Game 6? Lord Stanley will be on hand

June, 8, 2010

PHILADELPHIA -- Since the Blackhawks can clinch the title in Wednesday's Game 6, Lord Stanley's shiny mug will be in the building for the first time in the series.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has often dreamed what it would be like to lift it.

"I mean, countless times growing up," he said Tuesday. "Any kid growing up in Canada, anywhere as a hockey player, that's the dream. That's the one thing you keep telling yourself, in your heart you kind of know you're going to do it someday."

Last season, when Sidney Crosby lifted the Cup for the Penguins, Toews said it hit home that his team might soon one day do the same.

"I think that's when it really first set in ... this is something that can really become a reality," Toews said. "It's been a long year, but I think we all knew all along that we can make it this far. Hopefully we can find a way to do it tomorrow."

The Flyers, meanwhile, want to keep that silver trophy in the trunk.

"That's the goal," Danny Briere said. "We believe we are going to do that. We've played well all playoffs long in this building. So for us, there's no other way around it. We believe we're going to push this to a Game 7."

Flyers forward Ville Leino played with a Detroit Red Wings team last year that twice failed to capture the Cup with the trophy in the building (the Penguins came back from a 3-2 series deficit to win it).

"Well, last year -- it's tough time," Leino said Tuesday. "You just want it to be over with. You want to be winning and raising that Cup. It's just something you try to block out, but it's still there. It's not very easy to shut it out and blank it out. It's going to be there. Hopefully it's going to be a little bit of an advantage to us."

Not allowing the Blackhawks to celebrate a Cup on Philly ice? That's reason enough right there to play well Wednesday night.

"Yeah, I think it's a motivating factor," Philly defenseman Chris Pronger said. "You're on home ice. They have a chance to clinch. You don't want to see that in your building and you want to get to a Game 7. You want to have an opportunity to win it. That's the biggest thing. We're not here just to get to a Game 7. We want to win.

"At the end of the day, we're here to win a Stanley Cup. We need to get two wins to do it, but you have to get one before you get two."

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette remembered coaching Carolina in the 2006 Cup finals, knowing the Cup was in the building in Edmonton for Game 6 with a chance to win it that night. But the Hurricanes didn't.

"It was nauseating," said Laviolette. "I went back to the hotel room in Edmonton and I almost threw up."

In Game 5 of that series, with Carolina up 3-1 in the series, the Cup also made an entry, but to no avail.

"We were winning, they tied it up late," recalled Laviolette. "We went on the power play in overtime and they scored on a short-handed goal in our building with the Cup being polished out back. So that one wasn't much better."

Laviolette and the Hurricanes did wrap it up in Game 7. Now, he'd love the chance at another Game 7.

"You keep fighting for it," he said. "One thing this team really has proven is that they're capable of fighting. We'll be ready to do that tomorrow."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer



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