Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks- 8 ET NBC
By: Sean Waters (OTC Contributor)
I have said it once before and I will say it again, if you are the Philadelphia Flyers and you want to win this series, you cannot get into shootouts with the Hawks. This is because the hawks have way to many possibilities on scoring on you. The 6-5 victory for the Hawks was the most scoring in a Stanley Cup game since the 1992 Stanley Cup.
If you are a Chicago Blackhawks fan, I would feel very good after game one. This is because the pace was in your favor; none of your top scores scored, didn’t have a single power play minute, and took Michael Leighton out of the game. With this, as the game went on it seemed as if the Flyers were already wearing down and the speed and power of the Hawks was getting to them.
If you are a Philadelphia Flyers fan, there is much to worry about. First off you got four power plays and recorded one goal. That’s not bad, they problem is that you also gave up a shorthanded goal, something that shouldn’t happen at this point in the season. Another thing is the defense that has been amazing so far for this post season. Michael Leighton had a tough night giving up 5 goals in less then 40 minutes but someone needed to give him some help. I will give them this, they did a great job of stopping Toews, Kane, and that whole first line, but in the end it was the depth of the Hawks that killed them. In a lot of ways it seemed like the Flyers were trying to take out Chicago fast with offense and worrying about defense second. They recorded 17 shots in the 1st period but by the 3rd they only recorded 6. This was a bad idea, the Flyers lost who they were and how they got there and overall just made them more and more tired as the game went on. Also, I want to know how Chris Pronger feels right around now. I mean seriously 32 and a half minutes on the ice on Saturday night. That’s amazing and I know he is a tough guy and all but can he do that again. He is the center of that Philly defense and well I just don’t know if he will be able to skate for another 32 in game 2.
My prediction for game two is that Philadelphia will not be as offensively based. They will go back to what they did to get to the Stanley Cup and that is by playing good defense to create good offense. I also believe that Leighton will not play as bad as he did in Game one. There is no way that he will give up five goals again in 40 minutes. Along with this though, I have a hard time believing that that the first line of Chicago will not score again. Also there is no way that Chicago doesn’t go on the power play at least once tonight. I believe that Chicago will win this game 3-2 with a goal in the late 3rd to win it.
Blackhawks- 3 Flyers- 2