I never predicted that this would be over in four. No matter how you look at at it, it wasn’t going to happen. That being said, it could still be over in five, and maybe more likely in six, but for now, the Hawks still have the series lead. And for that, I’m still feeling confident.
As I observed this game from the comfort nervousness of my couch, I can’t help but feel that the Hawks still haven’t played their best, but that the Flyers are potentially playing theirs. Which bodes well for Chicago, as long as they can get their shit together. The reality of all this is that the Hawks are still up two games to one, with the home ice advantage still in their favor. They are getting scoring from secondary players. Even friggin Brent Sopel scored a goal last night!
There are however some things that concern me, but not from the point that they can’t be fixed, or at least addressed. Except for one thing. The refs.
Now I’m not going to blame anything on the officials. That’s not me, and it should never come down to one play, or one call. Unless your name is James Joyce. That said, when the hell is Chris Pronger getting called for a cross-checking penalty? For christ sake, this arse has been hacking his way through the series without nary a visit to the sin bin. Forget his Puckgate antics after the first two games, as I could give a rats ass about the pucks. Are the refs blind? Rhetorical question. Anyway, McCreary, and the rest of the gang, get your shit together. What’s fair is fair, but damn it, call it straight. There’s no way any fan out there would disagree that Pronger should have had at least one call per game. If you are in disagreement, then, read the f*&kin rules.
What the Hawks need to fix:
* Better faceoffs. Only won 39% last night. Not good enough.
* Where the hell were Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp? I now they were there, but they didn’t matter last night. At all.
* Coach Q-why the line change in O.T. just after the puck gets into the Hawks zone, resulting in the winning goal?
* Big Buff-Ok, maybe Pronger has been able to neutralize you, but play like you played against San Jose and Vancouver. Stick your big ass in front of Leighton and make his life miserable. He’s half the Goalie that Bobby Lose is.
* The Power Play for Chicago sux. Plain. Simple. End of story. Fix it!
* Clear the crease in front of Niemi. The “D” in front of the net needs to be more physical and move those players out.
* Mike Richards-one point. An assist, and is a minus 4!
* Hawks are not rattled and still have their composure. They don’t panic and they have not wilted. Say what you want, this team is NOT easily tossed off their game.
* As close as these games have been, the first line hasn’t really done anything. That will not continue and game four will be a different game for them. They have way too much pride.
* Keep saying that Niemi played a bad game. Every time you do his next game is superb! Check the playoff stats.
* It’s Michael Leighton. We know who he is.
I’m not nervous. I’m composed. I wasn’t all crazy after being up two games to none and I’m not thinking the world is crashing after last night’s loss either. I’ve been down this road way too many times, and it’s too early for any of that. It’s a good series between two good teams. One is playing their best, the other hasn’t really hit their stride. Nothing’s broke, just a little off. Kinda like needing a tune up.
I read somewhere that Philly has the momentum back? Huh? Let me get this straight. You’re down 2-0 and you win one game and you have momentum? How? You still have to win three of the next four games. Two of which would not be in your building.
Message to the media. Stop making this out to be Philly and their destiny to win. Tell it like it really is. There’s enough goodness about each team for your viewership to be entertained without making it one sided.
Game four, Friday at the FU Center. (stolen from Second City Hockey) Like they said, it sounds better than the Wachovia Center!
I know Jeff Bartl from Blackhawk Up wasn’t feelin too good, but, he’ll come around, after the drunken stupor.
Eugene from Broad Street Buzz is pumpin’ his chest though. Meh.
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