Game of the Night

2010 Stanley Cup Finals
Game 5: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks @ United Center
4-7 Final; Chicago lead the series 3-2

After their road game win-streak came to an end, the Blackhawks looked to find themselves (a better version of themselves) back home at the loud, rucous United Center.

In games 3 and 4 (especially 4), Mike Leighton had his best game of the playoffs as of date.  But tonight, it wasn't one of those.  After being terribly out-shot (13-7 for the Hawks) in the first period, the Philly hero let in three goals after the half-way mark of the period.  All 3 goals, came within 6 minutes of each other.  Now that's a major slip in your game.

For the Hawks, it was probably their best first period in Chicago, in this series.  After the first half ticked by, everything went the Chicago way.  The bounces were all in favour of the skaters in red.  The first rolling puck that didn't turn into a goal was a stroke of luck; the second was just a coincidence.  Then the third occurred and that's when you knew the Hockey Gods were loving Chicago.

It wasn't all a stroke of luck.  Chicago went to the net harder, played their game better, and yes, got a bit of luck.  But it wasn't all them.  A little falter in Leighton's game helped them out.

After those 13 shots and 3 goals, Peter Laviolette decided enough was enough and pulled Leighton out for the rest of the game, and put Brian Boucher back in.

The second period looked way too suck-y to follow the first period.  3 goals in within the 5 opening minutes?  Now that wasn't a good follow-up by the Hawks, but a better period than the first one.  Laviolette said that the first 20 minutes, his team was the team watching the Hawks play.  Boy they defintely weren't watching in the second.

Things got a little scary in the third.  At one point in the game, Daniel Briere received a high stick right below his eye (and I mean damn close to his eye) from Duncan Keith off of a faceoff.  Briere immediately hit the ground, took off his helmet, and ran to the dressing room.  Unfortunately, because the official's back was to the penalthy, the Flyers did get the deserved 4 minute PP.  A couple of mintues later, Chris Pronger drew a 2 minute PP just when Briere got back from getting stiched up and cleaned off.

See, I'm not so crazy about this series right now.  The scores have been way too high for my taste.  11 goals (same as game 1) were scored tonight - 8 even-strength, 2 PPGs, and 1 EN.  Too many goals, man.  Too many goals.  Yeah, the Hawks played better (not so much Antti Niemi) and the Flyers didn't play as well as they did the previous two nights (especially Leighton).  But my golly - 11 goals?  That is way too many to be in the Stanley Cup finals!

Hopefully the game where the Cup is won (hopefully by the Hawks) the score isn't as high as it has been lately.  Please, do no surpass 5 goals in the game.

3 stars:
1) Dustin Byfuglien
2) Kris Versteeg
3) Patrick Kane

My 3 stars:
1) Jonathan Toews
2) Dustin Byfuglien
3) Daniel Briere

Oh my... that mouth guard...!!

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