Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
It doesn’t make for as catchy a slogan as “Vengeance Now” - the Flyers’ declaration of war on an NHL that thumped them mercilessly last season. It just makes sense tonight.
The Flyers can busy themselves trying to get square with Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin for his cheap-shot-from-behind elbow to Danny Briere’s head, or they can busy themselves trying to keep their hope alive by winning Game 3.
They can’t do both.
“We’re in no position to go after retribution,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “We need to win games.”
added 7:17am, also from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
“We played better in Game 2 than Game 1, but we need to play better to have success against Pittsburgh,” Flyers coach John Stevens said yesterday. “Sometimes you have to work hard for your breaks. Things happen in a hockey game you’re not always going to agree with; you just have to deal with it.
“That’s what we have to get back to. The ‘Why not us?’ There’s a lot more we have to do to be the ‘us’ we want to be.”
For starters, the Flyers need to be more physical.
from the CP via TSN,
While Briere realizes that prominent players have gotten protection from officials as long as the NHL has existed, some consistency wUnhappould be nice, too.
“I’ve never considered myself a superstar,” said a smiling Briere, who signed an US$52-million, eight-year free-agent deal with the Flyers last summer. “Obviously, they might get protected a little bit more. That’s understandable, but when they do some of the cheap shots that they’re doing I think it would be fair for everybody that they get the same treatment in that regard.”
This is all stuff the Penguins have heard before.
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
The Flyers are down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference finals to those upstart Pittsburgh Penguins. Truth is, can anyone say they’re surprised? The Penguins have a better, all-around skill set than the Flyers.
On the other hand …
As Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren said Monday, “We’re 0-2. We have to play better if we expect to win a game.”
Flyers’ defenceman Braydon Coburn is “doubtful” for Game 3 Tuesday at the Wachovia Center. He has no structural damage to his left eye.
“We’re still waiting to hear how his eye is,” Holmgren said. “Right now, it’s swollen shut. There are no fractures. He’s doing better. We have no reason to think there’s anything wrong with the eye.”
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com:
Can the Stars make a sudden turnaround and take control of the series? Sure they can, but I don’t see it happening. Led by coach Mike Babcock, the Wings are on a roll and are determined to erase the memories of losing to the Anaheim Ducks in last year’s Western Conference Final.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have showed they can adjust to any style of play their opposition throws at them. The Flyers are trying to be physical with the young Pens, but it hasn’t worked for them to this point. Talent-wise, the Flyers just don’t match up with Pittsburgh and must play perfect games from here on out in order to extend this series past five games.
Once again, the Flyers can make a make a comeback, but I don’t see it happening.
From Damien Cox in The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Sure was nasty watching the fine young Philadelphia defenceman, Braydon Coburn, take a puck in the face Sunday night in Game 2 between the Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
He was cut badly near the eye, and may or may not be able to play in Game 3.
Surely, it could have been worse. Yet wasn’t it also preventable?
Given where the injury was, it would appear a half-shield would have blocked the puck from hitting Coburn in the face. But he doesn’t wear one, and so he was lost for the game, and maybe more.
*And more on this topic today from Greg Wyshynski at the Yahoo! Sports blog, Puck Daddy
An interview today with Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien.
Q. Can you describe the conversation you had with Georges Laraque after the end of last year when you told him what you wanted him to be like physically, and what role in order to fulfill a role here?
COACH THERRIEN: Well, if there’s someone who knows Georges really well, it’s me, because I coached Georges in Juniors. I know what he’s capable of. We won a Memorial Cup together. He was an impact player on our team. That was a guy that we were looking to bring to our club. I thought we really did a great job to bring Georges in, but the Georges Laraque that I saw last year was not the Georges Laraque that I knew.
I told him at the end of the year that he needs to be in much better shape. He could be an impact player, and he took care of himself over the summer. Reported in great shape, and got a great season as far as I’m concerned.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
It was not the start to the conference finals that the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars envisioned, down 2-0 in their respective series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.
Both clubs must now find ways to rebound quickly in their next games or face the prospect of facing a deficit in the series too steep to overcome.
Don Cherry on ESPN breaks down game 2 ECF and talks Wings/Stars too.
from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Single-handedly, shorthandedly, Richards gave his team life. Alone, unassisted, Richards turned a game where his team still wasn’t good enough into a game where his team still had hope.
It is a remarkable quality that some athletes have - rising above the adversity. It is about skill and it is about effort and it is about backbone - and nobody ever doubted Mike Richards in any of those categories, and nobody would think of doubting him now.
He will allow, quietly, “It’s frustrating.” But that is it as far as his obvious public disappointment will go. He is very clinical in his dissection of a hockey game, even a game as big as this one. There is no pretense, no false bravado.
Asked what has to improve for Game 3, he says: “Similar things to what we did tonight. We just need to play better and more consistent throughout the game. We still feel we can play a little bit better and get more consistent.”
Flyers coach John Stevens and Penguins coach Michel Therrien met with the media earlier today…
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