A lot has been made of the fact that the Blackhawks and Bruins are part of the NHL's "original six". The Bruins entered the league for the 1924-25 season and Blackhawks two seasons later. They have combined for six stanley cups.
They each made their first postseasons appearances in 1927. The Bruins defeated the Blackhawks 10-5 in a two game total goal series. They have met six times total in the playoffs, with the Bruins winning five of those series. The Bruins have won eight of 11 games in the playoffs against the Blackhawks.
All-time in the regular season, the Bruins lead 277-243-80. The 1960's and 1990's are the only decades that the Blackhawks have a winning record against Boston.
Amazingly, despite 86 shared seasons, including 25 with just six teams, this will be their first meeting in the Cup Finals.
This was the first season that the Stanley Cup was sole property of the NHL. The addition of the Blackhawks, Rangers and Detroit Cougars (now Red Wings) necessitated realignment. The NHL created an American Division and a Canadian Division. This guarateed that an American team would be in the finals.
Here is a look at all the Blackhawks and Bruins postseason meetings.
1927 Bruins Win Two Game Total Goal Series 10-5
The Bruins finished four points ahead of the Blackhawks in the 1927 season with 45 points to the Blackhawks 41. The Bruins earned the American division second seed and the Blackhawks the third seed.
The series began in New York (not sure why) with a 6-1 Boston victory. The B's did not have to do much to secure advancement. They won 4-1 in Chicago to advance to the American Division finals in their first playoff appearance.
1942 Bruins Win Series Two Games to One (2-1)
This was the last season before the 25 years of the "original six". The Brooklyn Americans finished seventh and last in the NHL and folded following the season.
The Bruins finished the season 25-17-6 and in third place and the Blackhawks 22-23-3 and in fourth place.
The Bruins won the opener of the best of three series in Boston with a 2-1 overtime victory. The Blackhawks evened the series with a 4-0 shutout win in game two. The Bruins closed out the series in game three in Boston with a 3-2 victory.
1970 Bruins win Series 4-0
Twenty-eight years would pass before the Blackhawks and Bruins would meet in the playoffs. This playoff series was the first since the Blackhawks and Bruins epic trade invovling Hockey Legend and Hall of Famer Phil Esposito. After the 1967 season, the Blackhawks traded Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield for Pit Martin, Jack Norris, and Gilles Marotte.
Martin was a good player for the Blackhawks. Esposito, Hodge and Stansfield became vital players for the Bruins run to Stanley Cup titles in 1970 and 1972. Some have called this the most lopsided trade in NHL history.
Esposito led the league in goals with 43 during the 1970 season and was second in points to teammate Bobby Orr. The Blackhawks Stan Makita finished the season third in points that season.
Esposito's brother Tony was the dominant goalie of the 1970 season and he won the Vezina trophy befitting the best goalie after the season. He also won the Calder Trophy for best rookie. He was second in goals against average and first in shutouts with 15. No one else had more than six.
The division format put in place with the 1967 expansion put the original six teams in one division and the six expansion teams in the other. The Blackhawks and Bruins finished atop the NHL in 1970 with each having 99 points.
With 45 wins to the Bruins 40, the Blackhawks earned home ice in their semifinal meeting. This was only the second time in team history the Blackhawks finished first overall in the regular season.
The Bruins earned 6-3 and 4-1 victories in Chicago to return home with a 2-0 lead. They finished off the sweep with 5-2 and 5-4 victories in Boston.
1974 Semifinals, Bruins Win Series 4-2
The Blackhawks had ironcially advanced to play the Bruins after eliminating the L.A. Kings in five games in the previous round. Tony again won the Vezina trophy in 1974 and Phil the Hart Trophy for Most Valuable Player. Phil led the league in goals and points.
The Blackhawks finished the season 41-14-23 good enough for third in the league with 105 points. The Bruins finished 52-17-9 and 113 points and the best record in the NHL. The edged out Philadelphia's 112 points.
The Blackhawks won game one in Boston 4-2 and then fell 8-6 in a wild game two. The returned home for the next two games. After winning game three 4-3 in overtime, the Blackhawks lost the next three to drop the series 4-2.
The Bruins moved on and lost in the Stanley Cup finals in six games to the Flyers.
1975 Blackhawks win Series 2-1
The 1975 season saw the NHL expand to 18 teams and four divisions. The Blackhawks finished the season with a mediocre 37-35-8 record. That earned them the 11th seed. The Blackhawks matched up with the fifth seeded Bruins as the NHL didn't follow a traditional Bracket. The NHL had 12 playoff teams after the 1975 season.
The Blackhawks lost game one in Boston 8-2. They recoeved with a 4-3 overtime victory in game two and then won the series with a 6-4 victory in Boston in the game three clincher.
1978 Bruins Win Series 4-0
The Blackhawks won the Smythe Division title in 1978, but with a distant 83 points. That was good enough for just the eighth seed in the playoffs. The Bruins 113 points earned them the second seed in the playoffs behind Montreal. Boston's Don Edwards led the league in Wins with 38 in 1978.
The Bruins opened the series with a 6-1 victory at home. Games two and three required overtime and the Bruins won by identical 4-3.
Thirty-Five years after their last playoff meeting and 34 years after the last "Original Six" Stanley Cup final, this showdown should be interesting. This has been a year filled with "Original Six" playoff series. Boston faced Toronto in the opening round, the Rangers in the Conference Semifinals and now the Blackhawks. This will be the Blackhaws second after eliminating Detroit in the conference semifinals.
All "Original Six" teams made the playoff this year. East second seed Montreal was eliminated by Ottawa in the first round.
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