Last night I watched the Flyers/Hawks game and couldn't help but think...that is EXACTLY what the Bears need to do.
The Hawks were struggling in Philly to get much offense going until the 3rd period of game 4 when they adjusted all their lines.
They decided that they didn't want to have their Stanley Cup dreams end without trying everything. So they took their top line and broke them up. And they didn't just switch a player here or there...they took Byfuglien, Kane, and Toews and put them on 3 separate lines.
And guess what....IT WORKED!
The other strategy they employed was what the Hershey players can't seem to execute...getting the puck in deep. When you cross the red line fire it in around the boards and go get it.
That does 2 things. 1, it gives you the chance to get the puck deep in the zone and create. And 2, it pulls the Stars out of the middle of the ice which opens up passing and shooting lanes.
Chicago used those approaches perfectly last night in their 7-4 win in game 5. They had the advantage of actually winning their home games before being dominated in 2 games on the road.
But Hershey was not dominated by any stretch. They were in both games until the end and honestly had chances to win the games.
Will line changes work for the Bears? Who knows. Will keeping the lines the same work? Maybe.
The benefit of switching the lines is, because of lack of playing time as a unit, you force them to go back to basics. Get the puck in deep, shoot more, crash the net.
Right now Hershey's problem is that guys like Aucoin and Giroux have been playing together for so long (2 seasons) that they know what each one does well. The problem....Texas knows that too and they are built to stop it.
Hershey is up against it now. They have to win at least 2 in Texas over the next 5 days or they will be golfing by the weekend.
No team in AHL history has a team lost games 1 and 2 at home in the Calder Cup Finals and still won the cup. None.
Hershey has been rewriting the record books all season. Whose ready for one more?
LET'S GO BEARS!!!