Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Playing The ‘Game’ On Paper

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Jackets are hurting. Nathan Horton (abdominal surgery) is out. Nick Foligno (knee) and R.J. Umberger (upper body) are still mending. Among the three are 1,700 regular-season and 86 playoff games worth of experience. The youngest team in the league is missing its prime veteran forwards as the series gets underway. That is killer.

There is this notion that Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury — a former No. 1 overall draft pick who is in his prime — might somehow falter, and thus give the Jackets a chance. I don’t buy it.

<> Fleury is coming off one of the best regular seasons of his career. What is he going to be thinking about? That he has the worst playoff stats of any goaltender over the past 10 years? That he was so brutal, he lost his job in the middle of the first round last year? That he is somehow inferior to Bobrovsky?

Come on. That would be like saying the Penguins don’t like getting hit.

So, never mind that the Penguins have lost to a lower seed in each of the past four seasons. The Jackets don’t have a chance.

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from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The home team will need a standard playoff share of luck against Columbus, which, unlike the Penguins, has been playing well of late, and, unlike the Penguins, will operate in zero pressure.

"When I think of the Blue Jackets I think of a total team," said Scuderi. "They play a total team concept top to bottom. They don't mess around. They get the puck deep. They forecheck. They're looking for a piece of your skin every time they come into the zone.

"It's a fair assessment [to say] they're like the Flyers."

It's not so much a problem if the Blue Jackets play Flyers hockey. The problem comes when the Penguins play Flyers hockey.

The Penguins, for a change this spring, should play like the Penguins. If they do that, I think they can avoid playing seven episodes between here and Central Ohio in the next two weeks.

If they don't, there's no real point in describing the consequences. You're familiar with them.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com