Stanley Cup Final, Game 5
United Center - 8:00 PM ET - Chicago, IL
TV: NBC HD, CBC HD, RDS HD
Radio: 610 WIP (internet stream here), XM 204, SIRIUS 208
Get the Chicago perspective at Second City Hockey
Peter Laviolette called it crippling. It's at every turn, he said, and if you let it get to you at this time of year, it's going to kill you. Luckily, eliminating stress and pressure is something that these Philadelphia Flyers have been very good at this postseason. They've seen a lot of it. They're used to it by now.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the Blackhawks haven't had to deal with much pressure this postseason. They've gotten better, in the results column at least, as these playoffs have gone on. There's been no adversity there all season long, when you really think about it. Any issues they've had to deal with have been microscopic compared to those of the Flyers.
So when you think about this Stanley Cup Final, currently tied at two games apiece as we prepare for Game 5 at United Center this evening, you have to contemplate the advantages and disadvantages each team has in this very, very tightly matched series.
You have a Chicago team that hasn't played as well at home as they have on the road in these playoffs. You have a Chicago team facing adversity for the first time this season, while seemingly panicking through lineup changes and complaints about Chris Pronger... as recently as 15 minutes before this writing. They seem a little off message and a little uptight, and I think Hawks fans would even agree with that assessment.
Meanwhile, this is no big deal to the Flyers. That's been the message for two months now and they're all committed to it. They know they need a win on the road, and tonight's the night for that to happen.
Game thread coming up around 5:30ish.