Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Question: Do you know the difference between Bobby Orr and Ryan McDonagh?
Answer: The Bruins would never have traded the rights to Orr to the Rangers in exchange for Scott Gomez.
Well, that difference among many.
And yet, as the Flyers approached Thursday’s Garden opener of their opening-round playoff series against the Blueshirts, one can be excused for wondering if Philadelphia’s coaching staff had super-imposed the No. 4 onto the back of McDonagh’s jersey given the emphasis the club seemed to be placing on the Rangers’ best player.
Indeed, coach Craig Berube reportedly had instructed his first line consisting of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek to change its preferred style of rush-hockey to a form of dump-and-crash in order to: a) protect against offensive blue line turnovers that would trigger McDonagh leading the transition; and, b) wear down McDonagh by pounding the defenseman whenever he goes back to play the puck below the goal line.
Steve Mason was not at practice today.
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
The Flyers-Rangers schedule is a joke, mostly because if the series goes the limit, the teams will play Games 6 and 7 on consecutive nights at different arenas. Oh, and if the series goes the distance, the last three games will be played over four nights.
But, hey, two big-market teams will be on national TV on consecutive Sundays!
What a sham.
If this series goes seven games, the winner will be worn down by the condensed schedule and will be at a severe disadvantage in the next round against the Pittsburgh-Columbus survivor.
Watch the play below...
added 7:14pm, because Twitter only allows 140 characters, it is sometimes hard to get the exact quote, so here is the CP's Steven Whyno with more from his game story...
After the Flyers' 4-3 overtime win, Bylsma was asked if — even though doctors assured the team and the 26-year-old defenceman that hockey would not put him more at risk for another stroke — he had a little pause seeing Hartnell and Letang shoving each other.
"I did have that thought when that was going on there," said Bylsma. "(Letang) kind of had the play there and the puck on his skate to try to score a goal. It fell off his stick and the whistle and everything ensued after that. Yeah it does, a guy picking on a guy who had a stroke."
Told of Bylsma's comment regarding Hartnell, Flyers coach Craig Berube fired back.
"Then he shouldn't play," Berube said. "He shouldn't be out there playing, bottom line. It's a stupid comment."
Letang, who scored 10 minutes later, said it's "part of the game."
"I got hit from behind, I turn around and it was him," Letang said. "I was not really shocked. but things happen in the game fast. I don't regret (it)."
added 7:23pm, via Whyno tweet,
Bylsma clarified to me that Hartnell "picking on" Letang quote absolutely said tongue-in-cheek
Watch the minor dust-up between Hartnell and Letang below...
Zac Rinaldo wanted to make sure the NHL understood he had no intent to injure Buffalo Sabres defenceman Chad Ruhwedel.
And I have never heard a player say yes, "my intent was to injure him."
Until players understand hits like Rinaldo made can injure someone and need to be avoided, we will continue to see more suspensions down the line.
Watch the video for an explanation...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Don't you love those games where history takes a front-row seat? Like in Philadelphia on Thursday night when former Flyers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, cast off by the Flyers only to win a Vezina Trophy last season in Columbus, blanked his old team with a 37-save effort in the Blue Jackets' 2-0 win.
Bobrovsky was especially strong in the second period, when he faced 17 Flyers shots.
The victory kept the Blue Jackets one point ahead of Toronto for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference and also moved Columbus to within two points of the Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams have six games remaining and there is significant incentive for Columbus, Philadelphia and Detroit to avoid being the second wild card and drawing the Bruins -- the best team in the East by a country mile -- in the first round of the playoffs.
read on for Custance on Drew Doughty and the Kings, LeBrun on Chara and Strang on Patrick Roy...
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
They still control their playoff destiny and still are in a favorable position, but their offense has disappeared, and they have lost five of their last six games (1-3-2), including Thursday’s 2-0 defeat to tight-checking Columbus at the Wells Fargo Center....
The Flyers had 37 shots, but most were from the perimeter. They outplayed Columbus in just one period _ the second _ but couldn’t connect on any of their 17 shots, and they allowed a power-play goal late in the period.
“We just didn’t play sixty minutes,” said captain Claude Giroux, who had his third straight point-less game _ his longest stretch since he was blanked in the season’s first five games. ‘I think the second period we did a lot of good things, we played the way we wanted to, and they got a goal… and we got away from that.”
Ex-Flyer Bobrovsky outplayed his counterpart, former Blue Jacket Steve Mason.
“He challenged the puck a lot,” said Giroux, referring to Bobrovsky. “He comes out of his net and takes the angles off. He’s so quick that it’s tough to beat him.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org