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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Zdeno Chara’s presence ‘mammoth in a series like this’ 06.10.13 at 1:38 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to preview the Stanley Cup finals between the Bruins and Blackhawks.

The B’s and Blackhawks have a number of similarities, but McGuire said no other team has someone who can compare to Zdeno Chara.

“They’re similar in a lot of different respects,” McGuire said. “They’re similar in terms of their star power through the middle. They’re similar in terms of their size and their speed on the wings. They’re similar in terms of veteran experience in goal — or lack thereof. They’re similar in terms of their depth on defense. Chicago’s left defense [Duncan Keith, Johnny Oduya and Nick Leddy] is much faster than Boston’s left defense. That’s a key part of the Chicago team. But nobody outside of Boston has Chara. That is mammoth in a series like this.”

Added McGuire: “Chara’s made a huge impact on these playoffs, as he usually does, and he’s made a huge impact especially in the last series.”

Another similarity is the fact that both teams have an agitator who has some talent: Brad Marchand and Andrew Shaw. Of Shaw, McGuire joked that Bruins fans “are going to learn to love him quick.”

“Like Marchand, Shaw has tremendous offensive skill. … He’s not a guy that’s just a super pest. He’s a player. He’s a real player,” McGuire said. “He’s very similar to Marchand. I don’t know if his top-end skill is as good as Marchand; in fact, I would say it’s not. But his pest factor is as high if not higher. He’s fearless, absolutely fearless. Tremendous player. There’s not a team in the league that wouldn’t want this player.”

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Kane: ‘Pretty surreal… for sure’ 06.10.10 at 9:22 am ET
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PHILADELPHIA — What if a team won the Stanley Cup and no one noticed? Not even most of the players on the team that just made history.

No, that’s no cruel joke or a shot at the NHL. That’s what happened Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center when Patrick Kane’s simple shot – a lesson in why you always put the puck on the net – got past Philadelphia’s Michael Leighton just over four minutes into overtime to give Chicago a 4-3 win and its first Stanley Cup title since 1961.

Without question, the ending to the 2010 Stanley Cup will go down as one of the most bizarre and surreal endings to a championship in recent memory.

Let the man who scored explain why.

“Well, I shot it, I saw it go right through his legs and it was sticking right under the pad in the net so I don’t think anyone saw the puck in the net,” Kane said. “I just booked it to the other end. I knew it was in right away and tried to sell the celebration a little bit and everyone came down.

“I think some guys were still iffy to see if the puck was in the net. I saw the coaches pointing at the puck and just jumping around. It’s pretty surreal right now, for sure.”

[Click here to hear Kane explain his Cup-winning goal and the ensuing celebration.]

[Click here to hear a stunned Leighton explain what he saw from his point of view.]

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Flyers run out of time and luck at 1:28 am ET
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PHILADELPHIA — The team of destiny that made history in Boston went to the well once too often in overtime and it finally cost the Flyers their Stanley Cup dreams. Chicago’s Patrick Kane scored on a bizarre goal that few people in the building even realized went in just over four minutes into overtime and the Blackhawks claimed their fourth Stanley Cup with a 4-3 win over Philadelphia at the Wachovia Center in Game 6.

The Flyers had to get a stop from Brian Boucher on the last day of the regular season to beat the New York Rangers, 2-1, in a shootout to qualify for the playoffs.

They entered as a No. 7 seed in the East and dispatched of Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils in Round 1 in five games.

They then matched up against the No. 6 Bruins, and no one in New England needs to be reminded that — up three games to none and 3-0 in Game 7 on Garden ice — the Bruins let the Flyers come back to tie and win Game 7 and the series, 4-3, on a power-play goal by Simon Gagne with the Bruins serving a penalty for too many men on the ice.

It was in Game 4 in overtime when Gagne scored his first goal back from injury to re-ignite the flame for the Flyers.

Three wins later it was the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern finals. The Habs proved little opposition for the Flyers, who prevailed in five games.

Then the Chicago Blackhawks. The team that hadn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1961 won a shootout, 6-5, in Game 1 and another one-goal game in Game 2, 2-1.

The Flyers showed their character by winning Game 3 again in overtime and handling Chicago 5-3 in Game 4. After a 7-4 loss in Game 5 the Flyers were again on the brink, down 3-2 with 3:59 left in regulation when Scott Hartnell scored to force — yep — another overtime.

This extra session would be the heartbreak of heartbreaks for the Flyers. A weak shot from Patrick Kane, almost an afterthought, was thrown on Michael Leighton. The goalie didn’t see it until it went under him and the lip of the goal on the right side.

“He walked out of the corner, and there was a guy driving the net so I thought he was going to pass it,” Leighton said. “He just threw it at the net and it went underneath me.”

Bang. Game over. Stanley Cup over. Team of Destiny denied.

But still, this Flyers team will have its fondest memories of one of the most remarkable playoff run in recent sports rooted in Boston.

It was at TD Garden on May 14 that the Flyers became just the fourth team in major professional sports to wipe out a 3-0 deficit and win a series and the first to overcome a 3-0 hole on the road in Game 7 to do so.

“Yeah, you look back at a lot of games throughout the whole season,” Hartnell said. “The way we got in, the way we came back against Boston to beat a great goalie and New Jersey and Montreal was on fire as well. We have to be proud to a certain point but certainly it’s disappointing, too.”

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