Just crawling out … was at a baseball championship quadruple-header yesterday. Left the house at 9 a.m., got home in the wee hours today.
So I’m just hoping to get my brain re-trained on hockey before Game 4 tonight.
Will update if anything comes along. Otherwise, see youse during the game.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 1:41 P.M.: Some pre-Game 4 notes from the NHL (apologies for the odd spacing … can’t figure it out).
2010 STANLEY CUP FINAL AMONG MOST COMPETITIVE EVER IN EARLY GOING
One-Goal Games: Each of the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final has been decided by
one goal for just the fourth time in the expansion era (since 1968). In the three previous series,
the games marked the start of sweeps (Detroit over Washington in 1998, Montreal over
Philadelphia in 1976, Montreal over St. Louis in 1968).
In the 70 Stanley Cup Final series since the best-of-seven format was implemented in 1939, the
first four games have been decided by one goal just twice: 1968 (Montreal over St. Louis in four
games) and 1951 (Toronto over Montreal in five games, all decided in overtime).
Too Close for Comfort: The teams have been tied or separated by one goal 96% of the time
(178:16 of 185:59).
Lead Changes and Comebacks: Eight leads have been erased, which in each case lasted
fewer than eight minutes (1:08, 4:47, 1:38, 2:11 and 3:31 in Game 1; 7:51, 7:57 and 0:20 in
Game 3). There have been five lead changes (three in Game 1, two in Game 3).
Everyone a Threat: The 21 goals have been scored by 17 players.
EARLY STANLEY CUP FINAL HAS FAMILIAR PATTERN SINCE 2006
Home clubs have won the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth
consecutive season. Facing a ‘must-win’ in Game 3 after dropping the first two games on the
road, the 2006 Edmonton Oilers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, the 2007 Ottawa Senators
topped the Anaheim Ducks and the 2008 and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit
The Oilers, Senators and 2008 Penguins dropped Game 4 at home to trail the series 3-1,
while the 2009 Penguins won Game 4 to even the series.
FLYERS, LEIGHTON TOUGH AT HOME
The Flyers enter Game 4 with a six-game winning streak at Wachovia Center and a
League-best home record of 8-1 in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They went 2-0 against New
Jersey in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, 2-1 vs. Boston in the Conference Semifinal, 3-0
vs. Montreal in the Conference Final and are 1-0 against Chicago in the Final.
In five home starts, Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton is 5-0 with two shutouts, a 1.18
goals-against average and .958 save percentage, stopping 137 of 143 shots.
BLACKHAWKS ON LENGTHY WINLESS STREAK AT PHILADELPHIA
The Blackhawks have lost their past nine games in Philadelphia (eight regular-season,
one playoff), a streak that began in 1997-98. The last Blackhawks victory at Wachovia Center
occurred on Nov. 9, 1996, during the building’s inaugural NHL season.
FLYERS’ GIROUX BOUNCES BACK IN GAME 3
After going scoreless and posting a -3 rating over the first two games of the Stanley Cup
Final, Flyers forward Claude Giroux earned First Star honors in Game 3 for scoring the overtime
winner, adding two assists and posting a +2 rating.
Giroux, 22, increased his playoff points total to 20 (nine goals, 11 assists) in 20 games,
vaulting from 10th place to fifth in the League playoff scoring race.
Giroux tallied the first overtime goal of his NHL career — including the regular season and
LEINO, PRONGER, BRIERE NEAR FLYERS’ PLAYOFF RECORDS
Ville Leino enters Game 4 tied for the franchise record for points by a rookie in one playoff
year, set by former Flyer all-star Brian Propp in the club’s run to the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Islanders in 1980 (5-10–15 in 19 GP). Leino ranks fifth on the Flyers in scoring with 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 16 games.
Chris Pronger enters Game 4 as the scoring leader among defensemen in the 2010
playoffs with 17 points (four goals, 13 assists). He is one point from tying the Flyers’ playoff record for a defenseman set by Doug Crossman in 1987 (4-14–18 in 26 games).
Daniel Briere enters Game 4 ranked first on the Flyers and second in the League in
playoff scoring with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists). He already has collected six points (2-4–6)
in the Stanley Cup Final. Briere is four points from tying the franchise record for postseason
scoring set by Brian Propp in 1987 (12-16–28).
TOEWS ON VERGE OF SETTING BLACKHAWKS PLAYOFF RECORDS
Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, who leads the NHL in 2010 Stanley Cup Playoff
scoring with 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists), is two shy of the single-season franchise
record set Denis Savard in 1985 (9-20–29). Toews’ assist on Patrick Kane’s third-period goal
in Game 3 tied Savard’s franchise record for playoff assists (20).