The truth is the Lord Stanley’s Cup is half-full.
For both teams.
The wrong team won both games and so it’s appropriate that the Blackhawks and Bruins are tied at a game apiece as they drop the puck in Boston on Monday night for Game 3.
“It’s one of those series where you saw it go one way one night, the next night it went our way,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “So many things can happen. You hear it all the time. You don’t want to get too high, you don’t want to get too low.”
In 2011, the Bruins were down 0-2 in the opening series with Montreal, losing their first two at home, before winning four of the next five.
In the conference finals, the Bruins lost Game 1 at home and were tied at 2-2 before winning the series in seven games.
In the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins lost the first two on the road, tied it at 2-2, went down 3-2 and then won Game 6 at home and Game 7 in Vancouver — as the Canucks went down in a blaze of infamy.
In Game 7 against Toronto in the opening series this year, the Bruins were down 3 goals in the third period and 2 with less than 90 seconds left, before tying it and winning in overtime.
So losing Game 1 of this series in triple overtime did not faze the Bruins.
“We didn’t get discouraged after the game. ‘Disappointed’ is the word I used,” Julien said. “We were even more disappointed in our first period of the last game. At least we showed character, bounced back, got better. Staying in the moment is the best way to go through this Final round anyway.
“I guess to me, it’s always been about being even-keeled.”
That’s the Boston Bruins.
And it is also the Chicago Blackhawks.
Down three games to one in the Detroit series, the Hawks were tied 1-1 in the second period of Game 5 and found a way. In Game 6, they were 20 minutes away from elimination and found a way. After having a goal taken away late in Game 7, the Hawks found a way in overtime.
Without Duncan Keith in Game 4 in L.A., the Hawks could not have played a better third period. In Game 5, they gave up the tying goal with 9.4 seconds left and won in overtime to eliminate the defending champs.
So the Hawks have already seen the toughest of times this postseason and they have not blinked. Of course, they’re facing biggest and best team they have seen thus far, and they’re going on the road to play in a tough building — but the Hawks know they only need one of two to regain home ice and to expect anything less at this point would be to sell short what they’ve already accomplished.
“We’re not happy losing that game, especially the way we started (Game 2),” said Jonathan Toews. “But you learn from what you did wrong and you move on. You don’t dwell on it.
“There were some positives and we’ll look at that, and we’ll look at what wasn’t good. And then you get ready for the next game.”
So what’s at stake in Game 3?
The team that loses knows that Game 4 becomes its Game 7, not wanting to fall behind 3-1 to an opponent of this quality. But watching this series and watching both teams throughout the playoffs, it sure feels like this series will be tied at 2-2 coming back to Chicago for Game 5 Saturday.
After Game 1, everyone in Chicago thought the series was over.
After Game 2, everyone in Boston thought the series was over.
After Game 3, the winner’s fan base will feel awfully good again.
But I picked the Hawks to win in seven and still believe the series is going that long.
As dramatic as the Stanley Cup playoffs have been so far, how could it not?
ŸListen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score’s “Hit and Run” show at WSCR 670-AM, and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.