My reasons why Flyers can beat Hawks
As I first reviewed here last week, you will find that my preseason pick for the Stanley Cup finals was Chicago versus Philadelphia in ESPN.com's 2009-10 NHL season preview.
Sadly, this is not a contract year for me at ESPN. I won't be an unrestricted free agent until July 1, 2012. Like all things, timing is the most important factor (just ask Tim Thomas and Shawn Horcoff).
I made that Stanley Cup finals prediction in September. We are now in late May, and I'm sticking to my guns. Here are my reasons the Flyers may possibly beat the Blackhawks in six games and make me look good two years too early.
1. Marian Hossa plays for the Blackhawks. June has not been kind to him. Do Penguins fans root for Hossa to win or the Flyers to lose? This is not really a tough call. I would guess the SportsCenter poll results on such a question would be "75 percent Flyers, 25 percent Hossa."
2. Philly cheese steaks could wreak havoc on the Q-Stache; it would like hair.
3. Barry Melrose picked Chicago.
4. Rocky (Philly) beat Clubber Lang (Chicago).
5. Payback for the 1988 NFL fog game.
6. Shjon Podein never played for the Blackhawks.
7. Brotherly love doesn't mess up your hair like wind does.
8. Casey Kasem told me if the group was called Philadelphia, Peter Cetera never would have left the band. I'm not saying that. Casey is.
9. No Jim Belushi cutaways during Flyers telecasts. Which begs the question: Who is the celebrity Flyers fan? Richie Sambora? Ron Jaworski? Placido Polanco? This is actually an advantage for the Flyers. Celebrity hockey fans tend to be bad luck. A Sabremetrician told me that.
10. The Flyers have better playoff beards. Hands down.
11. Elton John hasn't sung a song about Chicago freedom.
12. Keith Jones' head is bigger than Ed Olczyk's.
14. Only 25 teeth to go and Duncan Keith will be left with nothing but gums. And I hear he adores cashews.
15. The Flyers have played in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Quebec. Their chartered plane still has a quarter tank of gas in it since they filled it up April 13. They are airline fresh.
16. The Flyers have beaten goalies from Canada, Finland and Slovakia so far. Not satisfied with first bringing shame to cuddly Finland and their population of 5.3 million, the Flyers, in true Broad Street Bully fashion, will try to kick Finland when they are down. That's cold.
17. The Flyers have not scored a goal on the power play in their past 12 opportunities. They are due.
18. I don't have to bet my mortgage, right?
19. In Chicago, you get Toews, bro; in Philly, you get tased, bro.
John Buccigross' e-mail address -- for questions, comments or crosschecks -- is firstname.lastname@example.org.