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« There Can Be Only One (2010 Champ, That Is) A Perfect Ending: White Sox Split Four Game Series Against Tampa Bay »

Blackhawks Sun May 30 2010


A few quick thoughts on tonight's thrilling 6-5 Game 1 win for the Blackhawks before a short Memorial Day holiday and Game 2 Monday night.

First, and foremost, if all the games are this edge of your seat, anxiety-filled contests, I'm not sure I'll survive to the end of this series. Though neither goalie was strong (especially the Flyers Michael Leighton giving up 5 goals on 20 shots), the pace and back-and-forth scoring created an intense atmosphere worthy of a Cup final.

Also worthy of the Stanley Cup, the national anthem at the game tonight was deafening, probably the loudest it's been this year and possibly in the history of the UC. Jim Cornelision did a fantastic job, what little you could hear him.

If you had told me before the game there would be 11 goals and neither the Hawks nor the Flyers top lines would factor in any of them, I'd have taken that bet. Kane, Toews and Byfuglien were neutralized all night, as were Richards, Carter and Gagne. But the 2nd line of the Hawks, with Troy Brouwer's 2 goals and an assist, Marian Hossa's 2 assists and Patrick Sharp's goal, dominated all game long. Philly's Ville Leino, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere (1 goal, 3 assists himself) lead the Flyers all game long as well.

Tomas Kopecky, welcome back. After being a healthy scratch, Kopecky scored the game winner in the 3rd and had a pretty assist on Kris Versteeg's goal in the 2nd. With Andrew Ladd out, Kopecky stepped in and played a fantastic game, and his tally was well-deserved and sent the United Center crowd into a frenzy.

The Hawks 4 penalties to none from Philadelphia was a tough obstacle to overcome, but holding the Flyers to 1-for-4 on the powerplay, while connecting on a shorthanded goal, is a nice way to neutralize a major disadvantage. Hard to believe there's been 2 games this postseason the Blackhawks have never drawn a penalty, but they're now 2-0 in those games. Despite that, they've got to make sure this doesn't happen again, no matter how things are being called.

Overall, Game 1 was a fantastic game to watch as fan, as both teams brought a lot of energy, a lot of shots, and a lot of goals, but were sloppy at times too. To avoid a repeat of this track meet, the Hawks are going to have to be better defensively and not allow so many second chances, and find a way to win more pucks. Through the first half of the game, though the bounces were going the Flyers' way, Philly was also getting the pucks they needed to before the Hawks came roaring back. While they weren't a disaster in their own end, it was the weakest they've looked since the Nashville series, and the Flyers are too good not to take advantage given another opportunity.

Still, the game showed heart, on both teams, but the Hawks had the extra edge to get a crucial Game 1 win.

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Brian Lauvray / May 31, 2010 1:19 PM

Pronger really neutralized Buff. If that keeps up, I'm sorta nervous.

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