CHICAGO – Almost everyone on both teams is expecting a different kind of contest in Game 2 than they experienced in Game 1 and chances are they’ll probably get it.
One thing we probably won’t see is the Philadelphia Flyers going another game without picking up a single penalty. The Flyers know there is a fine line between being disciplined and not playing hard and the fact they didn’t get caught doing anything that merited a penalty indicates they need to be more aggressive.
To that end, Dan Carcillo is expected to be in the lineup at the expense of the much softer James van Riemsdyk. Carcillo said after the skate Monday morning that he would be playing in Game 2, but coach Peter Laviolette, as is the case in the playoffs, treated his lineup change as though it was a matter of global security.
There’s little doubt Carcillo brings to the Flyers lineup something they lack. But Laviolette disputed the notion that Carcillo is a player who sometimes goes too far, saying he finished third in the NHL this season in the ratio of penalties taken to penalties drawn at plus-25.
“He doesn’t cross over the line too much and in fact it goes the other way,” Laviolette said of Carcillo. “He’s an agitator, he’s physical and he’s done an excellent job of controlling his game.”
It’s reasonable to expect the Flyers to ramp up their physical game. Carcillo talked of having a lot of pent-up energy and the Blackhawks are certainly expecting more push-back, or at least push, from the Flyers in Game 2.
“They’re probably pretty mad at themselves,” Patrick Kane said of the Flyers. “I’m sure as the series goes on, it will probably get a little more intense and the physicality will pick up a bit. It seems like they’re a pretty nasty team. I guess you expect it from them.”
Another lineup change for the Flyers will likely come with defenseman Ryan Parent coming out in favor of Oskars Bartulis. Not many people will notice Parent’s absence, since he played just one 41-second shift in Game 1 and was on the ice for the Blackhawks first goal.
There are a couple of X-factors that are beyond almost everyone’s control. One is the shabby ice quality at the United Center and the other is goaltending. The only time you get 6-5 games in the NHL these days is with bad goaltending, something both Antti Niemi of the Blackhawks and Michael Leighton of the Flyers were only too happy to provide, combining for an .828 save percentage along with Brian Boucher in Game 1.
As far as the ice is concerned, it will be the same disadvantage for both teams, but look for pucks to continue flying around everywhere.
“I don’t expect it to be good,” said Blackhawks winger Adam Burish. “It hasn’t been good all year.”
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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