Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Iorfida of CBC,
When you think about NHL hockey teams from the 1970s, the top three teams that likely come to mind are the high-flying Montreal Canadiens, the big, bad Bruins from Boston, and the Broad Street bullies from Philadelphia.
The Bruins and Flyers were arguably the two toughest teams ever to lace up skates, and they brought skill to the table as well. Boston and Philadelphia met four times in the playoffs in five years — a 1974 Stanley Cup final that heralded a new era in hockey, and three semifinal series that followed.
When Boston and Philadelphia face off in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinal, almost improbably it will be the first post-season meeting of the franchises since those days. The Bruins and Flyers have been in the same conference for most of the three decades since, but haven’t crossed paths.
Here’s a look back at the four memorable playoff battles from the 1970s:
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
After besting Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, considered the ace goalie of the NHL, they’ll be shooting pucks at Brian Boucher, the Woonsocket, R.I., native who grabbed the starting job only after injuries to Ray Emery and Michael Leighton.
It is the best scenario the Bruins could have hoped for. However, it is a scenario that promises bruising tilts that should have the Bruins reaching for ice packs upon the conclusion of games.
“I don’t think the identity of their team’s changed in the last 40 years,’’ Lucic said. “They always seem to have that Broad Street Bully-type of mentality. They live up to it year in and year out, especially through the playoffs.
“They’re a great team. They have a lot of experience because they were in the third round two years ago. We expect them to come at us hard and come at us often. We’ve got to be prepared for that and do everything we can to push back.’’
from Michael Hurley of NESN,
When the Bruins, who struggled down the stretch to even qualify for the playoffs, won the No. 2 overall pick for the upcoming draft, it was widely accepted that any playoff run that followed for the B’s would simply be gravy. Maybe they’d get matched up with Pittsburgh or Washington, get bounced early and move on to the offseason, where they’d await the arrival of either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin.
A funny thing happened, though, and the Bruins went ahead and started playing playoff hockey. After ousting the Sabres in six games, they now look to be favorites to take advantage of home ice and advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992.
Yet while the Bruins appear to be in the perfect position to roll through the seventh-seeded Flyers, they must keep their focus on the task at hand. As they learned last year, looking past any opponent can result in an early, unexpected exit.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
I owe Boston Bruins forward Mark Recchi.
I owe him for the veritable lifetime of memories he’s given over a career that, in my mind and the minds of many, is a Hall of Fame career.
I owe him for proving once again that experience matters and if you don’t believe that, go back and review his performance in the first round of the playoffs vs. the Buffalo Sabres. He proved, as many have before him, that it’s not just about how fast you skate (or as in his case now how fast you no longer skate) or how hard you hit or even how many goals you score. He proved that timely scoring, having a calm persona when everyone around you is jacked up to over-the-top extremes and that making just the right play at just the right time also matter. He’s a living, breathing case for anyone who wants to get rid of the old in favour of the new (and usually cheaper) players.
from Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of Bruins Blog,
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has just announced that center Marc Savard has fully recovered from a concussion and has been cleared to play.
Chiarelli said Savard met with an independent neurologist and, in concert with the team medical staff, say the veteran is ready to join the Bruins for the second round of the playoffs.
from Chales P. Pierce of the Boston Globe,
Someone needs to keep a bucket of cold water handy when Smilin’ Jack Edwards gets to the end of a successful Bruins playoff series because, otherwise, wow…
A couple of years ago, we had that “ragtag band of farmers” business when a Boston victory coincided with Patriots Day. Then, last night, as the Bruins dispatched the Sabres, we had the Buffalo chances sinking “like the Edmund Fitzgerald” into “Gitchee-Gumee.”
1) The Fitz sank in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. Buffalo is located along the eastern shores of Lake Erie. So what you said is approximately as accurate geographically as saying that the “ragtag band of farmers” stood firm along a bridge in Maine.
You can watch and hear Jack in action in the video below. Scroll to the 9 minute mark for his Edmund Fitzgerald piece…
Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien meets the media after defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 tonight.
In every game of the series the Bruins have gone down by a goal within the first nine minutes of the game. The trend is actually getting worse for Boston, as Buffalo has been on the scoreboard within the first 2½ minutes of the last two games.
Boston has held a lead for just under 20 minutes total in the entire series, while Buffalo has played with a lead for a cumulative total that nearly the equals three entire games — 178 minutes.
The Bruins hold an incongruous advantage in the series because they prevailed in a double overtime thriller in Game 4, a contest in which they never led.
more on the Bruins/Sabres series…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Early this afternoon, Marc Savard will head to a doctor’s office, undergo yet another neuropsych test (considered slightly trickier than the SAT), and hope to hear the sweet words, “Yep, you’re good to go.’’
Good to go, like tonight at the Garden, in Game 6 of the Bruins’ first-round playoff series with the Sabres. Good to go, like grab a stick and strap on the helmet — one just out of the box, by the way — and work the kind of magic that was woefully missing when the rest of his teammates skated without passion Friday night in Buffalo.
Everyone in Black and Gold looked aimless in that visit to HSBC Arena. They just couldn’t point to Matt Cooke as the root cause of their Grade 9.8 cerebral malaise, as Savard can.
Savard is close to returning from his concussion. Very close. Anyone who sat in the Garden’s empty stands late yesterday morning, watching the tricky pivot scoot around with Brad Marchand and Trent Whitfield his wingers, had to draw the same conclusion. He skated with zip, confidence, even a smile.
“I’ve heard and read Lindy’s comments. Hopefully, it’s his way of taking pressure off his team. If not, it’s a lot of whining. Simple as that. Every coach has his tactics. You just worry about yourself. As I said last night, we seem to be the team that’s doing bad things. They seem to be the team that’s on the nice side of all that stuff and they do nothing wrong. It’s tactics. Those are things in the playoffs that coaches use, hopefully to their advantage. I don’t pay much attention to it.”
-Boston Bruins Coach Claude Julien on Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. More on the series from Mike Harrington of Sabres Edge.
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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