A few thoughts while the fans in Philadelphia breathe a collective sigh of relief:
Will He Play?
-- Now more than ever, the Colorado Avalanche
need Peter Forsberg
in the lineup.
After all, it’s moments like tonight’s Game 3 against the Detroit Red Wings
(10 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS) that the Avs brought Forsberg back in the first place. Down 2-0 in its best-of-seven series, Colorado needs Forsberg for this must-win situation.
But will No. 21 be able to return from a groin injury that forced him to watch Games 1 and 2?
"I try to go out and do my best every single game, and if I can't play it's unfortunate," Forsberg said. "Nobody wants to play more than I want to play, but what am I supposed to do? If it doesn't feel good and I go out and I'm going to hurt it even more, and be out for the rest of the playoffs, it's not going to do any good."
Fair point, Peter. But the rest of the playoffs could last just two more games if your Avalanche continue to struggle to find the back of the net. Ten percent is better than nothing.
"If he goes out there on one leg, he's better than most of us on two," defenseman John-Michael Liles
said. "He's got that ability to be out there in a walker if he wants and still score goals."
Hope to see you out there, Pete.
One At A Time
-- The New York Rangers
know they’re in a must-win situation tonight (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS) when they meet the Pittsburgh Penguins
in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup.
Sure, the Blueshirts are down two games to none and must beat Sidney Crosby
& Co. four times in the next five games in order to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr
knows his team can’t think that way.
“If somebody tells you that you have to win four of five, it’s strange. It doesn’t look possible,” Jagr said after Monday’s skate. “But if someone tells you that you have to win the next one; then tell you that you have to win the next one and the next one, it’s a lot easier. You don’t think too forward.”
One positive for New York is the fact it went 4-0 against the Pens at Madison Square Garden this season. Should the Rangers find a way to take Game 3, goalie Henrik Lundqvist
knows it would give his team a ton of momentum heading into Thursday’s Game 4.
More importantly, the Rangers have been here before. They dropped the first two games of their second-round series at Buffalo before beating the Sabres in consecutive contests at MSG.
“We know we can pull it off,” Lundqvist said. “We beat this team a couple of times during the year. The difference is not great between us, so let’s put all our focus and energy to get one win. A lot of things can change and the momentum can change in a series.”
They Still Believe
-- Despite back-to-back losses on home ice to the Dallas Stars
, the San Jose Sharks
feel they are still very much alive as the series shifts to the American Airlines Center for Game 3 tonight (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RIS).
“We’ve been counted out a number of times this year. We’ll bounce back. Our record showed that during the season that we’re the best road team in the NHL. Now we have a chance to prove that.” - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson
What makes San Jose so confident? Well, it did boast the best road record in the League during the regular season (27-10-4). Three of those 27 wins came in Dallas.
“We believe it. That’s all that matters,” said Sharks coach Ron Wilson, who stormed off during an interview with a TSN reporter when asked if he needs more out of captain Patrick Marleau
(0 points, minus-3 rating through the first two games), as if Wilson was asked for the meaning of life. “We’ve been counted out a number of times this year. We’ll bounce back. Our record showed that during the season that we’re the best road team in the NHL. Now we have a chance to prove that.”
If they don’t, the 2007-08 Sharks – the best team in the sport following the acquisition of Brian Campbell
on Feb. 26 -- could be labeled a bigger disappointment than Shrek The Third
-- Martin Biron
stole another game for the Philadelphia Flyers
on Monday night.
Arguably the most consistent of any goalie this postseason, Biron made 32 saves in a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens
in Game 3 at the Wachovia Center. Fifteen of those stops came in the third period, as Biron helped the Flyers gain a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
“Marty has been terrific. He's been our best player in this series,” Philadelphia coach John Stevens
said. “We probably felt going in that he would have to be.”
And Biron has been the best player in this series. The Flyers escaped their building with a win Monday night despite being outshot 34-12.
“It's fun when they chant your name,” Biron said. “They challenge the guys to play better.”
Biron’s counterpart certainly needs to play better. Carey Price
was chased after the second period as he allowed three goals on 12 shots. Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau
is confident the 20-year-old will respond when the teams meet in Wednesday’s Game 4.
That is, if Carbonneau chooses to go back with Price rather than backup Jaroslav Halak
“Carey has proven in the past that he can bounce back and come back really strong,” Carbonneau said. “We will sit down tonight and tomorrow and see what is going to happen in the next game. I know he can come back and played really strong.”
Contact Brian Compton at: email@example.com.