SPORTS

Stanley Cup final the latest clash between Boston, Chicago

06/12/2013 03:04 EDT | Updated 08/12/2013 05:12 EDT
The Stanley Cup final couldn't have landed in two better spots.

Boston and Chicago are among the best sports cities in North America and both are represented in all four major professional sports with die-hard, loyal fans.

This year's NHL final marks the seventh playoff meeting between the Bruins and the Blackhawks, but it's the first time they have faced off in the championship series. The most notable clash occurred in the 1970 semifinals when the Hawks and Bruins featured the best two records in the league with 99 points each (Chicago was the higher seed based on more wins).

But in those days the Original Six teams were placed in the East while the six expansion teams were in the West with no crossover until the Stanley Cup final.

The Bruins, led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, swept the Blackhawks in four straight games.

Chicago's star goal scorer, Bobby Hull, was limited to just two assists in the series. The Bruins went on to sweep the St. Louis Blues in four games to win their first Stanley Cup in 29 years and Orr's Cup-winning goal while flying through the air remains an iconic moment in Boston sports history.

Bears beat up on the Pats

In football, the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots met in Super Bowl XX in 1986, but it wasn't much of a game.

The heavily-favoured Bears dominated the Patriots, winning 46-10. The 36-point margin of victory was at the time the largest in Super Bowl history.

That same year, the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics played in a first-round NBA post-season series that is best remembered for Michael Jordan's great performance in game two.

The Bulls second-year star scored a playoff-record 63 points, which still stands 27 years later. But the Bulls lost that game 135-131 in double overtime. The Celtics swept the Bulls in three straight games (first round series were extended to best-of-seven affairs in 2003).

Boston was led by arguably the greatest frontcourt in NBA history, with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, and rolled to their 16th championship.

Baseball clubs mired in title droughts

Speaking of championships, the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs squared off in the 1918 World Series.

Boston had already won four of the first 14 World Series contested while Chicago garnered back-to-back titles in 1907-08. In the 1918 series the Red Sox, led by a 23-year pitcher/outfielder named Babe Ruth, defeated the Cubs four games to two. But that was the end of the glory days for both teams.

The Red Sox sold Ruth to the New York Yankees just over one year later. The motive for the trade is shrouded in mystery. Whatever the reason, the Red Sox failed to win another World Series title until 2004, a span of 86 years. As for the Cubs, it's been 105 years and counting since they were the best team in the sport.

Chicago's other baseball team also endured a long drought. The White Sox won the World Series in 1917 but did not claim another championship until 2005, one year after the Red Sox.

That 88-year run of futility was highlighted by the 1919 World Series when eight members of the team, included the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson, were later banned from organized baseball for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis for having conspired with gamblers to purposely lose the Fall Classic.

Both Chicago and Boston have had their share of low and high points on the sporting scene, and that will continue as one of them will be celebrating a Stanley Cup championship later this month while the other watches.

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