Why Chicago Blackhawks fans should be rooting for the Boston Bruins

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks have their biggest rival in the Stanley Cup Final, so their rooting interest in the big series is clear.

The Chicago Blackhawks had an up and down season that ultimately led to them missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight year. They moved up from 12 to 3 in the 2019 NHL Draft due to a minor miracle at the Draft Lottery and have a lot to look forward to in regards to next season. But most hockey fans in Chicago still continue to watch the 16 qualifying teams beat each other up to earn the right to win the Stanley Cup.

The Blackhawks once would say that the Detroit Red Wings were their biggest rival. Well, since the Wings moved to the Eastern Conference as part of a realignment for the 2013-14 season and beyond the St. Louis Blues have earned the top spot as Chicago’s biggest hockey rival.

Now in 2019, the St. Louis Blues have advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 49 years. The team they’re playing is the Boston Bruins. The Bruins have had a magical season that saw them near the top of the NHL’s standings all year long and although they had to earn their way to the final, they were one of the favorites to get there.

Some people are viewing this Blues team as the ultimate underdog story because of the fact that around the turn of the calendar to 2019, they were in last place in the entire National Hockey League. Let’s be clear about something, they were underperforming. Them being in last place was a bad look because their roster is great and they just weren’t clicking. They allowed rookie goalie Jordan Binnington to come in and he was sensational and backstopped them all the way into the playoffs and to the Stanley Cup Final.

A lot of people look at that and the fact that Boston has dominated the sports world in the last few years, including the New England Patriots being the defending Super Bowl champions and the Boston Red Sox being the defending World Series champions. This does not matter when it is St. Louis. Chicagoans do not root for the Blues in the Final. That is their biggest rival and them winning it eliminates any bragging rights that the Blackhawks once had.

The Bruins might remind some Blackhawks fans of that core that won three Stanley Cups in six years. They have that true number one two way center in Patrice Bergeron who plays a very similar game to Jonathan Toews. They have their version of Patrick Kane in David Pastrnak and an elite goalie in Tuukka Rask, much like the Blackhawks had Corey Crawford. Brad Marchand is much more skilled than Andrew Shaw, but they both have an incredible ability to be a pest and annoy the other team to no end.

On defense, the old Blackhawks were also much like the current Bruins. Charlie McAvoy is Duncan Keith in his prime. He won’t have 80+ points like Brent  Burns, but he will have an elite year on both sides of the puck. Zdeno Chara at 42 years old is their version of Brent Seabrook. Strong and big with a booming shot. You can even compare Brandon Carlo to Niklas Hjalmarsson, very little offensive production but some of the best pure defensive defenseman in the league.

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The Bruins would never root for the Montreal Canadiens just because they were an underdog story. You don’t root for your rival. There is Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals, and there is Chicago Blackhawks vs St. Louis Blues. Ultimately, each fan is entitled to root for whoever they want when their team isn’t in it, but after the great 2019 NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Chicago, it only seems right that the Bruins finish it off.