Scott Hartnell is a man of mystery.
All right so maybe he’s not exactly that, but he has been studying the Flyers’ next opponent, the New Jersey Devils, and he says he’s learned a few things about them. Hartnell tells Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, however, that he’s not about to share what he’s found out. Sort of.
“I can’t reveal that information … the secrets that I learned [Thursday] night,” Hartnell smiled. “We know that they have a lot of skill. Their top line can score, their power play is dangerous … like every other team that made it to this point.
“They also have one of the best goalies who’s ever played the game. We’re going to have our hands full and it’s going to be exciting.”
OK so Hartnell is good at tossing a joke around or two. The laughs all come to an end tomorrow afternoon, however, when their second round series with New Jersey kicks off. From Ilya Kovalchuk to Zach Parise to Martin Brodeur, the Flyers will have a lot to worry about star-wise.
If Ilya Bryzgalov can bounce back and play the way he did against New Jersey this season (3-0-0, 0.29, .987), the Flyers might not have much the Devils doing all the fretting.
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.
Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.
Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.
Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.
Again, people are pretty worried right now.
Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?
Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.
Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.
It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.