Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.)
In the column, tiled “Beaten To the Punch,” Wise called the club “an instant repudiation of what (Commissioner) Gary Bettman wanted the league to become” and “a reminder of the NHL’s pugilistic past that just won’t go away.”
“They flat-out market and sell violence here, sanctioned, unbridled assaults disguised as sport,” Wise wrote. He also said, “Many of the women and children in the crowd looked as if they could be security for Megadeth.”
The Flyers planned to distribute 20,000 copies of the article at Thursday night’s game, but the Post sent a cease-and-desist order. So, what did the Flyers do? They put the article up on the big screen over the ice surface, Clark reported.
One Flyers public relations official also wore a long-haired wig and a black shirt with the heavy metal band’s name emblazoned across his back Thursday night.
Read Mike Wise’s original article [link may require free reg.] that appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post.
from Dan Gelston of the AP via USA TODAY,
Is he frustrated by his lack of production? Nope
Is the Flyers physical play affecting him? Nah.
Would a possible line change help? Hope so.
About the only thing Ovechkin would admit after Wednesday’s practice is that he’s had enough of the losing. Philadelphia owns a 2-1 series lead over the Capitals and Washington, which entered the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the league, has lost consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 23-24 entering Thursday night’s Game 4.
“I’m frustrated we’re losing,” Ovechkin said. “It’s not about scoring, it’s about winning.”
from Japers’ Rink,
Dear Pope Benedict XVI -
While you’re in town and I’ve got your ear, I’d like to ask a favor. Now, I’m not Catholic, but I was wondering if you could take a quick second and have a word with the big guy and ask him to help Bruce Boudreau come to the realization that John Erskine has no business being on the ice in this series.
fro Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Late in the second period, Briere would get in Huet’s kitchen again. This time, the goaltender knocked down Briere well after the play. Briere responded with a shot of his own. Both drew roughing minors after referee Don Koharski had seen enough.
“Sometimes the refs think he gets pushed into the goalie, but it doesn’t happen that way,” Huet said afterward. “If somebody does push him, he’s exaggerating. They’re not cheap shots. Everyone is trying to [go to the net] these days.”
Briere scored a killer power-play goal 3 minutes later.
“Look,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Danny Briere’s a pretty good hockey player, but we should be able to battle through that. We lost our cool too many times on retaliation penalties.”
from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
The Russians aren’t used to hearing good news coming out of Washington, D.C.
Back in the days of the Iron Curtain, the two countries were the world’s two polar opposites, each skeptical about the intentions of the other.
But that’s ancient history. After all, back then there were only a handful of European players in the NHL, and no Russians at all.
Today, the League is flooded with European-born players and Russians are among the biggest stars in the NHL. That shift is reflected in today’s Moscow.
from Ted’s Take,
I reached out to Mike Milbury last night via NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Gary called me and we spoke. And then Mike called me and we spoke late last night.
Mike calmly explained that he meant no harm. He had a slip of the tongue when trying to start a commentary about our play. He meant to say the Washington Caps but instead he said the Washington Craps. He laughed and then stated we weren’t playing well at that time in the game and we were playing like the “Crapitals”. He was trying to be funny and trying to recover - on air - and he misspoke.
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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