2010 Stanley Cup finals: Game 1 preview



Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks

Game 1, Stanley Cup finals

Live on NBC at 8PM ET

We’ve covered the Stanley Cup finals from a dizzying amount of angles. Seriously, it’s as if we put the Cup in one of those “Enter the Dragon” mirrored rooms. To make sure that you’re aware of the biggest stories we covered, here’s a collection of the PHT coverage.

PHT predictions – Brandon goes out on a limb and picks the Philadelphia Flyers in six games. Bold move, Brandon, bold move. The staff also tackles who we expect to be the leading scorer, unsung hero and other fun stuff.

The Blackhawks road to the Cup and the Flyers’ journey: Taking a look at what it took for each team to get to this point.

The Conn Smythe favorites: A detailed analysis of the odds-on favorites for what I think should be hockey’s most coveted trophy. Would you rather be the MVP of the playoffs or the regular season? No contest, I say.

Which players have the most to gain and lose – Hossa and some of the older players have the most to lose in this year’s finals.

What this series means to each team – It might be now or never for both teams, believe it or not.

Byfuglien vs. Pronger – A breakdown of one of the most compelling matchups in the series.

Four odd predictions for the finals: Mr. Worley continues his “bold” streak by making some strange predictions about what will happen between the Flyers and Blackhawks.

More great Stanley Cup finals coverage after the jump.

These aren’t “the Flyers redux” and a look at the Flyers’ fate since they won that ’75 Cup: It’s been a long time since the Flyers won the Cup and hockey’s come a long way since the days of the Broadstreet Bullies. We provide a little history lesson with these two posts. (I also compared the current Flyers to the Bullies.)

Chicago Blackhawks since ’61 Cup and how the current Hawks team compares to the ’61 squadSpeaking of history lessons (and long droughts), here’s a timeline of the franchise since they won a Cup almost 50 years ago. It’s not pretty.

Will Marian Hossa finally win a Cup? – Why he could (or might not) raise the Cup over his head after two years of finals heartache.

Which team has the better pre-game ritual? – I might have to go with the Philadelphia Flyers on this one. Really, though, the more important debate is Philly cheese steak vs. deep dish pizza. That’s a tough one, folks.

Comparing Mike Richards to Bobby Clarke – At first, it seemed like the comparisons between the two Philly captains was hogwash. But after looking at the playoff stats, I’ve come around to the parallel … even from a stats standpoint.

Michael Leighton’s journey back to Chicago – It’s pretty difficult to believe that the Blackhawks had Leighton and Craig Anderson on their minor league team at one point. Leighton took a strange path to become the Flyers’ No. 1 starter, as Brandon chronicles in this post.

Chicago’s salary cap future – Why the team will probably look very different next year.

Looking back at the Pronger trade – The Flyers won the trade in the short term … but what will the future hold for the blockbuster draft-day move.

Fight Video: Schenn, Chychrun drop the gloves as Coyotes score

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Brayden Schenn had a big game in Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

He scored a goal and had two assists in the defeat, but he also dropped the gloves with rookie Jakob Chychrun.

As you can tell by the video at the top of the page, Chychrun went after Schenn because the Flyers forward flattened Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone (Chychrun got two additional minutes for instigating and a 10-minute misconduct).

The fight occurred just as Martin Hanzal scored to the go-ahead goal in the game.

The officials reviewed it to see if it would stand or not (ultimately it did).

The momentum swung Arizona’s way after that, as they scored 1:39 later to extend their lead to 4-2.

PHT Morning Skate: Scheifele and Seguin play rock, paper, scissors after pregame warmup

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

–How do you decide who gets to be the last player off the ice after warmups? Play rock, paper, scissors of course! (Top)

Connor McDavid has the city of Edmonton buzzing again. (The New York Times)

–The fight against Alzheimer’s means a lot to Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. (Sports Illustrated)

–Justin Bieber played hockey with a pro team in the UK and pulled off a serious celebration. (BarDown)

–Would Wayne Gretzky have set all those records if he was playing in today’s NHL? Mike Brophy weighs in. (CBC.ca)

–Six forgotten players that are off to fast starts in 2016-17. (USA Today)

Kings win ugly with Budaj, making things even uglier for Predators

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31:  Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts to the overtime goal of Jeff Carter #77 to beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 at Staples Center on October 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

How would you describe the Nashville Predators’ Stanley Cup bandwagon at the moment? A few flat tires? One of those abandoned school buses at a dump?

An unlikely occurrence – Peter Budaj winning four straight games for the Los Angeles Kings, all in overtime, all seriously in 2016 – puts a spotlight on an unsightly start for Nashville following a 3-2 OT decision.

In other words, it was another night where the Predators (early or not) didn’t look the part of Stanley Cup contenders.

Pekka Rinne has often been the scapegoat for Nashville’s losses, and his recent numbers justify some of the criticisms. Thursday doesn’t fall into that pattern, however. Instead, the Predators wasted a strong performance from their $7 million man, who stopped 42 out of 45 shots.

Budaj? He only needed to make 24 out of 26 stops to keep his unexpected winning streak going.

For the Kings and Predators, very different patterns continued on Thursday night.

Los Angeles has people wondering “How long can they win with Budaj?” and “Is there a team that can finally hog the puck against the Kings enough to expose him?” Don’t blame Kings fans who never want this strange sequence to end.

Nashville devotees, on the other hand, must wonder if they’re stuck in some sort of sick nightmare.

They’ve been a chic pick to win it all, yet they’re now at 2-4-1 with three away contests remaining on a challenging five-game road trip.

It’s early, but the headaches just keep multiplying for the Preds.

Mrazek comes up big as Red Wings win sixth in a row

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 21: Petr Mrazek #34 of the Detroit Red Wings looks on in the first period while playing the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena on October 21, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Are the Detroit Red Wings for real or are they headed toward a humbling regression? We might have to wait until their goalies look human before that question can really be answered.

For yet another game, Detroit’s netminder was outstanding, with Petr Mrazek helping the Red Wings beat the St. Louis 2-1 via a shootout (and a pretty stressful shootout in that).

It took eight rounds until Henrik Zetterberg managed Detroit’s second and decisive tally of the “skills competition,” and now Detroit is on a six-game winning streak.

Mrazek made 31 out of 32 games through overtime and was only beaten by Alex Steen in that shootout, stopping seven of eight attempts. He’s faced more than 30 shots on goal in all six of his appearances in 2016-17.

It is not as if there has been a big drop-off when Jimmy Howard has taken the net, either. Howard has only given up one goal in his two games, winning both of them.

Are the Red Wings asking a lot of Mrazek and Howard? Yep. Just take a look a this lopsided possession chart from Natural Stat Trick for another reminder.


You can see why skeptics murmur about this six-game winning streak being fool’s gold, but the Red Wings keep finding a way to win. Usually, it’s their goalies who have been doing the heavy lifting.