Game 4: Flyers 5, Blackhawks 3

So now it’s a best-of-3. 

Rather than rehash the details and re-open the wounds that have hopefully started to heal, let’s look on the bright side of things.  The Blackhawks outplayed the Flyers in the third period for the first time since Game 1.  They made the Flyers and their fans sweat out a 4-1 lead with less than 8 minutes to play.  This all coming after they were comfortably ahead from the end of the first period.  The Hawks had an ample amount of opportunities to tie the score but were just inches short on shots from Seabrook, Toews, and Sharp.

So there’s that. 

We said this series was going to painful and frustrating sometimes.  We wouldn’t ever lie to you.  The Flyers are a legitimate NHL contender who knows what’s at stake.  They’re not going to whimper away.  This is going to be a battle to the end. 

While I’m sure there are more than a few panickers among us, let me just say this:  You’ve stuck it out all season long.  There’s only three games at the most left.  What is there left to worry about; the Hawks are either going to win 2 out of 3 or they’ll lose 2 out of 3.  That’s it.  See, nothing to be afraid of.

With that, let me just address one particular situation that had me fuming at the end of the game.  Granted, this wasn’t why the Hawks lost or why they didn’t tie it, it was just a small little play that sent me up the wall.  And hey, this is a blog so where else would you see something like this.

Less than a minute to play, the Hawks had the Flyers pinned deep.  There were 4 forwards down deep digging for the puck on the right boards.  Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith are the point men.  With the Hawks clearly outnumbering the Flyers in any situation, it is imperative for the defensemen to stay on their points to keep loose pucks in.  

So with the Hawk forwards trying to win a board battle deep in the zone,  Patrick Sharp decides to stick his nose down there even though there were 3 Hawks already down there.  Can you guess what happens next? 

The Flyers gain possession of the puck and blindly fire the puck to the point.  A point that would’ve been covered had a defenseman being manning it.  Instead, Sharp was caught in between because he was thinking as a forward and the puck fluttered harmlessly to the neutral zone. 

There was no guarantee the Hawks would’ve ended up scoring on that sequence.  And like I said, it wasn’t the reason they lost.  It was just a stupid play at the end of a stupid game that really ticked me off.

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15 Responses to Game 4: Flyers 5, Blackhawks 3

  1. spudskie says:

    Only reason why the Hawks came back in the third was due to the fact that the Flyers took their foot off the gas pedal. They were content with a three goal lead and decided to hang on for the rest of the game.

    To me, the Flyers have been the more aggressive team this whole series and as far as I’m concerned, we should be very lucky the series is tied. So many have said that the Hawks have yet to play their “A” game, perhaps the reason why may have something to do with the Flyers.

  2. John says:

    I didn’t think the Flyers outplayed the Hawks that badly in the overall game. The first period was ugly no doubt, but the rest of the game, I thought, was pretty much nip/tuck.

    This whole series has been back and forth. That’s what happens when two good teams play each other. The luck has pretty much evened out after these last two games (two posts in Game 3, puck flipping on its side to cross over the line for the 2nd goal and the mad scrambles in front of Leighton tonight where the puck was just hitting him). People get so focused on when the Hawks get outplayed, they take the times when they control the tempo as status quo. It’s pretty even across the board if you ask me.

  3. Lee says:

    My opinion is the reason they lost two and were lucky to win two is the Flyers total domination of Toews and Kane. Without them, the Hawks become average!

  4. CT says:

    I’d say the Hawks lost because Hjalmarsson can’t clear a goddamned puck.

    And somebody should probably cover that Giroux guy.

  5. Rachel says:

    That ended up as a tense game last night. The Flyers need to realize that the Hawks have the capability to push until the end. The saying, “it’s not over until it’s over” literally applies to hockey. Last year in the Stanley Cup Final for the Penguins vs. the Red Wings (I am a BIG Penguins fan) the Red Wings shot on Fluerry with 2 seconds left; he barely saved it, and they shot again, a beautiful shot with 0.4 seconds left – it literally almost went in, and if it did, that meant there would have been an OT. So, the Flyers could win, but they need to push harder.

  6. DJ says:

    This team has played like absolute garbage the last two games, with little intensity and even less intelligence. And they still could win this.

    But not without a serious attitude adjustment. They need to play hard and smart for sixty minutes. If that’s too much for them to think about, just play a good, hard shift. Then another. And another.

    And any time Jonathan Toews wants to start playing like the “C” calls for is fine by me.

  7. Dave Morris says:

    CT is always right.

  8. Big Tony says:

    Some actual defense would be nice. That goal by Giroux was plain embarrassing.

    Can the Flyers score without a power play, defensive lapse/giveaway or a lucky bounce? My god…

    I hope Toews and Co weren’t planning on what to do with the Cup after game 2. That’s what it looks like to me.

    The winner of game 5 wins the series. We better show up with some heart for once in this series. I’ll never live it down if we lose the finals to a team with a talentless hack in goal.

  9. CT says:

    BT – Did you live down Tom Barrasso?

    Does anybody think we’ll see some changes from Q for game 5? Personally, I’d like to see Brouwer with Kane and Toews and Buff playing with Hoss and Sharp. Make that way you get either Kane or Buff away from Pronger at least.

  10. Big Tony says:

    Barasso was Jacques Plante compared to Red Light Leighton.

  11. Lou says:

    The heart that this team shows is absolutely missing. Toews has to find a way. Others need to step up. Kids need warrios now. We need to stop being afraid or hesitant or whatever and just leave it all on the ice. Frankly, maybe it’s time to take a run right at fucking Pronger. Wallop Giroux. Pull hartnell’s hair.

    Q better bring his A game too. Petey has had his number. Mental lapses on the ice are attrubtable to the player but knowing what to do comes from the bench. Perfect Practice makes for Perfect Play. Smart strategy has to come from the bench. Maybe the line matching over-exhuberence needs to line rolling. Let our guys play hockey and make plays.

    Clear the puck take a hit to catch them in over pursuit. Good things happen when you put the puck on the net so put the fucking puck on the net. PK like we are capable of. Take it to Pronger and make him skate all over the place.

    And, anyone at the game feel free to treat Flyer fans the same way the treat us.

    I said game 3 was the watrermark game. I guess I was wrong. Game 5 just might be it…

    Our Time is now.

    And for God’s sake play hard the first minute after a goal. Last two games that absolutely screwed us.

  12. Big Tony says:

    Agreed about the Hawks playing hard after a goal. They seem to think the Flyers are going to crumble after we score….they’re going to fight back even harder. We need to get a lead, play with it and make them respond to what we do, not the other way around.

    Winner of game 5 wins the Cup. No excuses anymore. We lose to a team we’re better than, we don’t deserve to win.

  13. Nick says:

    There needs to be a lot less running around in our own zone. The Hawks were constantly out of position, i.e., the Giroux goal.

    Toews, to me played fine last night, but he can’t be the only one giving that kind of effort. Kane needs to make his presence felt and start working his magic. I would say Sharp needs to not be on the point, but why bother? Q loves him some forwards at the point all season, so why would he stop now.

    This series is what I’ve been afraid of and this is why I wanted Montreal to win. Nashville’s aggressive forecheck wore the Hawks out in a bad way. If they had some more skilled forwards, no doubt in my mind the Preds send the Hawks packing in the 1st round.

    Guess what? The Flyers are doing what Nashville did to be successful. Instead of Jason Arnott, Marcel Goc, Joel Ward, and the like, we have Mike Richards, Danny Briere, Simon Gagne and company getting chances and outworking the Hawks. Quite a significant upgrade, no?

    Hopefully, the Hawks show the effort that they did in the last 8 min last night for the duration of this series. I’m still confident that they will solve the Philly forecheck and perhaps get a fortuitous bounce or 2 and close this out in 6.

  14. illinikc33 says:

    I agree w/ BT re: Philly’s propensity to score really strange goals the past 2 games, especially last night. Maybe I’m the only one who felt this way, but I thought we dominated them last night. It seemed like we spent most of the time in their zone, and the shot disparity was not as large simply b/c they did an excellent job of blocking shots, which means we ended up shooting to miss the net a bunch also.

    Niemi has been bad these last 2 games, especially last night. The first goal is inexcusable, and he should have been aware of that ass-bandit camping out for goal 3. The second one was impossible to stop, and the one off Versteeg’s back was just stupid. Hopefully he finds his groove again, because while he has made some very good individual saves recently, he hasn’t been the rock that he was in the previous series.

    One bright spot was our PK; it was amazing last night, so it looks like Q found something and they players are doing well to exploit it.

    Look, it was 2-2 in Calgary and Vancouver last season, and 2-2 v. Nashville, and we all know what happened there. This team has been there before, and they know how to handle it. Let’s get it done.

  15. JimH says:

    The goals in the last 90 seconds of the period have become a real pain in the ass. Phil Jackson used to always drill it into his players’ heads that they must finish quarters strong. This has been a recurring negative theme this series as well as all year long. Remember the regular season Philly/Hawk game? Outplay them for 55 minutes and end up losing on a last second goal.

    And give Philly props. They play with a lot of heart and are really good in their defensive zone at taking away time and space. Toews and Kane are really frustrated, and the reason is Pronger. Hossa has been a monster. He’s the only guy I’ve seen take a run at Pronger and he’s done it multiple times. Would like to see him rewarded with a big game Sunday.

    These teams are pretty evenly matched and it seems like every other goal is the result of a fortunate/unfortunate bounce. Hopefully the puck bounces the Hawks’ way the rest of the series.

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