So the Blackhawks and Bruins are down to a best-of-three for the Stanley Cup, and nobody has any idea what to expect from these teams anymore.
Oh, we thought we had it figured out. After Monday’s 2-0 Bruins win in Game 3, we all felt confident in going with the “defense wins championships” narrative. Then the two teams went out on Wednesday and blew the doors off in the Blackhawks' wild 6-5 overtime win.
So now they’re headed back to Chicago for Game 5 on Saturday, and anyone who tells you they know what’s going to happen is lying. But in the absence of actual predictions, we can at least take our best shot at figuring out which factors are likely to play a key role in the outcome.
Here are five elements that have loomed large so far, and might determine which team skates away with the Stanley Cup in the next few days.