- I hate predictions, and my track record probably shows why. But I feel fairly confident in picking Chicago to win over Philadelphia. The Hawks have so much depth, so much speed, and are a team built for now. The Flyers have some very good forwards and a surprising goaltender, and they are a better team than their last minute entry into the playoffs indicates. Still the Flyers are this year's Cinderella, and history shows us the clock always strikes midnight on Cinderella.
- The key to the Hawks is their depth and their speed. Their speed is generated by their great breakout game out of their own zone. They hit the opposing blue line flying and have eaten up far better back lines than what Philadelphia can offer. Philly will have to clog up the neutral zone and force Chicago to look for new breakouts. That's far easier said than done - just ask Nashville, Vancouver and San Jose.
- I'm disappointed the NHL is waiting for Saturday to starting the series. That would place game 7 on June 11th, which is far too late to be playing hockey. Starting on Thursday May 27th only moves things up 2 days, but it lessens the wait.
- By the way, all games start at 8pm EST/5pm PST. I'm glad to see no afternoon starts.
- Jonathan Toews vs. Mike Richards head to head should be a dandy. Canada's top two centers not named Crosby.
- No one seems to like Chris Pronger, and I think his lack of speed will be exposed by the Hawks. But one guy who may finally meet his match in Pronger is Dustin Byfuglien. Chicago would be fine with that - let those two battle leaving Matt Carle to defend against Toews and Patrick Kane. Did I already mention Chicago has just too much depth?
- I should take this moment to thank the Montreal Canadiens for a memorable playoff run. Jaroslav Halak, Mike Cammalleri, and the entire Habs journeyman group of blue liners really impressed me. That said Scott Gomez and, surprising to me anyways, Tomas Plekanec needed to bring more to the table than they did.
May 25, 2010
Puck On The 'Net: Chicago vs Philly
The Stanley Cup finals are set, with the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Philadelphia Flyers for game one on Saturday, May 29th. Here's Tuesday's Slap Shots:
at May 25, 2010