Rounding up the reaction to Flyers historic win

Flyers8.jpgAfter the Philadelphia Flyers came back from being down 0-3 in the
series against the Bruins to win, becoming just the third team in NHL
history to do so, many were split on exactly what happened in this
series.

Did the Bruins collapse? Was this a choke of monumental
proportions, possibly one of the worst choke jobs in the history of
sports? After all, not only have just three prior teams allowed a
comeback from 0-3 down in the series, but the Bruins choked away a 3-0
lead in the deciding Game 7.

Or was this more about the resiliency
of the Flyers? This was yet another example of just how much the Flyers
have overcome in this series and this season overall.

Here’s a
snippet of reactions and from the Bruins side, they clearly feel as if
they let something get away. This is a game that the Bruins will have a
very, very tough time living down and it’s likely this team and these
players never will. As for the Flyers….well, it’s pure elation.

Bruins
Blog:

While the Bruins players own a place in history that none of them
want — the stench of this one will be attached to them if and until
they accomplish greater things — it’s unfair to call the collapse an
outright choke or to make Savard, who came back from a Grade 2
concussion and scored the winning goal in Game 1, a Buckneresque
scapegoat.

Few expected the Bruins to get out of the first round against star
goalie Ryan Miller and third-seeded Buffalo, and the seventh-seeded
Flyers were regarded as an even matchup before Krejci’s injury. The loss
was crushing and perhaps even inexcusable, but given the infirmary’s
worth of injuries they endured late in the season, the Bruins deserve at
least some kudos for being here in the first place.

Broad
Street Hockey:

But these Flyers wouldn’t settle for just one epic comeback from 3-0
down.  No, once the Flyers evened the series at 3-3 each, they saw it
fit to dig themselves another 3-0 deficit in a hurry, as Milan Lucic scored twice through Michael Leighton‘s five-hole as the Bruins
raced out to a 3-0 lead in the game’s first fifteen minutes.

It looked bad.  Real bad.  But these Flyers don’t much worry about
3-0 deficits, and they probably never will again.

More after the jump:

Dan
Shaughnessy:

Are you kidding me? Watching the
Bruins blow a series on a too-many-men penalty is like watching the 2010
Red Sox lose a one-game playoff on a homer hit by a
guy named Bucky.

Until last
night, too many men on the ice in Montreal in 1979 (a Boston team
famously coached by Don “Grapes” Cherry) was arguably the worst moment
in Bruins history.

Puck
Daddy:

Boston now has to live with this Flyers comeback forever. The outcome
of the series will forever be a stain on what was turning into a
memorable run by the Bruins. From the contributions of veterans Mark
Recchi(notes) and Miroslav Satan(notes), to the stellar goaltending of
Tuukka Rask(notes) who saved the season in relief of 2009 Vezina
Trophy winner Tim Thomas(notes), to the triumphant return of Marc
Savard(notes) in Game 1 of the series. There will be no getting over
this loss.

Phil
Sheridan:

Impossible wasn’t tough enough for them. The Flyers
had to stack a
three-goal deficit on top of the three-games-to-none mountain they’d
already climbed, just to see if they could overcome that, too.

Stunningly, they did just that. The Flyers finished the Ultimate
Comeback in this playoff series with a spectacular comeback in a
hypertensive Game 7 Friday night.

Barstool Sports:

In most instances when somebody says that an event was the best or
worst of all time at anything they are exaggerating. But not this
time. That was the biggest choke/collapse in the history of life. I
mean blowing a 3 games to none lead is one thing. But to blow a 3-0
lead in Game 7 at home on top of that? That makes it bar none the
worst collapse in the history of sports and civilization.

Stanley Cup of Chowder:

– Really? A too many men on the ice penalty? Of all penalties that
could be called a Bruins playoff game was decided by a too many me on
the ice call? Where have I heard this story before? Just a brutal way to
lose a game and a series. Now when Bruins fans talk about “The Too
Many Men on Ice Game”, we will have to ask ” which one?”

Shawn
Thornton:

“I know everyone wrote us off after that last Pittsburgh game [on
March 18, a 3-0 loss in which the team was criticized for sluggish play
and for not further standing up to Matt Cooke, who had previously
given Savard a concussion on a questionable hit] and I know everyone
did a great job of coming together and jelling and turning the season
around,” Thornton said.

Marc
Savard:

“I was coming back,” Savard
acknowledged. “I’d seen that no one jumped, so I stayed on. I’m not sure
what happened after that. I went back and got the puck. And then . . . I
don’t know.”

Milan Lucic:

“We came out strong early, but [in the third period], we sat back and
played not to win,” said the Bruins’ Milan Lucic, who scored twice.
“We came out playing so well, and you’ve got to stick with that
philosophy that got you that lead. We didn’t do that.”

Tuukka
Rask:

“It always changes during the game when the other teams scores and
they get the momentum. It’s going back and forth. I’m not criticizing
our effort or anything. I thought we battled hard. You got to deserve
those bounces and today they deserved it.”

Patrice
Bergeron:

“[Jeff] Carter wasn’t playing and [Simon] Gagne missed a couple of
games, so they had their injuries too and we can’t blame it all on that.
We’ve never put the blame on injuries all year and we’ve always kind
of battled through it, and I don’t think that should be any excuse
right now.”

Michael
Leighton:

“After the time-out,” Leighton said, “he said to me, ‘Leights, settle
down. Shut the door. We’re going to score some goals.’ “

Simon
Gagne:

“Lavy called a time-out and said, ‘Let’s just focus on one goal at a
time,’ ” Gagne said. ” ‘Let’s try to get one goal in the first and then
try to tie the game. Then they might start to get nervous.’ “

“I was so happy at the end,” Gagne said. “We just put everything on
the line. There is no better feeling.”

Mike
Richards:

“I saw it right away,” Flyer captain Mike Richards said. “I saw one
guy
go to the bench and two guys jump on. Maybe a little bit too excited. It
was a big time. Our power play picked a good time to click.”

Peter
Laviolette:

“There’s the right people in that locker room to win a game like
today,” Laviolette said. “And there’s the right people in that locker
room to come back from 3-0 and win a game today.

“I’m really
proud,” he said, then pausing. “I’m really proud of the way we played.
I’m proud of the way they represented the organization and the way they
represented themselves.”

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    Boynton, Carcillo sue NHL over head injuries, brain damage

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    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Former NHL players Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton are suing the league, alleging it failed to warn players about the long-term risk of brain damage from fighting.

    The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota says Boynton and Carcillo continued to play hockey despite head injuries. They now both suffer from long-term, degenerative brain damage.

    Carcillo, a forward whose nickname was “Car Bomb” for his penchant for delivering hard hits, skated for five NHL teams over nine seasons. He won a Stanley Cup in 2013 with the Chicago Blackhawks.

    Boynton, a defenseman who totaled 862 penalty minutes over 605 career NHL games, skated for six teams over 12 years.

    Dozens of former players are already part of a similar lawsuit in federal court in Minnesota.

    For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

    2018 NHL Draft Tracker

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    Once you moved beyond the premium picks, the 2018 NHL Draft became “The Year of the Mobile Defensemen.” Almost half of the first round featured defensive picks, most of whom fit the mold of the modern, attacking NHL.

    The draft began with two predictable top picks, and then the drama escalated once the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators came into the mix. Maybe hockey fans should just get used to that, as those franchises stir things up more than any others?

    Early on, it seems like the Red Wings and Islanders rank among the biggest winners once you push beyond the slam-dunk picks. Time, of course, will tell if that’s even remotely accurate.

    Check out the first round results below, along with some early analysis. The remainder of the 2018 NHL Draft takes place early on Saturday.

    Round 1

    1. Buffalo Sabres – Rasmus Dahlin, Defenseman, Frolunda (Sweden)

    “He is a terrific skater and stick handler who can rush the puck, or join the attack in a hurry. Impressive agility makes him a good one-on-one defender. He has fine passing ability, and although not a big-time bomber, he has an accurate shot from the point.” – Elite Prospects.

    Dahlin is the most hyped defensive prospect in years, if not decades. Some say we haven’t seen this kind of excitement for a defenseman since Denis Potvin. Yeah.

    2. Carolina Hurricanes – Andrei Svechnikov, Winger, Barrie (OHL)

    “Svechnikov has size, speed and skill. He can play a power game or a finesse game, make plays or score goals any way they can be scored – off the rush, one timers from far out, getting his nose dirty in front of the net or off the cycle.” – Bob McKenzie, TSN.

    3. Montreal Canadiens – Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Center, Assat (Finland)

    “A smart forward with a dangerous shot, Kotkaniemi possesses a high hockey IQ and determination with the skills to back it up. Positions himself well and often seems to be a step ahead of plays.” -Matias Strozyk, Elite Prospects.

    4. Ottawa Senators – Brady Tkachuk, W, Boston University (NCAA)

    “Tkachuk is a lot less refined and less polished than the other elite picks but the big raw-boned winger plays a hard driving, aggravating power and agitation game.” McKenzie, TSN.

    5. Arizona Coyotes – Barrett Hayton, C, S.S. Marie (OHL)

    “Very smart two-way centre who contributes in all areas of the game and has potential to be a very key player.” TSN.

    6. Detroit Red Wings – Filip Zadina, W, Halifax (QMJHL)

    “Filip Zadina is a dynamic offensive forward that plays a complete game. A deft and agile skater, he exhibits explosive mobility both up and down the ice. In all three zones, he proactively looks to create problems for the opposition.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    7. Vancouver Canucks – Quinn Hughes, D, Michigan (NCAA)

    “He plays a go-go-go offensive game, at times more like a rover than a defenceman. He’s fearless, not afraid to make high risk, high reward but also high danger plays.” TSN.

    8. Chicago Blackhawks – Adam Boqvist, D (Sweden)

    “A dynamic offensive defenceman that can carry plays with the puck on his stick. A highly mobile and nimble skater that moves with fluidity, balance, and confidence. Utilizes an active stick and creates turnovers frequently. Could be more proactive in his own end …” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    9. New York Rangers –  Vitali Kravtsov, W, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

    “A big, skilled winger that can play up and down the lineup and provide scoring in a number of roles. He brings grit and physical size, but could be more assertive in throwing his weight around more.” Elite Prospects.

    10. Edmonton Oilers – Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL)

    “A highly intelligent all-around defenceman that plays with poise and can shift the pace of play in a multitude of ways. Showcases smooth four-way skating ability and loves to get involved in all situations – especially when that situation happens to be an up-ice rush.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    11. New York Islanders – Oliver Wahlstrom, W, NTDP

    “Offensively, he might be described as uncontainable: the confidence he has in his individual puck skill, paired with a high level of thinking, makes him a difficult cog to take out of alignment. He is able to create opportunities for himself, as well as teammates, out of nothing; this, in turn, translates to energy on the ice and in the building as a whole.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    12. New York Islanders (from Flames) – Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

    “Dobson is a strong skater with a high degree of creativity, vision and offensive prowess. Scouts feel we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg here.” – Bob McKenzie, TSN.

    13. Dallas Stars – Ty Dellandrea, C, Flint (OHL)

    “Very strong two-way centre who plays all situations and can contribute offensively and defensively. Terrific improvement.” TSN.

    14. Philadelphia Flyers (from Blues) – Joel Farabee, W, NTDP

    “Plays all situations in the game with full understanding and has the skills to contribute offensively.” Craig Button, TSN.

    15. Florida Panthers – Grigori Denisenko, (Russia)

    “Highly skilled, very dynamic offensive player who is a very dangerous player and capable of quick strike scoring.” Craig Button, TSN.

    16. Colorado Avalanche – Martin Kaut, W, Parduice (Czech Extraliga)

    “All the skill to be a top six winger who is capable of scoring and being a playmaker.” Craig Button, TSN.

    17. New Jersey Devils – Ty Smith, D, Spokane (WHL)

    “Elite skating defender whose upside is not far off from the top defenders in the 2018 class.” ISS Hockey.

    18. Columbus Blue Jackets – Liam Foudy, C, London (WHL)

    “Great speed that creates opportunities for his team and makes life uncomfortable for opponents. Catalyst type player.” Craig Button, TSN.

    19. Philadelphia Flyers – Jay O’Brien, C, Thayer (USHS)

    “Smart with a quick mind and very good hands where he can make a play or finish a play. Improvement as good as any player.” Craig Button, TSN.

    20. Los Angeles Kings – Rasmus Kupari, C, Karpat (Finland)

    “Slick Finnish forward, very dangerous with the puck on his stick, always a threat offensively.” – ISS Hockey.

    21. San Jose Sharks – Ryan Merkley, D, Guelph (OHL)

    “There is chatter that he’s a bad teammate/uncoachable. He’s also one of the most purely gifted playmaking defencemen not named Rasmus Dahlin that we’ve seen in recent years. None of Timothy Liljegren, Erik Brannstrom or even Cale Makar had his kind of creativity in 2017. Nor did Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev or Charlie McAvoy in 2016.” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic (paywall).

    22. New York Rangers (from Ottawa Senators, previously from Penguins) – K’Andre Miller, D, Wisconsin (NCAA)

    The Rangers traded up to make this choice.

    “Strong skating, puck carrying defenceman who can quickly get the play moving forward. Athletic with excellent potential.” Craig Button, TSN.

    23. Anaheim Ducks – Isac Lundestrom, (Sweden)

    “Very versatile and can adapt to different positions and play in different slots in the lineup. Very smart with good skill.” Craig Button, TSN.

    24. Minnesota Wild – Filip Johansson, D (Sweden)

    Some believe Paul Fenton made a reach with his first pick as Wild GM.

    25. St. Louis Blues (from Toronto Maple Leafs) – Dominik Bokk, W (Sweden)

    “A hungry scorer who likes to shoot the puck and gets himself into scoring spots and has a very good shot.” Craig Button, TSN.

    26. Ottawa Senators (from New York Rangers, previously from Bruins) – Jacob Bernard-Docker, D, North Dakota (NCAA)

    “Steady presence, never gets burned, headed the NCAA route out of the AJHL,” – Scott Wheeler.

    27. Chicago Blackhawks (from Predators) – Nicolas Beaudin, DDrummondville (QMJHL)

    “Nicolas Beaudin is a diminutive yet cunning defenceman that is able to use his size to his advantage. His mobility is all but elite at this point; he primarily uses his speed to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone.” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    28. New York Rangers (from Lightning) – Nils Lundkvist, (Sweden)

    “Acquitted himself very well in the Swedish top league as a 17-year old. Smart and knows how to take advantage of his skills.” Craig Button, TSN.

    29. Toronto Maple Leafs (from St. Louis Blues, previously from Jets) – Rasmus Sandin, D, S.S. Marie (OHL)

    “Not big in stature but he plays a strong game in all areas. Skates, thinks, makes plays with puck and competes.” Craig Button, TSN.

    30. Detroit Red Wings (from Golden Knights) – Joe Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)

    Veleno dropped in the first round after being one of the few players (along with the likes of John Tavares and Connor McDavid) of being granted “exceptional player” status.

    “The fleet-footed center is unselfish and will primarily look to make a play at top speed; however, when the chance arises to put it in the pot himself, he will capitalize. He sees the ice well and is rarely caught out of position. His defensive game is refined and he actively pursues puck control.” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.

    31. Washington Capitals – Alexander Alexeyev, D, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

    “He’s a mobile puckmover in the mold of the modern NHL defenders.” Mike Vogl, Washington Capitals website.

    Red Wings pick Filip Zadina has a message to teams that passed on him

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    DALLAS — Call it swagger or confidence, Filip Zadina has it and he has a message for the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes, the three teams that passed him over before he went to the Detroit Red Wings sixth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft.

    “I’m telling my agent if they will pass on me, I will fill their net with the puck,” Zadina said. “Yeah, it’s just I want to prove [to] them that they have done, like, bad decision. But I’m so glad that I am in Detroit right now, so I just want to prove to Detroit that they have got a pretty good decision.”

    Zadina, who led the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads in goals with 44 goals and recorded 82 points, saw heavy speculation linking him to Montreal at No. 3 and Ottawa at No. 4, but the Canadiens decided on Finnish center Jesperi Kotkaniemi and the Senators took winger Brady Tkachuk from Boston University. The Coyotes selected center Barrett Hayton out of Sault Ste. Marie.

    “It’s going to be good games for me and I’m excited for it, sure,” Zadina said about facing those teams in the future.

    Zadina will have every opportunity to make the Red Wings next season given the state of the franchise. Two playoff-less seasons has the franchise in rebuilding mode and allowing him to develop immediately at the NHL level could go a long way to seeing him become an integral part of a turnaround.

    “A deft and agile skater, he exhibits explosive mobility both up and down the ice,” according to Elite Prospects, Zadina is eager to prove his worth to Red Wings fans and hopes his play can one day equal that of Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lighting, whom he models his game after.

    Despite some nerves, Zadina wasn’t too disappointed with ending up No. 6 overall. He’s just pleased his team is the Red Wings.

    “I don’t want to call it that I fall to sixth. It’s a draft and I am in Detroit, so I don’t care what position I’m in,” he said. “I’m a Detroit player. I just want to prove to Detroit that they have done a pretty good decision, so I’m just glad that I could be here.”

    ————

    Sean Leahy is a writer forPro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line atphtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    Islanders stay put, land Wahlstrom, Dobson with back-to-back picks

    5 Comments

    DALLAS — It’s been quite few weeks for the New York Islanders organization. After hiring Lou Lamoriello as their new president and general manager and then snatching up Barry Trotz to replace Doug Weight as head coach, they scored big in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft.

    Sitting at picks No. 11 and 12, the Islanders were able to select forward Oliver Wahlstrom and defenseman Noah Dobson.

    “All we can say is we’re glad where they were when we picked, so we feel very good about it,” said Lamoriello. “You never know when it comes to drafts, everybody has a little different focus, but these were two players we had very high.”

    “It’s a dream come true. To be in New York, that city’s awesome and the organization is a powerhouse organization throughout the years. I couldn’t be more happy,” said Wahlstrom, who spent the last two seasons with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

    Wahlstrom, who was a viral star as a 9-year-old, scored 48 goals and recorded 94 points this season. There’s no question about his offensive ability (“Scoring goals is my specialty”). It’s his play away from the puck that he feels he needs to improve, along with consistency. Currently committed to Boston College, he says he’ll make a decision at the end of the summer.

    “If I have to develop for one year, Boston College is a great spot for me to develop as a person,” he said.

    Also offensively-minded is Dobson, who helped the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL win the Memorial Cup in May. Modeling his game after Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues, he’s a good puck moving defenseman that is confident on the rush.

    His abilities mesh with where the NHL is going.

    “The NHL is a fast game now and you’ve got have D that are able to get the pucks up to the forwards and let them do their thing,” said Dobson. “I think it says a lot. Obviously there’s a lot of great defensemen in this draft. The game’s becoming a fast game so you’ve got to be able to move the puck quick and get the puck up ice.”

    Dobson said he wants to use the summer to get stronger and increase his chances of making the team out of training camp in September.

    As a 15-year-old, Dobson left his home in Prince Edward Island to spend a year with the Red Bull Salzburg academy. There hs impressed against older competition and furthered his development in a professional setting.

    “I think that year at Red Bull showed him how hard he had to work to get to where he wanted to be,” said former NHLer Brian Savage, who served as a Red Bull scout.

    Both players were tabbed to go a little higher than they did in many mock drafts, but as Wahlstrom noted, it doesn’t matter where you’re selected.

    “You always want to be the best and picked as high as possible,” he said. “But it’s the draft and you get picked and then after that you have to focus on what you do to make the team.”

    MORE:
    Oliver Wahlstrom goes from viral stardom to NHL top prospect
    Noah Dobson and his unique road to the 2018 NHL Draft

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    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.