Many people feel home ice does not mean a whole lot in playoff hockey, as the best team with the better goalie can win on anybody's surface during the postseason. This seems to make sense, but not with the Blackhawks and Flames. The series is tied 2-2, as we head back to Chicago for Saturday night's Game 5.
Chicago looked fairly smooth and confident on the ice during the first two games at the United Center. Then the scene shifted to the Pengrowth Saddledome, and they looked like a different team. Granted, the puck took some unlucky bounces against Chicago but much of that was created by the team just coming out flat.
They are a young team, so being on the road in the postseason has to affect them a little. It looked like it did, so all they can hope is that the 22,000-plus at the UC can help will them back to victory.
Now, the one person who should not be affected by the road as much is goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. He is a veteran but his struggles went right with the team. His team did not give him much help, but the netminder could have been a lot better.
So, it's on to Game 5 on Saturday night. It has been "home sweet home" for both teams, and Chicago hopes that can continue. If not, they are danger of having this great season come to an end, for they have not looked very good in the two road games.