Friday, June 11, 2010

How important is game 5?

What makes a game big? Aren't they all big in the Finals? And what makes a game 'must win'?

Why are some games considered more important than others?

Obviously the current status of the series is a deciding factor. If a team is down 3-0 then game 4 is obviously must win.

But I think the main deciding factor has been the urgency of any particular game.

Coming into the series Hershey was confident. They had home ice and had only lost 1 time at home since 2009. They had just beaten a good Manchester team that gave them fits. And they surely read all the previews and paid attention to what was being said.

They thought they could win.

Texas came into the series knowing how good Hershey was. They knew Hershey was great at home. But they also knew that they had beaten 2 very good teams in Chicago and Hamilton.

So both teams wanted to win. Both teams knew it was a big game.

But the urgency level was higher for Texas. They knew that in order to win the series they are going to have to do what few other teams have done this in Hershey.

Winning game 1 was vital to their success in the series. They did it too. And they looked damn good doing it, shutting down the Bears vaunted offense in Hershey.

So then we moved on to game 2. In this game the 'urgency' should have been higher for Hershey. No one wants to go down 0-2 in a series, especially when both those games are being played at your home arena.

But remembering back to the game I still think the Stars treated the game with more urgency. Hershey came into the game saying things like...we didn't win 60 games for nothing; if we play the way we need to we will be okay...and feeling confident because, like all the fans, they knew they hadn't lost 2 at home since November.

Texas though knew all that too and came out strong and won game 2.

So now the series was 2-0 and headed to Texas. There were plenty of Bears fans leaving Giant Center last Saturday saying goodbye to ushers and saying Hershey was the way I hope none of you that were confident the series was over are coming to game 6 on Monday.

All of a sudden the 'urgency' was the feeling Hershey finally had. Last year they had this feeling in the Wilkes Barre series when they lost 3 straight and needed to win 2 games at home to advance. Up until they were down 2 games to none I don't think Hershey was playing with 'urgency'.

At the same time Texas was sitting comfortably. They were up 2-0 in the series and had the next 3 at home. The 'urgency' was gone.

Hershey won game 3.

And heading into game 4 the urgency was still there for Hershey as they couldn't go down 3-1.

So they won again.

But now the question is...who has more urgency to win game 5?

Hershey has some because they would love to put this series away as soon as possible but they also know that they have 2 games at home if needed.

Texas has a lot of confidence that they can win in Hershey but they have to be worried about having to win 2 there when facing elimination.

I would have to say that Texas definitely has more urgency tonight. If they lose this game then they have to win both games in Hershey. Not impossible but surely not optimum.

No matter what it will be an interesting game tonight. If Hershey can pull out the win, Giant Center will be rocking on Monday night in hopes of seeing the Bears win the Cup on home ice for the first time since 1980. If Texas wins there will be some worried fans in Hershey throughout the weekend and Monday.

One thing I do know...I won't use the word 'urgency' again in this post.


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