Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damian Cox at ESPN,
This time, the pressure is all on the Bruins, and if they don’t treat the Canadiens like so much snow to be brushed off their skates, well, it will be the 2009 Eastern Conference champions who will suddenly appear more vulnerable than imposing.
Even the Bruins seem to understand that anything short of an impressive performance against the Habs will make them seem weaker.
“They’re going to have absolutely nothing to lose,” said Boston coach Claude Julien, who once coached the Canadiens and understands the emotional underpinnings of this rivalry. “We’ve got a lot to gain. We’ve got to make sure we don’t disappoint.”
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Turning the other cheek in a playoff series usually occurs when your head swivels from a punch in the chops.
But that may well be one of huge keys for the Canadiens if they’re to upset the Bruins in their NHL quarterfinal series, beginning tomorrow night in Boston.
The ice at TD Banknorth Garden will still be wet when Mike Komisarek learns this, his photo probably pinned on a dartboard in the Bruins dressing room.
The Canadiens defenceman got a generous taste of Boston leather last Thursday, his face massaged by the gauntlets of Milan Lucic and used as a speed bag by Zdeno Chara in a boxing match that earned the Bruins captain a double minor for roughing, a great non-call in a game teeming with them.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Few hockey savants picked the Boston Bruins to bestride the Eastern Conference and emerge as a Stanley Cup contender.
A playoff team, yes, but this?
The seeds, planted in an exhausting seven-game playoff defeat against the Montreal Canadiens, germinated over the summer and sprouted to mad-science proportions once the NHL season began.
“I think it all goes back to that series last year,” all-star Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said. “We’d had an up-and-down year, but showed we could go up against a top team and not give an inch. That’s when we came together as a team.”
A healthy dollop of the Bruins success is owed to a breakout, Vezina-calibre year by Thomas, who leads the NHL in save percentage and goals-against average.
continued plus more NHL talk…
from John Bishop of BostonBruins.com,
Despite his CHC pedigree, there’s no doubt that most members of the Boston Bruins organization would agree that compliments from Bob Gainey go a long way.
After the B’s 5-4 overtime victory over his Montreal Canadiens, Gainey, Montreal’s general manager and head coach, dolled out several puck bags full of respect for the Black & Gold
“It was a great game,” said Gainey. “I think, you have to give the Bruins credit—they came to play.
“They wanted to play hard. They brought all their tools with them. They were emotional. They were desperate and they’re a good team. They are in first place for a reason,” he said.
However, he was right about another thing: his Habs are not going to quit.
And, clearly, now that le bleu, blanc et rouge are in the playoffs, the standings simply don’t matter.
continued and check out the highlights of the game below…
from Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com,
The National Hockey League’s now famous “Winter Classic” could be staged at Fenway Park this coming New Year’s Day, although a decision hasn’t been made by the league to play the annual outdoor game there yet, an NHL spokesman said on Thursday.
“We’re looking at Fenway,” Frank Brown, the NHL’s group vice president of public relations, said in a telephone conversation about the 97-year-old home of the Red Sox. “But we’re looking at a variety of options.”
from Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa of the Boston Herald,
Don’t breathe a word of this. Because nobody’s supposed to know. But the Boston Bruins [team stats] will host the NHL’s Winter Classic outdoor hockey game against an unnamed opponent Jan. 1 at Fenway Park!
Our spies on Lansdowne Street say the League has given its blessing to a 2010 New Year’s Day game in the Hub of Hockey, choosing Boston over New York and Philadelphia.
Steve of Puck The Media posts the 2nd part of his Jack Edwards interview,
PTM: [Clunky Transition] Well, speaking of entertainment value, there was this huge, huge hulabaloo in the online hockey community last week at that Philadelphia game where you did sort of the Vincent Price laugh after that Randy Jones hit. First of all, how did that come into your mind, and do you think people are making too much of it? I think it was just fun…
JE: Okay, first of all, everybody has a right to his opinion, and I enjoy strong opinions. What I don’t respect is people who call names and throw mud and don’t actually follow through and consider what the story really is.
If you go back and if you listen to the illegally posted, copyrighted material thats on YouTube [we both chuckle] I clearly refer to “the crowd wants a call for a hit from behind”. That is what was so hilarious. Because even before we knew that Patrice Bergeron had a broken neck on the 27th of October, 2007. Even before we knew what the result of the examination was. While he was still unconscious, the Flyers had issued a public relations release, and the Philadelphia media swallowed it whole, to the point that some columnist in Philadelphia actually wrote that Bergeron knew the hit was coming.
more and if you missed the Edwards call, watch it below…
from Puck The Media,
PTM: ...are you kind of glad that ESPN doesn’t cover hockey anymore?
JE: Well, I think that all you need to know is - for those who wish that hockey was back on ESPN - last Saturday, which was probably the single most amazing night of the NHL season. Just in terms of teams switching places, dramatic things happening, crazy games, that kind of thing.
We went from Toronto to Philadelphia, we were in (Bruins radio play-by-play man) Dave Goucher’s room, having a couple cold ones. Now, the Sweet 16 is going on in college basketball at the same time, the only hockey we saw in the entire sportscast of “SportsCenter” was about 45 seconds of the UNH-North Dakota game, which was the one UNH tied with one-tenth of a second to go, that went into Overtime. That was 56 minutes into the telecast. There was nothing on the NHL in the entire show.
So, for those of you that hope that hockey gets back on ESPN, that’s what you’re gonna’ get. That’s where it belongs in ESPN’s hierarchy, because there are some bozos sitting in the accounting department in a bunker in Burbank, California running Disney, who look at the numbers and completely ignore the passion of hockey fans.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Sean Avery felt yesterday was the perfect time to give Thomas one to grow on - specifically, a smack to the back of the helmet as the Bruins’ No. 1 goalie was stretching his legs during a TV timeout in the third period.
“Unwritten rule,” Thomas mused, following his 31-stop afternoon and a 1-0 win over the Rangers that led to the Bruins clinching the Eastern Conference regular-season title. “Nothing happens during TV timeouts.”
Like most parts of the rulebook, the TV timeout rule hasn’t been committed to memory by the pugnacious Ranger forward. With Thomas some 30 feet out in the slot, stretching his hamstrings, Avery oh-so-subtly cruised up from behind and smacked his stick to the back of Thomas’s head.
“You look up and see who it is,” recalled Thomas, “and you’re like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ So it was just reflex.”
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.
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