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Sports

June 25, 2013

On Hockey: In matter of seconds, Stanley Cup slips away from Boston

(Continued)

In their Stanley Cup win two years ago, and even earlier in these playoffs, the Bruins beat better teams because they had more will than their opponents. For one of the first times in the Chara era, the Black-and-Gold came up against a team that was not only superior in talent and skill, but also able to match them in will and desire.

Conn Smythe winner Patrick Kane, the fourth American (and third straight) to win the award as the MVP of the playoffs, had 71 points in 74 Stanley Cup playoff games at the ripe age of 24. Captain Jonathan Toews displayed impeccable guts in scoring a de-facto shorthanded goal (coming as a penalty expired) to tie it, 1-1, in the second, and then fighting to the net front on linemate Bryan Bickell’s tying goal with 1:16 left.

Toews is the first captain to hoist two Stanley Cups in the post-lockout era. He was the youngest member of the “triple gold club” (winning a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and world championship).

Boston’s answer to Kane in the skill department, Tyler Seguin, had an assist last night but paled in comparison to Kane in the series. Patrice Bergeron, the Black-and-Gold’s "triple gold" answer to Toews, inspired his team by playing through an undisclosed injury and scored a Finals high four times, but it wasn’t enough.

In crunch time, the Blackhawks attacked Boston’s best defenders with some of the best forwards in the world. The offensive talent won out.

“Chicago is deep. They’re a great hockey club and they got stronger as the series went on,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

Still, the Bruins played hard. They made it difficult for Chicago, the first President’s Trophy winning club to win the Cup since 2008. Difficult is not impossible, however, for a team that combines desire and talent in the seamless fashion that the Blackhawks do.

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