CHICAGO - The Boston Bruins returned to Chicago for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final with the full understanding that this is a very different series than they went through two years ago against the Vancouver Canucks.
For one, it's easier travel to face the Blackhawks than it was to go cross-continent five times before winning Game 7 in 2011. And this is also a series with more respect between opponents.
"I guess there is a little bit more than that series," left-winger Milan Lucic said. "But I think that the competitive nature of the series is definitely been high."
High in a different way, though. Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton said it was "apples and oranges" to compare this Cup final to the one against Vancouver.
The hate was easy to come by then.
"Vancouver's its own team," Thornton said. "It wasn't just us. Every team that played them said they couldn't stand them with their antics that year. So a little bit different. You can't really compare the two of them."
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has been through his fair share of battles with the Canucks and said before this series he was rooting for Boston to beat Vancouver two years ago.
"That's kind of the way it was back then, that team," Thornton said. "There was definitely a respect. you don't get to this point, the two last teams standing without knowing that each other are good teams. There's a certain amount of respect."