The Stanley Cup doesn't come easy. It comes to teams with that "it" factor. Boston has it for many reasons. Seriously, the Bruins did the impossible when they swept the Penguins. Business as usual for the bang-'em-around-Bruins now includes bad boy Brad Marchand (pictured, center) scoring pretty goals. And Gregory Campbell finished a shift with a broken leg. While Chicago has overcome in these playoffs as well (seven games against Detroit and giving the defending champion Kings the boot), the Bruins just look destined to win. Boston will look back to Game 7 of their first-round series against Toronto as the turning point of this playoff run. They've made the impossible possible and they've inspired a city after a living nightmare. Winning the Cup against the best team in the league (on Chicago's ice) will just be the final mission. Prediction: Bruins in seven
Who picks up the Cup?
It's Blackhawks vs. Bruins in an Original Six Stanley Cup Final. So who wins it all this year? We asked our NHL experts here at FOXSports.com to give their take on the series and pick a winner.
John Manasso, FOXSportsTennessee.com Predators beat writer
They say most teams have to face adversity on their way to winning the Stanley Cup. In the second round, down three games to one in their series with archrival Detroit, the Chicago Blackhawks faced that existential crisis. They prevailed, winning the next three, and then eliminated defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles in five games to look again like the team that went the entire first half of the regular season without a regulation loss. The Blackhawks have done it with balanced scoring: the unlikely Bryan Bickell (eight goals) sits just one goal off the playoff lead; the immensely talented Patrick Kane (pictured, six goals) did not awaken until the third round; reliable Patrick Sharp (eight goals) is tied for the team lead in goals; explosive Marian Hossa (seven goals) reminds us why he will play in his fourth Cup Final. The Blackhawks passed another test in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals when they were forced to play without their top defenseman in Duncan Keith on the road but fought to win 3-2. Having passed these tests and because of that balanced scoring, the Hawks will win the Cup. Prediction: Blackhawks in seven
An Original Six matchup between two sports-crazed cities. Two of the last three Stanley Cup winners. Two teams on serious rolls with plenty of offensive talent, rock solid defense and emerging goaltenders. They’re all great storylines that should make the NHL smile as it eyes a Chicago-Boston matchup – one that just might set ratings records. But the winner gets to claim something even greater than the Cup. Following two conference finals that featured the last four Cup winners, the team that emerges from this series can claim a mini-dynasty – no small feat in the salary cap age. If the hockey gods are just, this will be a long, epic and evenly-matched series. But in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, we sense a little extra magic and resolve in these Bruins. Prediction: Bruins in six
Sam Gardner, FOXSports.com Contributer
Chicago was the best team in the NHL for the entire lockout-shortened regular season, and there’s no reason to think the Blackhawks won’t still hold that title at the end of these Stanley Cup Final. Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford and Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask have been the two hottest goalies in hockey this postseason — Rask allowed just two goals on 136 shots in a sweep of the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals — but, recall, Jonathan Quick was also having a mighty fine playoff run before running into the Blackhawks buzzsaw. What Rask did to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jarome Iginla was impressive, but it’s hard to see him stonewalling Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa (pictured) and Jonathan Toews in the same way. And in a series that’ll go down to the wire, Chicago’s firepower will win out over Boston’s last line of defense. Prediction: Blackhawks in seven
Kevin Kenney, FOX Sports 1 Coordinating Producer
The only easy pick here is: This should be a classic. Beyond that … two tough teams, one tough call. But both the Blackhawks and Bruins got where they are by shutting down their opponents. That figures to continue here -- and in the defense department, Boston gets the edge. You don’t sweep Sidney Crosby & Co. – and hold the potent Pens to a total of two goals in the four games -- by accident. There’s no reason to think the B’s blueliners, led by Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, can’t similarly strangle the likes of Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews -- while the Boston offense gets just enough production from guys like Round 1 hero Patrice Bergeron and playoff points leader David Krejci. Add in Boston goalie Tuukka Rask’s 1.75 goals-against average and playoff-best .943 save percentage (plus Boston’s 5-1-1 road playoff record minimizing Chicago’s home-ice advantage) and you get a winning formula. Oh, and don’t forget the Bruins have a wily old guy named Jaromir Jagr (pictured). How great would it be to see him hoist one more Cup? It says here he’ll do just that. Prediction: Bruins in six
Dana Wakiji, FOXSportsDetroit.com Red Wings beat writer
It's amazing that this Stanley Cup Finals meeting between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins is the first Original Six matchup since 1979. However, these two teams have not played each other at all this season because of the lockout-shortened schedule and they have not met in the playoffs since 1978. Both teams had to deal with adversity in one of the rounds leading to the Final. The Bruins overcame a two-goal deficit in the final 1:22 of regulation against the Toronto Maple Leafs before winning in overtime of Game 7 in the first round. The Blackhawks went to overtime in Game 7 in the second round against their Central Division rival, the Detroit Red Wings. They overcame a goal being waved off because of a whistle late in the third period. Neither team has the advantage in experience as the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and the Bruins won it in 2011. Both teams will be trying to win with different goaltenders, Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks (Antti Niemi in 2010) and Tuukka Rask for the Bruins (Tim Thomas in 2011). Rask opened many eyes with the way he stopped the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins, saving 134 of 136 shots for a .985 save percentage, including two shutouts. If Rask continues to play at that level, there will be little the skilled and speedy Blackhawks can do. However, I believe the Blackhawks have been a different team since being down 3-1 to the Red Wings and their talented forwards like Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews (pictured) and playoff hero Bryan Bickell will find a way to solve Rask. Prediction: Blackhawks in six
Jon Paul Morosi, FOXSports.com Senior Writer
The Blackhawks were one period from elimination against the Red Wings. The Bruins were one minute from elimination against the Maple Leafs. Now the Original Six rivals meet in a fitting conclusion to these exhilarating Cup runs. Boston has the deeper roster, headlined by the rugged defense that stifled Sidney Crosby. Patrice Bergeron (pictured, right) has scored one huge goal after another, and Tuukka Rask has been steadier than Corey Crawford in the postseason. Chicago’s streaky Patrick Kane needs space to score. He won’t find it against Zdeno Chara. Prediction: Bruins in six
Barry Werner, FOXSports.com Senior Manager
The Boston Bruins have the smoking goalie in Tuukka Rask (pictured). Corey Crawford has been rock solid for the Chicago Blackhawks. These teams match up and down the roster like mirrors. Each has a shut-down defenseman, a power forward and stellar rosters. That's how they got here. The mind says the Blackhawks will finish off a season they started with a record unbeaten streak. The heart says the Bruins will put a finishing flourish on an inspirational run that coincides with Boston recovering from the Marathon Bombings. Emotions overrule common sense. Prediction: Bruins in six
A.J. Perez, FOXSports.com Senior Writer
The Presidents’ Trophy is seen as nothing more than a participation trophy at this point in the playoffs, even if it guarantees the team with the best regular season record home-ice advantage. The 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings were the last team to claim the award and the Stanley Cup in the same year. The Blackhawks will reset that clock. The one concern I had about the Blackhawks was goaltending and Corey Crawford (pictured) has more than addressed that in the last three rounds. Chicago already has timely scoring and solid defense (at least when Duncan Keith isn’t forced to sit due to suspension). This shapes up to be an epic series between two teams that have each won the Cup in recent seasons. The Hawks, however, have a slight edge. Prediction: Blackhawks in six.