Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Hey, if the league can change its rules in the middle of the playoffs, certainly the fellows who run the NHL have the power to mandate that the Flyers and the Capitals must play a best-of-nine…or 11…or 25.
Sadly, this series will come to an end Tuesday night in Washington and if the league really wants to increase its mass appeal, it will do something, anything, to prevent that from happening. Simply put, this series has been one of the most compelling in years in the NHL and is putting on display everything the league would like the casual sports fan to see.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
It was just a word, just three little letters at the end of a sentence. There was something fatalistic, though, in Kimmo Timonen’s postgame comment.
“We haven’t lost yet,” the veteran defenseman said.
Yet. They haven’t lost the series yet. Three little letters that perfectly capture the feel of things after the Flyers blew Game 6 against the Washington Capitals last night.
The problem isn’t Game 7 in Washington tonight. The problem is how the Flyers arrived there.
Canadiens defeat Bruins 5-0. Bruins put up a fight the whole series but the Canadiens had their number tonight.
Washington takes on Philadelphia tomorrow night in a game 7 after defeating the Flyers 4-2. Ovechkin had the game winner early in the 3rd and put the game out of reach with another goal later in the 3rd period.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Despite a lot of outside vitriol among media and fans, the players and coaches of the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, who meet in Game 6 tonight (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS) at the Wachovia Center have been professional and respectful of one another.
The Flyers’ players, coaches and management don’t hate the Capitals. And the Capitals express respect for their opponents as well.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Game 6 or bust. That has to be the Flyers’ mantra after they were outhustled and outsmarted here in Game 5. The Caps’ 3-2 win may have been the last wild punch of a beaten team desperate to save face with its home fans. Or it may have been more proof that these young Capitals have figured out how to play in the postseason and have taken control of this series.
The best and perhaps only way to prevent that is to win Game 6 tomorrow night at the Wachovia Center.
“Maybe I’m crazy,” said coach John Stevens, who is not. “But I always start at seven and work backward. If you are able to sweep the series, that’s a bonus for you, but I always go into a series thinking we are going to play seven. If we have an opportunity to finish it in less than seven - we had that opportunity today - good.”
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
In my recent playoff predictions, I said the Flyers/Capitals series would be close, high-scoring, and ultimately decided by Washington’s Cristobal Huet outplaying Philadelphia’s Martin Biron in goal.
The Flyers still led the series by a game after Saturday’s 3-2 win by the Capitals, so my pick still needs a wing and a prayer to come true.
But as Huet showed in Washington’s second win of the series, he has to pull nearly as much of a load as Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Caps’ talented youngsters if his team is to make it to the second round.
via the AP,
Right wing Mike Knuble is out for the rest of the Philadelphia Flyers’ playoff series against the Washington Capitals. He suffered a torn left hamstring in Saturday’s Game 5 loss. Knuble, who scored the winner in double overtime of Game 4, appeared to catch his skate in a rut while attempting to block a shot late in the second period.
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“We’ve really got to remain grounded,” said John Stevens at practice yesterday morning, fresh off the Flyers’ double-overtime win in the Wachovia Center on Thursday night. “That was an emotional game. Both teams played well, both goalies played well, and we were fortunate to get the win.
“In a playoff series, momentum, if you lose a game, it can be crushing. If you win, it’s elating. You take pride in each game, put it behind you and go to the next one.”
That’s what Stevens will continue preaching: Focus on the moment.
from Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post,
But as the Capitals trudged off the Wachovia Center ice tonight, 4-3 losers in double overtime, the pain of the present was all these 20-somethings could consider. They had lived and died over and over again for four hours, and now they trailed three games to one in this best-of-seven first-round series with the rowdy Philadelphia Flyers. Their hurt was compounded by how hard they had fought, overcoming what could have been a crippling first period, roaring back to take a 3-2 lead into the third period, only to be eventually undone by more youthful mistakes, needing a win Saturday at Verizon Center to extend this magical season.
read on (reg. req.)
In the column, tiled “Beaten To the Punch,” Wise called the club “an instant repudiation of what (Commissioner) Gary Bettman wanted the league to become” and “a reminder of the NHL’s pugilistic past that just won’t go away.”
“They flat-out market and sell violence here, sanctioned, unbridled assaults disguised as sport,” Wise wrote. He also said, “Many of the women and children in the crowd looked as if they could be security for Megadeth.”
The Flyers planned to distribute 20,000 copies of the article at Thursday night’s game, but the Post sent a cease-and-desist order. So, what did the Flyers do? They put the article up on the big screen over the ice surface, Clark reported.
One Flyers public relations official also wore a long-haired wig and a black shirt with the heavy metal band’s name emblazoned across his back Thursday night.
Read Mike Wise’s original article [link may require free reg.] that appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post.
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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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