Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
So now Flyers coach Craig Berube is going to have his team revert to its season-long style of carrying the puck into the Rangers’ zone after Thursday’s misguided game plan that featured chip-and-chase hockey basically blew up in their faces.
Regardless, it is imperative the Rangers seize this moment to not only grab an immediate two-game advantage in the series, but to send the Flyers back to Philadelphia riddled with doubt for Tuesday’s Game 3, seeking a third way to play.
It is imperative the Rangers chow down on a full helping of killer instinct for breakfast before Sunday’s noon faceoff. This is more than about just holding serve. It is about establishing and reinforcing superiority.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Mason went through a practice at Chelsea Piers and said he felt good and wasn’t hampered in any kind of movement on the ice.
He last practiced Tuesday and will have a full practice with teammates Saturday.
“I felt pretty good for being on the ice for the first time in a couple days,” Mason said. “It was a good step. I felt great movement wise.”
Can you play in Game 2?
“We still have a couple days before Sunday rolls around, so that’s definitely my goal,” Mason said.
Mason said Flyers management would have to decide on his status. Coach Craig Berube said he’ll make a decision after speaking with all parties later today and what he sees off Saturday’s practice.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Question: Do you know the difference between Bobby Orr and Ryan McDonagh?
Answer: The Bruins would never have traded the rights to Orr to the Rangers in exchange for Scott Gomez.
Well, that difference among many.
And yet, as the Flyers approached Thursday’s Garden opener of their opening-round playoff series against the Blueshirts, one can be excused for wondering if Philadelphia’s coaching staff had super-imposed the No. 4 onto the back of McDonagh’s jersey given the emphasis the club seemed to be placing on the Rangers’ best player.
Indeed, coach Craig Berube reportedly had instructed his first line consisting of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek to change its preferred style of rush-hockey to a form of dump-and-crash in order to: a) protect against offensive blue line turnovers that would trigger McDonagh leading the transition; and, b) wear down McDonagh by pounding the defenseman whenever he goes back to play the puck below the goal line.
Steve Mason was not at practice today.
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
The Flyers-Rangers schedule is a joke, mostly because if the series goes the limit, the teams will play Games 6 and 7 on consecutive nights at different arenas. Oh, and if the series goes the distance, the last three games will be played over four nights.
But, hey, two big-market teams will be on national TV on consecutive Sundays!
What a sham.
If this series goes seven games, the winner will be worn down by the condensed schedule and will be at a severe disadvantage in the next round against the Pittsburgh-Columbus survivor.
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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