Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
When the NHL playoffs started, the Pittsburgh Penguins liked to tell people they could play any way their opponents wanted.
Then they proceeded to back it up. The first round didn’t count, since the Ottawa Senators lay down and died for them, but the New York Rangers found out the Penguins could win in a shootout or a checking game.
But coming into the Eastern Conference final, there was one game the Penguins had not played: a physical, hard-hitting battle along the boards and in front of the net. The Philadelphia Flyers, even if missing top defenceman Kimmo Timonen, brought one of those games last night.
Guess what? The Penguins beat them at that, too.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
There are 46,055 square miles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which means it is obviously not big enough for two NHL teams in May.
On the one end of this great, diverse state is Philadelphia, now 25 years removed from its last pro sports championship. At the other end is Pittsburgh, which, relatively speaking, collects titles the way Lindsay Lohan attracts the paparazzi. Other than license plates and garrulous, sports-loving governor Ed Rendell, these cities, and their hockey teams, share almost nothing other than a healthy dislike for each other.
The rivalry is back in the NHL.
Just received a phone call from Versus, Game 1 of the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh Series will be in HD on VERSUS!!
Good new all around! And yes, they heard you!
added 2:25pm, Just wanted to thank Versus for working with me and making it right for HD hockey fans. Hope everyone enjoys the game.
From a press conference Q&A session featuring Philadelphia Flyers players Daniel Briere, R.J. Umberger, and Martin Biron.
Q. Danny, the way you’ve played this season and, the way the team has played overall this season, does this further validate your decision to leave the Sabres and go to the Flyers?
DANIEL BRIERE: You know what, when I was looking at my options, obviously looking at Philly, you know, very similar as far as offense, where it’s a team that doesn’t just rely on one or two guys or on just one line. We’ve seen it through the year. Everybody’s chipping in.
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!
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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