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Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 4:16 PM

By Nathan MacKinnon -  Special to / - Nathan MacKinnon Draft blog

MacKinnon reunites with Marchand at Cup Final

Nathan MacKinnon is in his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year. The 6-foot, 182-pound forward has 32 goals, 75 points and a plus-40 rating in 44 regular-season games for the Mooseheads in 2012-13. In 17 playoff games, MacKinnon finished with 11 goals and 33 points to help lead his team to the QMJHL championship. He was then awarded with the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP after finishing with tournament highs of seven goals and 13 points in four games as Halifax won its first Cup crown. MacKinnon, who served as captain for Team Cherry at the 2013 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Russia, has offered to provide with a monthly blog leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J.

Since attending the Combine, I've kind of just been kicking my feet up after a long season. We went to Europe a couple of times and back over the past few months. It's been a pretty busy season with the Memorial Cup and a lot of games have been played. So it's nice just to get home and rest a little bit.

I found out last week about attending the Stanley Cup Final in Boston. I was actually a little surprised. It wasn't a thing I had been waiting for, it kind of just happened quickly. I heard about it happening in the past, but I wasn't sure if it was going to happen this year. But I'm really glad it did. It's been fun.

We went to see the morning skates early today for both Boston and Chicago. Afterward, we got to go into the dressing room to meet some players. It was cool to see the guys you've been watching every year. Some of them since we were little kids, some of them more recently. I skate with Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins during the offseason, so I talked with him a little bit. Nothing serious, just some small talk.

Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 4:12 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to / - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones soaking in atmosphere of Stanley Cup Final

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

After the Combine in Toronto, I just went home and spent some time with my family just resting up. It was a long season, so we were just hanging out. To pass the time, I've been watching the NHL and NBA playoffs. I want the San Antonio Spurs to win, and they're looking pretty good right now, leading the Miami Heat three games to two. The series isn't over yet, though, so we'll see.

Before attending Game 3 in Boston, I arrived in the city around 1 p.m. [Sunday]. I think Nathan [MacKinnon] got in around 5. So I just waited and hung out around the hotel until he got there. At night, we all got together for dinner and went to the Capital Grille. It was a nice restaurant and I love a good porterhouse steak.

Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins get lift from having Campbell around again

BOSTON -- The lanky, athletic figure came around the corner just seconds after you heard the final clanks of the bottom of his crutches hitting the waxed floor.

Once Gregory Campbell, with his surgically repaired right leg elevated and half protected by a plastic brace, made it to the front of the TD Garden elevators Monday morning, those waiting to go up just a couple floors were reminded what real toughness is.

Most then decided to walk up the steps while the Boston Bruins center waited. After all, everyone looks like a wimp when standing next to the guy famous for playing more than 50 seconds of a penalty kill with a broken leg.

Campbell has been out of the lineup with a broken right fibula ever since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last Monday he underwent surgery for the damage Evgeni Malkin's slap shot caused in that dramatic Bruins win.

As they prepared for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks with the series tied 1-1, the Bruins were visited by Campbell for the first time since his surgery.

Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 1:23 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Marchand not yet focus of Blackhawks

BOSTON -- Typically after a game or two in a series, Brad Marchand starts to wear on the opposition so much so that they begin to either use the word hate to describe the antagonizing Boston Bruins left wing or at least show their frustration with him through their on-ice reactions.

So, heading into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the question posed to Marchand was this:

Do the Chicago Blackhawks hate you yet?

"I don't know," Marchand answered. "You'd have to ask them."

And so we did, first to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Do you hate Brad Marchand yet?

"I'm not going to comment on that," Toews said. "I'll just let it be."

But then he didn't. After taking a breath, Toews continued answering the question.

Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 1:10 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Stalberg back in Blackhawks' lineup for Game 3

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks right wing Viktor Stalberg will make his Stanley Cup Final debut Monday night at TD Garden in Game 3 against the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Stalberg is replacing Brandon Bollig on the fourth line.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said he's making the change in order to get more speed and energy into the Blackhawks' lineup as they look to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Stalberg is a speed guy, while Bollig is more of a physical player.

Bollig averaged 8:51 of ice time in Games 1 and 2, but his misplay of the puck along the wall in overtime of Game 2 directly led to Daniel Paille's winning goal.

"I think that he's a threat off the rush," Quenneville said of Stalberg. "I think Bollig gave us a couple real strong games. I thought he did a nice job. [With] Viktor, we're just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas."

Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 12:54 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Horton's presence allows Julien to keep top six intact

BOSTON -- While Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien had to do some juggling with his bottom-six forwards during his teams Game 2 overtime win Saturday in Chicago, at least he was able to keep his top-two lines together in their usual alignment.

Prior to the second game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, it looked like Julien might've had to start the game with a new top six because of Nathan Horton's injury status. Not only did Horton play, he performed well enough to stay in his usual spot on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

Horton logged 21:29 of ice time.

Horton, Krejci and Lucic figure to again be together when the Bruins host Game 3 of the Cup Final Monday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.

Posted On Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 8:09 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks aim to reverse fortunes in Game 3

BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks’ reward for winning the Presidents’ Trophy was home-ice advantage throughout the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and with that meant the first two contests of each series were held at United Center.

While the Blackhawks reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four years, each time they have left the comforts of home for the first time in a series, they have begun the two-game road trip with a loss. Chicago has been great at home this postseason -- 10-1 before a Game 2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night -- the Blackhawks are hoping to avoid an 0-4 postseason in Game 3s on Monday night at TD Garden.

“Yeah, I knew that stat coming in,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. “I think when you're at home the first two games, sometimes you get a little bit too comfortable at home. Then you come on the road, maybe it's like a rude awakening when you come and play on the road. We've had three series to figure that out, learn it. It was a huge Game 4 against L.A. to come back and win that one. We definitely want to be better tomorrow, especially in the first game on the road.”

Posted On Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 7:22 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Stalberg could return for Blackhawks in Game 3

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville hinted Sunday at a possible lineup change for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins.

When asked if Viktor Stalberg could play Monday night, Quenneville responded, “He could play.” When other coaches say something like that, it is usually them trying to be coy about their plans. Quenneville’s track record suggests that “could play” is very often code for “will play.”

Stalberg was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the Cup Final. It was the second time he’s been scratched during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was also held out of the lineup in Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings.

Posted On Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 2:29 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Wild celebration caps Seguin's breakout performance

BOSTON -- Having already competed in 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games in just three NHL seasons, Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin has had plenty of ups and downs in his young career. So you can't really blame him for his demonstrative celebration after setting up Daniel Paille's overtime winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

After Paille beat Corey Crawford to even up the best-of-7 series, Seguin swung his arm around emphatically before throwing himself into the wild Boston celebratory scrum. It's a new goal celebration that inspired laughter from one of his toughest critics.

"My little sister kind of made fun of me for it. At the time, you don't know what you're doing. I was just excited and did a windmill hand thing," said Seguin, who was wearing a microphone during the game and was caught using some salty language following the winning goal. "She just thought it was hilarious. Obviously, I told her I never swear."

Posted On Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 2:11 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Disallowed goal leaves Blackhawks disappointed

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks already had a 1-0 first-period lead, were dominating play and thought they had doubled their advantage when they saw the puck slide into the Boston Bruins' net. Instead, referee Wes McCauley, who was peering through the top of the net from behind the cage, quickly waved his arms to call the play dead and the NHL's Situation Room upheld the call on the ice after conducting a video review.

It would have been the all-important second goal of what was a dominating first period. Instead Chicago never scored again en route to a 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.


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— Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on Alexander Semin