Game five starts tonight and it could not come at a better time. The two days off just makes us diehard fans miserable. The first four games have solved nothing, seeing as the series is tied 2-2. Each team has given up a home loss,making tonight’s game five crucial. With Ben Bishop likely getting the start; Toews and the Black Hawks most get pucks to the net early. Bishop has not skated since game three and according Tampa Bay Lighting head coach Jon Cooper this was always the plan.
Jon Cooper has the Ben Bishop situation all planned out or at least Tampa fans hope he does. Cooper has rested Bishop since sitting him for game four and tonight is the night to see if his plan worked. Ben Bishop needed the rest badly; his lateral movement was subpar at best during game three even though Tampa Bay won 3-2. This is going to be a fast pace game and hopefully Bishop, if he does get the start, can hold up. The arena is going to be rocking tonight, lead by a great Tampa Bay fan base.
I do not think the NHL or NBC could have asked for two better teams than Chicago and Tampa Bay. Both with loyal fan bases making the ratings skyrocket. The numbers do not lie; the south has hockey fever.
I am not an expert about Tampa Bay demographics but I would assume that there are a lot of northern folk helping boost those Tampa Bay rating. This isn’t a bad thing at all especially since four of the top five best markets reside in the northern part of the United States. Get ready Chicago because Tampa fans are going to be electric tonight.
Key players to watch tonight are Ryan Callahan of the Tampa Bay Lighting and Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks. Callahan has not produced elite numbers but he continues to do everything right away from the puck. He’s a former captain that knows how to go the extra mile to make players around him better. While Saad is a young star on the rise he has turned up his level of play each season of his early career. With the confidence Saad has going, he could be a huge difference maker tonight. Prediction 4-3 Chicago
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
When: Saturday, June 13, 2015, at 8 p.m. ET
TV Stations: NBC, CBC, TVA