Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Others will say it’s been ugly around here since the playoffs began.
It all depends, of course, entirely on your view of hair style.
On the one side of the Canadiens’ dressing room, you have the long, flowing, golden locks of Russian star Alexei Kovalev - hair so long and blond that, Saturday night, some Montreal fans showed up in wigs that made them look like they were extras in the Broadway musical Hairspray.
On the other side, you have the buzz cut, playoff choice of most of the Montreal dressing room, with players like Tom Kostopoulos, the one who decked Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen the other night, looking like they’ve just been deloused and are about to be issued their prison garb.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Flyers, like the Bruins, found themselves in a dogfight for a playoff berth in the final weeks of the season, but that seems to have hardened the team and made it more prepared for post-season play. Captain Mike Richards, meanwhile, leads the club in ice time and seems to be in the middle of everything, whether it’s a scoring play or a scrum.
The Flyers, on home ice, now have a glorious opportunity to put their boots on the throats of the Habs. But if they don’t, no one would criticize them for it because they are the team that came all the way from the bottom to be respectable again.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos will not be suspended for his left hook sucker punch to the face of Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen on Saturday.
The NHL hockey operations office reviewed the incident and ruled that because Kostopoulos was penalized on the play and Timonen was not injured, no further discipline was necessary.
Less than 24 hours after his team was accused of commiting a cowardly act by Philadelphia coach John Stevens, Guy Carbonneau has rushed to his players’ defence – especially atoning the behaviour of Tom Kostopoulos.
“That (the Flyers) is one team that shouldn’t talk,” the Canadiens coach said Sunday, after his team participated in an optional practice in LaSalle. “Over 82 games, they had the most suspensions in the league.”
more at Habs Inside/Out…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post via Delaware Online,
Dowd’s routine does not end with his last forkful of rice.
When he gets to the arena—whether it’s the Bell Centre in Montreal or the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia—Dowd has to have his equipment positioned just right.
“I like my stall nice and neat,” Dowd said. “[Former Islanders great] Butch Goring once told me that if something works, don’t change it. Stick with it. Some guys say I’m a little bit of a neat freak. But I ain’t changing anything.”
According to Flyers equipment manager Derek Settlemyre, most players have some kind of pregame ritual that goes unchanged. Derian Hatcher gives fist punches to every player before he takes the ice. Jeff Carter always follows Mike Richards down the runway. Randy Jones always is the last player off the ice following warmups and before every intermission.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
After Philly’s R.J. Umberger scored to make it 4-2 and clinch the win, Timonen turned back toward the Canadiens and raised his arms, a smirk on his face.
Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos delivered a roundhouse left to Timonen’s chops.
“I was just upset we were losing,” Kostopoulos said.
“I didn’t say anything. I raised my hands and I got punched,” Timonen said.
“I don’t want to make a big deal of it ... I guess we’ll see what happens (tomorrow).”
from Wayne Fish at phillyBurbs,
Doesn’t get any better than playing hockey in Montreal in April or May. There’s no such thing as bandwagon fans in this city because everyone — repeat, everyone — is a Canadiens fan. Even little dogs are wearing red, white and blue sweaters.
Canada sort of feels like it invented hockey, just as America has baseball, football and basketball as its birthrights. Face it, it’s the only game in town, so why shouldn’t rooting interest be over the top.
Here’s how rabid — but knowledgeable — the fans are. Joffrey Lupul was walking down the street on Friday and fans not only recognized him but booed him!
Watch the video highlights of the Canadiens/Flyers and Wings/Avalanche games from last night.
added 9:47am, ESPN highlights with Buccigross and Melrose…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
But if you want motivation for tomorrow’s Game 2, look to Biron and his team. The easygoing Biron has a very personal reason for wanting to whip the Canadiens. As a youngster growing up in Lac St-Charles, he worshipped the nearby Quebec Nordiques – in the years before the team moved to Colorado – to the point where he would paint his face the team colours, white and blue, during playoff matches and show up at the airport to welcome his heroes home, often in defeat from the hands of the dreaded Canadiens.
“A lot of that rivalry, that history,” he says, “is still implanted inside me.
“Finally, I will live out that Quebec-Montreal rivalry.”
You want further motivation for Montreal to continue winning, just look to Price and his team. He has the likes of Dryden and Patrick Roy, two Hall-of-Fame goaltenders, to emulate. And the Canadiens are chasing their 25th Stanley Cup. They are the only Canadian team left in the playoffs.
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
It also could be argued that the Montreal Canadiens got a lot of help from the officiating with two calls that, in the end, negated an effort that should have put the Flyers ahead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Instead, a borderline, last- minute kneeing call and a resulting power-play goal by Alex Kovalev that tied the game and a ruling on a second-period Kovalev goal that appeared to have been scored with a high stick resulted in a 4-3 Montreal win in overtime last night in the Bell Centre.
Tom Kostopoulos got a second chance at his own rebound and scored the game-winner 48 second into overtime, putting the Canadiens up, 1-0, in the best-of-seven series that resumes tomorrow night in Montreal.
“We certainly didn’t get any breaks,” coach John Stevens said when asked how he felt about the calls.
The Philadelphia Flyers will be without regular defenceman Jaroslav Modry Thursday night when they open their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series in Montreal.
Modry will travel to the Czech Republic on Saturday for the burial of his father, Jaroslav Modry Sr., who died last week following a seven-month battle with colon cancer.
“The arrangements were set,” Flyers coach John Stevens said of Modry. “We’re going to make sure he has enough time to get back and take the time that he needs. He’ll have plenty of time to pay his respects, and then take whatever time he needs to rejoin the team.”
continued… with our condolences
Some words on Modry from NHL.com’s Mike Morreale, written last week.
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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