Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
We’re talking off the charts.
“Guys are paying the price because they want to win so bad,” Dupuis said. “They’re blocking shots. They’re getting in the shooting lanes. And when the puck does get through to the net, we’ve got a wall in front of it. Marc-Andre is playing unbelievably right now.”
Penguins general manager Ray Shero’s deal for Hossa at the February trade deadline was celebrated long into the night all over the city, but how about picking up Dupuis in the package? And what about the trade for Gill? “His stick is everywhere,” Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney said of Gill. “He just breaks up play after play.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So Pittsburgh is, to some degree, a different team than that which Philly played all season.
What is consistent, however, is that opponents continue to underrate the Philadelphia attack, and it’s costing them.
The Flyers have been the most prolific offensive club in these playoffs with 43 goals in 12 outings, despite the fact they played Washington and Montreal, two teams that most analysts would have regarded as more talented offensive teams.
In the regular season, the Flyers scored more goals than Pittsburgh and ended up with seven 20-goal scorers, a list which didn’t include playoff menace R.J. Umberger, who grew up near Pittsburgh.
Interestingly, however, seven of Umberger’s 13 regular-season goals came against the Penguins.
Game times aren’t available yet, but here is the schedule as we know it for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals starting this week. (Update May 5th: times and dates finalized and available here)
fro Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Before the series, I picked the Rangers to win in seven games because I thought they had a huge advantage in net with Henrik Lundqvist, but that advantage didn’t come into play until that last two games. Marc-Andre Fleury looked shaky today for the first time in the series. The Rangers didn’t take enough shots, however, to exploit that. They went more 16 minutes without a shot, including the last 14:50 of a second period that the Penguins’ thoroughly dominated.
I have a feeling that Fleury and Martin Biron might not have much goaltending magic left for the conference finals. Don’t be surprised if you see some 6-5 games in that series.
more on the Rangers and Pens…
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
After the final shot eluded him, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stood alone in his crease Sunday afternoon, pain radiating from his blue eyes. His teammates had skated back to their bench, and the Penguins celebrated in a giant mob to his right. For what seemed like minutes, Lundqvist bore his agony alone.
Eventually, the Rangers skated over to console him. Marian Hossa’s series-winning goal 7 minutes 10 seconds into overtime gave the Penguins a 3-2 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, sending the Mellon Arena fans into a frenzy, and leaving the Rangers to grapple with their emotions.
“It’s just empty,” Lundqvist said. “Your head is just empty. You’ve been working so hard all year, starting in May last year to prepare for this season. And then everything is over.”
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News writing about today’s Rangers/Penguins game…
I think the Hockey Gods are trying to call you out, Stephen Walkom. There can be no possible rationalization for your officials continuously putting their hands in their pockets in third periods of games.
I’m normally one of your biggest defenders, but what’s going on is casting everything – the officials, the players, and the game itself – in a not-so-positive light.
more on the game…
From Shelly Anderson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Marian Hossa scored in overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers today at Mellon Arena, clinching their second-round playoff series. They advance to the Eastern Conference final, where they will play cross-state rival Philadelphia.
Dates and times for the third round are pending, but Games 1 and 2 will be at Mellon Arena.
Update 5:23pm ET: Story of the game from David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail.
Update 5:44pm ET: Live post-game press conference underway.
Video streaming is below.
(click that link to access the NHL’s pop-up player)
Update 5:53pm ET: Game video of Hossa’s OT goal below.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
A team fresh off a seven-game winning streak to start the playoffs isn’t exactly the poster team for “facing adversity,” even if that streak was broken in their last outing in New York in Game 4.
Despite the perception from outside the Penguins locker room that perhaps things have changed with Thursday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of a desperate Rangers team, Pittsburgh is light years from adversity.
At least until late Sunday afternoon, when the Penguins will have a second chance to eliminate the Rangers, this is a hiccup, a stubbed toe. Nothing more, nothing less.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“I travel all over the league, and everybody talks about Detroit as ‘Hockeytown’ - and deservedly so, because of its tradition - but the noise levels in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, New York and Buffalo are just as good,” said McGuire, a former Penguins scout who coached the Hartford Whalers.
“Pittsburgh now, because of its young talent and rabid fan base cultivated by the organization, is tremendous. It’s awesome to be around a passionate fan base. Hockey’s not a photo op for these people. These are people investing in the product. It’s easy to be involved with a winner, but this team is poised to win for a long time.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This is where we came in, with the Rangers needing a victory in Pittsburgh, and with the Rangers needing the game officials to allow them to play the kind of game that will translate into a victory.
None of the Rangers will touch the subject now, and why would they following the storm that was whipped up last week when officiating was front and center among topics of conversation?
It is, however, a fact that the Blueshirts New York Rangers must be allowed to knock down Sidney Crosby, Evegni Malkin and Marian Hossa just as they did in Thursday’s playoff deathbed of a 3-0 Game 4 victory at the Garden in order to survive tomorrow afternoon’s Game 5 at the Igloo.
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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