Kukla's Korner Hockey
Game times aren’t available yet, but here is the schedule as we know it for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals starting this week. (Update May 5th: times and dates finalized and available here)
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
These Flyers had the worst season in their history a year ago. Now they are in the final four. They had the worst record in the NHL a year ago. Now they have knocked off the No. 1 seed to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
“Last year?” said R.J. Umberger, who scored two goals last night and a stunning total of eight in the five-game series. “We almost didn’t make the playoffs this year. We had to fight at the end of the season to get in.”
What’s the French for destiny?
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Montreal Canadiens regular-season success meant nothing in the playoffs.
Unable to get on track against the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the playoffs, the Canadiens suffered their fourth defeat in a row — this time 6-4 — and were eliminated in five games.
Tied at 4-4 late in the third period, Scottie Upshall put the Flyers ahead with three minutes and four seconds remaining in the game on a deflection goal off a Jeff Carter shot. Mike Knuble checked in with an insurance empty-net goal in the final minute.
added 10:49pm, Watch Flyers coach John Stevens in his post game press conference via TSN...
Watch game highlights below…
From Elliotte Friedman at CBC,
“His brother owned the one gym in town,” Roloson said. “And we would meet him there to work out. John took it very seriously, and eventually we did, too.”
“I believe his nickname was Rambo, because of how hard he worked out,” Blake said.
Stevens is still in excellent shape and expects nothing less from his players. During the off-day between Games 3 and 4 of this series, the Flyers didn’t skate but did have a weight-training workout.
But his impact extended beyond the exercise room.
more from Dwayne Roloson and Rob Blake on how the Flyers’ coach impacted their own early careers
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Tonight, the Flyers can close out their best-of-7 series against the heavily favored Montreal Canadiens in five games. It is a position they were in on April 19 when they traveled to Washington and lost 3-2.
“People were concerned we were overconfident going into Washington and I think it was the opposite,” Flyers coach John Stevens said Friday at the Skate Zone.
“We were underconfident. We sat back and waited. We gotta get after this game harder than we have any other game. Montreal is a very good team and their fans are going to be behind them and we’re going to have to be ready to go.”
On The Hockey Show hosted by the NHL Network Online, hockey fanatic Scott Ferrall encounters the heated rivalry between Flyers and Canadiens fans. Video is below.
Also, while I’m on the subject of the NHL Network Online, I contacted their technical people this week with a request for more information being made available to those who are encountering technical problems viewing the material. They were working on it already, but responded quickly by letting me know they put this FAQ page up. It’s a work in progress, but at least it will help troubleshoot some issues when accessing the available media on different computer systems.
Anyway, back to the video…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
As Patrick Roy was to the 1993 Montreal Canadiens, little Danny is becoming to the 2008 Flyers – the one who is there when it counts the most.
There are long stretches in the Wachovia Center when his presence on or off the ice goes unnoticed, but never so in Montreal, where the fifth game in this best-of-seven series will be played tomorrow night.
It is a game Montreal must win to survive. It is a game where Brière wants “to finish them off” so the Flyers can move on to the Eastern Conference final.
When the red-hot playoff scorer so much as touches the puck in Montreal’s Bell Centre, the booing is roughly the equivalent of a Quebec response to a federal power grab.
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
It’s frustrating, obviously,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “We just lost three games and I can’t sit there with the coaching staff and try to change things or the way we play tactically. We are playing great. We have scoring chances and we don’t give too much, but we lost the game. Biron is on top of his game right now. Whether he’s lucky or good or extremely good, he is making the saves . . .
“I’ve played with one guy that made those kind of saves that were silly sometimes.”
He means Ed Belfour back when Carbonneau won a Stanley Cup with Dallas, and silly is just the perfect word for it. He’s right. His team has not played badly, not at all. Their greatest fault lies in their attempts to be too perfect, too pinpoint, trying to be too impossible for Biron to stop.
from Mike Sielski of phillyBurbs,
The Flyers want all the benefits of treading on the dark side of their sport but none of the costs. When a franchise declares its new motto to be “Vengeance Now” and constructs a season-long marketing campaign around it, it isn’t being subtle in its aims and intentions. Here’s a thought: Maybe Montreal got eight power plays in Game 3 in part because Steve Downie — an energetic if undisciplined young player — took three minor penalties.
Long ago, this franchise took on a woe-is-us tone set by its owner, and the grousing has grown tiresome. Too many times over the years, Ed Snider has been graceless in defeat, letting his anger over Flyers losses drive him to ridiculous rants.
So it’s hardly stunning when his employees echo him. From their broadcasters to their backup goaltenders, the Flyers are forever crying foul over officiating, forever playing the victim, forever pointing the finger everywhere but where it often belongs.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Nords fans still talk about the Good Friday brawl in 1984 at the Montreal Forum: fourteen fights. So many, in fact, that referee Bruce Hood lost track of who was tossed from the game and who was not.
“My parents still talk about that game,” Biron said. “How the Canadiens cheated. It runs deep. People who are Quebec fans will always be Nordiques fans. It runs deep within families. They will always have that feeling inside them.”
Biron has that feeling deep inside him as well whenever he sees that “CH” crest of the Canadiens.
“Funny, but Marty never talks about it,” said Danny Briere, admitting that he never knew his former Buffalo roommate painted his face blue and white as a child.
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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