CHICAGO – Report card on the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final on Saturday (with grades out of 10):
Antti Niemi: Came up huge with the game on the line. 9.
Duncan Keith: Really solid effort. 8.
Brent Seabrook: Played a nice defensive game, put his body on the line by getting in front of shots. 7.
Niklas Hjalmarsson: An under-rated part of the Hawks blue-line. 7.
Brian Campbell: Played more minutes through first two periods than all of the first game. 7.
Brent Sopel: A reliable guy for coach Joel Quenneville when the big guys need a rest. 7.
Jordan Hendry: Barely saw the ice. 6.
Jonathan Toews: Held pointless in two straight games for first time during these playoffs. 5.
Patrick Kane: Same as Toews. 5.
Dustin Byfuglien: Threw his weight around a little more than the series opener. 6.
Patrick Sharp: With the Flyers net empty, he hit the post with a hard shot from centre ice. 6.
Troy Brouwer: Does a lot of little things that can go unnoticed—playing physical and forcing turnovers. 7.
Marian Hossa: His Stanley Cup goal drought is over. Sweet relief. 8.
Dave Bolland: It was a tough night in the faceoff circle for “The Rat.” 5.
Kris Versteeg: Did a nice job on shutdown line that neutralized Mike Richards and Jeff Carter at even strength. 7.
Tomas Kopecky: The staredown with Daniel Carcillo in the first period was classic. 7.
Ben Eager: “Chicago Blackhawks goal, his first of the playoffs, scored by No. 55 Ben Eager.” Wow!!! 8.
John Madden: Was on and off the ice often as the coach tried for different matchups. 6.
Adam Burish: Didn’t have any run-ins with Daniel Carcillo because he played sparingly. 5.
Michael Leighton: Flyers fans must be wondering why he was on his knees for Eager’s goal. Spoiled a pretty good effort. 5.
Chris Pronger: United Center crowd chants “Pronger sucks! Pronger sucks!” Wishful thinking. 8.
Matt Carle: It was an unspectacular night for Pronger’s primary defence partner. 6.
Kimmo Timonen: Another good effort. 7.
Braydon Coburn: Blocked four shots in first 40 minutes and had a much better effort than Game 1. 7.
Lukas Krajicek: Had a chance to clear the rebound or cover Hossa on first goal—and wasn’t able to do either. 4.
Oskars Bartulis: Failed to make much of an impact after replacing Ryan Parent in the lineup. 5.
Mike Richards: Took a couple penalties and failed to score on second-period breakaway. 5.
Simon Gagne: Knuckleball shot breaks Niemi’s shutout bid. 7.
Jeff Carter: Did a nice job battling in front of the net on Gagne’s goal. 6.
Scott Hartnell: Nearly had a first-period breakaway but puck skipped over his stick on bad ice. 6.
Claude Giroux: The offence hasn’t been there after a great series against Montreal. 5.
Danny Briere: Didn’t get a shot on goal until late in the third period. 5.
Daniel Carcillo: While his act might get tiresome, it’s hard to ignore his impact. 8.
Ville Leino: Found himself bolted to the bench for long stretches. 5.
Ian Laperriere: Did a nice job on the penalty kill. 6.
Darroll Powe: Hard to make much of an impact while sitting on the bench. 5.
Blair Betts: Took first Flyers penalty in this series—74 minutes 48 seconds of playing time after it started. 5.
Arron Asham: Really nice effort from grind line guy. 7.