Some love for Seabrook
I give Brent Seabrook a 9.8 for the backward somersault that kept the puck in the Flyers’ zone and led to the winning goal. Tomas Kopecky scored it, Kris Versteeg and Dave Bolland picked up the assists, but Seabrook made the hero play. they ought to put HIS jersey on the Jordan statue.
Seabrook suffered a cut over his left eye early in the game and later took a stick to the mouth, but playing with a defensive partner who just lost seven teeth, Seabrook wasn’t going to miss a shift.
Much of the gamesmanship consisted of Hawks coach Joel Quenneville trying to get Dave Bolland’s line against Mike Richards, while Flyers coach Peter Laviolette wanted Richards’ line against Jonathan Toews. in the end, neither top line scored and both were bad defensively. Richards’ line was a combined minus-8, Toews’ line a combined minus-9.
Toews, however, did win 18 of 24 faceoffs. in fact, the Hawks owned the dot, which is where their puck-possession game starts.
The good news in the third period, aside from getting the winner, was the Hawks improved their defensive coverage, allowing only six shots, and Patrick Kane found more open ice.
Troy Brouwer, your table is ready.
Hawks goalie Antti Niemi got some help in the third period when his teammates stopped chasing the puck and started checking. Suddenly, the Flyers didn’t have the puck and couldn’t light up the shooting gallery to create the rebounds that killed Niemi earlier, but he still had to make big saves on Danny Briere, Arron Asham and Chris Pronger to save the third period.
Briere had a goal and three assists and seemed to be dangerous every shift. The Hawks need to find this guy before he gains speed through the neutral zone.
The Flyers weren’t whistled for a penalty, and I expect Hawks coach Joel Quenneville to make sure everyone knows it. But he also needs to make sure his team goes harder after loose pucks to get those calls.
I have to believe Game 2 will be 3-2, 2-1 — please, something that looks like it belongs in the Stanley Cup finals.
I swear, Chris Pronger is the spawn of Hannibal Lecter.
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