Kukla's Korner Hockey
Q. You had talked all series about the team’s execution offensively. Do you think something in their minds was different for this game? A little less nervousness, perhaps, or they had nothing to lose?
COACH STEVENS: Yeah, but I just thought we’d come out with real good energy. We were skating with the puck. We got pucks, we didn’t just get pucks through the neutral zone, we had speed after the puck, which I thought made a difference. We got our power play, we started shooting the puck again. You know, I think we were trying to pass the puck to the net.
They’re a very good penalty killing team, and sometimes you don’t score on the initial shot, but you create secondary chances at the net. I thought the power play did that early, and really gave us momentum. Obviously, getting the lead was big for us, but we did some really good things in the game, especially early.
From Pierre LeBrun at the CP via Yahoo! Sports,
Malone’s father Greg also played for the Penguins, which is why Ryan grew up in Pittsburgh. Greg Malone, a New Brunswick native, also played for Quebec and Hartford and is now a scout for the Phoenix Coyotes after many years as a Penguins scout.
So not only did Ryan Malone grow up a Penguins fan, he literally grew up hanging around the team. “You definitely feel lucky,” Malone said. “I would have happily played anywhere but it’s an extra bonus to play for the team I grew up with. I’m privileged.”
Just how long he’ll be wearing that uniform remains to be seen. He’s an unrestricted free agent July 1 and his career-best season, 27 goals and 51 points, would fetch him a handsome raise over the US$1.45 million he made this season. Perhaps as much as $4.5 million on the open market. That will likely be too much money for a Penguins team that is looking to get star centre Evgeni Malkin to sign a rich, new extension this summer…
James_Taipei: Seth, if you were a betting man would you bet on the Penguins to close out the series today?(p.s. I don’t want to place a bet.)
Seth Rorabaugh: I’d stick money on it. They don’t want to extend this series any more than it has to.
steve_downie: Am i sitting tonight? I just wanted to know if my cheapshot on Sykora is going to be my final appearance of the series.
Seth Rorabaugh: I think the Flyers would be better off dressing 19 players than having you in the lineup. No offense.
*Be sure to check out Empty Netters later on, since Seth will probably be doing a liveblog of the game tonight. Fun is usually had by all.
Getting some answers today from Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach Michel Therrien.
Q. Can you give us an update on Gary Roberts’ status?
COACH THERRIEN: He’s still sick. He’s got pneumonia. It’s a mild case, so he’s listed day‑to‑day. He’s not going to play tonight.
Q. Is it something you expect him back later in the playoffs?
COACH THERRIEN: Yes, yes, hopefully. He’s on medication right now, and we’ll go from there.
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.
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.
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