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2010 Stanley Cup Finals: Blackhawks and Flyers still not at their best

Jun 1, 2010, 12:15 AM EDT

Carcillo8.jpg

This has been a very entertaining series to watch so far, especially
considering some of the bad blood that is developing between these two
teams.

Still, it’s sad to see both teams fail to play their best two games
in a row.

The Chicago Blackhawks are still waiting for some kind of production
from Toews, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien. Granted, Byfuglien
finally got a point in the game, yet the Flyers have done one hell of a
job negating the top line of the Blackhawks. Conversely, the Hawks have
shut down Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, with Simon Gagne finally
getting a goal in the third period.

The difference in this series has been the scoring depth of the
Blackhawks, something the Flyers have no way of matching game after
game. Both games have been just one-goal losses, so it’s impossible to
say that the Flyers have been grossly outplayed. Yet in a seven-game
series, if you take away the top lines for both teams there’s no
doubting which one of the Flyers and the Blackhawks will have the
advantage night after night.

The Flyers were able to score five goals on Saturday night behind
some timely goals by role players, despite their top forwards failing to
register a point. For the second game in a row, Mike Richards and Jeff
Carter struggled and it showed as the Flyers struggled to put together
an offensive attack in the first two periods. The Flyers finally found
their groove in the third period, yet the Flyers top players still
failed to get on the board.

Once again, the Flyers walked away feeling like they played well and
just needed to improve. After the game coach Peter Laviolette said his
team definitely finished better than they started.

“I think we could have started a little bit better tonight. I’m not
sure we should be frustrated,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think we got
outplayed. I think when you’re at the end of the night you’re going to
look at it again, probably outshot him, outchanced him a little bit and
didn’t get the results we were looking for.”

The Flyers certainly improved in Game 2, yet despite the coach
feeling they shouldn’t be frustrated are now down 2-0 headed back to
Philly. For the Flyers to have any chance of pulling off a comeback,
they’ll need to get much more from their top players.

The Blackhawks are facing a similar issue, still waiting for their
best game to show up. Thankfully, the Flyers were more concerned with
physicality and antagonizing the Blackhawks in the first period to worry
about putting together a full 60 minute effort. Once again, the
Blackhawks have relied a bit too much on the play of Niemi for their
success, something the coach Joel Quenneville hopes will change in
Philadelphia.

“We certainly didn’t want to spend that much time in our own end, and
the quality that they’re getting, we had to be better,” said
Quenneville after the game. “They’re coming, they’re pressing, and
they’ve got a lot of guys that can make plays.

“I think that’s,
you know, that was one of those games where we’d like to spend some time
in their end. We’d like to have some more puck-possession game, we
started the game the way we’d liked. Second period we might have been
fortunate coming out with some very timely goals.”

If the Hawks and the Flyers both continue to have struggles with
their best players producing, there’s no doubt the series favorites the
Blackhawks. With a 2-0 series lead now, Chicago also has a significant
advantage. Yet it’s been some timely saves by Antti Niemi and some bad
bounces for the Flyers to keep this series from being more in the favor
of Philadelphia, something the Blackhawks know must change moving
forward.

Once this series gets back to Philly, the Flyers will become a much,
much different team.

  1. Booner - Jun 1, 2010 at 8:02 AM

    Philly fans can blame Carcillo for getting off to a bad start in this game. He was only interested in taking cheap shots and talking shit with the Hawks. If he put more emphasis in playing the game instead of trying to be a badass then the Flyers have a better chance of winning.

  2. jkwas - Jun 1, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    What’s up with Carcillo? He is as crazy as he looks? That dumb look on his face reminds me a little of Charlie Manson. I guess that old “Broad Street Bullies” crap is still alive in Philly. Wonder when they will discover that BS may have worked 35 years ago, but is useless now.

  3. bud - Jun 1, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    I think they might be figuring that out about now, unfortunately Carcillo is closer to the skills of Donald Brashear than he is to Claude Lemieux, might be better off sitting him back down for Van Halen (or whatever the hell his name is) They can still get back in this series and the difference between the teams is obviously closer than most think, but I agree with you whole heartedly, it is time to just SHUT your mouth and play hard, there really is nothing left to prove, this is the last series regardless of how much you run your mouth!!!!

  4. woody - Jun 1, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    i think it was a foolish move to bring Carcillo in, The first game showed IMO. that Philly was able to compete. It wasn’t like they were getting smacked around so lets bring in the bad boys. Very confused by this move. Now they have to win at home against the best away team in the play offs.
    Sorry but it seems pretty clear who is taking the cup now BUT IT WILL STILL BE FUN TO WATCH!!
    PS. What is with the no calls on Pronger they keep showing the replays of the cross checking slashing yata yata yata but no calls.
    Stop showing it or call it because it is making a joke of the officals who are in the replays and not calling it.

  5. davec - Jun 1, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Goood job refs – I mean Chicago. Did you pay off the refs to have every call go your way? Like the 3rd period goal that tied it and the refs conveniently didn’t see?
    Flyers were down 3-0 and came back, so we laugh at 2-0. Besides, Chicago teams don’t win championships. Flyers in 6!

  6. slapshot - Jun 3, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Let’s face it, without the referees calling two totally bogus penalties against the Hawks (one called on Bufflin in front of the Flyers goalie as he is clearly being interfered with, cross checked, elbowed, slashed, etc.. and he Bufflin gets the penalty!!! BS—that call needs to be reviewed – big time- the ref should be demoted to high school games) there is no way on earth the flyers could have won the game on their own merit. The referees are clearly biased toward the Flyers and without the referees as the “7th man”, the Flyers just do not have what it takes to beat the Hawks. Referees do your damn jobs and quit interfering in the game. Quite frankly you should be fired… I hope someone is reviewing your crappy officiating. Despite that, the Hawks will still win the cup!!! Yes, they are just that good..

  7. adam markowski - Jun 4, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    I am so glad that someone agrees with me. I am a Hawks fan, but I’ll admit when a good call is made; however I have seen a number of missed calls in Philly’s favor; while Chicago penalties seem to be marginal. Byfuglien gets called for a slash on a slight backhand hit that breaks Pronger’s cheap stick, after two cross checks by Pronger that puts Byfuglien to the ice? It seems that every time a stick breaks, there’s a call against Chicago. Despite all that the Hawks are still up 2-1. I seriously hope the Hawks win in 5, just so whoever paid off the refs will have completely wasted their money.

  8. keith - Jun 5, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    i’m afraid your wrong, adam markowski, pronger had about 3-4 cross checks before byfuglein slashed him.

  9. Craig Kimble - Jun 5, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    What is up with all the no Calls on Philly!? and the bad calls as well. The NHL needs to replace these ref’s. I’m a Hawks fan, and I would like to see the Game called fairly. It’s like their only looking at the Hawks for penalties, and when they get a call from the booths, they call penalties on the Phillies when they shouldn’t, as if they’re trying to make up for the no-calls. Pronger is a big guy, so they shouldn’t be missing his penalties.

  10. belvidereslim - Jun 5, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    excellent

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