Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan Shaunghessy of the Boston Globe,
You know that Kate Smith will be on the Jumbotron (nice symmetry there) tomorrow night. Bobby Clarke will be grinning and gooning around the rink, and the knuckleheads of Philadelphia will bring all kinds of signage urging the Bruins to choke.
Six days ago the Bruins beat the Flyers in Philly, 4-1, to take a 3-0 series lead. We all figured the Flyers would roll over at home in Game 4. It was inevitable. But the Sons of Dave “The Hammer’’ Schultz did not quit. They won last Friday night, in overtime, after surrendering an excruciating goal in the final seconds of the third period. Simon Gagne’s overtime goal has a chance to be Philadelphia’s answer to the Dave Roberts stolen base.
The Bruins looked tired last night. They are not the same team without David Krejci. And Boston’s gold-plated invitation to the conference finals — the Hub’s first since 1992 — is in jeopardy. The Flyers need only to win at home to bring this thing to a seventh and deciding game Friday night at the Garden.
from Matt Kalman of The Bruins Blog,
...Marc Savard also took exception with a Mike Richards hit with 5:26 left in regulation.
The hit was a bit from behind and sent Savard into the side wall in the attacking zone. Savard got up and went after Richards to earn a roughing penalty. There was no call on the initial hit.
“I just got fired up. I got one the other night in Philly from behind [which was called boarding against Darroll Powe], and then I was facing the glass again in the same situation and then I look back at [David] Booth, [David] Krejci, those guys … I mean, enough’s enough. I mean, I don’t know. That’s all,” said Savard after the loss, which sends the series back to Philly for Game 6 Wednesday night.
Philadelphia defeated Boston 4-0 tonight to force a game 6 in Philly.
Flyers also lost Brian Boucher to an apparent knee injury which you can watch below.
The Bruins averaged a 8.3 local rating on VERSUS, the Red Sox a 6.3 local rating on NESN and the Celtics a 4.1 local rating on ESPN.
In terms of households, the Bruin game delivered 200,000 households, the Red Sox game 153,000 households and the Celtic game 99,000 households.
In terms of total viewers, the Bruins easily beat both of the other local teams averaging 328,000 viewers (Red Sox had 223,000 and Celtics had 142,000 viewers).
The statue of Bobby Orr is outside the TD Garden.
Bobby says thanks and the 2nd video is a close-up of the statue.
from Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins might not win the Cup this season, but that’s not the point. The Cup is a realistic goal now. And it will remain a realistic goal for the foreseeable future.
In the midst of all this, let us pause and note that the Bruins have rebuilt themselves from the ground up, partly as the work of Mike O’Connell, partly as the work of Peter Chiarelli, partly as the work of Claude Julien and others. The players also should not be overlooked. The luster has been restored to the spoked “B’’ that serves as the team’s logo — it will not be fully restored until there is a Cup to celebrate — and the Bruins are where they are because of shrewd drafting and decision-making.
Let’s look at the big picture here. In the last four or five years, O’Connell and Chiarelli have drafted and/or signed everyone from David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Marc Savard to Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara. Phil Kessel was drafted and flipped to the Maple Leafs for three draft picks, one of whom will be Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall. The Bruins are young and talented, a combination that will serve them well for years in the salary cap world of professional sports.
from Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe,
...But the only story that matters is this: This series isn’t over.
Predictably, the word character was thrown around the Flyers’ locker room. Mercifully, no one was heard uttering the words desperate and hockey in the same sentence. In fact, I never heard the word desperate at all. The Flyers may have been trailing the series, three games to none, but they were not defeated in any sense because they truly believed the series could just as easily have been 3-0 the other way. That may not have been entirely true, but that’s the way they felt.
“We don’t want to sit here and complain,’’ said goaltender Brian Boucher. “But I don’t think we got that many breaks to this point. We’re happy to get this win and get off the schneid.’’
Simon Gagne returned from an injury and scored the OT goal.
Game 5 is Monday night in Boston.
added 10:50pm, Video of the game winner.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
If Peter Laviolette is right, if desperation is more powerful than momentum in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Flyers should be locks to win Game 4 on Friday night at the Wachovia Center.
They couldn’t be any more desperate.
Facing the disgrace of a series sweep on their home ice, it would be surprising if the Flyers didn’t find a way to win at least one game. The sweep-avoiding win seems like a fairly common phenomenon. Nevertheless, according to WhoWins.com, which tracks such things, teams leading three games to none in a series complete the sweep about 65 percent of the time.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Tuukka Rask didn’t even make it onto the rookie of the year ballot (Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Buffalo’s Tyler Myers are this year’s finalists), but the Bruins netminder has his eye on another piece of hardware, the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
more and other observations from last night…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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