the game have the Bruins favored to force a seventh game.
How much will the injury to Patrice Bergeron dictate what happens in the final periods of the Stanley Cup Finals? Jonathan Toews wasn't able to finish the game, either, as he is dealing with a head injury. Neither player looked to be the same after their injuries initially happened. Toews didn't play at all in the third period and Bergeron had a couple of shifts but obviously wasn't the same. The fact that neither could play tonight is a huge mark on the series' most important game. Could one, or both of them find a way to get on the ice? And if they do, what kind of impact will they have on the game?
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask is going to have to play better for his team in net. The last two games have not been his best and Boston has managed to lose both contests. He can't take the entire blame for their defeats, obviously, but he does have to play better in net. The Blackhawks are surely going to be coming at him tonight as they have a chance to hoist Lord Stanley yet again.
Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane have been playing better for Chicago. They need their stars to play well in tonight's road contest as well. This is an elimination game for the Bruins, who will be playing in their final home game of the season, no matter what happens. If Chicago is able to take an early lead or stays with Boston it's only going to put more pressure on the Bruins in the later stages of the game.
Corey Crawford has been solid in net for the Blackhawks the entire post season, even in giving up five goals to the Bruins in Game 5. He made several crucial saves in the overtime sessions of that game to keep his team alive. Had they lost that game, this series would obviously have been totally different. Now, just a few games later, the Blawkhawks have a chance to pick up their second Stanley Cup championship in four seasons.
Yet, when a home team has their back against the wall, it's normal to see a great effort from them. We expect a great effort to come from the Bruins tonight. Even if Bergeron doesn't play, look for guys like David Krejci and Brad Marchand to step up. Rask is going to have a strong game in between the pipes and look for a lower-scoring, tough and gritty one tonight between these two clubs. Boston forces a Game 7.
Free Pick: Boston 2, Chicago 1
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