Kukla's Korner Hockey
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Having three series extend to the full seven games it meant a lot of meaningful hockey last night and it all started at 7 p.m. EST and ended at …
So how did the teams do last night?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Game 6 on Tuesday? You mean the game in which the Rangers could have wrapped up this opening round but instead fell on their faces after a collective pratfall in which even Henrik Lundqvist went down and out? You mean the 5-2 Flyers’ victory that was 4-0 by the end of the second?
That game? What game?
“What’s that called? ‘Amnesia?’ ” Martin St. Louis wanted to know, asking and answering his own rhetorical question. “That’s what we need for Game 7.”
The Rangers are going to need a whole lot more than amnesia in order to reverse the Game 6 horror show in which Philadelphia’s best players were miles and miles ahead of the Rangers’ signature athletes, from Wayne Simmonds recording a hat trick while Rick Nash remained scoreless to Steve Mason outplaying Lundqvist by a wide margin in nets.
“They did everything better than us,” said Lundqvist, yanked after allowing four goals in 40 minutes and thus pulled from a playoff game for the first time since Game 6 in the 2009 first-round series in which the Rangers blew a 3-1 lead to the Caps before losing Game 7 in D.C. “Even goaltending.”
The New York Rangers, leading the series 3-2, are in Philadelphia to meet the Flyers.
Game time is just after 7:30pm ET and can be seen nationally on NBCSN, TSN and RDS.
If the Flyers do win, game 7 is tomorrow, giving us three game 7's on Wednesday night.
Enjoy and feel free to comment on the game.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Remember, Rangers’ management was certain that a game-buster not only such as Nash, but Nash himself, was the missing ingredient in 2012, when the Blueshirts were limited to two goals or fewer in 13 of their 20 playoff matches before finally going down in six to New Jersey in the conference finals.
That was the impetus for the trade in July of 2012 in which the Rangers undertook an extreme makeover by sending Brandon Dubinsky (who has emerged as the dominant force in the Blue Jackets’ first-round series against Pittsburgh), Artem Anisimov;,Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick to Columbus for Nash.
The Rangers already had a sniper in Marian Gaborik, that’s true, but the prevailing opinion was that Gaborik lacked the right stuff to score in the playoffs. Before he was sent away to the Blue Jackets at the 2013 trade deadline for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore as New York restocked the shelves they had emptied for Nash, Gaborik scored six goals in 25 playoff games for the Rangers.
Since coming to New York, Nash has scored one goal in 16 playoff games, getting that one in last year’s Game 2 defeat in Boston.
from Brett Crygolis of the New York Post,
On Friday morning at Wells Fargo Center, with Game 4 just hours away and the Rangers leading this best-of-seven contest, 2-1, the home squad went about describing how surprised they are that the tenor of the series has not been much more physical, and how surprised they were at the number of penalties that have been called.
“It’s crazy,” said Philadelphia instigator Zac Rinaldo, referring to the two teams combining for 34 penalties, 70 penalty minutes, and 39:18 of man-advantage time resulting in six power-play goals. “To me, that’s not playoff hockey, but it is what it is.”
Rinaldo led the Flyers this regular season with 153 penalty minutes, yet has taken only one penalty — a slash late in the third period of Game 1 when the Rangers were already leading, 4-1. He has averaged just 6:22 of ice time, and when asked if he thought this rivalry matchup has been as physical as he expected, he balked.
“No, not even close,” he said. “It’s a weird series.”
from Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork,
At a glance: The New York Rangers hold a 2-1 series lead but the Philadelphia Flyers have the chance to tie things up on home ice at Wells Fargo Center in Game 4 on Friday. With backup netminder Ray Emery in net for the first three games of the series, the Flyers get their regular starter back in Steve Mason. The 25-year-old netminder will make his first start of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, looking to erase some otherwise unpleasant playoff memories. His last trip to the post-season ended with his Columbus Blue Jackets being swept by the Detroit Red Wings during his rookie season back in 2009....
Said forward Wayne Simmonds:
"We're desperate. We want to win tonight. We have to win tonight."
Bold statement: Ok, it wasn’t quite Mark Messier-level of dramatic promises, but Flyers captain Claude Giroux still raised some eyebrows with his guarantee that Philly would win Game 4 and take the series back to new York with the two teams tied two apiece. Giroux proclaimed his confidence in the club following the team’s 4-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 3. It was the first game of the series in which Giroux has registered a shot on goal.
more on the series...
from Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News,
It is clear through three games that the Rangers intend to bump, harass, slash and aggravate Flyers captain Claude Giroux every chance they get. So, how are they doing?
Last night marked the 13th consecutive game Giroux did not score a goal against the Rangers, who took a 2-1 series lead with a suffocating 4-1 victory. Giroux drew a couple of penalties on the Blueshirts and chipped in his second assist of the playoffs. He even got his first shot on goal, on his 62nd shift of the series, but he again did not get one past Henrik Lundqvist.
"He's a good goalie," Giroux said. "We knew that coming in the series, and we just need to keep shooting the puck, and they're going to start going in."
from Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The protocol of the NHL postseason requires Steve Mason to stay quiet about the nature of his "upper-body injury." So even before a Flyers' public-relations representative began shooing reporters away from Mason's locker after the team skated at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday morning, Mason peeled off his pads and betrayed nothing about either his condition or the meeting he would soon have with head coach Craig Berube and goaltending coach Jeff Reese.
Every clue - subtle and overt, from how the Flyers have handled the day-to-day finessing of Mason's practice time to his measured, non-denial denials to all questions about his health - suggests that he suffered a concussion when the Pittsburgh Penguins' Jayson Megna knocked him to the ice on April 12.
"I'm not getting into all that," he said before leaving. Presumably, he reserved his frankness for his sit-down with Berube and Reese, and, well, here we are. Mason emerged from that meeting as the erstwhile starting goalie, and the Flyers emerged from Tuesday night down two games to one after a 4-1 loss to the Rangers, their season in peril, their sport's most important position once more a source of angst for them.
Only the Flyers could pull this off. Only the Flyers could tell the world that their No. 1 goaltender was 100 percent healthy again and have it blossom into controversy.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Carcillo, inserted into the lineup at the expense of fresh-faced freshman Jesper Fast, who seemed out of his element through the opening two matches at the Garden. Carcillo, of course had been persona non grata around the Garden for years since whaling on Marian Gaborik right here in the Flyers’ building on Jan. 22, 2010 while wearing No. 13 for the home team.
But then Carcillo slipped into the Blueshirt this January after a trade with the Kings … and though Ranger fans might only have been lukewarm in receiving him, he could probably get a parade through Manhattan right now after his hard-edged effort last night that culminated with him scoring the match’s final goal.
The winger with previous anger-management issues played with admirable restraint for most of the night, taking one over-aggressive penalty that can be understood if not quite condoned.
Carcillo took an uncalled (and maybe unintentional?) forearm/elbow to the jaw from Matt Read early in the third that knocked him down, if not out, and wasn’t especially pleased about it. He cleared encroaching Flyers from Henrik Lundqvist’s crease, shoving them away. He added fiber to the diet.
No. 13 was a presence, and a constructive one, and when he returned to the bench with arms held high after he scored at 10:53 redirecting Boyle’s two-on-two feed past Ray Emery, he was greeted by front-row fans with upraised middle fingers signifying just how they considered him “No. 1” or something like that.
more and watch the Carcillo highlights below...
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Craig Berube says his team isn't tired. The Flyers' third-period play recently suggests otherwise.
The long grind that had them play the final 17 regular-season games - many against elite teams - over the last 30 days seems to have caught up with the Flyers. They have been flat and outskated in most third periods lately.
If they don't awaken, they will soon have several months to catch up on their rest.
Berube doesn't buy the theory that the Flyers are fatigued, or that it played a role in their disastrous third period Thursday in New York, where the Rangers pulled away from a 1-1 tie and won the playoff opener, 4-1.
The Flyers should have been energized for the final 20 minutes, knowing they somehow were thisclose to taking the early control of the series. In Madison Square Garden, no less.
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