Kukla's Korner Hockey
Some questions this morning for Philadelphia coach John Stevens.
Q. What is the status of Braydon Coburn?
COACH STEVENS: Coby’s out today. We were hopeful yesterday. He got on the ice a little bit, but still not ready to play. I think he’s getting closer, but definitely not playing tonight.
Q. So are you going to keep Ryan Parent?
From Jef Feeley and Dawn McCarty at Bloomberg.com,
Flyers fans may be plotting their revenge, said Chris Young, 23, a native of the Philadelphia suburbs who now works in Pittsburgh. One possibility is putting an orange-and-black Flyers jersey on the statue of Roberto Clemente, the late Hall of Fame outfielder for Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates, he said.
Fans on Internet sites have picked up the call, and are urging Flyers boosters in western Pennsylvania to mount an all- out jersey assault on the Clemente statue, which stands in front of the Pirates’ PNC Bank Park.
Young said he won’t participate in the high jinks himself because of Penguin fans’ reputation. It’s safer to watch the playoffs at home than in a bar, he said.
“I don’t have the courage to go and watch with all those belligerent Penguins fans,’’ Young said.
and more hockey fan chicanery between Pittsburgh and Philly
Update 12:47pm ET: On the same theme, there’s also a little chicanery from the players…
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Imagine if Hossa had ended up a Hab or a Sen? Perhaps those teams still would be playing instead of watching the Penguins attempt to sweep the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final tonight, a berth in the Stanley Cup final hanging in the balance.
And maybe, just maybe, it would have been the Pens who would be on the golf course now had Shero not stepped up to the plate and snatched Hossa.
It is an entirely different Marian Hossa you see playfully wandering around the dressing room these days. Gone is the omnipresent frown he sported during all those playoff shortcomings with the Senators and Thrashers, replaced by a huge grin worthy of a talented goal scorer who finally is becoming the money player during playoff time that so many thought he should be.
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.
from Spector ar Fox Sports,
Now, with the two clubs all but certain to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, their perceived weaknesses are among their strengths.
Fleury and Osgood have silenced their critics. The Penguins have proven adept at playing a strong defensive game and the Wings forwards have proven more than a match for their opponents with their physical offensive style.
Another factor has been the ability of their top forwards to lead the way offensively. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins are currently first and third in overall playoff scoring while Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk rank second and fourth.
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.
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