Philly struck first, and I got my hopes up, and then the teams traded goals until the score reached 5-5.
And then I committed a cardinal sin of hockey nation; I fell asleep as the third period started. I would love to say that it was the result of too many alcoholic beverages while celebrating the Stanley Cup finals – but it was the result of the lack of sleep from having a newborn baby.
When I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to an infomercial; I quickly grabbed my phone to check the scores. Chicago 6 Philly 5.
In a game that saw Leighton pulled, neither goaltender looked spectacular – it just seems that defensive matchups were breaking down and offensive awareness was key, as it looked like the teams scouts did a great job setting up their respective teams in how to figure out Niemi and Leighton.
So it goes in the final series when playing for Lord Stanley, with the unbalanced schedule, the teams playing each other don’t have much more than video and scouting reports to go on – matchups are dreamt up in coaches heads on how to play against their opponents.
You can expect some lower scoring games from here on out. Both teams are going to shore up their defensive measures.
The good news is – at least for my playoff record is that Philadelphia showed Chicago that they can skate with them if they need to; and Chicago showed the Flyers that they are capable of playing the body as well.
One thing of note that I saw, was Chicago needs to reign in their intensity level, taking stupid penalties because of adrenaline is going to hurt them, despite the fact that they led the regular season and are leading the post season in short handed goals.
What Saturday night gave us was the opening of what is going to be a great series.