Chicago relishes chance to win in Game 6
BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane can deliver a play-by-play of his Stanley Cup-clinching overtime goal from 2010 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
He knows where he was on the ice when he got the puck (the left-wing half wall), how the puck came to him (a pass from Brian Campbell), what he did to get in shooting position (deked around Kimmo Timonen, skated to an area below the left circle), where he shot (far side, top corner), why nobody in the building but him knew it was a good goal (the puck was stuck in the mesh), and how he got halfway down the ice before everyone else realized the Blackhawks had just won the Stanley Cup.
"I think the stars would have to be aligned right for it to happen like that again," Kane said.
Maybe he's right. Maybe replaying it exactly like that would be an impossible dream for Kane. But what is reality is the fact that Kane and the Blackhawks again have a chance to win the Stanley Cup on the road in Game 6 -- only this time they're at TD Garden and the opponent Monday is the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
Eight players remain from the Blackhawks team that won the Stanley Cup in Philadelphia on June 9, 2010. The rest have been listening to stories about what it was like and dreaming about what could be like.
"We talked about it [Sunday] with some of the guys," rookie left wing Brandon Saad said. "Some guys have been through it and just told us stories about how to control [the emotions]. There was a lot said, but basically just stay calm, try to treat it like any other game. It's easy to think about the end result, but you can't do that. You've got to enjoy the process."
If the Blackhawks find a way to win Game 6 at TD Garden, where the Bruins are 8-3 in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will become the first team since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 to win the Stanley Cup in six games after falling behind in the best-of-7 series 2-1. They also will become the first team in the salary cap-era to win the Stanley Cup twice.
The Detroit Red Wings were one game away from doing it in 2009, but the Pittsburgh Penguins dashed that dream by winning Game 6 in Pittsburgh and Game 7 in Detroit.
"You dream about this moment," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "But at the same time we've got to keep everything in perspective. We want to make sure that we're confident playing the game and putting yourself in the now position as opposed to ahead of yourself."
The Blackhawks have good reason for pause -- they're well aware of the Bruins' recent history in the Stanley Cup Final.
Boston was in this exact position in 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks, down 3-2 coming home for Game 6. They beat the Canucks at TD Garden 5-2, and then went to west for a 4-0 win at Rogers Arena in Vancouver to win the Stanley Cup in seven games.
"It's a heck of an opportunity we have [in Game 6]," Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp said. "You've got to look at the team we're playing against. They've been in much worse situations than this and have been able to rally back and fight for their lives. To think that we're looking ahead and planning on winning another Stanley Cup, that couldn't be further from the truth. We know what kind of challenge we have [in Game 6]."
At least the Blackhawks will get a chance to tackle the challenge with their captain and first-line center, Jonathan Toews, in the lineup. Toews, who didn't play the third period of Game 5 due to an upper-body injury, said he "absolutely" will be in the lineup for Game 6.
"We feel confident," Toews said. "We worked very hard in the last couple months to get here. We've played good hockey in this series, especially in the past couple games. We've worked hard to create these opportunities and [in Game 6] we want to go play like it is another game, but we need to make sure we bring that emotion and that physicality. At the same time, we want to have confidence with the puck and just go play."
They likely will have to play against a Bruins team that should have Patrice Bergeron in its lineup despite the fact that he missed the second half of Game 5 because of an injury that required a trip to the hospital for observation. Bergeron also skipped the morning skate Monday, but Boston coach Claude Julien said he is confident Bergeron will play in Game 6.
"There's 28 teams right now that wish they were in our position," Julien said. "Just because we're down 3-2, we haven't lost the Cup yet, OK. We still have a chance to win it."
Not Monday. Only the Blackhawks can claim the Stanley Cup at TD Garden.
This isn't new ground for some of them.
"I think it's an exciting day," Quenneville said. "You want to make sure that you're confident out there and play that way. You can't get ahead of yourself going into this game, and you've just got to get excited about your first shift, then from there get excited about your next shift. It's something you dream about, so let's make sure we prepare the right way."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer