Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
When the series ended, when the Rangers went through the handshake line following last night’s 2-1 Game 7 defeat, Chris Drury used his left hand to congratulate the Capitals.
That’s because, as he told The Post, the captain had played the first round with a broken right hand he sustained late in the April 9 victory over the Flyers in the Garden finale that clinched a playoff berth.
Serge Fedorov scored the game winning goal with under 5 minutes left in the 3rd period.
Tight-checking game, both goalies were outstanding but only one team can win.
Feel ok for a few hours, then boom can’t keep my eyes open, headache, etc….
note: Original post time was 8:39am this morning.
Woke up this morning with a sore throat and a very run-down feeling.
Maybe a little more sleep will cure that. So I will be back a little later on this morning.
In the meantime, check out the game 7 performances of the players and coaches involved in the two game 7’s tonight.
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
The pressure is on: The Devils. If Carolina doesn’t win, most pundits would credit them for pushing the favored Devils to seven games. Either way, interim coach Paul Maurice deserves to return next season. If the Devils don’t beat Carolina, it would be a serious collapse for a team some think has a serious chance to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup finals….
The pressure is on: The Capitals. Rangers coach John Tortorella made a point of asking reporters during Monday’s meeting with the press if anybody thought the Rangers had a chance in Washington for Game 7. Nobody responded. “I appreciate your honesty,”...
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Tortorella returned to the rink and to his team after serving his Game 6 suspension, a subject he refused to discuss following practice, dismissing a series of questions out of hand with the suggestion that people want too much information.
It was quintessential Tortorella, famous for demanding discipline and accountability, but apparently not obligated to practice either himself. Whatever. His personality quirks are not the story of Game 7, though the hubris with which he struts could influence the outcome if the Caps take the ice with the same amount of misplaced arrogance.
Maybe the Caps will be overconfident after winning Games 3, 5 and 6 so easily, though last year’s first-round Game 7 OT defeat at home to the Flyers after scratching back from down 3-1 will likely serve as a cautionary tale. Maybe the Caps will be like the Soviets at Lake Placid and underestimate their opponent.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
John Tortorella looked around the group of reporters Monday and asked the question.
“OK, I’ll poll you right now,” said the New York Rangers coach. “Who thinks we’re going to win tomorrow?”
Not a single hand was raised.
“There you go. There is no pressure on us,” said Tortorella. “We’re going to go there and try to relax and compete in a Game 7 because everybody thinks we’re done. It falls back on them. They have the advantage because it is a home building and that’s what they did this year. They deserve that seventh game, but it’s funny what happens with the pressure.”
Ah, the mind games on the eve of a seventh game. It’s universal in all sports.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Assuming Glen Sather is still running the New York Rangers next season, he might want to find a bona fide No. 1-line player or two for his team.
Currently, the Rangers have none; good team, but no star forwards or defencemen.
Outside of goalie Henrik Lundqvist—the only reason New York is even in a Game 7 in the first round against the Washington Capitals—the Rangers do not have a single established player they can claim to be a front-liner.
Not Scott Gomez. Not Chris Drury. Not Markus Naslund.
Two solid second-liners on a good team and a guy who scores on occasion, but rarely stands out in a game that matters.
from Capitals Outsider,
ESPN just retracted on SportsCenter, stating that Mike Green and Donald Brashear have not been suspended, yet. However they both now have a hearing at 1pm today. This is according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
added 11:16am, via TSN,
Sources tell TSN Betts suffered a broken orbital bone from the Brashear hit and is likely done for the playoffs.
from Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post,
The New York Rangers can’t hope to consistently out-skate or outscore the Washington Capitals, so their strategy is to outfight and out-argue them. Throughout the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, they’ve counted on belligerence as a neutralizer, but it’s an approach born of inferiority, and they don’t seem to have a Plan B. You know they’re desperate when they’re reduced to whining about foul language.
from Artur Staple of Newsday,
There’s a Game 7 coming on Tuesday in Washington. The Rangers may want to skip the trip.
It was clear from the start of this series with the Caps that the Rangers needed most, if not all, of the breaks to win each game. They needed Henrik Lundqvist to stand on his head, they needed Alex Ovechkin to hit a post or two and they needed a couple lucky bounces to produce more than a goal.
The breaks are gone now, washed away with a squirt from a water bottle on Friday night. John Tortorella watched from a suite in Madison Square Garden today, with Jim Schoenfeld behind the bench for the 5-3 Caps win that forced Tuesday’s Game 7.
Schoenfeld, Tortorella, Mike Keenan, Toe Blake… Wouldn’t have mattered who was coaching today, really. The Rangers are overmatched in this series, they have been since it began and the only way they can win is for Lundqvist to work his magic.
added 6:27pm, from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,
Rangers fans were howling about the injury suffered by ace penalty killer Blair Betts, who was hit in the head by Caps forward Donald Brashear midway through the first period. Betts was left sprawled on the ice, had to be helped to the dressing room and didn’t return. Brashear and Rangers defenseman Paul Mara both got roughing penalties after some post-hit grappling, but Brashear wasn’t nicked for the initial contact.
Rangers stand-in coach Jim Schoenfeld said Betts was hurt “significantly,” and then also said that center Brandon Dubinsky was bit on the arm by Caps defenseman Shaone Morrisonn during a different scrum.
“We’re gonna have to do without Betts most likely,” Schoenfeld said. “Dubinsky had to get a tetanus shot because he was bit on the arm in a scrum, I don’t know what effect that will have on him, so his status remains in question.
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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