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The Breakaway: Philly is Goalietown

by Shawn P. Roarke

--While Martin Biron has been pretty good in net for the Flyers, he isn’t even the best playoff goalie in Philadelphia this spring.

--Scott Munroe pitched a Game 7 shutout for the Philadelphia Phantoms to see them through to the second round of the playoffs. He had to out-duel Michael Leighton, who turned in a 98-save performance in a five-overtime loss earlier in the series.

--That five-overtime game was the longest in the history of the AHL, and the goalies combined to make 158 saves. Flyers prospect Ryan Potulny scored the game-winner 142 minutes and 58 seconds after the puck first dropped.

--Bates Battaglia – yes, he is still playing – scored the series-winning goal for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies in their first-round matchup against San Antonio. It is Toronto’s first-ever playoff series victory. Way to go, Bates!

--Alex Ovechkin in the World Championships? That tournament just got a little extra zing, wouldn’t you say?

--How about Alexander Radulov heading back to Quebec where he first made a name for himself with the Remparts?

--It will be unsettling, to say the least, to see the Russians cheered on Canadian soil, but it could easily happen during the World Championships.

--Speaking of unsettling, has anybody seen Willie Aames on the latest Celebrity Fit Club on VH1? Wow! That’s not the Tommy Bradford or Buddy Lembeck CTN remembers from days of yore.

--Staying with TV for a moment, CTN hopes there is proper enthusiasm for the new incarnation of 90210 in the developmental pipeline. Wait, it gets better. Lori Loughlin -- Aunt Becky on Full House -- will play the mom in the revival.

--One final TV reference and then back to hockey. The new Real World, set in Hollywood, could be the biggest train wreck in the history of a show famous for going off the rails. You heard it here first.

--So, Dallas co-GM Brett Hull is part of the study group looking into goalie equipment? This is a man that scored 741 goals in his NHL career. Isn’t that a little like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house?

--Those that have been bemoaning the addition of Brad Richards in Dallas and the price the club paid for him might just want to roll tape of the third period of Game 2 against the Sharks. Enough said.

--Sticking with the Stars, CTN is thinking about putting in a bid for the car Matt Niskanen put up for charity auction. A Pontiac Sunfire with more than $12,000 in amenities? That beats the 1999 Saturn that currently serves as CTN’s ride.

--What is it with unlikely guys scoring big goals in the playoffs? This week, we had Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos and Dallas’ Mattias Norstrom net OT winners. Neither is known as a sniper.

--While Kostopoulos’ game-winning goal was certainly a highlight, his sucker punch of Kimmo Timonen was not. Worse yet was the rationalizations provided by coach Guy Carbonneau to defend the act. CTN is all for old-time hockey, but there is no place for plays like that in the game – not even in the playoffs.

It will be interesting to see how Carey Price responds, if he starts in goal again, after being pulled in Game 3 against the Flyers. Price video
--Pulling goalies might be the most intriguing subplot in the playoffs. It certainly worked for Mike Babcock in Round 1. It will be interesting to see how it works for the Canadiens in Round 2 after wunderkind Carey Price was pulled in Game 3 against Philadelphia and then left in limbo for two days.

--Michael Ryder has been a healthy scratch for Montreal in each of the past six games. What a fall from grace for the two-time 30-goal scorer from Newfoundland.

--CTN is planning a trip to Newfoundland for later this summer. To say this is a good thing would be an understatement. CTN can’t wait to hit the links at Terra Nova National Park and go whale watching.

--Justin Azevedo led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring this season, yet remains undrafted. The odds, though, are pretty good that he will be signing a free-agent deal with a NHL club pretty soon.

--Remember this name, too. Windsor’s Taylor Hall was named OHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 45 goals and 84 points in 63 games. The left wing, by the way, is just 16 years old.

--When exactly are people going to start taking Johan Franzen seriously? This guy is the real deal. Don’t believe CTN? Go ask the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche.

--Uber-prospect Fabian Brunnstrom was reportedly in Dallas on Tuesday to visit with the Stars. You have to think that he liked what he saw from Game 3 of the Western Conference semis. Brunnstrom, a free agent, is in the midst of a North American fact-finding tour, according to reports.

--So, Blair Betts apparently broke his jaw in Game 3 after taking a slap shot in the jaw Tuesday night. Yet, there is a chance the Rangers forward could play in Game 4. Where else but in the NHL, kids? CTN loves this game!
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