Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
This Thursday, the Flyers wake up needing to win a single hockey game to host the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals. They have done the hard part, scratching their way back to tie this series even as their injury list has grown with every game. In the last two elimination games, they have outscored the Boston Bruins, 6-1.
Now comes Game 7. Friday night. In Boston. Winner goes to the Final Four.
“Now both teams have their backs against the wall,” Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said. “It’s a dangerous position to be in, both for us and them. They’re going to come out with everything they’ve got. It’s do or die for them now in Game 7 in their building.”
Well, another game 7 on Friday in Boston.
Flyers have all the momentum now after winning their third game in a row after starting the series down 0-3.
Can Boston find enough offense on Friday to defeat the Flyers?
from Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe,
And so here we are, on the cusp of Game 6, and we haven’t the slightest clue of what to expect from the Bruins. More than seven months into this season, the Bruins have been good, bad and everywhere in between. Most of all, they have been entirely unpredictable.
Much of that explains why this hockey season in Boston has been positively compelling, of course, because let’s face it: predictable is boring. Instability results in so much more drama. The 2009-10 Bruins have lost 10 in a row during the regular season and won 7 of 8 during the playoffs, the more recent stretch ending with the Game 4 overtime loss to Flyers last weekend at the Wachovia Center. At the time, most of us regarded that game as nothing more than a hiccup from a Bruins team that had rediscovered its potential and seemed destined for its first trip to the conference finals in 18 years.
But now? Now we can’t be so sure.
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.’’
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org