The cliches and stock answers began immediately Saturday night. There was no time to stop and think for a moment, to reflect on the magnitude of what the Blackhawks just had done and the enormity of what they can do tonight. There was some sleep to get, a flight to catch, a game to play. Just another game, they said, same as the 70 games that came before.
Right.
“I’m sure guys are going to think about it, yeah,” defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “It’s the Stanley Cup.”

The Stanley Cup will be at the Garden tonight. And by the end of the night — or perhaps a bit into tomorrow morning, given how tight this series has been — the Blackhawks might be hoisting hockey’s holy grail above their heads for the second time in four seasons. The Bruins will be playing to extend their season; the ’Hawks will be playing to end it.
And keeping a level head, keeping emotions in check, keeping your focus on a run-of-the-mill first-period shift in that situation is never easy. The ’Hawks know this. They were in the same position in 2010, heading to Philadelphia with a 3-2 series lead.