*Update* VanRiemsdyk in, Carcillo and his bullshit antics out for tonight.
It's another huge game for Philadelphia in the sense that it's mostly a must-win situation. I don't see them making another miracle comeback if they go down 3 games to 1 to Chicago. Not many people do. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. It's a lot closer than most people thought it would be. All 3 games have been decided by only 1 goal, where a break here or there could have changed the outcome of the game. So far, it was a mad game 1, a more-cautious game 2 and then I think the teams "got eachother" by game 3, making it a classic nail-biter. It took a Chicago line-change mistake in OT for the Flyers to get the winning goal on a slap-pass effort from Matt Carle and Claude Giroux. (Remember when it seemed only the Sedins did the slap pass?)
Anyway, it's not so one-sided as many projected. I would prefer a Flyers win to drag this series out longer.
Here are some series stats:
-Goals: Chicago 11 Philly 10
-First Periods: Philly 29 Chicago 27
-Second Periods: Chicago 40 Philly 37
-Third Periods: Philly 38 Chicago 16
-Overall: Philly 105 Chicago 85. (Chicago outshot the Flyers 2-1 in OT in game 3)
-Faceoffs: Chicago has won 105 draws and lost 92. (They had won 40 and lost 24 in game 1)
-Power Play: Flyers 4-for-10, Chicago 0-for 6
The power play stats are alarming and amazing. Remember in the series preview I had mentioned that one of the biggest reasons the Flyers struggled earlier in the regular season was because they lacked discipline, and the team had made a decision to cut it out? Now look at them. Now it's the Stanley Cup Finals and they have only allowed 6 powerplays against. Even Chicago's 10 against isn't all that much. Have you noticed that the refs have put their whistles away in the Finals? I don't know whether to scream "AMEN!" or "INCONSISTENCY!" Probably both. Bottom line...keep the whistles in your pockets! This is fun to watch! And may this series be a lesson for next season. I hate fucking power play after power play....LAME!
The Blackhawks are a bit disappointed with what Chris Pronger gets away with on the ice, and on occasion I have to wonder myself. My evil side says: "It's Byfuglien he's crosschecking...who gives a fuck??" I lean towards the latter. Screw Buffy. He caused us so much grief. It's great seeing SOMEBODY neutralize and tire out that slab of beef. Are you with me? No? Pronger: is he doing a great job or what? See him smacking around Toews and Kane? I'm not gonna lie... seeing his composure with the puck makes me envious. I think the Canucks need a smart, mean, reliable guy like that on the blueline (visions of us being hemmed in our own zone slamming back and forth in my head). I praise Pronger with my Philly bias, but make no mistake: Duncan Keith is a stud as well. These guys are winners, and the Canucks do not have a guy like that on their D. Well, we have guys who we thought would be like that....
Anyway, I'm rambling (thanks Captain Morgan). Here are some player stats:
Scoring leaders in this series:
-Danny Briere: 6 points (2 G 4 A)
-Scott Hartnell: 5 points (2 G 3 A)
-Troy Brouwer: 4 points (2 G 2 A)
-Marian Hossa: 4 points (1 G 3 A)
-Ville Leino: 3 points: (2 G 1 A)
-Claude Giroux: 3 points (1 G 2 A)
-Chris Pronger: 3 points (3 A)
-about 10 players with 2 points
Jonathan Toews? 1 assist in this series. Same with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. You know, this series is showing how insanely important it is to have secondary and tertiary scoring. You could see that last year too when Crosby and Malkin were shut down in the Finals.
-Pronger and Hossa: +3
-Braydon Coburn: -6
-Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne: -5
-Mike Richards: -4
My god. The Flyers' top line...wow.
-God wants the Flyers to win the Cup. (Puck Daddy). Second on his list: world hunger, mormon annihilation and sex crime prevention
-Mr. Unpredictable: Ville Leino (TSN Video). Wasn't he a 3rd or 4th liner in Detroit? Clutch in Philly.
-watching Sopel under duress from the Flyers forecheck handling the puck this entire series has looked like a 17 year old trying to fingerbang with oven mitts on
That from Second City Hockey. Haha. If only I was that cunning. That slam after a bit of a compliment for Brent Sopel from SCH, who's ice time has increased as this series goes along. In my opinion, I have seen some great defensive stuff from Sopel, especially in his shot-blocking. But yeah, we Canucks fans remember his bonehead plays...yes we do.
-Can you believe that Game 3 was the first game the Hawks lost since May 9 against the.....Canucks, yeah. They had won 7 in a row.
-Finally...hat tip to Sarah Spain for posting this on Twitter...get your barf bags ready...
Look out Beasties....these white boys be takin over! Umm no. Clever clip though for a few hockey noobs. Good to see hockey thriving in Chi-town again.
Enjoy the game!