Archive for Chicago Blackhawks

Game Recap: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Posted in Game Summaries with tags , on January 23, 2011 by Josh Getzoff

Corey Crawford for the Chicago Blackhawks (16-8-2) vs. Sergei Bobrovsky (19-6-3) for the FLYERS.

1ST PERIOD

–  Scoreless first period with the ‘Hawks outshooting the Flyers 11-9.

2ND PERIOD

–  Jeff Carter (21) opens the scoring after a scramble in front of the Chicago net.  Claude Giroux and Nikolay Zherdev with the assists.

3RD PERIOD

–  Nikolay Zherdev (15) completes a wrap-around with stunning speed and buries the puck past Crawford to make it 2-0 Flyers. Giroux with the assist.

–  Jeff Carter (22) scores his second of the game to make the score 3-0, redirecting a pass to the front of the net.  Giroux with the helper.

–  Marian Hossa snaps Bobrovsky’s shutout with a penalty shot goal to make it 3-1 Flyers.

–  After pulling Crawford for the extra attacker, the Flyers bury an empty netter from Scott Hartnell (17) to make the score 4-1.  Jeff Carter with the assist, as well as Claude Giroux.

Flyers 4, Blackhawks 1

Shots were 34-31 Flyers.

Powerplays were 0 for 2 with both teams.

USA Today: The First Meeting Since, Well, You Know When…

Posted in Flyers Thoughts, Game Previews with tags , , on January 23, 2011 by Josh Getzoff

BIG DIFFERENCES FOR BLACKHAWKS, FLYERS IN STANLEY CUP REMATCH

…Unlike the last meeting between these two teams, there is no Stanley Cup on the line for the winner of this game.  With that being said, the Flyers need to make a statement Sunday afternoon in Chicago by showing the Blackhawks that while they may have been the better team last year, the Orange and Black are the team to beat this time around.  I expect them to do that, especially with no Dustin Byfuglien to worry about in a ‘Hawks sweater.

Series Recap: STANLEY CUP FINAL – Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Posted in Game Summaries with tags , , on June 11, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

The incredible run of the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers came to a crushing halt Wednesday night on the Wachovia Center ice.  Patrick Kane slipped an overtime marker past Michael Leighton and the Blackhawks claimed their first Stanley Cup since 1961 – leaving the Flyers 0 for their last 6 in Stanley Cup Final appearances.  It’s a tough pill to swallow for the Flyers and their fans, and while the wound is still fresh today, it is healing slightly a little better than it was yesterday.  The Flyers enjoyed a remarkable ride en route to the franchise’s first Cup Final appearance since 1997.  As a seven seed, they knocked off the two-seeded New Jersey Devils in five games in round one, made history when they came back to eliminate the Boston Bruins in seven games in round two, and dispatched the Montreal Canadiens in five games in the Eastern Conference Final to claim hold of their first Prince of Wales trophy in 13 years.  This was a team that was 14th in the Eastern Conference at one point this season, and made a coaching switch midway through the year that started with the team losing seven of its first nine under Peter Laviolette.  However, they bought into his system, they kept believing, and now they are going to be able to raise a banner at the Wachovia Center next season.  Although it may not be the ultimate goal, I think we can all agree that “2010 Eastern Conference Champions” is pretty sweet.

Now, onto my series recap.  Obviously, all the points here will be Flyers related, so when my Series MVP isn’t a ‘Hawk, don’t get all crazy on me.  I know this, and I did it purposely.  I’ve broken it up into three categories: 1) Series MVP, 2) Series Turning Point, 3) Why the Flyers Lost.  I left out the “What has to change for the next series” category, because, well, there is no ‘next series’.  That is, until, next postseason….

1) SERIES MVP: Danny Briere, Right Wing.

Many will argue Ville Leino should be here, and many others will say Scott Hartnell was more deserving.  However, in my opinion, it was the third part of that line that was easily the most important – and certainly the most valuable.  Danny Briere finished the postseason as the leading point scorer in all of the National Hockey League.  He had twelve points in the six game series against Chicago – easily making him the highest scoring player in the series, and finished the playoffs with 12 goals and 18 assists.  While many – myself included – look for more from Briere in the regular season because of his gigantic contract, there’s certainly no denying that he earns his paycheck when the year matters most: the playoffs.  His speed and skill were heavily on display throughout the entire postseason, and I think that despite his regular season struggles, Briere has completely endured himself to the Flyers’ fan base with his postseason performance.  He made the most of his first career appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and let’s hope it’s in the cards for him to make a few more return trips there in the Orange and Black.

2) SERIES TURNING POINT: Game Four’s Final Minutes.

I understand the reasoning as to why Game Five may be many people’s turning point for this series, but it was not.  Instead, this series took a turn for the worst for the Flyers with less than ten minutes remaining in the Flyers’ 5-3 Game Four victory over Chicago.  Sure, the Flyers won the game, and ultimately evened up the series at two games a piece, but that wasn’t the bigger story.  The more important, and far more telling fact of Game Four was that in the period’s final minutes, ‘Hawks coach Joel Quenneville switched up his lines, and Chicago absolutely dominated the play.  The Flyers couldn’t clear the puck from the defensive zone if their lives depended on it, and Chicago smelled blood with their newfound momentum.  They carried that same strategy that came up just short in Game Four into Game Five, and ran the Flyers literally out of Chicago and on the next flight back to Philadelphia.  It was certainly a much tighter game in Game Six – hence the score being tied after sixty minutes and heading into overtime – but with their new line combinations, Chicago still dominated heavily and controlled the play for long durations of the game.  The new lines gave Chicago new life, and ultimately a Stanley Cup.  We can thank the furious push from the ‘Hawks in Game Four for re-installing the confidence needed to be successful in the playoffs and tight situations.  It’s the reason there’s a parade in Chicago today.

3) WHY THE FLYERS LOST: Antti Niemi was (slightly) better than Michael Leigthon/Brian Boucher.

Game One: 5 goals, Game Two: 1 goal, Game Three: 4 goals, Game Four: 5 goals, Game Five 4 goals, Game Six: 3 goals.  Antti Niemi was not magnificent.  In fact, most of the time – aside from Game Two – he wasn’t even consistently all that good.  However, he managed to somehow be just a little bit better than the Flyers goaltenders Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher.  Boosh relieved Leighton twice in tight, high scoring games in Chicago (1 & 5), but took home the loss in each contest.  Niemi was never pulled, although no one would have questioned Quenneville had he done it at specific points in the series.  Instead, the Finnish Fortress was just simply OK.  And, with how the goaltending went in this series, OK was “good enough”.  Niemi made two critical stops in Game Six to Leighton’s one.  Leighton’s toe save on Jonathan Toews with under six minutes to go paved the way for Scott Hartnell’s goal that tied the game in regulation.  However, Niemi’s breakaway save on Simon Gagne early in the second, and his acrobatic flop to stop Jeff Carter in the waning minutes of the third period were truly the game savers.  In the end, I must reluctantly say, it was Niemi>Leighton/Boucher.

Game Recap: STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 6 – Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Posted in Game Summaries with tags , on June 10, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

And just like that, the dream is over.

In the blink of an eye, in the quickness of a Patrick Kane stutter-step, the Chicago Blackhawks staved off a furious push from the Flyers late in Game Six and claimed their first Stanley Cup since 1961.  Kudos to the Blackhawks for playing a tremendous series: they were definitely the better team, and I think it’s obvious that they got better as the series went on. 

Still, I more than tip my cap to the Philadelphia Flyers.  They restored the Prince of Wales to his rightful home in the City of Brotherly Love and I’ve realized that lost in all this Stanley Cup hoop-lah surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks, is that the Eastern Conference goes through the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wachovia Center in 2010-2011.  It will be a long off-season for the Flyers, who came two wins – and perhaps a crushing overtime goal to send this to a Game Seven – from wining the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 35 years.  However, it simply wasn’t meant to be.  How the hockey Gods can make it so that Ben Eager gets to sip from the silver chalice before Ian Laperriere is beyond me, but so it goes. 

Chicago deserved to win Game Six, it’s that simple.  They were quicker than the Flyers, and while the men in Orange and Black looked like their legs had given out on them and their bodies were running on empty, the Blackhawks looked like they had received an extra jolt of energy, and were ready to rock at puck drop.   They outworked the Flyers for literally 55 of the 60 minutes of regulation time, and the fact that the Flyers sent the game into overtime was a prayer in itself.

The Flyers gave us all a wild ride in 2009-2010

I don’t want to go over what happened in this game, because I’m sure you all know.  The ‘Hawks jumped out to a lead, the Flyers evened it up, the Flyers gained the lead, the ‘Hawks evened it up, then the ‘Hawks got the lead, and the Flyers tied it up, before the ‘Hawks claimed the Cup in overtime.  I felt like it would only do the Flyers justice to put even a small post up today, but I seriously mean it when I say that this takes almost all the remaining energy out of me.

I’m crushed by what took place last night.  Maybe I made things worse on myself by sitting there and watching that midget Gary Bettman come out on the ice literally from right below my seats in section 122.  Maybe I shouldn’t have watched Jonathan Toews come claim the Conn Smythe and the Stanley Cup.  Maybe I shouldn’t have seen Marian Hossa get the Cup in person and watch the euphoria he experienced when he raised it over his head.  Maybe I shouldn’t have watched the Blackhawks parade around the ice.  However, I’m kind of glad I did deep down.  I saw that happen live, and it made me crave for the day when Mike Richards and the Flyers will take part in the finale.  Guys like Danny Briere and Ian Laperriere, Blair Betts and Scott Hartnell – these men deserved a better fate.  But really, what can you do?  How do fans get through this off-season?  How do the Flyers get through this off-season?  Their professionals, I guess, so it’s just part of their job, but this one is going to sting personally for me for a long time.  It’s never easy when the Flyers are bounced from the playoffs, but this was the longest run of theirs that I have experienced in my life. 

And now, it’s over. 

What do I do now?

Wait ’till next year?

Sigh.

GAME PREVIEW: STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 6 – Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Posted in Game Previews with tags , on June 9, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

The Game: The Philadelphia Flyers will look to conjure up yet another miracle in a season that’s been full of them and force Game Seven tonight in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.

The Chicago Blackhawks took Game 5 by a final score of 7-4 to stretch their Stanley Cup Final series lead to three games to two.  If  Chicago is in front at the final buzzer tonight, they are the Stanley Cup Champions.  The Flyers will want to make sure that the first ever presentation of the Stanley Cup on the Wachovia Center ice is not to a visiting opponent.  It won’t be easy by any means, and this Flyers team is really going to have to dig deep and work hard, but they can force a Game Seven tonight if they really give it their all.

The Story: There is no tomorrow for the Philadelphia Flyers.  Sure, we’ve said this before on this blog, and we’ve heard it numerous times throughout the mainstream media when the Flyers have faced elimination in the past.  However, tonight there is added pressure.  A loss by the Flyers would not only end their season, but it would begin a summer-long celebration of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the 2010 Stanley Cup.  And winning the Cup on the Wachovia Center ice, nonetheless.  I don’t think there is one Flyers fan that would be able to live with the sight of Jonathan Toews accepting the Stanley Cup from Gary Bettman in South Philadelphia.  So, how is it avoided?  The answer is simple, yet the ability to achieve it is anything but easy: the Flyers MUST win tonight.  We talked about Games Three and Four being must-wins for Philadelphia if they were going to get back into this series, and the Flyers came through with two straight victories – the first time the ‘Hawks had been beaten in back to back games this entire postseason.  Now, however, the Flyers must beat Chicago back-to-back to claim the franchises third Stanley Cup, but it will all begin with a win tonight in South Philadelphia.  There is no option to lose; the Flyers must win and will themselves to victory.

Who to Watch on the Blackhawks: Dustin Byfuglien, Right Wing.

Byfuglien got into his unstoppable zone Sunday Night in Game Five

“Big Buff” finally came out of his cage in Game Five against the Flyers, tuning them up for four points as Chicago cruised to a 7-4 win.  The Flyers had little answer for Byfuglien, and he knew it.  He planted himself in his office – directly in front of the Flyers’ goal – and made life miserable for the Flyers in the defensive end.  He even crunched Chris Pronger a few times in the game.  It’s safe to say this now, and I hate to admit it, but if Byfuglien has a similar game in Game Six as he did in Game Five, chances are he’ll be raising Lord Stanley’s Cup later this evening.  He has five points in this series: he assisted on a goal in Chicago’s Game Two win, and, as I said earlier, contributed two goals and two assists in the Game Five victory.  The Flyers having last change tonight should help them, but if Byfuglien is confident, look out.  He could burn the Flyers, and burn them big.  Philadelphia can’t be afraid to leave it all on the ice tonight and battle for every loose inch of ice on the rink.  That starts with making sure every single trip Byfuglien has to the front of the net is a nasty one.

The Skinny: The Flyers will look to continue this incredible run tonight with a victory at the Wachovia Center and send the series back to Chicago for a decisive Game Seven.  It won’t be easy, but it’s possible.  The Flyers fans in attendance tonight – I’ll be one of them – will undoubtedly be loud, but will also be vulnerable.  A slight tilt in play on the ice in Chicago’s favor may do the Flyers in.  They can’t let up tonight – they have no choice.  A loss, and they’ll be faced with an entire off-season questioning what could have been.  If you win tonight, you at least guarantee yourself a Game Seven.

Notes: Michael Leighton will get the nod in-goal for the Flyers tonight, Chicago will counter with Antti Niemi in between the pipes.  There have been rumors that Dan Carcillo may re-enter the lineup for Philadelphia tonight, and that they would only use five defenseman.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  I think the group the Flyers went with in Game Five can win them a game tonight – they just picked a horrendous time to have an off-game in the fifth game of this series.  Still, as always, stay tuned to my Twitter for constant updates.  The home team has yet to lose in this series and the Flyers are 9-1 on home ice.  The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t won a game in Philadelphia since 1996 (0-10), and have lost all three contests in the building thus far.  Another 8 PM start tonight, as always.  Let’s Go Flyers.  We Believe.

Updates: Stanley Cup Champion Swag Leaked

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Thanks to Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy the hats and caps that either the Philadelphia Flyers or Chicago Blackhawks will be sporting after their respective franchise has captured the Stanley Cup have been leaked to the masses. 

Hopefully this gear isn’t debuted tomorrow night in South Philadelphia, and the hats and caps decided to come out of the woodwork in Orange and Black Friday night in The Windy City.

Just for the record: the shirts and hats are incredible and if the Flyers are fortunate enough to win these final two games, I will buy all four of the shirts, and both hats. With what this team has been able to accomplish so far, money no longer is an object.

Have a look….

To the victor, go the spoils...

Updates: A Desperate Flyers Team is a Confident Flyers Team

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , on June 8, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Thanks to a 7-4 defeat in Game Five of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, the Philadelphia Flyers are once again on the brink of elimination this season.

Danny Briere and the Flyers once again face a do-or-die in Game Six

Of course, elimination hasn’t necessarily meant bad things for the Philadelphia Flyers this season.  Let’s take a look at what they’ve been able to accomplish in elimination games this season:

Winning a shootout in Game 82 of the regular season for the East’s final playoff spot?  Check.

Beating Boston in Games 4-7 after falling behind 0-3 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series?  Check, check, check, and – you guessed it, check.

So now, it comes time for another elimination game.  Like three of the previous five elimination game victories, this contest will be played at the Wachovia Center.  Extra motivation?  The Flyers are an incredible 9-1 in front of the Orange Crush this postseason.  Now, however, the Flyers face the ultimate elimination situation.  The Chicago Blackhawks will come into South Philadelphia on Wednesday night with the chance to claim their first Stanley Cup since 1961.  The Flyers? Well, a win from them tomorrow night would force a decisive Game Seven Friday night in Chicago – and yet another nail biting elimination situation.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi has more on the situation on Philly.com:   FOR FLYERS, DESPERATION INSPIRES CONFIDENCE