PHILADELPHIA – The chances of coming back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series are, oh, about once every 30 years or so. The Philadelphia Flyers don’t want to test how infinitesimal the chances are of doing it twice in the same playoffs.
Faced with a must-win situation in Game 3, though, the Flyers are a confident group, according to coach Peter Laviolette.
“The pressure, I’m not seeing it from our guys,” he said. “I don’t see it in the interviews. I don’t see it on the ice. I don’t see it in the locker room. It’s the beginning of June. We’re pretty happy to be here and the guys won’t quit. They just won’t. That’s why I sit up here today confident in our ability to win a hockey game tonight.”
The Chicago Blackhawks, meanwhile, have done a very good job of not getting ahead of themselves, despite the fact they are two wins away from the Stanley Cup and have won seven consecutive road games in the playoffs. It bears reminding that last year the Detroit Red Wings won the first two games at home over the Pittsburgh Penguins and it looked like it might be a short series, but the Penguins won both games at home and went on to win the Stanley Cup in seven games.
“We’re not looking past (Game 3), that’s for sure,” said Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp, a former Flyer. “We know what a challenge it is to play in this building and it’s going to be tough for us here. But I think it’s going to be a fun atmosphere and we’re all looking forward to it.”
DRY SPELL FOR TOP LINE
The Blackhawks have scored eight goals in this series so far and the top trio of Jonathan Toews between Dustin Byfuglien and Patrick Kane has scored one of them – and that was by Ben Eager, who was replacing Kane on the line after Kane had been stuck out for a long shift in Game 2.
All told, the three players have combined for one assist. It is a testament to Chicago’s depth that they have won both games with little contribution from the three, but there is little doubt they are frustrated. Part of the problem is Toews and Kane are getting the puck a lot less in this series.
“The biggest thing is that we were much better defensively (in Game 2) and we worked much harder on our own side of the puck,” Toews said. “That’s where we wanted to start, from the ground up, and we know the offense is going to come. It has worked out the last couple of games for our team where we didn’t have to score for us to win, but we know we want to come up big on one of these nights.”
In our post-game coverage after Game 2, we wrote, “Given the way this final has gone so far and the way the Chicago Blackhawks have played on the road in these playoffs, the guy who engraves the Stanley Cup might want to start brushing up on his spellings of Hjalmarsson and Byfuglien.”
But as THN.com reader John Boehne pointed out, the Stanley Cup engraver is Louise St-Jacques from Montreal. Every September, she takes the Cup to her studio at Boffey Promotions in Montreal and engraves the names of the Cup winners.
THN Puck Panel – What can the Flyers do to get back in the series?
PRODUCER: Ted Cooper
Ken Campbell is on the road following the Stanley Cup final and will be filing daily blogs until a champion is crowned.
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