Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
If you want to sell the National Hockey League, you don’t need more scoring, bigger nets or smaller equipment for goaltenders.
All you need are more games played with the same intensity as Sunday night’s war between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.
Neither team gave an inch as they battled for more than 69 minutes before Marc Savard scored on a delayed penalty at 9:25 of the first overtime to give Bruins a 2-1 win. This was old-fashioned playoff hockey which kept the sellout crowd of 17,565 on edge all night.
continued... A game recap but I know many US viewers were blacked-out of this game…
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
The Canadiens are not hiding the fact that Chara is a marked man. Pancaked early in the game by the Habs hard-charging duo of Tom Kotsopoulos and Steve Begin, Chara did not look anything like the Norris Trophy candidate who was dominant at times during the regular season.
During the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast of the opener, there was speculation that Chara still might be nursing a nagging shoulder injury. Confronted with that idea yesterday, the hulking defenceman deflected away the suggestion with the same ease that Habs goalie Carey Price deflects away shots.
“That’s gone now,” he told the first wave of reporters when asked about a potential ailment. “Everything’s fine.”
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
“I think the players decided that they didn’t want to get outhit,” said Carbonneau, whose players delivered a dozen more hits at 37-25. “That wasn’t something I talked to them about.”...
The physical play from Canadiens such as Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Kovalev filtered down the lineup. “When you see your star players on your team getting physical, it sets the tone,” Kostopoulos said.
“The knock on us has been that we’re a soft team,” Canadiens forward Christopher Higgins added. “But I just don’t see that. We have proven and proved again in this game that we can hit.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
It’s time to adjust, in a hurry, because the flat tire the Bruins hitched to their postseason bandwagon last night isn’t taking them anywhere but straight to the ditch.
There are beatings, and then there are total, all-out William Bendix what-a-revoltin’-development-this-is BEATINGS, such as the one the Bruins suffered inside Bell Centre. They came out tentatively, summarily had a pair of Kostitsyn goals (No. 1 Sergei, No. 2 Andrei) jammed into their net, then spent most of the remaining 57-plus minutes chasing the Canadiens without ever coming close to catching them.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Bruins did not skate this morning. But head coach Claude Julien said that Patrice Bergeron, who has been out with a grade 3 concussion since Oct. 27 and was cleared for contact on Monday, will not play. Whether Boston’s highest scorer, Marc Savard, will play won’t be determined until game time….
On the Canadiens side, captain Saku Koivu (fractured left foot) will remain on the sideline and defenceman Francis Bouillon (ankle) isn’t ready for action. Hard-hitting blueliner Mike Komisarek (hip) is fit and will play. Also in the Montreal lineup will be veteran Patrice Brisebois instead of rookie Ryan O’Byrne.
more on tonight’s game…
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
If I’m reading and hearing it correctly, the Canadiens tonight embark on their journey to a 25th Stanley Cup.
A slam dunk.
A walk in the park.
Men vs. boys.
Check your box, G. Carbonneau: the Boston Bruins already have mailed in their games.
Whoa! Have I missed something in the translation?
Aaron Ward chatted with fans today at the Bruins website…
Hailey_Dodge: what is the most difficult part of the playoffs?
Aaron Ward: Maintaining your focus. SO MANY distractions… media, friends and family looking for tix, euphoria in the city…
beproud42: How do you respond to everyone who feels that this is going to be a (fairly) easy sweep for the Habs?
Aaron Ward: Games are played on the ice, not in the newspapers, on TV, or on computer screens. Playoffs have a different flavor.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
There has been a lot of talk about the importance of experience in this series and both teams offer a mix of seasoned veterans and raw rookies. Much has been made of the fact that the Habs have 10 players with no NHL playoff experience and that group includes 20-year-old goaltender Carey Price.
But the Bruins have 11 players looking for their first playoff experience and folks might be surprised to learn the group includes No. 1 goalie Tim Thomas, 33, and Marc Savard, who is the team’s leading scorer.
Price never seems to get rattled and he said yesterday that, while he expects to be nervous when the puck is dropped tomorrow, he doesn’t expect to be overwhelmed by the surroundings.
from the Boston Globe,
Thomas, the 33-year-old American veteran, and Price, the 20-year-old Canadian hotshot, are very different men behind the masks.
There’s the 5-foot-11-inch Thomas, the perpetually written-off underdog with the athletic style who leaves the crease in tatters when he pulls out all the stops. There’s the 6-foot-3-inch Price, the picture-perfect puckstopper with the fluid movement, stickhandling deftness, and pads-down technique, seemingly produced on the butterfly-goalie assembly line in his native Vancouver.
from the Boston Globe,
“Felt great,” said Savard. “It’s getting better every day. It’s going along good.”
Savard missed the last seven games of the regular season because of the injury, which came courtesy of a Steve Begin cross-check. Savard said he hopes to practice today with teammates.
“I’m going to hopefully see action right away,” Savard said of a possible Game 1 return. “I’ve been doing everything I can. I’ve been resting on the couch. I’ve been resting every day.”
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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