Game five of the Stanley Cup Final gets underway at 8pm tonight (CBC, NBC) and will likely be touted as the turning point of the series for the winner. I’m not so sure.
I truly feel that this series will be decided by home ice, therefore Philadelphia needs an inspired performance tonight to steal the advantage. The Flyers already showed they could take away momentum in games three and four, why can’t they keep this ball rolling into game five?
Chicago, on the other hand, just needs to play their game. On paper, and sometimes on the ice, Chicago is the far better team. Hell, they went goal-for-goal with Philly in game one and finally imposed their will on the visitors to take the first victory of the series. The Dustin Byfuglien/Chris Pronger match-up has been a snoozer. Mostly because Pronger has neutralized Big Buff and Mike Richards; line have taken away time and space from Jonathon Towes and Patrick Kane.
Games three and four were very similar to games one and two, it was a simple case of role reversal. In Chicago the Flyers top guns were neutralized as was the top line for the Blackhawks. However, players like Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland et. al. stepped to the plate and help take those two games. In Philadelphia, it was the other way around. Daniel Briere and Claude Giroux provided the Flyers with secondary scoring and they were the victors.
Then who takes game five? Its a tough call between home ice and momentum. I like Chicago tonight just because the Madhouse on Madison will be rocking and both teams have proven winning on the road this series is going to be difficult. Final: Chicago 4 – Philadelphia 2