It Ain't Easy To Get To Heaven When You're Going Down: Hawks 3 - Flyers 5

No point in doing the linear thing, so we'll just get to thoughts:

-First off, myself included, calm the fuck down. We've been here before. As the Fifth Feather pointed out yesterday, this feels a lot like last year's first round. The Hawks didn't play well in the first two games at home, but won anyway. Their effort ticked up oh so slightly in the next two, including a furious comeback in Game 4 when down 3, but lost both. They then laced the Flames in the next two. Could easily happen again.

-Yes, Toews and Kane haven't done much, but it's 2-2. Yes, the Hawks have made their share of mistakes, and it's 2-2. No, they haven't gotten too many bounces, and certainly not many calls, and it's 2-2. They probably just went through the Michael Leighton is good game, and it's 2-2. Their power play is still goofy, and it's 2-2. They have just as much chance as winning as the Flyers do, maybe even slightly more if you consider the home ice still belongs to us. And don't give me any crap about game to game momentum. That's wiped out by scoring the first goal Sunday night.

-In addition, I can't help but feel the Hawks just gave that one to the Flyers.  Their first two goals were absolute gifts from Hjalmarsson, who picked the worst time to have his worst game.  It's once again a malady of the Hawks not being able to clear when they have the chance.  Stop it.

-To that end, the first three goals came with Sopel and Hammer on the ice as a pairing together, one which three different writers on this blog three times in the last 72 hours wanted no part of, and that's why. The Richards goal not withstanding as that was a PK situation, Q simply cannot have two immobile defensemen paired together at even strength against this Flyers forecheck.

-That said, the Flyers did control a majority of the play for the game, and dominated the boards.  Partly, because Q let them, and more importantly he let Pronger do so.  It is past time to get Buff off the top line now that he's reverted to useless bag of shit form.  Find a way to get Hossa out against Pronger, who I'm pretty confident could at least battle him to a push.  Give Toews some help, because with Buff nullified and that not being Kane's game, he's pretty much all alone out there.  Reunite Sharp-Toews-Hossa, load out with Hossa and Daydream Nation, I don't know, but something has to change.

-What had Troy Brouwer done to be demoted to the 4th line and what had Tomo Kop done the past two games to be elevated to Sharp's wing?

-If you look at the CORSI, you'll be encouraged.  Maybe it's due to the barrage at the end of the game, and maybe it's due to the power play discrepancy.  But finally, the Hawks looked to have the upper hand at even-strength, for whatever period.

-Finally, Campbell got more ice time than Sopel, and was once again stellar.  The Flyers don't seem to have a problem with their Top 4 swallowing up all the game, and neither should the Hawks.

-Once the Hawks can find a way to create anything against Pronger, they will have their way with Braydon Coburn. -19 Corsi.

-Lastly, be brave.  The rest of the Chicago sports scene would stop breathing and panic, but that's not what we do.  We have the better team, the team most everyone picked to win it.  They will show it from here on out, I firmly believe that.