Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
At the press conference on Wednesday where Hextall was named the new Flyers GM, he was asked about his plan to build the team. Hextall made it clear the Flyers were a model franchise, used to winning, and he wasn’t going to be looking at tanking the team in order to get a high draft pick.
“There’s 30 teams out there and right now there’s a team out there – I won’t mention any names — there’s a team out there just collecting number one picks right now.”
Uh, sorry Ron, you’re fooling no one.
Hextall continued: “Yeah, they’re going to be a pretty good team in three or four years, but ask their fans if they’ve had a fun last seven or eight years. The culture of winning is nothing to be embarrassed about. We should all be damn proud of this organization and how successful they’ve been.”
The Philadelphia Flyers will have a press conference to reportedly announce Ron Hextall as their new GM and the moving of Paul Holmgren to team President.
It is scheduled to begin at 11:30am ET and can be watched below via CSNPhilly....
from Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Give it all some distance and perspective, and it's easy to see that those two are the most valuable discoveries the franchise made. Berube and Mason. In the former, they have a promising head coach with less than a full season on the job, with room to grow. In the latter, they have the commodity they've lacked for so long: a bona fide No. 1 goaltender, the kind who can handle a 60-game workload during the regular season and steal a postseason round or two. Hell, he darn near did it against the Rangers.
That distance and perspective is of vital importance now, because we know what the Flyers' history is. If that history is any guide, the foremost fear of this offseason has to be that team chairman Ed Snider and the organization's player-personnel people will fall into the same pattern that has contributed to what will be a 40-year drought since the Flyers' last Stanley Cup.
General manager Paul Holmgren was smart to be relatively patient during this season, to avoid blowing up the roster back in the fall, when the playoffs seemed a pipe dream, and seeing what he had.
Now he should know: This Flyers team wasn't much different from many Flyers teams before it. It played hard. The players' collective character cannot be questioned. But there are areas with glaring shortages in talent and skill, particularly among the defensemen, that will be difficult to improve with another summertime spree of trading and spending.
Well what a night that was! Three Game Sevens and now we start the second round later today.
Before the second round starts let’s take a look at how we did predicting the first round.
Huge night for hockey fans out there! Kings, avs and rangers are my picks!— anthony brodeur (@abrodeur30) April 30, 2014
I will put my own predictions up to bat:
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Welcome to the late late show!
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...
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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