5.31.2010

Game of the Night


2010 Stanley Cup Finals
Game 2: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks @ United Center
1-2 Final; Chicago leads the series 2-0

After a high-scoring affair two nights ago, many looked for a different - no, a better - game from these two teams.   Because really, no one wants the finals to be boring, right?

Oh, how it was a different game.  None of these two teams were happy about their performances on Saturday night.  Chicago even admitted to having stolen the game from the Flyers.  Really, if it was based on performance, none of the two should have won.  But it's about who scores the most goals and who let's in the least, and Chicago was that team 48 hours ago.

Tonight was a huge step-up from game 1.  The defence from the forwards and defencemen was an improvement.  There were no breakdowns (at least majorly noticeable) down low or in the neutral zone, and they defintely played a more physical game.

And both goalies looked better.  Michael Leighton closed that door, but the minute breakdown he had in the final 4 minutes of the 2nd period was just enough for the Blackhawks to pounce on.  But the Flyers didn't give up.  They played the smart game that they needed and had a bigger physical edge than previously.

The support that Antti Niemi got from the red jerseys in front of him was so much better.  People who've actually watched Niemi have seen his poor rebound control.  The men in red helped clear those rebounds and keep the Flyers out of the zone as best as they could in front of Niemi.

Now... there are some things that were good and bad that should be mentioned, but just listen to the experts for that.  What I'm looking forward for game 3 is either the continuation of Philly's dominance at home, or Chicago's dominance on the road.  Now THAT will be interesting to see.

3 stars:
1) Antti Niemi
2) Marian Hossa
3) Ben Eager











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