Hawks and Flyers ready to get nasty in Final
Friday, 05.28.2010 / 2:12 PM / Features
By Dan Rosen - NHL.com senior writer
CHICAGO -- The affable Adam Burish is licking his lips and rubbing his hands together in that evil, let's get it on way.
With Philadelphia as Chicago's opponent in the Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks' bullish fourth-liner is gearing himself up for a whole lot of nastiness -- something that was lacking in the relatively civil four games Chicago just finished against San Jose.
"This is going to be my kind of hockey," Burish told NHL.com. "They have a nasty team and they play on the edge. They play in your face. From their first-line guys to their fourth-line guys, every guy wants to get nasty so it's going to be fun for me and fun for people watching. There is going to be a lot of skill, but there is also going to be some big hits, some pushing and shoving, some nastiness. Let's go, let's do it."
Burish's excitement isn't surprising. After playing only a few sporadic minutes per game against the Sharks, he figures to have a bigger role in the Final -- especially if the Flyers play like, well, the Flyers.
"It won't take long, not with these guys," Burish said when asked about how long it would take for some good old-fashioned hatred to develop. "I'm sure we're going to see some fireworks early on."
The Blackhawks played a physical series against San Jose, but it never even came close to touching the proverbial line of nastiness. There was very little pushing and shoving after the whistles, zero borderline checks and not too much running into the goalies.
Chicago is planning for the Stanley Cup Final against the reincarnation of the Broad Street Bullies to be the exact opposite of civility.
"It's part of hockey," Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "Hey, the Vancouver series got nasty. Both teams can play that way, and we're playing for the Stanley Cup so we're going to do what we can to win."
Seabrook is right -- the Hawks series against Vancouver got nasty, but only because the Canucks let it get that way. They lost their cool and out of frustration the series took on a sharper edge. Chicago's success in front of the net essentially fueled the bad blood.
The Blackhawks won't have to do much other than show up Saturday for the Flyers to start in on them.
"I hope it takes them off their game a little bit," Flyers wing Scott Hartnell told NHL.com. "We're going to go hard between the whistles and hopefully they get frustrated and take a penalty or two by sticking up for their star players. It's definitely something we're going to key on."
To a point, Hartnell emphasized.
"We have to play tough, but within the rules," he added.
A reason why the Flyers are even here is because most of them have been able to touch the line that separates discipline and undiscipline without crossing it. They're 10th in the postseason with 11.9 penalty minutes per game after finishing the regular season 29th with 16.6 per game.
"It's going to be chippy, but it's not going to be anything dirty," said Blackhawks forward Ben Eager, himself a former Flyer enforcer. "You can't take a bad penalty in the Stanley Cup Final. I think there is going to be a lot of hard, honest play."
That doesn't mean the hate won't start early.
"No, that won't be surprising at all," Seabrook said.
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer