Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jef Feeley and Dawn McCarty at Bloomberg.com,
Flyers fans may be plotting their revenge, said Chris Young, 23, a native of the Philadelphia suburbs who now works in Pittsburgh. One possibility is putting an orange-and-black Flyers jersey on the statue of Roberto Clemente, the late Hall of Fame outfielder for Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates, he said.
Fans on Internet sites have picked up the call, and are urging Flyers boosters in western Pennsylvania to mount an all- out jersey assault on the Clemente statue, which stands in front of the Pirates’ PNC Bank Park.
Young said he won’t participate in the high jinks himself because of Penguin fans’ reputation. It’s safer to watch the playoffs at home than in a bar, he said.
“I don’t have the courage to go and watch with all those belligerent Penguins fans,’’ Young said.
and more hockey fan chicanery between Pittsburgh and Philly
Update 12:47pm ET: On the same theme, there’s also a little chicanery from the players…
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
It makes a difference how the Flyers go out.
If their season ends tonight, or Sunday in Pittsburgh, or whenever, it matters how this team plays its final periods of playoff hockey. It matters because that last impression will linger in the minds of these players and their fans.
There is a huge difference between feeling like a young team on the rise and feeling as if the Pittsburgh Penguins took their lunch money.
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
This fast-fading hockey chapter is overwritten in blood, and whether it’s clotting in Kimmo Timonen’s foot or spilling out of Braydon Coburn’s face, Philadelphia’s vengeance-themed hockey team is in a much messier situation than might have existed without those gruesome injuries to its superb defensemen.
All that said, no amount of perfectly located effort or plasma was going to derail these Penguins, whose pristine playoff run goes on stage again tonight at the Wachovia Center for Flying Elbows, a k a the Kate Smith Interactive Museum and Soft Pretzel Emporium.
From Gene Collier at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins are simply too much. Too fast. Too precise. Too disciplined. And too reliably backstopped by the consistently brilliant Marc-Andre Fleury. All of it too much of a mountain for anyone on this side of the Conferencial Divide.
Even within the mandatory confidence of professional athletes, did anyone in the room think this team was capable of winning 11 of the first 12 postseason games?
“You never think that way,” Ruutu said. “It doesn’t matter how you keep going, just so you keep going.”
You might change your thinking now that the Penguins walked into this building where they hadn’t won all year, where they were supposed to get jumped by a desperate hockey club stung by misfortune, and turned the Flyers into the jumpees.
Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien and Philadelphia Flyers coach John Stevens were both available for some questions today.
Below are the transcripts from their respective Q&A sessions.
Don Cherry says the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia series is over…
Watch ‘Grapes’ on ESPN below…
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
After beating the Penguins five times out of eight—and four of four at home—in the regular season, after getting past scoring machine Alex Ovechkin and Washington in the first round, after knocking off top-seeded Montreal in the second round, they have no answers against the Penguins.
At least that seemed to be the prevailing emotion after Philadelphia dug a hole that precedent suggests it will have a difficult time climbing out of.
“I don’t know if I completely have an explanation right now,” winger Joffrey Lupul said after the Penguins trapped, clogged the neutral zone and stifled the Flyers, 4-1.
“We didn’t get many chances, and when we did, we missed the net or they blocked shots. We’re working. We’re in there. We’re skating. But they’re just doing a good job defensively.”
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers asked the question 20,000 times on the 20,000 orange T-shirts they gave their fans last night.
The Pittsburgh Penguins answered it just once.
“Why not us?”
Because the Penguins are better.
The Flyers’ season is not over, of course. But after falling behind three games to none, the outcome of this best-of-seven series is no longer in doubt. Miracles happen. Four miracles in a row do not, at least not against these Penguins.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers were without their top two defencemen last night, but it was their offence that was missing in action.
The Flyers mustered only 18 shots on goal in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead in the NHL’s Eastern Conference final.
From the CP via TSN,
Much has been said and written about Evgeni Malkin’s superb play when Sidney Crosby went down with injury this season.
But it also should not be forgotten that the Pittsburgh Penguins, nearing a Stanley Cup final berth, may not even be here had it not been for how Ty Conklin stepped in for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury this season.
“Him and Gino, it was probably a coin flip to see who is our MVP this year,” defenceman Brooks Orpik said after Tuesday’s pre-game skate. “Without one of those two guys, we probably would have not made the playoffs. They were instrumental.”
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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