Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Three things to look for in Flyers' Game 7

Three things.

Three things to look for in Flyers' Game 7

Chris Pronger´s performance in Game 7 will be key for the Flyers. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Chris Pronger's performance in Game 7 will be key for the Flyers. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
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Not all that much to talk about in the hours before this never-thought-it-could-happen Game 7 between the Flyers and the Bruins. Still, there are a couple of things to look for:

1) Pronger, Pronger and more Pronger: At 29 minutes, 27 seconds per playoff game, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger leads every NHL player in ice time during this post-season. In Game 7, he will almost certainly play more than 30 minutes. This is what it's about, and this is why he is here. and here's why: Pronger has been on the ice for only two 5-on-5 goals since the first period of Game 1. Oh, and in the minutes race, Kimmo Timonen (averaging 27:03, fourth in the playoffs) also has a chance to crack the 30-minute barrier tonight. If this is a close game, these two will be leaned on as they never have been this season.

2) Faceoffs: Truth is, the Flyers are really struggling with this part of the game. They lost 58 percent of the draws taken in Game 5 and 61 percent in Game 6. It makes things so much harder when you are so often conceding puck possession. This is one place the Flyers miss a healthy Jeff Carter. This also is a place where you wonder if Blair Betts' presumed shoulder injury will hamper him even more; he has been the Flyers' best faceoff guy in the post-season overall. What it suggests is that Mike Richards -- who has been good on defensive zone faceoffs, winning 54 percent -- will be leaned on in those situations in a huge way. He might have to take nearly every defensive zone draw in the third period of a tie game. Pronger, Timonen, Richards -- there will be a lot of leaning-on in this one.

3) Michael Leighton: He is them and they are him, battered and resilient and all of that. Leighton has admitted to nervousness but it has not shown. He has allowed one goal in the 95 minutes he haa played since Brian Boucher's injury in the middle of Game 5. Living the dream, daring to dream, etc.

More coverage
 
Broad St. Bull: Flyers confident as Game 7 approaches
 
Frequent Flyers: Betts skates, Gagne doesn't
 
Phil Sheridan: Comeback for naught if Flyers can't finish
 
Resch likes Flyers' chances
 
Watch Game 7 at Wachovia Center
 
Flyers at Bruins, Game 7
 
A shot at history
 
Briere delivers under pressure
Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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