May 20, 1988 |
It is with no strings and only some of his knee cartilage attached that Gordie Kluzak has made the deal that enables him to move his left leg ahead of the right one. He does so with the knowledge that any step toward the 1988 Stanley Cup could be the last he ever takes on a hockey rink. Never mind the cost to him when he turns 45. He understands that nobody owes him the great career he was promised as the very first player taken in the 1982 draft. And nobody owes him an explanation for the knee problems that took two full years from his career before he turned 24. "I wanted to play so bad that I was going to exhaust every possibility there was," the Bruins' defenseman said yesterday.
April 14, 1993 |
Slumped against a wall inside a narrow Spectrum corridor, Neil Smith looked like a man waiting for the blindfold and cigarette. Like so many New York Rangers general managers before him, Smith was about to feel the full impact of what it means to be part of the most frustrated franchise in professional sports. It means you will be traumatized. The Rangers polished their sorry art form to a higher gloss Monday night. One year after finishing with the best record in the National Hockey League, the Rangers were beaten by the Flyers to officially complete one of the sporting world's swiftest free falls.
June 2, 1997 |
Larry Murphy was a half hour away from a long golf season, which is great if you're a corporate executive or, come to think of it, someone in just about any other line of work. Not so if you're a hockey player with an interest in winning the Stanley Cup. But putting up a challenge for the Cup was about the farthest thing from Murphy's mind back on March 18. As the clock inched toward 3 p.m. that day, when the NHL trading deadline would expire, Murphy was still a member of the dreadful Toronto Maple Leafs, and an extremely unpopular one at that.
June 4, 2010 |
When: 8 o'clock. Where: Wachovia Center. TV: Versus. Radio: WIP (610-AM). Chuck Bausman's 3 keys to Game 4 1. Momentum. The Flyers are coming off a thrilling overtime victory. They are back in the series. They will have the home crowd urging them on. They have plenty in their favor, despite being down, 2-1. 2. Special teams. The Flyers were 2-for-3 on the power play in Game 3 and killed all three Blackhawks power plays. Winner of the special-teams battle usually is the winner of the hockey game.
April 12, 2000 |
The twisted saga in Philadelphia features a banished superstar and courageous coach versus a gap-toothed icon turned steely general manager. The details of the story make you wince. The Flyers family seems in peril. The heartstrings of the fans are tied in Windsor knots because taking sides in these disputes has nothing to do with NHL playoff matchups. You should know, however, it could be worse. Really, it could. Look at the hockey team up the turnpike on the eve of the 2000 Stanley Cup run, and it dawns on you: Doesn't everything go to die in North Jersey?
June 5, 1998 |
Most of the Marine Midland Arena crowd couldn't see the puck or the goal light for the tangle of bodies strewn about the crease. It was the chilling, deafening silence, beginning in the seats just behind Dominik Hasek's net and spreading in an instant throughout the building, that provided the first clue: The Eastern Conference final series was over. Washington Capitals forward Joe Juneau, who'd calmly guided the Brian Bellows rebound past Hasek for a 3-2 Washington victory 6:24 into overtime, might have imagined that profound silence to be a little like what Neil Armstrong heard when he first stirred the dust with a silver-clad foot nearly 29 years ago. The Caps have been around only 24 years, but for their bedraggled franchise, the Stanley Cup finals often have seemed as remote as the moon.
May 26, 1997 |
Right about now the Flyers are saying all the right things: Doesn't matter who we play for the Stanley Cup. Both are worthy opponents. We'll have a battle either way. Yada, yada, yada. All that obligatory humility aside, however, you can be quite certain the Detroit Red Wings weren't the only disappointed team after Colorado's 6-0 victory Saturday night sent these Western Conference finals back to Detroit. The Avalanche aren't the defending Cup champions for nothing. They have two of the best players in the league in Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, and possess a playoff giant in Claude Lemieux.
June 14, 2012 |
THE FIRST THING Jeff Carter needed to do after winning the Stanley Cup was shave that scraggly beard. He looked like a guy trying to look like an Amish guy. The second thing he needed to do was give the Kings his ring size ... or should that be ring, sighs? The next thing he needs to do is plan his day with the Stanley Cup. It's a terrific hockey tradition, and Carter should consider bringing it to Sea Isle, the wonderful Jersey shore town where the Toronto-native still owns a home.
June 10, 2012 |
NEWARK, N.J. - On the exact two-year anniversary of Patrick Kane's crushing, Stanley Cup-clinching overtime goal at the Wells Fargo Center, the New Jersey Devils kept Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne without a title. For two more days, at least. In prolonging their season, the Devils did two things with a 2-1 win over the Kings in Saturday night's Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals that no other team was able to accomplish so far in the postseason: beat Los Angeles on the road and push the Kings to a sixth game in a series.
March 23, 2011
SAY WHAT you want, but I'm looking at this as a glass half-empty. Some people will give the Flyers a lot of credit for fighting back from an early, three-goal deficit before losing, 5-4, in a shootout to the Washington Capitals last night at the Wells Fargo Center. I'll say given the magnitude of the game and considering the Capitals were without Alex Ovechkin, what the heck were they doing going down 3-0? Considering this was an opportunity to put a strong claim to the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, how could the Flyers battle all the way back to take a lead only to allow Washington a late goal to force overtime?