Join hockey columnist Damien Cox for a noon-hour chat as the Leafs get set to face off against John Tavares and the New York Islanders.
CFL weird, I guess, which is still something a lot of Canadians love. Looking for Saskatchewan to put heat on Anthony Calvillo and make Marc Trestman 0-for-2 for Grey Cups, but my oh my the Als looked awesome yesterday.
Some other Monday morning considerations:
--Obviously, the Alouettes were after a big gate, so the Eastern Final was played in the Big Owe. But McGill, the Als usual home, would have been far more interesting than the sanitized Olympic Stadium.
--At some point, don’t coaches have something to say about those broken composite sticks? Just look at Saturday night. Eric Fehr goes in on the first shootout attempt on Vesa Toskala and his stick snaps. Down in Manhattan, the Rangers work a last minute faceoff play in the dying seconds while down a goal and set up Ales Kotalik for a one-timer.
At the moment of impact, Kotalik’s stick breaks in two. Panthers win. Would hockey be destroyed if tomorrow Gary Bettman declared the NHL to be an wood-only league?
--You watch the Capitals on Saturday night and see Mike Green commit a horrific giveaway in the final seconds of OT and you think there’s no chance the talented blueliner can be part of the Olympic. He’s super-skilled, but oh-so-casual and a little too-cool-for-school.
--Dany Heatley got his way out of Ottawa and the Sharks got themselves a sniper who already has 18 goals. But quietly, Milan Michalek, the main piece the Sens got in return for Heatley, has 10 goals himself. And he’s four years younger and a lot cheaper.
--Everyone’s focussed on the Phil Kessel trade. But a far more costly transaction for the Leafs in the short term was that which sent Pavel Kubina to Atlanta for Garnet Exelby.
And what was is about Dominic Moore that ticked off Leaf brass so much that they convinced themselves Rickard Wallin could help more?
--So my great Battle of the Blades conspiracy didn’t come true. See, I figured it was all a set-up for Tie Domi to win, which was about as accurate as suggesting the Leafs were a playoff team.
Still, having a CBC employee (Craig Simpson) win a CBC production just made this figure skating competition look as suspicious as, well, all figure skating competitions. When Nick Kypreos (Sportsnet) or Ray Ferraro (TSN) wins the Battle of the Blades, then I’ll believe its on the up-and-up.
--Something tells me we’ll be hearing from Brendan Shanahan again. He’s just got too much to give to the game, and those colleagues and hockey people who gave Shanahan grief for actually trying to make the game better during the lockout should issue public apologies now that the NHL has lost of its greatest ambassadors.
-- Georges Laraque sticks out a knee on Nicklas Kronwall, Wade Belak viciously reefs Jarred Boll in the groin - in the grand tradition of the departed Chris Simon, it’s usually the NHL policemen who commit the crimes.
Laraque, by the way, should be gone for 20 games. But don’t hold your breath.
--Ian Pulver’s appearance on Hockey Night in Canada was nothing short of completely bizarre. Loved the Mark McGwire defence - let’s all just move forward and please don’t look too closely at what my buddies did. Pulver can claim neutrality all he wants, but everyone knows he’s tightly tied to both Eric Lindros and Ian Penny and, of course, Ron MacLean, which is why Pulver was invited in the first place.
-Let me try to explain this one more time until the next erroneous headline and story appear. Theo Fleury doesn’t get to decide whether charges will be brought against Graham James. The police and crown attorney do. Fleury would be a witness, and getting him to be a credible witness is a big part of the job for the police and crown.