Flyers’ Biggest Stars Aren’t producing in the Finals

flyers pronger

Much has been made of the Chicago Blackhawks‘ top line struggles during these 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. At least up until game 5, when the Hawks’ young stars and big names broke through to help give Chicago it’s most dominating game of the postseason.

But what about the Philadelphia Flyers? Captain Mike Richards, regular season MVP Chris Pronger, and key offensive weapon Jeff Carter were all big shooters all season long. And two of them have had big stretches this postseason. But what’s up with them now?

By Paul M. Banks

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Fans of Blackhawks down, concerned about game 5

blackhawks game 5

The mood along Madison Street and throughout Blackhawk Nation is markedly different than it was just one week ago. Last week, in Chicago fans’ minds, the Hawks had already won the Stanley Cup. The next four games were a mere formality. Now, however, that opinion has turned from supreme confidence to overwhelming worry.

The worry that Blackhawks fans are feeling today is not without reason. After winning the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Blackhawks have played two very poor games of hockey. In Games 3 and 4, the Hawks looked slow and tired. Check that, they looked more lethargic than an 87 year old with arthritis before their afternoon nap.

By Peter Christian

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Chicago Blackhawks playoff winning streak ends, still up 2-1

For Blackhawks fans the sound echoing in the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia is a lot like the air rushing out of a dude after said dude has been punched in the gut. The 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers in game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals wasn’t debilitating by any means but it was definitely a wake up call that there is still work to be done.

By Peter Christian

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More with Blackhawks Adam Burish

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Hands down, Chicago Blackhawks forward Adam Burish is the best soundbite in the city. In a world of “we’re just working hard,” “focusing on ourselves right now,” and “just need to play our game,” his golden quotes glitter even more brightly. So when I saw his table at Stanley Cup Final Media Day, I made sure to spend a good chunk of the day there, recording the observations and insights of this former Wisconsin Badger.

By Paul M. Banks

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Marian Hossa Hex wears off with 2 more wins

marian hossa

One of the Stanley Cup storylines being run into the ground during the 2010 Finals revolves around the Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa, and the fact that he was on the last two Stanley Cup losers. On Memorial Day, Hossa himself took a big step towards laying that oft-repeated storyline to eternal rest.

By Paul M. Banks

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Top two picks of ’07 Draft not impacting Stanley Cup very much

blackhawks playoffs

The 2010 Stanley Cup Finals features a match-up between the #1 and #2 overall picks in the 2007 NHL Draft. The Chicago Blackhawks took Patrick Kane first overall that June; the Philadelphia Flyers followed up by taking James Van Riemsdyk second. This marked the first time in NHL history that two Americans were picked 1st and 2nd overall in the same draft.

Both of these young players have played crucial roles for their teams this season, but neither has made a big impact during the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals.

By Paul M. Banks

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Stanley Cup would make Blackhawks Dramatic Franchise Transformation Complete

blackhawks

As recently as 2006-07, if you attended a Chicago Blackhawks game, you’d see the 300 level was about as populated as a nuclear testing site. For the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, people will pay north of $400 to STAND in these sections. With three more wins, Chicago can drink from the Stanley cup of life in 2010, and give this original 6 franchise a metamorphosis that would make Franz Kafka proud.

Quoting Talking Heads: “and you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”

By Paul M. Banks

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BlackHawks Niemi wins Game 1 battle of Goaltenders

Niemi

If one thing can be said of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals match-up of goaltenders it’s this- no one expected these two (Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Niemi and Philadelphia Flyers: Michael Leighton) to be here. Cristobal Huet, the Hawks’ multi-million dollar man with serious self-confidence issues was the team’s starter up until midseason when the stellar rookie Niemi replaced him.

Leighton took over for injured Flyers starter Brian “Waterboy” Boucher in the Eastern Conference semis, and hasn’t looked back. Both goalies came into the Finals en fuego this postseason, sporting stellar save and goals against (in Canada they say “goals a-GAINst”) averages. But both struggled to a degree Saturday night in game one.

But Chicago’s net-minder weathered the storm and helped his team to a 6-5 victory.

By Paul M. Banks

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Stanley Cup Finals: The Story Lines

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The Stanley Cup Finals are only a day away, media day is over and we are getting antsy! We’ve already stated why the Blackhawks will win or lose, as well as the Flyers. We’ve already shared who the top 16 players to keep an eye on in the series are and yet we still can’t stop talking about the Cup. What on Earth can we do? Another draft of sorts? Absolutely.

By Peter Christian and Bryan Vickroy

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Stanley Cup Finals: Impact Player Draft

stanley cup

As much as we try to spread the word about the glorious sport of hockey, we know that more often than not our words fall on deaf ears. We preach about the game, the athletes, the history and the fans but rarely do we or does the game get an increase in followers. Well, now is the perfect time to jump in.

by Peter Christian and Bryan Vickroy

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An Exclusive with Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman Part2

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During the 2008 offseason, I had an exclusive in the office of current Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, who was Asst. GM, Hockey Operations at the time. Stan was born in Montreal where his father Scotty Bowman, the all-time winningest head coach in NHL history, was coaching at the time. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation; including many statements that have indeed come to fruition today.

By Paul M. Banks

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Two Sides of the Coin: Philadelphia Flyers Edition

The Flyers and their Fans celebrate winning the Eastern Conference Finals

The Flyers have the underdog luck and momentum on their side. As a 7 seed that waited until the final seconds of the regular season to secure their playoff fate, they’ve been riding the lightning ever since. Their route to the Stanley Cup Finals was an unconventional one as they knocked off the Eastern Conference’s #2 seed, #6 seed and #8 seed. Now they play a Chicago Blackhawks team that won 11 more games in the regular season and has lost a total of 12 less games in the regular season and post season combined. Do the Flyers have a chance? I’ve got your two sided outlook after the jump.

By Bryan Vickroy

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