Two of hockey's historical franchises will face off in game one of their Stanley Cup finals tonight in Chicago at the United Center.
The Stanley Cup Finals are returning to Chicago for the first time since 1992 tonight, when the Philadelphia Flyers come into town to for the start of their seven game series. The Blackhawks came to the NHL when the league expanded in the United States in 1926. The Philadelphia Flyers became an NHL franchise in 1967 as part of that expansion.
The Blackhawks have 3 Stanley Cup victories to the Flyers' 2. The Hawks have won 14 Division Championships while the Flyers have bested them with 15.
The series is going to be most interesting as the Flyers have stayed elimination in every round except for the last against Montreal. The Blackhawks have been winning on the road, and actually have performed better on the road than they have at home.
This will be the first time Stanley Cup has come to the United Center, as the Blackhawks moved in, in 1994. ESPN's experts four out of six have picked the Blackhawks to win the series, but none of them think the series will go less than six games.
This could be a series of redemption too as Marian Hossa was traded to the Detroit Red Wings from the Pittsburgh Penguins and had to listen to the Penguins' celebration and now he is with the Hawks with another chance to drink from Lord Stanley's cup. There is also some history here as well with the Blackhawks facing the Flyers, as the Blackhawks snagged the first pick in the draft lottery in 2007 when they took Patrick Kane, while the Flyers with the worst record that season took James van Riemsdyk with the second pick. Both are 21 and played in the world juniors together and have remained close friends.
So tonight starts the final series of the 2009-2010 hockey season as history of two franchises are on the line as both are looking to write a new page in their individual team history.