One team's Stanley Cup drought is going to end during the next fortnight. Another's is going to endure through an undoubtedly painful summer.
The Chicago Blackhawks
and Philadelphia Flyers
have gone a combined 84 years without a Cup. Chicago's drought extends to 1961, when they Hawks last won by beating Detroit. Philadelphia is Cup-less since beating Buffalo in 1975.
Here are some of the key numbers as the teams prepare to drop the puck at the United Center Saturday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS):
-- Overtime victories by the Flyers in their 116 regular-season meetings with Chicago. The Hawks have the only two overtime wins in the series -- both came in a four-day span in March 1988.
-- Goalies who've led their team to the Stanley Cup Final after being claimed on waivers during the season. Three goaltenders did so after being acquired in midseason trades, but only Philadelphia's Michael Leighton
has done it after coming over as a waiver claim -- he was picked up from Carolina after the Flyers were hit by early season injuries in goal.
-- Goals scored in each game by the Flyers against Chicago in their lone playoff meeting 39 years ago. Chicago swept the four-game quarterfinal series in 1971, winning 5-2, 6-2, 3-2 and 6-2.
-- Consecutive trips to the Final for Chicago's Marian Hossa
, the first player in NHL history to make the final in back-to-back-to-back years with different teams. Hossa came up empty in 2008 with Pittsburgh (against Detroit) and last year with Detroit (against Pittsburgh).
-- Players in this year's Final who've won Stanley Cups. The list includes three Hawks (John Madden
with New Jersey, Andrew Ladd
with Carolina and Tomas Kopecky
with Detroit) and one Flyer (Chris Pronger
-- Players who have the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup ring and an Olympic gold medal in the same year. Three Blackhawks (Jonathan Toews
, Duncan Keith
and Brent Seabrook
) and two Flyers (Mike Richards
and Chris Pronger
) were members of Team Canada's gold-medal team at the Winter Games in Vancouver three months ago.
-- Career shutouts by Bernie Parent
in the playoffs, the most in Flyers history. Parent is the only Flyer to have more playoff shutouts than Michael Leighton
, who had three in the Eastern Conference Finals against Montreal.
-- Coaches who've led their team to the Stanley Cup after taking over during the season. Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma
did it last year, and Philadelphia's Peter Laviolette
is trying to join that group in 2010.
-- Players who've played more than 100 games for both the Blackhawks and Flyers. The only active player to do so is Chicago forward Ben Eager
, who has played 144 games with the Hawks and 111 with Philadelphia.
-- Games missed by Philadelphia forward Ian Laperriere
in this year's playoff after taking a shot in the face during a first-round victory against New Jersey. Laperriere was originally expected to miss the rest of the playoffs with a contusion of the brain, but was cleared to play and returned in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Montreal.
-- Goals scored by Chicago at Philadelphia on Feb. 15, 1969. The Hawks' 12-0 victory at the Spectrum is still the largest margin of defeat in Flyers history and the biggest margin of victory ever by the Blackhawks.
-- Victories by the Flyers in their last 15 meetings with Chicago. The 13-2-0 mark gave the Flyers a 53-43-30 lead in their all-time regular-season series.
-- Years since Chicago has won in Philadelphia. The Hawks were 4-1 winners in their first visit to the building now known as the Wachovia Center on Nov. 9, 1996, but are 0-8 since then, including a 3-2 loss on March 13.
-- Goals scored in the Blackhawks' last victory in a Stanley Cup Final -- an 8-7 win at Montreal in Game 5 in 1973.
-- Philadelphia's finish in the overall regular-season standings, the lowest of any team to make the Stanley Cup Final. Before this year, the previous low was the Minnesota North Stars, who did it in 1991 after finishing 17th. The lowest-finishing team to win the Cup was the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins
, who were ninth in the overall standings.
7 -- Players who've played more than 100 games for both the Blackhawks and Flyers. The only active player to do so is Chicago forward Ben Eager, who has played 144 games with the Hawks and 111 with Philadelphia.
-- Average ice time during the playoffs for Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger
, who's making his third appearance in the Final in five years. He averaged more than 30 minutes a game with Edmonton in 2006 and Anaheim in 2007.
-- Years since the Hawks have shut out the Flyers in Philadelphia. The last time it happened was Jan. 31, 1970, when Chicago won 3-0 at the Spectrum. The Flyers' last shutout in Chicago was a 2-0 win on Feb. 25, 2003.
-- Playoff games coached by Chicago's Joel Quenneville
, the most games coached by anyone without making the Final. His 63 victories are also the most by anyone without reaching a Final. Both of those will be ended on Saturday night. Quenneville does have a Stanley Cup ring, but he earned it as an assistant with Colorado in 1996.
-- Games played by Laperriere (1,083 in the regular season and 61 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs) before reaching the Final for the first time. Among active players, only Roman Hamrlik
(1,322) and Owen Nolan
(1,265) have played more games without getting to the championship round.
-- Average attendance for the Blackhawks this season, the highest total in the League. The Hawks drew 8,629 more fans per game than they did just three years ago, when their average of 12,727 was 29th in the 30-team NHL.