NHL Hockey – Stanley Cup Finals Free Predictions: Flyers vs Blackhawks – Game 5
Series tied 2-2
Flyers: +170 +1.5 (-180) Over 6 (+110)
Blackhawks:-200 -1.5 (+160) Under 6 (-130)
Flyers vs. Blackhawks Game Five Preview
The Stanley Cup Final heads back to Chicago for Game 5 on Sunday night with more questions to the Hawks than answers. What happened to the Blackhawk dominance, the discipline and the free wheeling team that we have become accustomed to in this year’s post season?
It may just be that the Philadelphia Flyers have an incredible game plan for the skilled Hawks.
The Philadelphia Flyers have to be feeling pretty good about their play going into Game 5.
They have been physical, smart and opportunistic. The Flyers look like a team that wants the Stanley Cup more than the Chicago Blackhawks. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter (empty net) both scored for the Flyers who have been depending on secondary scoring so far in the playoffs.
It is a good sign that the big guns are on the board and that the secondary players (Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino) have kept up their great play.
Chris Pronger is a stud – nothing else to say. But he is being helped out by his other d-mates. Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle have been pleasant surprises – Carle has a goal and two assists on the last two games. Michel Leighton is money at home and a little shaky on the road.
It should be interesting to see how he responds after a strong Games 3 and 4.
The Chicago Blackhawks got out worked, out hustled and lost puck battles for 45 minutes on Friday night but woke up with a spirited 15 minutes that almost won them the game.
Toews, Kane and Byfuglien have combine for one goal and four assists in the series and still the Hawks are even.
Some line juggling is in store for the Hawks by the sounds of it and if they play like they did in the third period of Game 4 they should be fine.
Hello? Anyone seen Jonathan Toews? You can’t tell me that Chris Pronger is playing that well. Toews looks tired and isn’t winning the battles that we are used to him winning.
Kane appears to be no match for the combination of size and speed that Philadelphia possesses. At least they broke through in the third period of Game 4.
Let’s hope that the Hawks learned a thing or two from that period because it has been the only time that they have been utterly dominant in the series.
Defensively, outside of Duncan Keith, who turned in one of the most impressive games I’ve ever seen by a defenseman and Brent Seabrook, the Hawks defense wasn’t that good.
Mistakes by Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Sopel led directly to Philadelphia goals. They have been for the most part overmatched by a bigger and more tenacious team. Smart, quick transition out of their own zone is something that the Hawks do very well, but haven’t so far in the series.
Antti Niemi is not looking like the Superman that we’ve seen before either.
The winner of Game 5 will likely win the series.
Chicago loves playing at home and will need the crowd to rally them. I just see them as a struggling team and one that looks overmatched at this point of the season. Philadelphia is rolling and looking like the team that wants it more.
The oddsmakers surprisingly have Flyers as pretty big dogs – I don’t buy it!
NHL Betting Trends:
Philadelphia is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games
Philadelphia is 7-15 SU in its last 22 games on the road
Chicago is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
Chicago is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
Game 5 Pick: Philadelphia Flyers