of the Blackhawks
seems to have a knack for reaching the Cup final, no matter for whom he plays. (AP)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• "Growing up as a kid, I was always a big Boston Bruins fan", said this Chicago superstar.
• "I have no feeling for these teams. There's nothing emotional about it. They both got rid of me, traded me. So screw them." Phil Esposito gets a case of the warm and fuzzies just thinking about two of his former teams battling it out for the Stanley Cup.
• Here's a look at the at the shared history of these Original Six rivals.
• Marian Hossa has played for three teams over the past six seasons, but this marks his fourth trip to the final in that span.
• NBC announcer Ed Olczyk promises he won't play favorites during the Stanley Cup Final. That gust of wind you just felt was caused by the gales of laughter from fans of the Red Wings and Kings.
• Gentlemen, we are in the presence of genius. How many guys out there wish they'd thought of this?
• The Blackhawks Way is something with which Boston's sports fans should be very familiar.
• Knocked out of the 2011 final by a vicious hit from Vancouver's Aaron Rome, Nathan Horton just wants to be on the ice contributing this time around.
• Zdeno Chara has used the playoffs to subtly remind everyone who didn't vote for him for the Norris Trophy just who the NHL's top defenseman really is.
• Two players who were afterthoughts the last time their teams won the Cup are set to take center stage in this year's final.
• Eric Duhatschek notes that teams averaged 5.26 goals per game in the first round, 4.75 in the second, but just 4.33 in the third. The way Tuukka Rask and Corey Crawford are playing, this could be the stingiest final ever.
• Mark Lazerus offers three keys to victory for the Chicago Blackhawks.
• Steve Buckley counters with 10 reasons why the Bruins will win the Cup.
• Are the Boston Bruins really a team of destiny?
• If Boston happens to win, this player will set a new, and likely unbreakable, record.
• It's no secret how to beat the Bruins, David Shoalts writes. The Maple Leafs laid out the blueprint in their first-round series.
• Chris Stevenson contacted a current NHL coach and asked him to break down the final. His take: Bruins in six. Check out why he gives them the edge.
• Joel Quenneville is benching Viktor Stalberg in favor of Brandon Bollig in Game 1. Here's what Bollig brings to the Hawks.
• That scratch won't bother the Red Wings. They have their eyes on both Stalberg and Bryan Bickell as they ponder options in free agency.
• A week ago there were people who thought John Tortorella might never coach in the NHL again. Apparently that impression was misguided. The Canucks sought permission to talk to Torts just a day after the Dallas Stars did the same.
• There are conflicting thoughts on the viability of Torts as an option in Vancouver, but Ben Kuzma thinks he'd be a great fit.
• Craig MacTavish's decision to dismiss Ralph Krueger via Skype is only the latest in a series of classy moments in NHL coach firing history.
• Taylor Hall is ready to assume a leadership role with the Oilers under new coach Dallas Eakins. Hall will be under close scrutiny from the start of the season with a Team Canada spot on the line.
• Did you hear about the ultra-violent fight at the end of the Canada-Czech Republic game at the World Ball Hockey Championships?
Shocking, right? International ball hockey is a thing?