Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Craig Berube says his team isn't tired. The Flyers' third-period play recently suggests otherwise.
The long grind that had them play the final 17 regular-season games - many against elite teams - over the last 30 days seems to have caught up with the Flyers. They have been flat and outskated in most third periods lately.
If they don't awaken, they will soon have several months to catch up on their rest.
Berube doesn't buy the theory that the Flyers are fatigued, or that it played a role in their disastrous third period Thursday in New York, where the Rangers pulled away from a 1-1 tie and won the playoff opener, 4-1.
The Flyers should have been energized for the final 20 minutes, knowing they somehow were thisclose to taking the early control of the series. In Madison Square Garden, no less.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
So now Flyers coach Craig Berube is going to have his team revert to its season-long style of carrying the puck into the Rangers’ zone after Thursday’s misguided game plan that featured chip-and-chase hockey basically blew up in their faces.
Regardless, it is imperative the Rangers seize this moment to not only grab an immediate two-game advantage in the series, but to send the Flyers back to Philadelphia riddled with doubt for Tuesday’s Game 3, seeking a third way to play.
It is imperative the Rangers chow down on a full helping of killer instinct for breakfast before Sunday’s noon faceoff. This is more than about just holding serve. It is about establishing and reinforcing superiority.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Mason went through a practice at Chelsea Piers and said he felt good and wasn’t hampered in any kind of movement on the ice.
He last practiced Tuesday and will have a full practice with teammates Saturday.
“I felt pretty good for being on the ice for the first time in a couple days,” Mason said. “It was a good step. I felt great movement wise.”
Can you play in Game 2?
“We still have a couple days before Sunday rolls around, so that’s definitely my goal,” Mason said.
Mason said Flyers management would have to decide on his status. Coach Craig Berube said he’ll make a decision after speaking with all parties later today and what he sees off Saturday’s practice.
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.
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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