SPORTS

Stanley Cup Stories: Bruins, Hawks & unhappy Penguins

06/10/2013 12:16 EDT | Updated 08/09/2013 05:12 EDT
Our Sunday three storylines find the Bruins, and a veteran lineup, heading for the Stanley Cup final against a Chicago Blackhawks side that has made a number of changes since they last won the big prize, but still rely on their talented core.

Over in Pittsburgh, meanwhile, the Penguins cleaned out their lockers on Sunday, trying to work out just what happened.

1. Holy Zdeno CharaBatman, the Boston Bruins are through to to Stanley Cup final after humiliating the Pittsburgh Penguins in four straight. Toronto Maple Leafs fans have been crying all weekend as they work the “If only we had hung on in Game 7 of the opening round against the Bruins, we’d be in the final,” angle, but the fact is the Beantowners had the Penguins under control in a way no one else the in East could have. After winning Lord Stanley’s gift to the nation of hockey in 2011, Boston brings a remarkable 17 players with rings back to the dance. And the Bruins open on the road with two in Chicago. They’re 5-2 in this playoffs away from Massachusetts.

2. The Chicago Blackhawks have turned over the roster much more since winning the mug in 2010, but the core remains the same with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith (and his dancing stick) and Brent Seabrook. Goaltender Corey Crawford, who was superb in the West semifinal against Detroit, only allowed 11 goals in five games against Los Angeles in the last round, and still was under the microscope. The double-overtime win over the Kings that wrapped up the West final brought players all over the NHL to their Twitter accounts. Now, it's on to face Boston in the first meeting of pre-expansion teams in the final since 1979 when Montreal beat the New York Rangers. Fans are ready to go.

3. Remember Marc-Andre Fleury? He’s been gone from the spotlight for so long, apparently, that coach Dan Bylsma told the media on Sunday that the goaltender who was replaced late in the first round by Tomas Vokoun and watched most of the playoffs from there on the bench, will be the No. 1 stopper for the Pittsburgh Penguins next season. For sure. Assuming, Bylsma is actually in charge, of course. Pens cleared out their lockers on Sunday. That wasn’t fun for such a proud team.

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