Even at their worst, Hawks too much for Flyers

Antti Niemi was bad.  Patrick Kane was invisible (unless he was taking a penalty).  The top line was a combined -9, but the Hawks still pulled it out.  They were still too much for the overmatched, though pesky, Flyers.  

How can you feel good if you're a Flyers fan?  Yes, you scored 5 goals, were even in shots (32), and even led a couple of times, but with a 4-0 powerplay advantage, how can you feel confident moving forward?

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Dave Bolland and Brent Sopel celebrate Bolland's short handed goal

Michael Leighton, who was Mr. Philadelphia before this game, was pulled in the 2nd period.  He was NOT GOOD.  Ryan Miller, who was working for NBC tonight, said that both goalies looked tight.  Leighton was especially bad.  He was fighting the puck all night long.  Brian Boucher came in and played OK, but wasn't great.

Do I seem cocky?  Hell yes I do.  We've seen the Hawks play poorly in these playoffs...and the Hawks were pretty much as bad as we've seen them all season.  Aside from Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, and Tomas Kopecky, the rest of the team looked ordinary at best. 

A lot of the "Game One jitters" we've become accustomed to reared their ugly heads again.

Fortunately for the Blackhawks, they won game one.  They answered every Philly goal, and never backed down from the Flyers attempts to beat them up physically.  The third period was the difference, where the Hawks began to dominate, and won nearly EVERY battle.  Look no further than Jonathan Toews' board battle as the 3rd period ticked away.   

Historically, the game one winner wins 77% of Stanley Cup Finals series'.  That bodes well for the Hawks, who have no where to go but up for game two.

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  • I agree in the sense that the Flyers got most of the breaks and still lost. I don't agree about Niemi though. First goal was a fluke off Hjalmarsson. Second was a rebound that went off Sopel right to Hartnell. Fifth was the one-timer that Niemi was leaning a bit on due to bad luck. Carle fanned on his original shot but the puck slid off his stick right to Briere for a perfect "pass". That was pure good fortune for the Flyers.

    "Aside from Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, and Tomas Kopecky, the rest of the team looked ordinary at best."

    I also don't agree with this. I thought Bolland and Versteeg were the best players on the ice, and that Sharp and Brouwer were both really good as well. Brouwer looked as quick and aggressive as ever.

    Chicago can play better defensively, but some better bounces and the refs not sucking will help immensely.

  • Kane is having a very subpar post season. That aside, Flyers know their in deep shit when the shut down the Hawks top line, get 4 power plays to none and still lose the game. The Hawks are just plain better than Philly, tighten a few things up and no way thi series goes more than 5 unless something extraodinary happens. Philly isnt even here at all if Lucic doesnt get hurt.

  • I love what Toews brings to the Hawks for a long, long time, but if the best you can say is he won a few board battles in the 3rd period of a Stanley Cup final.....Philly shut down the Toews line. So much so that Kane fell asleep and assisted on at least one Philly goal. The Hawks still scored 6 goals. The Philly coaches won't sleep over that small fact. The Hawks beat two really good teams on the strength of defense and goal tending. They are now playing a team, but for a wrong bounce of the puck in the final game of the season.....and in game 4, 5, 6, 7 against Boston, they would be playing golf now. The Hawks played down to their level. It happens all the time.....although not with teams with a great leader.....and this is Toews' first rodeo.....if he doesn't have Joel Quinville and his 1000+ games in the background maybe a different story. Doesn't the Q look like he could jump over the boards in his suit and kill off a penalty himself at this point? Let us pray the Hawks get through this Stanley Cup while Toews still has the training wheels on. If they do they will win at least 2 more in the next 5 years. You sports guys love to mix sports metaphors to make a point. I read something just this week that Jerry Reinsdorf said - if you miss the peak you have to start over. My point is, this isn't over. Roll Hawks.

  • In reply to JDL327:

    Oh....sorry guys...Quenneville eh?

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