Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher of the Philadelphia Flyers practice Sunday after each getting a taste of action in Saturday's Game 1. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)
CHICAGO – The Flyers have made the decision to go back to Michael Leighton for Game 2, but both teams have some difficult choices to make when it comes to other parts their lineups.
For the Blackhawks, Andrew Ladd is expected to be ready to go after missing the first game of the final with a shoulder injury. The only problem is his replacement was Tomas Kopecky, who scored the game-winner after being a healthy scratch in five straight games.
As for the Flyers, they need to play a more physically aggressive game, which might mean Daniel Carcillo would get a chance to return. But who to take out? Aaron Asham has been great and scored a goal and Darrell Powe can play in more situations.
“You’re not human and you don’t have a heart and you don’t care if you’re not pissed off,” Carcillo said. “I’m not a coach. If I was, I’d be playing.”
SOUP’S NOT ON
One of the more curious stats from Game 1 was that Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell, he of the $7.1 million cap hit for the next six seasons, played a playoff-low 13:07 in Game 1. According to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, Campbell is not hurt.
“He’s fine,” the coach said.
QUICK ON THE DRAW
The Blackhawks dominated the faceoff circle in Game 4, winning 63 percent of the faceoffs. Jonathan Toews alone went 18-6 and seemed to make Daniel Briere and Blair Betts his personal whipping boys.
“It’s a very competitive game and it’s about winning those 1-on-1 battles,” Laviolette said. “Most originate in the faceoff circle. To me, we have to compete a little better.”
KEEPING AN EYE ON IT
Aside from the win and the fact he had two assists and was one of the Hawks best players, it was a difficult night for defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson in Game 1. On the first goal of the game, Ville Leino’s shot went off his head and into the Chicago net. If that wasn’t painful enough, it also left him with and eight-stitch cut over his eye.
“I didn’t even see the puck,” Hjalmarsson said. “It was just, boom, and the puck was in the net. That was bad luck.”
I’LL BE HERE ALL WEEK
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger was his usual playful/belligerent self during media availability Sunday, playing cat and mouse for much of the session.
When asked whether the Flyers, who took no penalties in Game 1, needed to be more aggressive in Game 2, he said, “So you don’t want us to play disciplined? Should we take more penalties? Is that your question?”
When someone remarked how loose he and the Flyers were despite losing Game 1, he said, “Well, the world is not ending and the sun came up today.”
Ken Campbell is on the road following the Stanley Cup final and will be filing daily blogs until a champion is crowned.
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