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?
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.
Filed under: Antti Niemi, Blackhawks, brent seabrook, Chicago Sports, danny mac show, dave bolland, dustin byfuglien, goaltending, hockey, jay zawaski, joel quenneville, jonathan toews, marian hossa, nbc, NHL, nhl playoffs, Patrick Kane, philadelphia flyers, sports, stanley cup finals, troy brouwer, wscr
Tags: antti niemi, blackhawks, brent seabrook, chicago sports, danny mac show, dave bolland, dustin byfuglien, goaltending, hockey, jay zawaski, joel quenneville, jonathan toews, marian hossa, nbc, NHL, nhl playoffs, patrick kane, philadelphia flyers, Sports, stanley cup finals, troy brouwer, wscr