Despite a battle to come within one goal of tying the Philadelphia Flyers, the Chicago Blackhawks fell in game four by a final of 5-3. Once again, the Flyers sustained their high pressured play and forced the Blackhawks to not get on track until the third period.
A team is broken down into five components- forwards, defensemen, goaltending, special teams, and coaching. Each had clear points in tonight's game where it went well, and when it did not. Here's the grades for the Hawks after Philly tied the series 2-2.
The offense sputtered for parts of the game, and did not execute shots when they were available.
At the same time, once Hawks coach Joel Quenneville changed up the forward pairings, the "O" was sparked and peppered Flyer goalie Michael Leighton with shots.
This is not the offense Chicago fans are used to seeing. Credit Philly with helping keep them off track.
Game Four Grade: C
The defense looked lost at times in their own zone. Keith and Campbell played particularly well for most of the game, but Keith also had the giveaway that iced the game.
The addition of Nick Boynton into the line up was not expected, but coach Q was looking for some more physicality.
Game Four Grade: D
Both sides of the special teams units have been less than impressive so far.
The power play is power less, having potted as many goals as the penalty kill (1). If not for the 5-on-3 goal in game four, the power play would be scoreless in the series.
The penalty kill has not been the stone wall it had been for much of the regular and post seasons. Giving up goals on 40 percent of the opportunities to Philadelphia has been gut wrenching and a major crutch.
Game Four Grade: D+
Coach Quenneville may be over-coaching, he may be under-coaching, or he may just be getting out-coached by Flyer head man Peter Laviolette. Any way you slice it, it will not stay that way.
In the third period, Philly had few answers for the barrage the Hawks put on once the mines were shaken up. If something like that happens in game five, the end result could be different than those in games three and four.
Game Four Grade: C+
Game five is Sunday, and it appears every game in this series may be a "win at home" type of situation. It is the Hawks' turn to get back on track at the madhouse.