Kukla's Korner Hockey
Kostopoulos earned a two-minute roughing minor on the play, but the war of words has escalated ever since.
“Kostopoulos, he’s a tough kid and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and [Steve] Bégin,” Philadelphia head coach John Stevens said. “But to go up and blindside sucker Kimmo Timonen on a play at the end there, that’s cowardly, in my opinion.”
Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau has been anything but quiet about the criticism of his player.
“That’s one team that shouldn’t talk,” Carbonneau said of Stevens’s comments. “They played 82 games and had the most suspensions in the league.”
And over at the Philadelphia Daily News, Rich Hofmann also expects things to get nastier in this series, citing this quote from Carbonneau:
“I think [Timonen] deserved it. That’s why they didn’t call any (major) penalties on it.”
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Others will say it’s been ugly around here since the playoffs began.
It all depends, of course, entirely on your view of hair style.
On the one side of the Canadiens’ dressing room, you have the long, flowing, golden locks of Russian star Alexei Kovalev - hair so long and blond that, Saturday night, some Montreal fans showed up in wigs that made them look like they were extras in the Broadway musical Hairspray.
On the other side, you have the buzz cut, playoff choice of most of the Montreal dressing room, with players like Tom Kostopoulos, the one who decked Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen the other night, looking like they’ve just been deloused and are about to be issued their prison garb.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Price has had one outstanding game in this series and one subpar game. As a result, the Canadiens won the game in which they were outplayed by the Flyers and lost Game 2, even though they outplayed Philadelphia by a wide margin.
Surprise, surprise. Come playoff time, goalies, quarterbacks and starting pitchers have a disproportionate impact on a team’s fortunes.
Price is still learning his craft. No matter how large his talent or how bright his future, he is a 20-year-old playing a man’s game.
There will be nights when it all comes together, as it did during Game 7 against the Bruins - and there will be nights like Saturday’s game against the Flyers, when a couple of pucks go in over his left shoulder and the kid goes to work to adjust his position, doing the things he will do automatically as he matures.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos will not be suspended for his left hook sucker punch to the face of Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen on Saturday.
The NHL hockey operations office reviewed the incident and ruled that because Kostopoulos was penalized on the play and Timonen was not injured, no further discipline was necessary.
Less than 24 hours after his team was accused of commiting a cowardly act by Philadelphia coach John Stevens, Guy Carbonneau has rushed to his players’ defence – especially atoning the behaviour of Tom Kostopoulos.
“That (the Flyers) is one team that shouldn’t talk,” the Canadiens coach said Sunday, after his team participated in an optional practice in LaSalle. “Over 82 games, they had the most suspensions in the league.”
more at Habs Inside/Out…
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
After Philly’s R.J. Umberger scored to make it 4-2 and clinch the win, Timonen turned back toward the Canadiens and raised his arms, a smirk on his face.
Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos delivered a roundhouse left to Timonen’s chops.
“I was just upset we were losing,” Kostopoulos said.
“I didn’t say anything. I raised my hands and I got punched,” Timonen said.
“I don’t want to make a big deal of it ... I guess we’ll see what happens (tomorrow).”
from Wayne Fish at phillyBurbs,
Doesn’t get any better than playing hockey in Montreal in April or May. There’s no such thing as bandwagon fans in this city because everyone — repeat, everyone — is a Canadiens fan. Even little dogs are wearing red, white and blue sweaters.
Canada sort of feels like it invented hockey, just as America has baseball, football and basketball as its birthrights. Face it, it’s the only game in town, so why shouldn’t rooting interest be over the top.
Here’s how rabid — but knowledgeable — the fans are. Joffrey Lupul was walking down the street on Friday and fans not only recognized him but booed him!
via Chris Stevenson at Best of Seven blog,
Habs winger Alex Kovalev had a funny quote about the buzzcuts a lot of his teammates are sporting in the playoffs.
When asked if he would be shearing off his blond, flowing locks, Kovalev replied: “The way I always see it is we can’t all be Indians. Somebody has to be the chief.”
via Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.,
Montreal’s Alexei Kovalev tied the score with 29 seconds remaining in the third period and Tom Kostopoulos scored the winner 48 seconds into overtime in the Canadiens’ 4-3 win over the Flyers in Game 1 of their series. It was only the fourth playoff game in NHL history in which a team tied the score in the final minute of regulation and won it in the first minute of overtime.
This is the first time that Mike Modano and Joe Thornton have played against each other in a postseason series. They’ve played in the same regular-season game 28 times, with the Stars winning 16 of them, Thornton’s teams (the Bruins and Sharks) 10, and two games ending in a tie. Thornton (9-18-27) has outscored Modano (10-15-25) by two points in their head-to-head games.
Watch the video highlights of the Canadiens/Flyers and Wings/Avalanche games from last night.
added 9:47am, ESPN highlights with Buccigross and Melrose…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
But if you want motivation for tomorrow’s Game 2, look to Biron and his team. The easygoing Biron has a very personal reason for wanting to whip the Canadiens. As a youngster growing up in Lac St-Charles, he worshipped the nearby Quebec Nordiques – in the years before the team moved to Colorado – to the point where he would paint his face the team colours, white and blue, during playoff matches and show up at the airport to welcome his heroes home, often in defeat from the hands of the dreaded Canadiens.
“A lot of that rivalry, that history,” he says, “is still implanted inside me.
“Finally, I will live out that Quebec-Montreal rivalry.”
You want further motivation for Montreal to continue winning, just look to Price and his team. He has the likes of Dryden and Patrick Roy, two Hall-of-Fame goaltenders, to emulate. And the Canadiens are chasing their 25th Stanley Cup. They are the only Canadian team left in the playoffs.
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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