PHILADELPHIA - They will be polishing up the Stanley Cup in a backroom at the Wachovia Center Wednesday night.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be hoping to lift it at the end of Game 6.
The Philadelphia Flyers will be trying to have it put back in the box for a trip to Chicago.
Players on both sides have been in this position before, this close to closing the deal.
They all know how hard it is to close the door.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette remembered Wednesday how he felt when his Carolina Hurricanes knew the Cup was in the house in 2006 for Games 5 and 6 against the Edmonton Oilers and couldn’t close the deal.
”It was nauseating. I went back to the hotel room in Edmonton and I almost threw up. To be close, to have an opportunity, Game 5 wasn’t much better. We were winning, they tied it up late. 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,” said Laviolette.
“So, I mean, you keep fighting. You keep fighting for it. One thing this team really has proven is that they’re capable of fighting. We’ll be ready to do that (Wednesday).”
The ’Canes wound up beating the Oilers in Game 7.
Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger said knowing the Cup is there for an opponent to parade around your home ice is a little more incentive heading into Game 6.
“Yeah, I think it’s a motivating factor. 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,” said Pronger. “You want to have an opportunity to win it. That’s the biggest thing. 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.”
’Hawks forward Marian Hossa - playing in the final for the third straight year with a third different team - was in this same position last year with the Detroit Red Wings. They had two chances to close out the Pittsburgh Penguins and couldn’t do it.
“Well, we know it’s going to be the toughest game to close it,” said Hossa. “Having been in that situation, especially last year, the momentum in the first shift next game, first goal going to be so important to get the momentum like (in Game 5). That’s going to be so important for us to start really well. ”