A busy weekend produces a lot of stuff not quite ready for prime-time publication on dead trees. Thank heaven for the web.
GOOD STUFF: NBC's commitment to The Players Championship meant that the NHL got reduced exposure on one of the biggest weekends of the season. But the good news was that Canadians didn't have to suffer through afternoon hockey games this weekend and got our constitutionally protected Saturday night game. (Okay, there's nothing in the constitution about hockey, but maybe there should be something to protect us from being forced indoors on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. ... Kudos to Toronto 640's Greg Brady, whose tribute to late Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell last week touched all the bases. It was personal without being self-indulgent and a lot more in-depth that most radio stuff. ... Love that Star Trek TV screen on the Hockey Night In Canada pre-game show and love the way Kelly Hrudey breaks down plays, like he did Saturday with an assessment of Pittsburgh's power play. ... Don Cherry was bang on Saturday in decrying the amount of diving going on in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He called Friday's dive-filled Vancouver-Chicago game, ``a disgrace." ... Great work by HNIC to catch Pittsburgh defenceman Hal Gill in a suit after suffering a mysterious leg injury.
BAD STUFF: During Sportsnet Connected on Saturday, a cheesy-looking commercial for something called Pardon Services Canada appeared on the screen, promising help in erasing criminal records. Just who do they think is watching Sportsnet? ... Just what the NHL needed: another summer of Phoenix Coyotes speculation and skeleton-uncovering. ... Cherry reminded viewers not once, but twice, Saturday night that he's a bit of a hockey genius. If you're really a genius, do you have to remind people that often? While we're at it, who is that ``Lalongo" guy he keeps talking about? Is he a friend of ``Havlak?"
SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Not that there’s a dearth of hockey on television, but if you’re looking for hockey with a little difference, TVO is offering a documentary called Blood, Sweat and Beers (Wednesday, 10 p.m.) It provides a fascinating look at the Bentley (Alta.) Generals and their drive for the Allan Cup under coach Brian Sutter.
TIME OUT: Vacation time calls, which means no blog until next month, unless that Icelandic volcano messes up my plans. See you then.