The Hawks overwhelmed the Flyers, plain and simple. The three-goal first period all but nailed the coffin shut for Philly, although they fought back valiantly all game.
Give credit to the Chicago coaching staff, they used the last change to their advantage and kept their big guns away from Chris Pronger. Apparently, second line players are Pronger’s kryptonite. The towering d-man was a minus-5 tonight after going plus-7 in the first four games of the series. In fact, Pronger was on the ice for six Chicago goals, but Brent Seabrook’s first-period tally came with the man advantage.
Again, the goaltending was less than impressive on both sides. Antti Niemi played well enough for his team not to lose, which appears to be the trend for this Cup Final. I’m sure game six will mirror that trend. After all, every game, save for one, has been a shootout.
I don’t know who will take game six, I truly don’t. Neither team has shown up and played their true style of hockey for back-to-back games this series. If Chicago can come out like gangbusters on the road Tuesday, the Blackhawks will win the Cup. But, you just can’t count out home ice in this series, it has proven to be too valuable of a commodity.