Archive for May 31, 2010

Blackhawks Take Game 1, 6-5

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 by flyersfan44

Chicago's Tomas Kopecky scores the winning goal in the third period

Scott Hartnell scores

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was a shootout, with the Flyers and Blackhawks trading goals through the first two periods. Neither team played very well defensively. Flyers’ goalie Michael Leighton, who appeared nervous and fighting the puck early on, was pulled by coach Peter Laviolette in the second period in favor of Brian Boucher. Going into the third tied at five, the game was there for the taking. I commented at the time that if the Flyers play tight defense in the third, they only need to score one goal and could win it. Unfortunately, that’s what Chicago did, with Tomas Kopecky sliding a shot past an out of position Boucher for the only goal of the period. The Hawks controlled much of the play in the third up to that point.

The Flyers will need to play much better defensively to win the series. They cannot get into a run and gun shootout with Chicago. They have to cover well in front, keep the Hawks away from the net and, most importantly, prevent them from getting speed through the neutral zone.

Some positives from Game 1:
* The Flyers were able to put five goals in on Antti Niemi, making him look average. So, they can score on him.
* The Flyers took no penalties in the game, showing discipline and keeping the Hawks off the power play.
* Danny Briere had a goal and three assists, staying hot.
* Scott Harnell continued to play well as he has of late.
* The Flyers held Chicago’s top line of Kane-Towes-Byfuglien off the score sheet.
* The Flyers got goals from third and fourth liners, Blair Betts and Aaron Asham, so the balanced scoring remains.

Some concerns:
* Ryan Parent played only one shift. He was benched after a turnover led to a goal. The Flyers essentially have only five capable defenseman at this point.
* The Blackhawks won 68% of face offs.
* Leighton did not look particularly sharp. I’m not sure that Laviolette should have pulled him. Did this mess with his confidence?
* The Blackhawks were able to create scoring chances from their speed and the Flyers had difficulty containing it.