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Ken Hitchcock breaks down Game 1 of the Cup Final

Friday, 05.28.2010 / 10:55 PM / Features
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Ken Hitchcock breaks down Game 1 of the Cup Final
Here is the latest installment of Ken Hitchcock’s “What’s the Hitch” analysis of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for NHL.com. Here are our his keys to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Flyers and Blackhawks. Game 1 is Saturday in Chicago (8 ET, NBC, CBC, RDS):
Here is the latest installment of Ken Hitchcock's "What's the Hitch" analysis of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for NHL.com. Here are our his keys to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Flyers and Blackhawks. Game 1 is Saturday in Chicago (8 ET, NBC, CBC, RDS):

Philadelphia's "Hitch" List:
-- Get the puck out of the defensive zone quickly.
-- Stay in position on penalty kills.
-- Make clean passes.

First shift: "Chicago comes with a lot of speed on the forecheck. Philly's challenge is getting back on the puck and getting it out of the defensive zone. Chicago doesn't need much of an opening if you give it to them in the offensive end.
 
"Philly is very aggressive on the penalty kill. Chicago can find the seams if the Flyers overpursue on the PK. The Flyers will need to stay in position or be looking for trouble."
 
Coach's eye for details: "The Flyers have five defenders who can handle the Hawks scoring threats. But making clean passes out of the defensive zone will be important to cut down on Chicago take advantage of mistakes. Those defensemen will have to play well at both blue lines to boost the offense too.
 
Jeff Carter is an X factor in this series. He is just new to the lineup again and is a welcome weapon for the Flyers."
 
Final period: "No lead will be safe in this series. Both coaches, when their teams fall behind early, are not afraid to push the offensive pace and activate their defensemen in the scoring attack."

Chicago's "Hitch" List: 

-- Continue to respect the time of year.
-- Stay out of the penalty box.
-- Dump the puck more.
 
First shift:
"Chicago needs to continue to build on what it has learned about how it is to win this time of year. The Blackhawks learned a lot from Detroit in last season's Western Conference Final and put those lessons to work against San Jose. They know how hard it is to win this time of year; that has to remain the focus in this Cup Final."
 
Coach's eye for details:
Avoiding penalties will be important for Chicago. They do not want to allow Philly's power play to get on the scoreboard.

"Chicago will have to dump the puck more in this series. They will have to give it up to get it back in the offensive zone.
 
"I really think Hossa will step up his game in this series. He recognizes this is why he signed with Chicago, that he came to win a Cup. He hasn't scored like he normally has, and I expect that to change."
 
Final period:
"I think it will come to one goalie being the story of the series. It will be that close."
 
 
 

Author: Ken Hitchcock | NHL.com Correspondent