Blackhawks fans were dejected as the puck dribbled through Antti Niemi’s legs in overtime Wednesday night, giving the Philadelphia Flyers their first win of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville and his team were secretly elated.
“We didn’t want to sweep them anyway,” said Quenneville. “Sweeps are boring. And we want to win it in front of our home crowd in Game 5, or — if we so choose — Game 7.”
Hockey insiders were surprised by Quenneville’s revelation, but understood where the coach was coming from.
“Coach Quenneville needs to understand that the Philadelphia Flyers are a professional hockey team capable of great things,” said Melrose. “Oh, who am I kidding? They suck. Joel’s strategy makes a lot of sense. Go win it in Chicago so those fans can get crazy.”
Hawks winger Adam Burish said there was at least one drawback to the loss.
“That prick [Chris] Pronger thinks he had something to do with their win,” said Burish of the Flyers defenseman who scored a goal Wednesday night and has been an constant annoyance on the ice this series with antics that often border on penalties. “But at least this way we can get him back to Chicago where our fans will ride him until he cries.”