How the "1" will be won

The Blackhawks have won 67 games this season.  52 in the regular season, 15 in the playoffs, but none of them matter except #68. 

Unless you've been living in a cave the last few days, the Hawks are one win away from clinching their first Stanley Cup since 1961.

1961_BOBBY_HULL_WITH_STANLEY_CUP.jpg

Hopefully by the end of the night, we'll have a similar picture of Jonathan Toews

So what is it going to take for the Hawks to hoist the Cup in front of those Philly fans? 

Players will tell you that it's "just another game."  Actually, they're right.  Sure, the ultimate prize is sitting in a box in the back room, but how to beat the Flyers tonight shouldn't be a mystery. 

Any way you slice it, the first ten minutes of this game will be key.  There are two things I'd like to see the Hawks do to start the game. 

The Flyers will come out desperate, and likely flying.  While it could be tough to weather than storm, Philly could be accident prone.  Overskating the puck, and trying to do too much is something Hawks fans have seen a lot from their own team in these playoffs.  I'd like to see the Hawks score in the first ten minutes.  The more defeated the Flyers feel, the less confidence they will have.  Don't give them life, or their fans, any life.

Second, I'd like to see the Hawks control the puck.  If Philly is sitting back and playing tight defense (which would be a good approach at this point) keep the puck, and lull the Wachovia Center fans to sleep.  Get them restless, get them nervous. 

It sounds tough...and it will be tougher than usual, but this is how the Blackhawks have won all season.  When the Hawks are playing at their highest level, they are controlling the puck.  Whether the Hawks are winning the cycle game deep in the Flyers zone, or they are playing keep away in their own or neutral zone, not having the puck makes it tough for the opponent to score.

I've said it time and time again...if the Hawks play their game, they will win the game.  So again...hopefully for the last time this season...here we go:  If the Hawks play their game, they will win the Cup.  

 

Comments

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  • Jay,

    The way I see it the Hawks success in the playoffs, and especially against Philly has been dictated by 5 elements.

    1. Neutral zone defense with teammate/puck support (see #2)
    2. Relentless forechecking. Once one man (F1) is out of the play a teammate comes in (F2). Same with PK
    3. Puck control
    3a) Careful D partner-to-partner passing and a clean pass out of the zone
    3b) Offensive cycling and rimming the puck around with a D man pinching
    4. Plenty of shooting and aggressive rebound attack and recovery
    5. Niemi's rebound control and D clearing out the crease to the boards (not the point)
    6. D-men guarding out blue line and not backing into the zone

    I'll give $1 to the 1st D-man that crushes a Flyer as he comes over the Hawks blue line.

    Go Hawks, finish it tonight.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    Ooops, I meant to write 6 elements. Consider that a bonus.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    To quote the pre-game song played at the UC: "I got a feeling tonights gonna be a good, good night". Let's hope the Hawks bring it home tonight, it has been a long time coming for this fan. Even though I have been out of the Chicago area for a long time, I have been a huge fan since childhood listening to Lloyd Petit on the radio, Ron Oakes (remember him) and of course Foley. Who will be the hero tonight? I have a feeling Hossa may get the game winner, his efforts throughout the series will be rewarded. Let's go Hawks!

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    There was another announcer that I can't remember his name right now. It was Jim something.I learned the word "carom." He used to say, it caromed off the boards.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    You thinking of Jim West, he did some TV with the Hawks for awhile.

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    Yea, that's him. Jim West. Carom ha. Just like the Blackhawks Sesame Street for me.

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    Key: Have at least one more goal than the other team when the game is over.

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    Get the puck in deep repeatedly and hammer the Flyer defense. Get control of the puck and cycle. Make Philly chase, drawing penalties and keeping the puck out of the defensive zone. Forwards must get back on counter chances.

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