Popsicle Brothers 2013 Final
By Michael – Louis Ingram and Gary Norris Gray
The 2013 STANLEY CUP
It was old school in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals as the Boston Bruins battled the Chicago Blackhawks. Two of the Original Six played for hockey’s greatest prize and it was the first time the Bruins and Hawks would ever meet in the Finals.
It was also the first time since 1979 for an Original Six matchup. The New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens ended the 1970′s when Les Habitants defeated The Broadway Blueshirts.
This was a showcase and a coming out party to show the nation the influx of star Black players on the ice. There were three Goal Brothers, right winger Jamal “Jammer” Mayers, defenseman Johnny Oduya and Goal Brother Goalie Sugar Ray Emery.
Emery’s 17-1-1 record and 10-0-0 (both league records) as a starter got Chicago to the dance but Sugar Ray did not have a partner in the playoffs. Before his injury, Brother Emery stopped four Chicago losing streaks during the season and gave Cory Crawford the rest needed for the Stanley Cup run. The question remains if the Hawks ran into a losing streak during the playoffs would Emery have been called on to step up to the plate, AGAIN.
Game One gave every indication how the series would be played. Players from both teams would be bouncing off the boards and picking themselves up off of the ice almost every play. This became a physical battle. Hockey fans needed to go to the store to buy extra popcorn and soda because it was a very long series. Where is Terrell Owens when you need him?
In Game One, The Boston Bruins started early, scoring the first two goals and put the defensive clamps on the Chicago Blackhawks frequent flyers, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa. The Bruins tried to intimidate the Hawks by pinning bodies on the boards. Chicago did not buy that bunch of groceries and dished it out in the second period. Bruins and Blackhawks littered the ice!
The Hawks hung in there and tied the game in the third period on Goal Brother Johnny Oduya’s tying goal, sending it into overtime, with a blind shot from the blue line that kicked off of Brad Ference’s skate. Oduya also helped Crawford in the third period with a stick diving save in the front of the net with time running down.
It would be an historic game and the fifth longest game in National Hockey League history. They had over 120 face-offs and the Hawks had 64 shots on net while Boston had 53 shots on goal. Tuukka Rask and Cory Crawford stood on their heads (that means played great in the net to lay fans) in overtime, making save after save. The Hawks took Game One 4-3, midnight Chicago Time on Andrew Shaw’s deflection off of his lower midsection.
Milan Lucic missed the hat trick by hitting the post twice and a sure Boston victory in the third period. It did not happen and the Hawks escaped this time. The Hawks had to straighten out their line changes because they got caught with too many men on the ice three times during and once in overtime. This could have cost Chicago a victory.
The Hawk coaches had to wake up and tell each player who they were replacing with each line change.
In Game Two the Blackhawks got their line changing problems fixed and scored the first goal and it looked like Chicago would take a commanding lead, but the Black and Gold had other things in mind. The Bruins once again started bouncing Blackhawks to the ice – and this time Chicago did not respond. The Bruins waited until the third period after a very slow start to tie the game. It was another overtime game and another nail-biting thriller.
Chicago fans had a blast being treated to excellent hockey and four overtime periods. Both goalies did their job putting up two stone walls in net. Daniel Paille got the overtime goal and a 2-1 Boston victory tying the series at one game each as they moved the series to Boston, The Hub City, and the staunch Bruin faithful.
Game Three was clearly Boston Bruin style. They took control of the game right away, keeping the Hawks away from goalie Rask. Zdeno Chara had the best game of the series as the Bruin defense was the story of this game and they did not let Kane or Toews loose. Marian Hossa did not play and the Bruins took advantage. The Blackhawks made too many mistakes in the 2nd period and it cost Chicago as Boston scored two goals to hold on to lead and two to one game lead in this exciting series. The Boston defensive team of Chara and Johnny Boychuck did their jobs shutting down the Hawks wingers.
In Game Four it was the wild, wild, west and a shootout at the old O.K. Corral. The Boston Bruins found a weak spot and they pounded it over and over again. The sore spot was Chicago’s goalie Cory Crawford glove side. The Hawks also may have found a weakness and kept shooting at Boston goalie Tuukka Rask’s right side as the score kept going up. The Hawks broke the Bruins home playoff win streak of 14 in a 6-5 victory.
The Hawks win in the third straight overtime game with defenseman Brent Seabrook’s laser from the left blue line through a screen set up by Jonathan Toews. This series was without a doubt living up to the classic most touted it to be.
Blackhawk fans were very disappointed in right winger Hossa’s play in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals up to this point. The Hawks acquired Hossa four years ago to be a minutes eater in the middle of the ice, but it did not happen quite that way. Left Winger Patrick Sharp and Right Winger Patrick Kane carried the Hawks to tie this series at two games apiece moving back to Chicago for game five. It became a best of three series with the Hawks having home ice advantage.
Game Five did not disappoint rabid hockey fans as the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins put on a two-period defensive display as this series turned into a goal of survival. The Bruin and Hawk back liners blocked dozens of shots heading for the net. Both goalies lovin’ it as their teammates laid out for them – blocking pucks, making their job easier. Patrick Kane scored two more goals (8th and 9th) and had his eyes on the MVP of this series with the most points. The two goalies kept both of their teams in the game with 55 saves combined. Chicago peppered the Bruin net the first two periods and Tuukka Rask stood tall in net.
Hawk goalie Cory Crawford let in one bomb by Chara and yes it was to the glove side. Other teams watching this series know next year Mr. Crawford will be seeing many more pucks being fired to his glove side as that book is likely downloaded on Kindle by now!. The Hawks lost their captain, Toews on a brutal cross check in front of the Chicago net by Boychuck, burying Toews face into the ice in the second period. The Bruins then lost one of their best players on a fluke play, their big scoring center Patrice Bergeron to a possible broken collar bone injury. Bergeron picked up the puck but skated very slowly to the bench. He was later sent to the hospital and did not finish the game. Hawks win 3-1 to take a 3-2 game lead as they headed back to Beantown for Game Six Monday Night.
In Game Six the Bruins had the hometown crowd behind them and this gave them the emotional boost in the first period. Chris Kelly got the party started with a slap shot over Crawford’s shoulder for a first period Boston lead – again to the glove side. Cory Crawford will have to work on that during the summer or Goal Brother “Sugar” Ray Emery might be getting more starting time in 2014.
Chicago’s Toews not only played he was one of the key players of the game, scoring the tying goal early in the second period. Everybody in the crowd and the broadcasting booth at TD Gardens started thinking about another overtime and an NHL record.
Boston’s Milan Lucic scored the Bruin lead goal in period number three. Not even The Incredible Hulk could have stopped this goal with the number of players wearing Black and Gold all over the Chicago net pushing rebounds back at the net until the biscuit went into the basket.
Chicago’s Bryan Bickell tied the score again with an outstanding assist from Toews as the period winding down. The air was sucked right out of TD Gardens with that goal. Tuukka Rask looked to the ceiling as if to ask WHY? The Bruin crowd likely thought they were going to see a Game Seven two days later!
With two minutes to go in the game, the Chicago Blackhawks pulled Crawford from their net to get an extra skater on the ice. The move worked as the ex-New.Jersey Devil Oduya, who has been there before and Michael Frolik fed the puck to David Bolland. Bolland gathered the puck and pushed it past a scrambling Rask for the lead goal with 54 seconds left in the game – just 17 seconds after the tying goal!
The Bruins frantically tried to get the puck into the Chicago zone but they could not because at each move there was a Hawk defender pushing the puck the other way out of the zone. Time ran out on the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks captured the 2013 Stanley Cup and their second in four years. Patrick Kane played hard-nosed hockey, getting the MVP of the series and earning the Conn Smythe Trophy.
The Goal Brother Award should go to Oduya for getting five points and saving two games in this series, along with his outstanding plus – 12 defensive play (best of all defensemen in playoffs) protecting the net and Cory Crawford.
Before we say goodnight on the National Hockey League we must take a look at the similarities between The NBA Champ Miami Heat and The Chicago Black Hawks. Both teams wear black and red as their primary colors on their uniforms. Both went on a 20 – plus game winning streak early in the season to establish their league dominance.
Both played shut-down defense when needed. Both won the most league games and both lost the same number of playoff games. Both teams almost got eliminated from the playoffs in the second round. The Hawks have three Black players and the Heat three white players, both teams rooted for and interacted with each other the whole season.
Congratulations to the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks with their three Goal Brothers, Oduya, Emery, and Mayers.
Factoid: – The 2013 Game Six was the third highest watched game in NHL history behind the Los Angeles Kings-New Jersey Devils Game Seven last year and Game Six of the Philadelphia Flyers-Chicago Blackhawk series 4 years ago. With the lockout and late start that is just amazing.
The (NBC) National Broadcasting Company has finally put a television package everybody can live with and will not step on the National Basketball League’s toes with broadcasting games on the same night. P.S. Read a very interesting article at Blackathlete.com “Stanley Cup Finals Racism Getting Little Attention” by G. Millard. The article is on the Chicago Blackhawks and their name. This article will give you an education on the genesis of the name and why they used the Native American logo.
Overtime! New Goal Brothers on the Scene: As a prelude to the upcoming season, this past Sunday the NHL held their latest Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Rated as the most pro-ready player in the Draft, defenseman Seth Jones was drafted fourth by the Nashville Predators. The 6’4″ 210 pound Jones, whose father Popeye was a power forward in the NBA, did much damage while at Portland in the WHL; and with a stud like Shea Weber to have as a mentor along with Pekka Rinne’s goaltending, The Preds are gonna be an even bigger pain in the ass to play against!
Meanwhile, some good news North of the Border in Edmonton. The Oilers, in dire need of back liners, fell into a potential nugget in scooping up Sault St. Marie Greyhound Darnell Nurse with the seventh overall pick. Nurse, whose father was a former Canadian Football League player and is the nephew of former Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb, is also 6’4″, 215 – and has the kind of nasty streak his teammates will appreciate.
A special “thanks” to all our contributors and colleagues. In spite of the past work stoppages and abbreviated format, it has been an awesome year for hockey – and we look forward to serving up some cool stuff next season!
PBros Championship Box Score: First Period Gray 9 (Ingram) 9:15; Second Period: Ingram 6 (McClean, Gray) (pp) 11:15; Gray 10 (unassisted) (sh) 17:50; Third Period Ingram 7 (Gray, L. Foote) 1:54; McClean 2 (Gray, Ingram) 4:30; Gray 11 (Ingram, Howell) (hat trick for Gray)
Winning Goaltender: R. Rogers (52 saves)
Copyright Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE: – The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at email@example.com Norris19@Wordpress.com; Gray Leopard Prod. – Copyright Michael – Louis Ingram c PBros 2013 – all rights reserved.