This gripping Stanley Cup final has gone five games -- with Game 6 set for Monday night in Boston -- and there remains great uncertainty about what lies ahead.
Saturday's 3-1 Blackhawks win -- essentially a one-goal game with an empty netter -- was like almost all of the other games in this series, with the 'Hawks and Bruins each dominating for long stretches.

A good part of what's not known has to do with each team's top two-way center,  Patrice Bergeron of Boston and Jonathan Toews of Chicago. Each is a leader on  and off the ice, a major presence in everything his team does, a huge part of  his club's identity. To have one of them unable to play would be a big blow to  his team; to have both missing might, as Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested  after Game 5, cancel out that impact. Or it might not, depending on who fills  their respective spots and how well they play.

Indeed, in three of the past four Cup finals where a team failed to clinch in Game 6, they also failed in Game 7. And
the last team to rally from a 3-2 series hole? The Boston Bruins in 2011 against the Canucks.

So on Monday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC) in Boston, the Bruins try to duplicate that 2011 situation -- win at home in Game
6, then win on the road in Game 7 (back at the Madhouse Wednesday).

This Stanley Cup series already made up for the shortened regular season, at least for purists, by matching two of the NHL's Original Six.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins have since taken the excitement to the next level, playing five great games, including Saturday night's 3-1 Chicago victory that gets the 'Hawks to within one more victory of their second Cup championship in the last  four seasons.

As of Monday morning, most sportsbooks with Stanley Cup odds had the Bruins as small -125 moneyline favorites. And the OVER/UNDER sat at 4.5 goals, which might be good value if history repeats itself because the past three Game 6s in the Finals have seen seven goals.

The big questions heading into Game 6 are how each team might cope possibly without one of their main cogs. Boston's Patrice Bergeron, who's scored nine goals in this Spring's playoffs, missed most of the last two periods of Saturday night's game with an undisclosed injury.

And Chicago's Jonathan Toews, who's got two goals and 10 assists this postseason, missed the third period after taking a hard hit to the head.

Both are listed as questionable, although Toews went to Twitter to say that he will play today.

If Boston wins Monday night this Stanley Cup series will go to a Game 7 Wednesday night in Chicago.


Betting on stuff is fun. It makes the outcome more interesting, be it Kim and Kanye's baby name or the Stanley Cup Finals. Here are some Politicians that love a friendly wager.

Picture$100 in Free Betting Cash - Click Join Now above and fill out the form to Join
Governor Deval Patrick and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made a friendly wager over the Stanley Cup final opener. The game took place June 13 between the governor's respective home teams, the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Under the terms of the wager, the governor of the losing team’s state will volunteer at the food bank of the winning governor’s choice. If the Bruins win, Governor Quinn will volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank. If the Blackhawks win, Governor Patrick will volunteer at the Greater
Chicago Food Depository.

Governor Patrick was happy that he could use something lighthearted and fun
to make a difference in a serious issue. “I look forward to seeing the Bruins
circle the ice with the Stanley Cup above their heads,” he said. “And I’m
delighted to join with Governor Quinn to use the excitement of the playoffs to
draw attention to the important issue of food insecurity.”

The Illinois Governor was unphased by the challenge. “Governor Patrick is
skating on thin ice by betting against the mighty Chicago Blackhawks,” said
Governor Quinn. “But the Greater Chicago Food Depository can always use
extra help, so after he works a shift there, I’m happy to take Governor
Patrick to the United Center to see the Stanley Cup return home.”

It has been a long and exciting Stanley Cup series between the Blackhawks and
Bruins. Can you remember Game 1 and who came out on top?

Here's a hint. The game went into triple OT before one of the teams scored a
sudden death goal to win the game. Read all about Game 1 to find out which
Governor will be volunteering their time at the other's Food Bank.

Not to be outdone by their Governors, Chicago and Boston Mayors have also
placed a wager of their own. Mayor Menino has joined the action, countering a
friendly and windy wager from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
On the Chicago Mayor's Office Facebook page Tuesday, Emaunel put forth an
abundance of offerings should the Bruins prevail in their "quest to be the runner up
 for the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup."

"Boston is a nice little town, sure, but we thought you might enjoy seeing
what it's like in the big city," he prodded.

Some of the "treats" up for grabs: Corned beef sandwiches from Mann'y
Cafeteria & Delicatessen; tickets to the Tony-Award winning Steppenwolf
Theatre Company; a custom "Menino 13" Blackhawks Jersey; some Green Line
beer courtesy of Goose Island Beer Co.; and some leftover Sriracha hot sauce
from the Los Angeles mayor after they beat the Kings. And many more.

Mayor Menino, not to be outdone, fired back, though Emanuel gets cool points
for posting his challenge to Facebook versus Menino's typed PDF. (Seriously?)

Anyway, here's what Boston is offering should the Hawks skate away with the Cup:

The “Best of Boston's Local Foods,” foods that are grown or produced
right here in the Hub, including some of our abundant seafood; 

Access to the City of Boston’s website for one day, to post a promotional video
 touting Chicago and its great attractions – no profanities, please;

I’ll see your Steppenwolf with two tickets to the Tony Award-winning Huntington 
Theatre Company, and raise you two tickets to Theo Epstein’s “Hot Stove, Cool Music”
concert in Boston; 

And of course, I’ll match you a tree, to be planted in the schoolyard
of your choosing, highlighting our common commitment to education, parks and
the environment.

I love how Menino requested Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, please refrain
from posting a bunch of F-bombs on the City of Boston website. As if Emanuel
would carpet-bomb the site with profanities before signing off, "F--k You
Boston! Love, Rahm".

This has so far been a super fun and exciting series. Made the more 
entertaining by the cities respective mayors' willingness to put
their Tony Award-winning theater programs where their mouths are.


Chicago Blackhawks inch closer to Stanley Cup after 3-1 win over Boston Bruins in Game 5. Here's how it all happened and what it could mean for Game 6 on Monday

After the back-and-forth nonsense in Game 4, the Blackhawks and Bruins settled back into familiar roles on Saturday. Boston went back to its heavy forecheck, hoping to wear Chicago down. Spoiler alert: didn't happen. The Blackhawks' offense sliced and diced its way to a huge 3-1 win in Game 5 and now are a win away from another Stanley Cup.

Chicago cut through the usually rock-solid Boston defense early. Tuukka Rask was forced to make two great stops early on, and this one on Patrick Sharp was especially handsome.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have been especially brilliant since reuniting on the Hawks' top line in Game 4. Boston simply had no answer for them. The Bruins' real problem all game long was their tightness (or lack thereof) on defense. Given tons of space to work with, the Blackhawks were able to swarm the net constantly. Kane cleaned up again in the second. If you read our preview of Game 5, we spoke about how Kane / Toews were starting something and it definitely worked in their favor in Game 5.

Swarming the net didn't come without a price. The Bruins finished their checks hard at the end of every scoring chance, and Toews got a taste of it when Johnny Boychuk filled him in. But was it a legal hit? The argument could be made that he targeted the head, and Toews' did miss the entire third period with an undisclosed injury. We just learned from NHL that Boychuk will not be suspended for his hit on Toews. Good news for the Bruins, who could really use it.

Meanwhile, Andrew Shaw continued to pay for being a pest. Also, Zdeno Chara had a rather poor game defensively, but he made things interesting with a goal in the third period.

It wasn't enough. Patrice Bergeron missed the entire second half of the game, and the Bruins couldn't get anything going in the offensive end. Chicago potted an empty-netter late to seal the 3-1 win.

Chicago is now one win away from the Stanley Cup, and the Hawks' opponent is facing a myriad of problems. Chara is not playing like a Norris Trophy winner. Bergeron was in the hospital. Boychuk could be suspended.

Boston tried to win Game 5 with force, but lost it to skill. Scissors beat rock. And pipe beat hockey stick.