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Live blogging game six: Philadelphia Flyers v Chicago Blackhawks

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

With all the pregame writing and edge now put away, we are ready to play some hockey!

The Hawks stepped up in Game Five, getting inside the Flyers head, causing the Flyers to make some horrible mistakes. With the Flyers discipline in tatters, the Hawks rolled over them. Dustin Byfuglien played a key roll, first flattening Chris Pronger and then doing what has allowed him to make the unlikely transition from AAA hard-guy to NHL star: getting in the goalies face.

I think continued work on defense and the outstanding offense we saws by the Hawks will be key ingredients of a Hawks victory.

However, this is a championship game and we will see the Flyers step up. Back at home, in the Wachovia Center, they have been very difficult to defeat, as we noted, it has been ten years since a Chicago hockey team left Philadelphia with a win (The Wolves may have done it once or twice since they were swept by the Flyers farm club in the lock-out year).

But I'm not looking up historic records tonight. We have the bald guy freak, Mike "the Neanderthal", Eddie and Doc Emerick on the tube. (My fellow hockey blogger reminds me that I always refer to the two bald commentators, one on WGN and the other on NBC, as the bald freaks. She should also mention, which she won't that I love the Neanderthal. It's a man love thing.)

Let's drop the puck!

OMG Kate Smith? Owwwww..... Dogs are howling, cats are hiding. Children are covering their ears.

This is almost as bad as listening to Jim Cornelison. The Hawks must end this tonight!

FIRST PERIOD----

Eddie O is saying the Flyers are winning the battles along the boards. We'll have to watch that. This is a key to see who is got the hop in the game. Looking at the live stats, the hawks are credited with a lead in SOG, 5/1, so whatever Eddie O is seeing, and he might see things that we don't see on the television, it isn't apparent in the early stats.

There has only been one or two whistles in the first seven minutes, one that I remember, but I also remember an icing. The pace is pretty fast and the teams are not getting a break. It will be training that helps determine the leader if this continues. Finally another whistle with about 12 minutes to play.

We have a delayed penalty, now called (1) against the Flyers. It's a hooking penalty against Chris Pronger. That's a poor penalty to take. That sort of defensive penalty demonstrates something unattractive by the offender: that they can't use their skill to stop the opposition.

Okay, YIKES. They almost had an open goal. DAMN.

Well, the first part of this man advantage was really good looking. The puck dinged off the iron, and that doesn't count as a SOG, but you have to say that it's a sound that's lovely to hear on the Philly sound of the net.

The SOG clock is showing 9/2 in favor of the Hawks. The bald freak is talking to the coach. I'm not hearing anything significant. Nice reporting ol' bald freak.

Damn Braydon Colburn almost did something. It was close. Have i said I'd like to celebrate when his big old nose is smeared across, preferably, three sheets of plexiglass? Not that i want to see him hurt.

The Flyers had an excellent scoring chance about 7.30 remaining. And there was a nice hit on Ville Leino. Leino was slow to get up. They need to keep within the envelope of checks here, taking the man off the play, but not drawing a penalty.

AND the Hawks push too much, taking an interference penalty (1). As we start the power play the SOG clock is at 11/3.

I'm just not seeing the Hawks losing the corner battles that Eddie O says was happening earlier. The SOG indicates a strong momentum in favor of the Hawks. No SOG for the Flyers in that power play. That is not good for the Flyers.

Another penalty (2) in favor of the Hawks by Chris Pronger. Has Pronger melted down here? The SOG clock is set at 14/3 as the penalty begins.

One of the chief jobs of Pronger is to be an agitator for the Flyers, but in that position he is not supposed to be having penalties called on him, he is supposed to irritate the Hawks enough for the Hawks to to draw penalties.

GOAL at 16.49. Dustin Byfuglien comes through with the first goal of the night. A battle against the board, the Hawks moves it around. Byfuglien gathers it in front of the Flyers net and fires it ff the skates of my most favorite Flyers for a goal.

Power play (2) in favor of the Flyers.The SOG clock is now set at 16/3. The Flyers have been very weak on the offense this period. They need to resolve this or they are going to lose the game. PERIOD.

The Flyers have to be very disappointed. I don't believe they have any SOG during this power play. What few shots they have had have been blocked. That is the second power play that the Flyers have not had a single shot on goal during a penalty.

Power Play (3) against the Hawks with about one minute to play. Too bad, too, the hawks were on what looked like a nice transition. To have a penalty called behind the play like that is very disappointing.

GOAL at 19.33. Scott Hartnell scores a power play goal with less than a minute remaining. Hartnell battled for the puck on a rebound to put it in. Some very tough work and you have to hand it to Hartnell who has been somewhat disappointing in this series in my opinion.

At the end of the first period the game is tied 1-1, with the Hawks dominating the period with 17/7 SOG.

SECOND PERIOD---

The Hawks need to play another period of hockey like the first period. I don't care if Philly scored once, the weight of this much momentum is going to overcome the Flyers. At the same time two of the Hawks penalties, particularly the penalty behind the action, was very unfortunate.

More discipline, especially behind the action.

The Flyers need to reverse this. Chris Pronger took both of the teams penalties. He will do whatever he can in one of his rolls as an agitator. What I see is that the on-ice officiating crew is watching Pronger, and reacting to his actions. This wasn't apparent in earlier series.

Pronger needs to pull his horns in. The Flyers have played a relatively disciplined game, losing game five when they lost their discipline. They need to capture the discipline they had getting to this point to win.

Also, there are these things called shots on goal. It wouldn't hurt for the Flyers to get more offensive minded out there.

Okay, let's drop the puck already.

Crap, more ads. Gillette, when you have a shaver that will take care of my back give me a call. For that matter, when you have something for the hair in my ears and nose let me know.

Okay, they are about to drop the puck, nope, Go Daddy! Now an ad for cheap manufactured beer... 

One of the best things about hockey is that once the puck does drop we don't get ads for cars, hawked by bug-eyed reptiles (don't you wish a hawk would pluck his cute little eyes out? It would be so cool!), cheap manufactured beer that alleges that drinking will entice beautiful women to fall all over you or ads for BP where they talk about their stewardship of the earth.

They dropped the puck.

There is a certain freedom in writing about the Hawks. If you've followed the Call of the Wild you know I'm the straightman, I don't usually write about just anything.

Antti Niemi has been a wall, only allowing the one goal. Power Play (3) to the advantage of the Hawks. Michael Leighton isn't looking as tough as he has in other games. But it is difficult to make predictions of wins based on such small things. They add up, perhaps Leighton not being on top of the goal will have an effect which we'll see as the game moves forward.

I didn't register the SOG for the power play. However there was a tough fight in front of the goal and I liked it, noting that Leighton doesn't look as good as he has in previous games.

Doc Emerick just hinted that the Stanley Cup is not yet in the building. I find that very difficult to believe. The guys who are responsible for the Cup are devoted hockey fans. Are we expected to believe they are sitting in some seedy bar watching the game on the television? No, I think the cup is in the building and it makes a theatrical appearance for the television.

GOAL at 8.00. A transition goal for the Flyers as the Hawks defense fails to contain Daniel Briere. 2-1 Flyers.

Power Play (4) in favor of the Hawks. Another penalty (4) against the Hawks. Eddie O is questioning this one. The Flyers hold the puck for 40 seconds. The NBC team is not explaining why this isn't a penalty. But first GOAL at 9.58 as Patrick Sharp scores a 4:4 goal through the five hole.

The Flyers had another power play with no shots, in fact I'm pretty sure the Hawks had at least short handed shots on goal during that power play.

Back to the explanation. Goal tender interference is intended to protect the goalie from offensive actions in the blue area, called the crease, that would interfere with his/her ability to protect the net. So colliding with the goalie would be goal tender interference.

However, I think that the replay demonstrates Hossa collided with Leighton due to the Flyers player running into Hossa. Hossa was playing the puck at the time. We'll get the rules verbiage here in a moment. But essentially Hossa was pushed by the Flyers into Leighton.

Yep, pulled the rules up (they are here: http://www.nhl.com/league/ext/rules/2009-2010_Rule_Book.pdf
If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a
defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the
goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the
attacking player

So, that's the explanation the television people should have given, for all you newbies.

The SOG clock is now set at 22/9. That means the Flyers have had two SOG this period. The bald freak is noting that one of the reason why the Flyers have stayed in the game is Antti Niemi is giving up important rebounds.

I'm oprimistic at this point. At the beginning of the game I felt the Hawks had a forty percent chance of winning the game and the series tonight. Certainly, the way the Hawks are playing through two periods of hockey, I'm much more optimistic.

GOAL at 2.17 remaining as Niklas Hjalmarsson finds an open lane from high near the point. They believe it was redirected by Andrew Ladd. 

The current score is 3-2.  The people at the rink are reporting that the Flyers are tired. They are fortunate the end of the frame is coming shortly.

Power play (5) to the advantage of the Hawks. I thin another goal here would remove the oxygen from the Wachovia Center.

So with the end of the period, the Hawks have great momentum with a SOG clock of 10/6 in favor of the Hawks. The Hawks have taken a lead of 3-2 and have a man advantage going into the new period.

THIRD PERIOD---

It is a relief to consider that the next live blog I'm likely to write is on the Chicago Force. I feel good. The Flyers were unable to put together what was needed to turn things around in the second frame and at this point I don't think they'll be able to do it in the third frame.

The needs of the two teams are still the same. But if we see another 20 minutes of hockey from the Hawks like what we just saw, there will be a parade in Chicago this weekend.

I keep watching all these ads with people sitting on beahes wondering when that will come to an end? Come to our sandy beach-- bring your haz mat suit.

Ouch!

Okay, we are back, getting close to puck drop.

Almost five minutes into the third frame, the SOG is heavily in favor or the Hawks. The Hawks are dominating the beginning of the period. This looks bad for the Flyers, they haven't been able to break the Hawks momentum.

Doc just noted there have been no SOG to the benefit of the Flyers in ten minutes. This is very bad news for the Flyers.

More hop on the part of the Flyers as we move into the last ten minutes of the frame, but the Hawks are not yet out of gas.

At the mid-way point of the period the Hawks have a 4-1 lead in SOG. The Flyers are putting better pressure on Antti Niemi, but Niemi  and the Hawks defense is working well together at the moment.

About five minutes left. The domination of the Hawks is continuing, but the Flyers are playing with desperation now and there is a lot of energy, energy they found from some deep reservoir deep inside. It is very difficult to put a team down in its own building, and Philly has been outstanding in its building.

Niemi is holding the Flyers back. Twice now, with less than five minutes to play, it is Niemi who has stopped the shot and frozen the puck. 

GOAL at 3.59. The game is tied 3-3 as Ville Lieno brought the puck deep into the zone and Scott Hartnell was able to solve the problem of Niemi with a shot low in the slot. 

DAMN. This game is going to be decided by a final goal, possibly in the last three minutes of the game or in an overtime period.

We are very unlikely to see anything called, unless it the penalty is very obvious. The refs just don't want to be accused of reffing a win for a team in the final.

The Hawks must be getting tired as they've had two icings, now three icings. The Hawks call a time-out. One of the things that happens in an icing is that the team creating an icing is not allowed to make any personnel changes. I'm not sure how long the Hawks have been out there, but they probably haven't had a good line change in a minute or more.

About a minute remains with the score tied. The Hawks just had an opportunity for a line change, no notes from Doc on whether it happened, but we can assume it happened.

The Hawks are playing with desperation now, or perhaps with energy as the fresh guys off the bench are now getting some time on ice. This is a next goal wins situation and I need to put the  Flyers in a better advantage for winning.

The Flyers have been able to keep pace with the Hawks, not surprising as they are playing in their own building. Finally, with about ten minutes to play, the Flyers found energy, perhaps from the desperation of facing a summer of golf.

They found the hop and the energy necessary to tie the game. That is all they had to do in those ten minutes, and they did it. Now the game six hangs in the balance on a mistake.

That's right, a mistake will end the game. Both teams are going to be going about things in a conservative way and the team that makes the next big screw up will lose. 

YIKES!

OVERTIME PERIOD---

The Hawks are celebrating. Patrick Kane shot from the left circle and the puck got stuck in the net. As I mentioned, these OT games are determined by a mistake. It really wasn't really a mistake, Leighton wasn't able to stop the shot.

Congratulations. That is the first Stanley Cup win for the Hawks since 1961.

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