Here's what we're talking about after Game 5 in Chicago, heading into Game 6 on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center:
-- Game 6: When you have a sixth game, you have a potential winner. When you have a sixth game, you have real pressure. Inside the Wachovia Center on Wednesday night, under heavy, uniformed guard, will be the glorious Stanley Cup, there for the presenting. The players on both sides know the Cup will be in the house and will feel more pressure than they have faced so far in the series. How the players react to that pressure could determine the outcome of both Game 6 and the series.
-- The Flyers' goalies: Michael Leighton didn't get much help in Game 5, but he didn't help himself, either, with a necessary big-time stop. When the Hawks were storming in the first period, he could have kept the Flyers afloat. He did not. Leighton, noticeably, has not been the savior in the finals that he was all season.
-- The Flyers' slow start: Again, in the first period, the Flyers were sluggish as the Hawks were flying. Coach Peter Laviolette said in an NBC interview that his team did not compete in the first period. You don't expect another slow Flyers start in Game 6, but if there is, there might not be a Game 7.
-- Chris Pronger: Going into last night, he was part of the conversation for the Conn Smythe Trophy. Last night, he was on the ice for the first four Chicago goals, in the penalty box for the fifth and on the ice for the sixth. The good news for Flyers fans is that Pronger will likely bounce back with a game-defining performance on Wednesday.
-- Is Chicago that good? The Hawks were strong in every aspect of the game. The pressure was squarely on the Hawks last night because if they lost, they would lose home-ice advantage and would face elimination in Game 6. Their response? They played their best game of the series.