Kukla's Korner Hockey
via NBC Sports Group release,
Yesterday’s Western Conference Final Game 1 between Los Angeles and Chicago (3-6 p.m. ET) delivered a 1.9 overnight rating on NBC, up 90% from the comparable game two years ago (Phoenix-Los Angeles, 1.0). There was no comparable game last year.
Chicago drew a 15.9 HH rating, its second-best Conference Final rating ever on NBC, behind only last year’s primetime game (Los Angeles-Chicago, 19.6, 6/8/13). Los Angeles posted a 2.1 HH rating.
On Saturday afternoon, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens (1-3:45 p.m. ET) drew a 1.2 overnight rating. New York delivered a 3.2 HH rating.
NBC was the No. 1 market during the respective games in Chicago and New York, and No. 2 in Los Angeles.
Viewers consumed 2.87 million minutes of yesterday’s game, the most ever for a Conference Final, up 43% vs. last year’s CF average, and the best for an unauthenticated game this season. Nearly 63,000 uniques streamed the game.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
All indications at Monday’s morning skate suggested that backup Peter Budaj would get the start in Game 2 against the New York Rangers. He had a long chat with goalie coach Stephane Waite at the end of the session and was the first to leave the ice – normally a sign that he would play.
That would be the safe move. The expected move. However, when you dig a little deeper into the past of the two goaltenders it’s clear that Tokarski offers Montreal the best chance at pulling off an upset victory over New York.
The 24-year-old has played in a world junior championship, a Memorial Cup and a Calder Cup. And he’s won them all. That big-game experience is far more important than his inexperience at the NHL level. As a former coach of his told Sportsnet: "The kid is a winner. I am a big Tokarski fan."
Budaj, by comparison, has appeared in just eight total playoff games in his 13-year professional career. He’s a longtime NHL goalie, yes, but there isn’t anything in his body of work that suggests he can back the Habs to four wins in the next games under considerable pressure.
Q. Coach, what was your reaction when you heard about Price being out?
COACH VIGNEAULT: It doesn't really change anything for us. We're trying to get ready for our game. Prior to the series, we had prepared for three possible goaltenders, obviously, spending more time on Price. It's very unfortunate what happened to him. But for us, it's business as usual.
Q. Do you have any expectation of Kreider and/or that he might be a little bit of a target tonight?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I can't speak for how they're going to react. I can just tell you how we're going to play. Kreider is a good player, an honest player like the rest of our team. We play a straight forward game, whistle to whistle and that's not going to change tonight.
Q. If you can, just in English, Carey Price's value for the series, and what it means to this team?
COACH THERRIEN: You know what, Carey Price won't be able to play tonight, not only for tonight, but for the rest of that series. Really disappointed. He's our best player. Looking at the incident, you know, it's a reckless play. That's the truth. And Kreider, this is not the first time he's going at goalies, so end up losing your best player. But our group faced a lot of adversity through the course of the season, and we respond and we've got the attitude to respond really well, and this is what I'm expecting starting tonight.
via the CP at the Globe and Mail,
Goaltender Carey Price tested a suspected knee injury briefly ahead of an optional practice on Sunday, but his fitness for Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference final remains in doubt.
Price went on the ice with goaltending coach Stephane Waite for about five minutes, mostly moving side to side in the crease. Then they left the ice.
There was no immediate word on his condition from the team.
Price was hurt at 3:15 of the second period of a 7-2 loss to New York in the series opener on Saturday when Rangers forward Chris Kreider crashed into him skates-first after missing the net on a breakaway.
Price lay on the ice for a while and appeared to injure his right knee, but got up and stayed in the game.
After giving up two goals late in the period, he was replaced by backup Peter Budaj for the third frame.
If you missed the incident in the game yesterday, you can watch it here...
“We got our asses kicked all over the ice."
-Rene Bourque of the Montreal Canadiens
“We were not ready, mentally, physically, to compete in a game like that."
-Michel Therrien, head coach of the Montreal Canadiens
“All over the ice they beat us. They worked hard. They were on the puck, they were aggressive, they were hungry. We weren’t ready, it’s as simple as that. We come ready to play, it’s a different game.
“That’s not our hockey team that played today.”
-P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens
More on the game from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star.
Here is Montreal head coach Michel Therrien post-game on why he pulled Carey Price after the 2nd period...
via a transcript the NHL supplies...
Q. If you can, just what did you think of the play where Kreider slid into Carey, and was him not playing later in the game at all injury related?
COACH THERRIEN: I think it was accidental, honestly. The fact that he didn't play in the third period, that was more to protect him than anything, because we were not sharp in front of him.
Here is the play of Kreider sliding into Price...
Below, watch the hit Mike Weaver put on Derrick Brassard which forced Brassard to miss most of the game...
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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