I said at the beginning when I made my Stanley Cup Final preview that this series would go six games. Obviously it still will, if not seven. The Philadelphia Flyers evened the series last night with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks as the series now goes back to Chicago for Sunday’s game five.
Some might say the Flyers controlled the last two games, some might say the Hawks gave the last two games away. The TSN headline says it right: Flyers hang on to beat Blackhawks and even series at 2. Yes, that’s exactly what happened. The Flyers have had some luck with a bounce or two that has gone their way, and a bounce or two that hasn’t gone the Hawks’ way. The media love affair and the apparent NHL love affair with Philly is beginning to make me sick.
Look, these are both two very good teams. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have gotten this far. Granted each team took a different path to get here, and each team had to overcome it’s share of adversity, but still, this is two evenly matched clubs in the finals. It took alot for me to say that since I’m a Blackhawks supporter, however it’s the truth.
I’m not nervous as though the series is going downhill for Chicago, or that they’ve played themselves into a corner. Both teams have won their games on their respective home ice. Two more games in Chicago. It’s now a best of three, and anything can happen.
There has been scoring from 21 different players! The big lines for each team have basically been a non-factor. Although Friday night it was Philly’s top line that got on the board as Mike Richards got his first goal of the series. Matt Carle, Claude Giroux (who could have been a Florida Panther) and Ville Leino also scored, with Jeff Carter scoring an empty netter in the closing seconds.
Chicago’s late goals in the third from Brian Campbell and Dave Bolland brought them within one, until Carter iced it while Chicago had the extra man. Ex-Flyer Patrick Sharp scored first for the Hawks cutting the lead to 2-1, but Philly answered quickly again making it 3-1. Hawks d-man Niklas Hjalmarsson had a terrible game, made some costly turnovers, and looked like crap to say it nicely. He needs to forget this one and get his shit together. For the amount of ice time he gets, he can’t afford to play that way.
Philly kept charging and kept coming, although in the third, Chicago pressed and came close to tying the game. That would have made all you Flyer fans shit the bed huh? But it didn’t happen. Trust me I’m not gloating or trying to rub anything in the Flyers’ faces. A great matchup, but sometimes seemingly one sided from a media angle. And let’s not forget about the non calls by the refs. The penalties have been very one sided. That being said, the Hawks need to clean up their PK, which is killing them. Granted their penalties are well deserved, except for a couple in last nights’s game. But Flyers are getting away with murder. If they are going to be physical, then let the hawks be physical. Call it even.
So we go back to the United Center Sunday. The Flyers feeling good, and the Hawks glad to be going home where they know they play well. Game five is a big one as it can potentially sway the series one way or the other. It comes down now to who wants it more. I can only hope that the Hawks are as pissed about this as I am. I not complaining about being in this spot. Hell, it you would have told me they’d be in this position at the beginning of the year, I’d have taken it.
It just pisses me off that the Hawks are actually in this position after being up 2 games to none.
See ya Sunday.
This one’s for you Flyers.
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