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Will it be in six games, like 1961, for the Hawks?

I’ve written over the past week and a bit about one of the classic Stanley Cup final match-ups of my childhood—the Chicago Black Hawks against the Detroit Red Wings.

That’s the last time the Hawks won the Cup.

That ’61 series was different in that it was back and forth. The two teams split the first two games in Chicago, then did the same in Detroit. The first four games had been close. Chicago won the pivotal fifth game at the old Chicago Stadium, though the Wings were in a position to tie the series back home at the Olympia in Detroit in Game 6.

But the Hawks won the Cup going away that night, 5-1, behind goaltender Glenn Hall and a great defense spearheaded by Pierre Pilote. (Pilote not only led all defensemen in playoff scoring that spring, he tied Gordie Howe for the overall points lead in the playoffs if I’m not mistaken.) Offensively young guns like Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita led the way along with some outstanding veterans like Dollard St. Laurent, former Maple Leaf Tod Sloan plus captain Eddie Litzenberger and Ab McDonald. (The early 1960s game-action picture we've included above shows three of the Hawks were key members of the championship squad—“Red" Hay (#11), Bobby Hull and Murray Balfour, who is on Ranger goalie Gump Worsley's doorstep.)

We’re in a similar situation right now to where we were in ’61. The “home” team needs a win to keep the series alive.

Will Chicago history repeat itself Wednesday night, when the Hawks visit the Flyers?

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