It's going to be a big night of answering all of these questions we have after Game One, but that's what we all expected anyways, isn't it? The Blackhawks and Flyers will do battle in Game Two tonight with plenty on the line in this series. The Blackhawks want to take full advantage of home-ice, while the Flyers want to go back to Philadelphia with the series tied at one.
Starting with the road team, the Flyers, despite being down one goal, should be walking in with some swagger on their side. Coming into Game One, they knew that they would have to keep up with a pretty powerful team in the Blackhawks and they did. They went goal for goal in the first 40 minutes, but couldn't quite make that last one up in the 3rd period, which doesn't look too bad on them. Going into a track meet with the Blackhawks is not what they should be looking to do, rather score that first goal and clamp up the defense, capitalize on some mistakes in the neutral zone or at the defensive blueline. Of course, if the Flyers fall behind a goal, they will have to manage the puck with authority, making sure they limit their turnovers, because the Blackhawks are very good at capitalizing on those chances themselves.
For the home team, the strength of their team isn't so much controlling the tempo of the game, rather feeding off the energy of their opponent and then finding a way to surgically beat them at their own game. We've seen the Blackhawks come from behind in a number of games, go up early and hang onto a lead, close everything down defensively and even be the flatter of the two teams for a good portion of the game, only to come back and win. The Blackhawks are a team no one can count out and now we're at the biggest dance of them all, they will be looking to continue that sort of play with their eyes on the prize. I expect them to weather a bit of a storm from the Flyers to start, but then come in waves, forcing the play and making good on turnovers.
|Team||Scott G.||Myles D.||Neil B.||Leo M.||Derek B.||Kalenab G.||Russ D.||Stuart G.|
|James Van Riemsdyk||x|
I'm not expecting another massive 6-5 game tonight, but I'm sure the hockey pool would love to see another one. I think it's fair to assume anything more than 10 points behind Scott G. is pretty well finished, but I'm keeping everyone around for illustration and sheer interest. I think by now, we all know how this is going to shake down, so I don't think I really need to go over it again.
Here's hoping for another rocking game in Game Two and I, personally, since I have no stock in either of these teams, I wouldn't mind another 6-5 game... maybe even 8-7. That'd be good.