Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
An interview with Philadelphia Flyers coach John Stevens.
Q. What can you do to get Prospal going? Have you thought even of changing the wingers on Danny’s line?
COACH STEVENS: Well, I think as a coach, you look at all situations. But to me that line has had times this year where they’ve had a lot of success. The ingredients are there. To me, it’s just in the hands of the player right now. We need Vinny to step up and be a good player for us.
Stamford, CONN. (May 13, 2008)—VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the NHL and the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, garnered a 1.7 National HH rating for its telecast of the Flyers/Penguins Game 2 Conference Final round match-up on Sunday, May 11. It was the most-watched telecast ever in network history among total viewers (2,345,834) and the highest rated and the most-watched NHL telecast ever on the network.
Viewership for the May 11 telecast topped the previous record set during the 2008 Conference Semifinal round with Game 4 of the Rangers/Penguins series on May 1 (1,184,519 total viewers) and the rating surpassed the previous high (1.1) set during the 2006 Conference Final round with Game 7 of the Buffalo/Carolina series.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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