Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
If the Philadelphia Flyers plan to intimidate the Pittsburgh Penguins and set a physical tone for the Eastern Conference final in Game 1 tonight, they do so at their own peril.
That’s because even the best penalty-killing team in the league would have a tough time stopping the Penguins power play these days. If the Flyers create a conga line to the penalty box in an effort to make a point, the Penguins will demolish them.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
While much of the hockey world substantially discounted the Flyers’ chances of upsetting the Penguins in the Eastern Conference final when their best defenceman was lost for the rest of the playoffs due to a blood clot in his ankle, the Penguins say they are not counting on anything when the series opens Friday night.
“We’re not going to assume anything,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said after the game-day skate Friday morning. “Obviously, it’s a big loss for them. But it’s a prime example of when guys go down, other guys step up.”
However, Timonen’s loss is enormous for the Flyers.
from Empty Netters,
In case you haven’t heard, the Penguins and Flyers are rivals.
If you ask us, this rivalry is on par with some of the all-time greats:
read on for video comparisons and watch out for the falling anvil!
from Robert Dvorchak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“These teams have such a history,” said Bill Clement, who played on the Flyers’ title teams and is now a hockey analyst, “but five minutes after they drop the puck, none of it matters. They’ll be writing new history.”
He expects a “gladiator-type” series with Sherwoods instead of swords, one that will have the blood boiling not only among the combatants but the fan bases.
“Players respond to fans’ reactions, and fans are not compelled to show any restraint at all,” he said. “The Flyers are looked on as something like the Antichrist. Everybody loves to hate the Flyers. But you have to be careful. You can end up winning a battle and losing the war.”
Update 11:35am ET: The AP (via the Globe & Mail) previews the series as a “Bad Blood Showdown”
Yesterday we posted transcripts of interviews with Ryan Malone and Michel Therrien. Today, a few more words out of Pittsburgh, this time from Sidney Crosby and the coach.
Complete transcripts of both Q&A’s are below.
Just got off the phone with Versus and game 1 of the ECF will not be broadcast in HD. They have a commitment to show the golf show from the TPC.
So the Pens/Flyers game will only be in SD, so set your DVRs properly if recording.
added 9:36pm, As a few KK readers pointed out, the Flyers have a schedule up Friday’s game that lists both Versus and MOJO HD. That will help some folks out, others will not be so lucky.
When I spoke to Versus today, they told me no other channels would be broadcasting the game in HD in the US.
Update 2:18pm ET May 9th: Good news update… HD for the game!
From Shelly Anderson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
After he had a goal and three assists in a 4-3 win Feb. 10 that broke a four-game losing streak to the Penguins’ cross-state rivals, Malkin said he didn’t like the Flyers, playing against them or playing in Wachovia Center, where, he said, fans pelt the Penguins’ bench with popcorn.
Despite gaining that insight on the rivalry, he wasn’t quite willing to repeat that with the playoff matchup looming.
“I don’t like anybody,” Malkin, 21, said in what would have been a snappier retort if it hadn’t had to be cycled through interpreter George Birman. “If I like them or not, we have to play them.”
from Andy Vineberg of the Buck County Courier Times,
For you non-hockey fans out there, the Penguins’ Crosby is Sidney, not to be confused with David or Bing. But really, what kind of a name for a hockey player is Sidney? Of course, compared to the first names of the Penguins’ other two top scorers — Marian and Evgeni (the Russian form of Eugene) — Sidney sounds positively manly. Seriously, Sidney, Marian and Eugene?
Sounds more like the starting lineup of a chess team than a hockey team.
I’ll take my chances with Mike, Jeff, Danny and R.J., thank you very much.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The club still glorifies fighting on the video board at the Wachovia Center, but the game has changed dramatically since the Broad Street Bullies captured the hearts of their fans by ripping the hearts out of any team that got in their way.
Bench-clearing brawls have been legislated out of the game, and the third man in on a fight faces a game misconduct. Still, there remains a place in the NHL for the guys who bring that certain element.
The Penguins, the Flyers’ opponent in the Eastern Conference finals that begin tomorrow night in Pittsburgh, have the game’s most feared fighter in Georges Laraque, who carries 245 pounds behind his bad intentions. Laraque’s tough-guy reputation is such that few among the league’s fighters will even take him on. One of them is the Flyers’ Riley Cote.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
The Western Conference finals pit a Red Wings team that finished first overall during the regular season and cruised past Nashville and Colorado in the first two rounds against a Stars club that finished fifth overall in the conference and nearly 20 points back of the Wings.
It’s the “Battle of Pennsylvania” in the Eastern Conference, featuring a Penguins team that finished second overall and quickly dispatched of the Senators and Rangers against a hardworking Flyers team that required a strong finish in the regular season to clinch sixth overall.
While the regular season stats favor the Red Wings and Penguins, both clubs must be wary of their upstart opponents. The Stars advanced to the conference finals by knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Pacific Division champion San Jose Sharks, while the Flyers bounced the Southeast Division champion Washington Capitals and the conference-leading Montreal Canadiens.
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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