Thursday, June 03, 2010

Pronger Defeats Chicago

I really don’t know who deserved to win last night, but Claude Giroux’s overtime winner last night felt just. The Flyers simply don’t deserve to be down three to love to the Blackhawks in the Final. Now, Philadelphia faces a chance to hold serve at home, square the series- and that feels right where we should all be.

Nevertheless, the Chicago papers are agog only with Pronger, Pronger, Pronger.
The Flyers aren't better than the Hawks, but they have done a better job in the last five periods of this series dictating the style of pace. The Flyers have turned the Stanley Cup finals into a WWE match, with Chris Pronger thriving in the role of John Cena.

Even the officials apparently afraid to call penalties on Pronger seem star-struck. Asked if he thought the officials may be letting Pronger get away with a lot, Kane answered, "Yeah, for sure."

Indeed more than any player, Pronger has helped rattle a Hawks top line that dominated the Western Conference finals. Pronger has been as responsible as any Flyer for unplugging the Hawks' power play, which was ineffective again, turning Big Buff into a small factor.
How can you write the Flyers are turning the Final into pro-wrestling, a real slur against Philadelphia’s raw determination to even get there, and in the same article write this glowing passage?:
During a scrum in front of the Flyers' goal in the first period, Patrick Kane took a left roundhouse at Giroux that drew nothing but air. Kane retaliating in that manner, given his history of non-violence, symbolized a kid standing up and saying he was tired of getting sand kicked in his face.

"To be honest, you get punched in the face, it gets you into the game, makes you want to do things," Kane said.
So throwing a punch at Claude Giroux is courageous? At least Pronger picks on people his own size. Trust me Kane, there are guys on the ice who will engage in a spirited exchange of roundhouses. Only they won’t miss your noggin.

More on Pronger- here in the Sun Times:
Who cares?

That's how the Hawks said they view Pronger's desire to grab pucks at the end of games, as he did after the first two games of this series, allegedly to get under the Hawks' skin.

''I don't know what he wants pucks for,'' Hawks agitator Adam Burish said. ''Maybe he gives them to his kids or something. Whatever he wants to do with the pucks, I don't care. I'll sign one after the game.

''He does goofy things. It's his way or it's no way. He wanted the puck at the end of the game, so we went to try to fight for it. He wasn't going to leave without the puck, so who knows? Whatever. I'll sign him one if he wants.''
First, you simply can’t publish an article entitled “More on Puck Gate” then ask “who cares?” Also, Burish- the so called “agitator”- honestly, a whole hockey team eagerly asks “wanna make something of it?” Either admit it bothers you, fight, or shut up. Right now, you’re just lying. Noting Burish has one goal this season, that makes two things he ain't real good at.

The Flyers still have a hard road. A win is a win, but this was a game where they had repeated leads, two power play goals and home ice- and still needed OT to get to the finish line victorious.

Which is why the Flyers have ramped up the violence. These series are a search to find a formula to generate win after win against quality opposition:
The Flyers found they couldn’t win wither way they tried: up-tempo, trading chances mistakes or a close to the vest game of execution.
Ultimately, nothing had worked in Games One and Two. So it is time for elbows, sticks, gloves to the face, forearms- yet another attempt to generate said formula, a recipe for beating the Hawks physically, then repeatedly. Find out if Giroux, let alone Pronger, is tougher than most of the Hawks line-up. Worked once, so get ready for a repeat. Better dress your “agitator” Chicago.

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