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Category: Philadelphia-Flyers

Afternoon Line

“The playoffs are more physical, so you need to play more physical. You’re trying to grind and wear down the other team, and play hard on their top players and wear on them. You may not get them in Game 1. You may not get them in Game 2. But, hopefully by Game 5 or 6 the price that they have to pay to get to those tougher areas has taken its toll.”

-Chris Pronger of the Philadelphia Flyers via Kevin Kurz of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com, where you can read more from Pronger.

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  Tags: chris+pronger

Pronger’s Time

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

When the playoffs arrive, Pronger goes from nasty to nastier. His game becomes more intimidating, more punishing.

Opponents skate through the slot with caution, realizing Pronger thinks it’s his territory.

“We all know his style in the season, but when the playoffs come, you kind of notice a little bit of difference in his play,” left winger Simon Gagne said after Monday’s light practice in Voorhees, where the Flyers prepared for the upcoming playoffs against New Jersey. “He might be a little more physical. That’s the way I’ve seen it. That’s the way I saw him play in his last two playoffs in Anaheim.

“He’s a physical guy during the season, but when the playoffs come, he’s got that little bit of extra edge.”

read on

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  Tags: chris+pronger

Boucher Delivers

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

When Olli Jokinen flicked a backhand shot toward the space between Boucher’s pads, not much was riding with the puck - merely millions of dollars, a couple of jobs and the fates of two NHL franchises. If Boucher could keep the shot out of the net, the Flyers would beat the New York Rangers and fill the Wachovia Center at least twice with playoff crowds.

If not, the abyss beckoned.

“I remember a Game 7 against Washington a few years ago that was pretty nerve-racking,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “But with the implications of missing [the playoffs], this was even more nerve-racking.”

What implications? Well, Holmgren is one of the people whose security might have been threatened by a collapse of the magnitude required for this team to miss the playoffs. He has no control over the 76ers, but a silent spring in the arena is more than just an embarrassment to Comcast-Spectacor. It is a significant blow to the bottom line.

So there was Boucher, a guy this very organization gave up on eight years ago. You may have lost track in the dizzying goalie-go-round that is Flyers hockey, but Boucher is the last homegrown netminder to take this team on a deep playoff run. That was in 2000.

read on

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Flyers Lack Of Energy Questioned

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

With everything to play for against the New York Rangers, the Flyers charged onto the ice with the competitive fire of Bambi on the interstate.

“I don’t know if it’s confidence or we came out a little bit deer-in-the-headlights, waiting to see what was going to happen,” coach Peter Laviolette said after a 4-3 loss left his team one game from being roadkill. “You’ve got to play a full 60 minutes. You’d rather go down swinging instead of keeping it close. You’d rather swing for the fence.”

It wasn’t just Laviolette, either. Flyers captain Mike Richards couldn’t explain how his team lacked the “energy” to match New York’s. Veteran forward Daniel Briere was similarly at a loss.

“I don’t know if we were tight or what was it,” Briere said. “We didn’t look like a very confident group in the first period. That’s the mind-set we have to change….”

read on

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Flyers Need Two Points This Weekend

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

With just two games left in their never-ending, 82-game slate, the Flyers’ goal is clear: Capture two points against the Rangers this weekend and they’re in the playoffs.

Just win, baby, either tonight at Madison Square Garden or Sunday at the Wachovia Center.

That’s easier said than done. But the Flyers, going up against a team that cost them home-ice advantage on the final day of the regular season last year, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We control our destiny,” Ian Laperriere said. “Sometimes you get down to this time of year and you have to hope that other teams lost games to get in. We don’t need that. For us, we need to win one game to get in.

“It won’t be easy. That’s the team that wants to pass us. The pressure is there. We need to play hard and with emotion.”

continued

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Peeking In On The Flyers Lockerroom

from Anthony J SanFilippo of the Daily Times,

...the biggest change came in the person of Chris Pronger, one of the most outspoken leaders in the league. He was brought in to be a Norris Trophy-caliber defenseman first, but also to shape up a nonplussed locker room.

If you’re looking for a reason John Stevens was fired in December, it had nothing to do with lacking savvy as a game coach. It was because he ran his team like Club Med. Stevens allowed the players to rule the roost.

When Pronger arrived, he brought a different mentality to the locker room than existed with Mike Richards running the show. He had no qualms about calling a teammate on the carpet in front of the whole room. His approach was more brash and in-your-face. It was like bringing Metallica to the Academy of Music.

The younger players didn’t like the new approach and leaned on Stevens for support. Finally, management had enough, and replaced Stevens with no-nonsense coach Peter Laviolette, who is more of the Pronger style. Yet it still hasn’t sunk in, despite the pangs of late-season success being shown.

more

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Broad Street Bullies Trailer

The documentary premieres on HBO May 4th.

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Jeff Carter Will Practice, May Be Available To Play

via Kevin Kurz of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,

The Philadelphia Flyers could be getting their leading goal scorer back for the final two games of the regular season.

Jeff Carter, who suffered a fracture in his left foot on March 21 against Atlanta, has been cleared to return to practice following an MRI in Philadelphia on Wednesday morning. Carter, who leads the team in goals (33) and is tied with Mike Richards for the most points (60), could be available to play in the Flyers’ home-and-home with the New York Rangers. Philadelphia is at Madison Square Garden on Friday night and hosts its division rival on Sunday afternoon at the Wachovia Center..

“Jeff had his MRI this morning and he is healing up nicely,” said general manager Paul Holmgren. “He completed his off-ice rehab and conditioning today and will practice with the team [Thursday].”

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  Tags: jeff+carter

A Train Wreck In Philly?

via Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News,

The Chairman of the Great Indoors, Ed Snider, will avert his gaze from the wretched Sixers and focus on the equally unwatchable Flyers. And unlike the basketball team that absolutely had no chance to make the NBA playoffs, some deep thinkers actually picked the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup.

Until last night, they were in danger of sliding off the NHL playoff bubble, where any team that can skate and chew caribou jerky at the same time gets in. Maybe it’s time for Snider to stop handing out rewards for deeds accomplished more than a generation ago and start assigning some accountability to the perps responsible for the current uberunderachieving mess. Watching a Flyers game has become an evening-eating equivalent of a train wreck in super-slow-motion. If it wasn’t for hi-def, you would opt for the train wreck.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Save Of The Night

With the Flyers winning 1-0 with about 3 minutes to play, Brian Boucher gets to the puck before it crosses the goal line.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+boucher

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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