Two things to like about the way Bryan McCabe responded to a tricky situation Thursday night at the ACC. First, he played a solid game, which is what his team needed. Second, he didn't try to pretend he hadn't heard any boos, or wasn't expecting them, and therefore wasn't a little relieved when louder ones weren't heard. It never hurts to let the fans know you're human ... Good for Joe Torre. Methinks all of New York, particularly the players and the media, will find how good they had it with this gentle, gracious man. And I'll say it again - the Blue Jays should be seeing if there's a way Torre could fit into their organization, pronto ... Don't believe the spin - the NFL would kill the CFL in Toronto. Period. They can't co-exist. The only question is whether the CFL could exist without Toronto, and that's an interesting one. From a Buffalo perspective, this notion that getting in bed with Toronto will help save the team in western New York seems a stretch, perhaps an enormous one ... Woke up this morning to see Sidney Crosby 59th in NHL scoring, with a minus-four to boot. Heavy wears the crown, indeed. . .Everyone likes to hammer John Ferguson for the McCabe and Pavel Kubina deals, and I get that. Where, however, is the praise these days for having Nik Antropov playing for the very affordable price of $1.95 million per season?
Alexei Kovalev continues to confound. He says something incendiary in a broadcast interview, then claims his thoughts were twisted beyond recognition. Huh? ... The Devils are giving up a lot of goals, playing an unusually wide-open style of game this season under new head coach Brent Sutter. Still, 3-4 while not yet having played a single home game isn't quite a disaster, is it ... Having failed to make a lot of hay out of playing six of their first eight on home ice, the Leafs probably need to get three points out of the next two games against the Hawks and Thrashers to start feeling at all good about their start to the season ... By the way, when did Darcy Tucker get appointed ombudsman of the media that covers the Leafs? Here's the deal; the players play, the media writes and says what it wants and the fans, readers, viewers and listeners sort it all out. It's not up to Tucker to upbraid people in the media for calling it like they see it. Perhaps he needs to start putting the puck in the net again before he starts doing other people's jobs ... Nathan Horton is an impressive young player, but he's got a lot of learning and growing up to do. Getting in a fight with Hal Gill on Thursday was just stupid.
Speaking of stupid fights, its really too bad Sheldon Souray felt he had to scrap with Vancouver forward Byron Ritchie this week. Souray injured his shoulder and is out three weeks, with the Oilers still feeling the impact of a fight-related injury to Ethan Moreau last season that proved costly to the team. . .Of course the Lakers should trade Kobe Bryant. It's pointless having one guy, surrounding him with average players and hoping you can still be San Antonio, Phoenix and the other NBA western powers. But if Kobe goes up for sale, the Raptors shouldn't get involved. Going with a team concept and an international flavour just doesn't fit with what this guy would bring to the table. . .At least the Bosox and Indians are waging a competitive series. Otherwise, easy romps have been the nature of every other MLB post-season series. . .If Ohio State doesn't go undefeated, this could turn out to be the most complicated, controversial year ever to pick a national champion in U.S. college football.The latest top team to go down? South Florida to Rutgers on Thursday night. . .By the way, if you want to understand why the rest of Canada's CFL fans despise Toronto, look at the way in which a Grey Cup in the city this fall is being overshadowed by all this NFL talk.
Good to see CFL commish Mark Cohon out front on the NFL-to-Toronto issue and the extra penalties handed down to Saskatchewan players this week. Hopefully this means he's getting comfortable in the job and will start becoming more visible. . .It's still early, but the Casey Printers experiment in Hamilton is starting to look an awful lot like the Jason Maas experiment. . .With Bob Hartley gone, San Jose's Ron Wilson now moves to the front of the next-to-be-fired line. The Sharks missed an early season chance to take advantage of Anaheim's sluggish start and did not look impressive in a home ice loss to Detroit on Thursday night. . .Eight games into the season, no one's wondering whether John Paddock was the right choice to coach Ottawa any more. . .The Leafs have faced four straight backup goalies - Wade Dubieleiwicz, Dany Sabourin, Jocelyn Thibault and Craig Anderson - and beaten two of them. Now comes word Tuesday's opponent, Atlanta, had its No. 1 goalie Kari Lehtonen leave Thursday's win over New York with a re-occurance of his groin problem. If the Blackhawks start longtime Leaf patsy Patrick Lalime Saturday night instead of Nikolai Khabibulin, we can officially call this a conspiracy, yes?