Cliffhanging Flyers have Hawks right where they want them
PHILADELPHIA -- For the Chicago Blackhawks, the security threat level is distinctly orange.
In a Stanley Cup Final with little rhyme, reason and goaltending, there is no reason to suspect that the Hawks' joyride two days ago was anything more than an aberration, a gaudy one-off that will have no carry-over into Game 6 against a team that bounces back like Wile E. Coyote after he falls off a cliff.
"You've seen what they've done all season long," Chicago center
As Flyers coach
Faced with their fifth elimination game of the spring, the Flyers simply shrug. Been there. Won that. Laviolette has routinely lavished praise on his players for their resiliency. It's possible that no team has ever been so vigorously cuffed around by the Fates and Furies. At this point, a win that sends the series back to Chicago for Game 7 seems like the least these Flyers can do. After essentially doing everything but dodging cars on the Schuylkill Expressway while juggling machetes to get to here, the Flyers figure to be as robust and dynamic as they have been in their other home games against the Blackhawks. Shoddy goaltending ultimately might kill then -- Chicago has scored nine goals in the past three-and-a-half periods -- but adversity will not.
"We know that coming back for Game 6 at home in front of our fans, we're a tough team to beat," left winger
For those who now accept the Flyers improbable as commonplace, here is an abridged reminder of the travails of a team too ornery to die:
So to recap: Leighton has been pulled twice in five games in the final, Chris Pronger is coming off a minus-five performance, and the top line is not producing.
Yes, the Flyers have the Blackhawks exactly where they want them.
Beyond cocooning Leighton more solidly, the Flyers must do a better job of settling on match-ups. Chicago coach
"We've been in this position before," Flyers winger