The Chicago Blackhawks pretty much got manhandled by the thugnasty Flyers, especially resident puck kleptomaniac Chris Pronger, in Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals. But the young Hawks earned a huge 7-4 win last night, renewed and recharged after coach Joel Quenneville broke up his top line of Dustin Byfuglien, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The The ornery Pronger was held in check and was an ugly -5 in the Flyers' defeat. Big Buff also got revenge after being tossed around by the hulking Pronger in the previous two games and laid one of hockey's favorite villains on his keister:
(h/t to Kukla's Korner)
Byfuglien was an absolute beast last night, tallying seven points and rolling heads all over the ice. The Hawks owned the momentum, certainly through the first two periods, and were up 3-0 at the end of the opening period. Sharp shooter Patrick Kane added to the goal total in the second period, mullet flying and mouthguard ever present (on the outside of his mouth of course). Son if you don't stop chewing on that thing and use it to protect those teeth, you're going to be talking with a lisp like team mate Duncan Keith (who's missing seven chiclets from both the top and bottom rows). Of course if Chicago ends up hoisting the Cup on Wednesday, teeth, itchy beards and 1980's hairstyles be damned! Hockey Mom will definitely be watching as these two meet again in a pivotal Game 6. Chicago has a excellent chance to close it out and skate the Cup on Flyer's home ice. No matter who you're rooting for, seeing a team win the Stanley Cup is truly unlike any other celebration in sports. HM is confident that the Capitals and their fans will experience that otherworldly feeling soon...
While we're on the subject of championships, down on the farm the Hershey Bears are battling it out against the Texas Stars for the American Hockey League's coveted Calder Cup. The Bears are in the finals for the fourth time but are currently down two games. All of you local puckheads needing a little Mathieu Perreault, Karl Alzner or John Carlson fix just happen to be in luck. Comcast SportsNet will be broadcasting Games 3, 4 and 5 starting tonight. Their live game coverage of the best-of-seven championship series will feature Hershey’s three road contests from Cedar Park, Texas, which are scheduled for tonight at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 9 at 8:30 p.m. and Friday, June 11 at 8:30 p.m., if necessary. The broadcasts will feature Hershey Bears play-by-play announcer John Walton and Gregg Mace, who will serve as color analyst and sideline reporter. Let's go Bears!
And if you indulged in a little ice cream to beat the incessant heat this weekend, no need to feel guilty. Several NHLers admit to doing the same (though mostly in the off-season) and New York Islander John Tavares has a theory that the dreamy dessert may even help you sleep better. Now that's what I call useful nutritional news! Hockey peeps and ice cream lovers in the States unite - we must get Ben and Jerry's Caramel Hat Trick here soon. Have a great week sports fans!