Stanley Cup Final, Game 6
Chicago Blackhawks at Philadelphia Flyers
Blackhawks lead series 3-2
Wachovia Center - 8:00 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
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
PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers are in yet another do or die situation tonight as they face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center.
Maybe I'm stupid, but I'm not worried. I'm a bit nervous, I guess, but that's pretty natural given the circumstances here. After all, a team can win the Stanley Cup at the Wachovia Center tonight.
But as far as confidence, and the belief that the Flyers will pull out a victory tonight, I believe it's going to happen. How could we not believe at this point, really?
We know the obvious reasons -- "they're relentless!" -- but the most telling thing to me is how this team has responded after stinkers in these playoffs. In Game 3 against Montreal, the Flyers were absolutely terrible on every side of the puck. Game 4? Completely different story. The Flyers didn't necessarily cruise to victory that afternoon, which saw the return of Jeff Carter to the lineup, but they certainly controlled the game for just about the duration.
More notably, we all know -- seriously, I don't even think it's a question -- that Chris Pronger will rebound tonight and have a superb night of puck. When he's on his A game, the game is played at his level, and Pronger has the ability to slow the game down when his teammates need it to be slowed down. When he senses a burst, he can speed the game up with one of his patented stretch passes through the neutral zone.
To me, Pronger is the key to Game 6, the Flyers fifth elimination game this season. And he's going to have a fantastic showing. He has to, really, or we all know the Flyers season will be over. He knows this, too, and he'll be ready.
Obviously, there are other questions. Will Mike Richards bury his chances tonight? Will Jeff Carter look like Jeff Carter again? Will Dustin Byfuglien quiet down after an amped up Game 5? Will the Flyers be able to counter the line changes Joel Quenneville implemented in Game 5? Will Michael Leighton rebound?
This team knows the goal here. They've been in this spot this for. It's not about winning the Stanley Cup tonight. It's not about winning a Game 7. It's about winning a Game 6, and that's it. Can the beat the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, as Peter Laviolette would say?
They most certainly can, and I believe they most certainly will. Game thread at 5:30ish.