The Stanley Cup Finals opened in a big way for the NHL. The Chicago Blackhawks delivered a thriller at home in game 1, rallying from a 3-1 deficit against the Boston Bruins and winning in triple overtime. The “Original 6” matchup between Chicago and Boston promised a lot of drama and intensity, adding to the expectations of what was already the most important series of the year. After only one game, the series certainly seems to be capable of living up to the hype.
Chicago scored twice in the third period, forcing an overtime session that lasted nearly 3 whole periods, making game 1 the 5th longest NHL playoff game in history. The spectacle did not go unnoticed, and the NHL saw a ratings jump of 119% from game 1 of last year’s championship series.
This excitement this series is providing is much needed for a league that nearly saw an entire season erased by a lockout – for the second time in 8 years. The NHL has struggled to keep up with the other major sports, and is in desperate need of a way to bring back fans that the lockouts have alienated, as well as a way to generate new fans of the sport. Chicago and Boston could be just what the doctor ordered.
This series has it all: Exciting young talent on offense, defensive superstars, athletic and exciting goaltending, and if game 1 is any indication, two evenly matched teams. This championship matchup brings everything that makes hockey great, and could be exactly the shot in the arm this sport needs to stay relevant in the sports world.
- Stanley Cup Final Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs Boston Bruins (sportstatricity.com)
- Blackhawks beat Bruins in 3OT Cup opener (mysanantonio.com)
- NHL Stanley Cup Predictions (joshuastruver.wordpress.com)