Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Despite a lot of outside vitriol among media and fans, the players and coaches of the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, who meet in Game 6 tonight (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS) at the Wachovia Center have been professional and respectful of one another.
The Flyers’ players, coaches and management don’t hate the Capitals. And the Capitals express respect for their opponents as well.
from Canwest via the National Post,
Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee says he was caught in the middle when free-agent centre Michael Nylander called him last July to say he wanted to play for his club.
Nylander’s wife had told her husband there was absolutely no way she was going to move to Edmonton so he could play for the Oilers. Having loved her previous time in Washington, she reportedly ordered her husband to get on the blower to the Caps and was standing right beside her man as he called.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via the National Post,
“Alex scored 65 goals. It’s a big deal in the media, everybody talks about it, people are always talking about him, the cameras are always on him, the other team is really, really aware of him,” said Fedorov. “He’s got more pressure on him than I had when I started in Detroit.”
more on Fedorov…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
At the GM meetings in the winter, you’ll recall, the league essentially declared war on the goalies by demanding a new crackdown on their equipment. Now, the league that less than 10 years ago wouldn’t allow a goal to be scored with as much as a toe in the blue paint is allowing the netminders to be physically abused every game.
What the league is setting itself up for, however, is for a series-winning goal, or a Cup-winning goal, to be scored while a goalie is being blatantly hindered from being able to stop the puck.
more and some AO talk too…
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Game 6 or bust. That has to be the Flyers’ mantra after they were outhustled and outsmarted here in Game 5. The Caps’ 3-2 win may have been the last wild punch of a beaten team desperate to save face with its home fans. Or it may have been more proof that these young Capitals have figured out how to play in the postseason and have taken control of this series.
The best and perhaps only way to prevent that is to win Game 6 tomorrow night at the Wachovia Center.
“Maybe I’m crazy,” said coach John Stevens, who is not. “But I always start at seven and work backward. If you are able to sweep the series, that’s a bonus for you, but I always go into a series thinking we are going to play seven. If we have an opportunity to finish it in less than seven - we had that opportunity today - good.”
from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,
Whatever happens, the Capitals have had a season to celebrate and gained experience that will help define their future. However, if they are to salvage this series and ruin their chances of enjoying even one moment of Washington’s lovely spring time, then the most gifted of all their young players—Ovechkin—must join the experience-gathering party.
The experience he needs tomorrow, and perhaps Tuesday as well, is the same one that he has enjoyed his entire hockey life. Whether he’s shadowed by Kimmo Timonen or not, the Great Eight needs to start making that familiar red light go on again.
more (reg. req.)
via Ted Leonsis at Inside the Owner’s Box at USA TODAY,
We arrive at the arena and my son and I go shake hands with our coaching staff. We see Sergei Fedorov in the hallway. He stops his stretching and comes to see me, shakes my hand and says “thank you — this is so much fun.” I say “No, thank you — I appreciate all you have done and will do for our team.” We hug and he has a twinkle in his eye. He says, “We have great fans — and I love playing in this building”.
more on today’s game…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
In my recent playoff predictions, I said the Flyers/Capitals series would be close, high-scoring, and ultimately decided by Washington’s Cristobal Huet outplaying Philadelphia’s Martin Biron in goal.
The Flyers still led the series by a game after Saturday’s 3-2 win by the Capitals, so my pick still needs a wing and a prayer to come true.
But as Huet showed in Washington’s second win of the series, he has to pull nearly as much of a load as Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Caps’ talented youngsters if his team is to make it to the second round.
Our team is bigger and tougher than the Flyers. They know it now and we know it now.
We now know how to play playoff hockey, NHL style. We have figured out what the refs will call and not call except for the random bad call like the final penalty called on Kozlov driving to the net.
more from Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take…
from Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post,
But as the Capitals trudged off the Wachovia Center ice tonight, 4-3 losers in double overtime, the pain of the present was all these 20-somethings could consider. They had lived and died over and over again for four hours, and now they trailed three games to one in this best-of-seven first-round series with the rowdy Philadelphia Flyers. Their hurt was compounded by how hard they had fought, overcoming what could have been a crippling first period, roaring back to take a 3-2 lead into the third period, only to be eventually undone by more youthful mistakes, needing a win Saturday at Verizon Center to extend this magical season.
read on (reg. req.)
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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