Then There Were Two

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chicago blackhawks logo philadelphia flyers logo

Not such a bad final, I guess.

The 2010 Stanley Cup match-up set and it features the Chicago Blackhawks versus the Philadelphia Flyers. The powerhouse favorite of the West versus the team that made the playoffs on the final day of the regular season in the East and was a shoot-out goal away from not being in the post-season at all.

At first glance, it would seem that the Blackhawks are set to be heavy favorites here. They shot into the finals via a breezy four game sweep of the San Jose Sharks who had obviously used up all of their Anti-Choke Juice for the 2010 playoffs. It was fun while it lasted, Joe Thornton, and not as much embarrassment this year as last but the end results are the same, really. You and the rest of the Sharks are going to be politley refusing rides home from Dany Heatley at team golf outings while the Stanley Cup is awarded again.

One has to consider the immense talent of this Hawks team. The scoring depth, led by young stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and veterans like Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp and bolstered by this year’s Chris Kontos, Dustin Byfuglien, is the main strength of the team. The defense, featuring Norris Finalist Duncan Keith and fellow Canadian Olympian Brent Seabrook, is excellent, as well, and goaltender Antti Niemi has proven himself to be a valid number one on a Stanley Cup contending team. All in all, quite the juggernaut team when you look at them and a deserving favorite.

Still, and I speak from experience, Philadelphia cannot be underrated. This team has figured out how to grind out wins and is relentless when it comes to work ethic, energy, desire, etc. Mike Richards leads the way with a nasty, in your face style that opponents just hate but it’s the sort of grit that wins games, you have to admit. The forwards are getting healthy (yes, that was Ian Laperriere on the ice in that cage tonight, his second game back after a freakin’ brain bruise). Gagne and Carter are back and have contributed. Daniel Briere has been an ongoing concern. Scott Hartnell brings more of that edginess that the team is riding. Chris Pronger remains, well, Chris Pronger. The only question I have is, of course, in net where Michael Leighton has been good but is still not the goalie I’d want going into the Cup finals against an offense like the Hawks’.

Intitial thoughts, then, are that Chicago has the upper hand to end their drought and bring the Cup back to the Windy City. It’s going to be a series, though, I think. Philly is not a team that goes down easy.

As we know.

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7 Responses to “Then There Were Two”

  1. KofC Says:

    Um, does this mean I have to trash-talk Chippy McGuinness now? Not that I’m scared. No, not in the least…

  2. Chippy McGuinness Says:

    “At first glance, it would seem that the Blackhawks are set to be heavy favorites here.”

    Socrates, just so you know, those guys in the dark suits and black sedans with tinted windows that are going to be following you around from now on? You’re not being paranoid. They really are after you. Have a nice accident.

  3. Ken Socrates Says:

    K, every conversation I’ve ever had with Chippy could be considered Trash Talk. The woman uses more four letter words than a Dick and Jane Learn To Read book. I’m not sure if you’ll catch a break because you’re a woman. Most of her aggression seems to be directed at men unless, that is, you’re a IHOP waitress who’s shacked up with her ex-husband. In which case, I hope you have decent medical insurance that can cover face replacement surgery.

    Have no fear, though, because I’ll draw most of her attention during this, as usual. Her raging, animal desire for me that she thinly veils as homicidal mania doesn’t fool me one bit. I don’t care how many times a woman comes at me with a machete, I know what the real message is she’s sending there. Lust.

    Bom-chicka-bomp-bow!

  4. Chippy McGuinness Says:

    Oh, give me a break, Socrates. You couldn’t afford my lust.

  5. Ken Socrates Says:

    What, just because I haven’t paid you for a KSWNO article in four years, you think I’m broke? Besides, I was hoping you offer some sort of payment plan. Maybe a barter system? Oh, I know.

    A layaway.

  6. Chippy McGuinness Says:

    While I do consider a case of Guinness every other month “payment” for my services as a journalist, I’m afraid my other professional pursuits operate on an ethically-mandated cash only basis.

  7. KofC Says:

    Oh, good, I won’t have to hole up in my apartment to protect myself from enemies. More than I usually do, anyway. I’ll just sit back and watch the sparks between you lovebirds…let me get some popcorn, and a King Cobra 40 oz, or three.

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