Happy St. Patrick's Day!
So, this is a little bit overdue, but I feel it is my duty to mention that I hate Don Cherry. I mean, I really hate him. He infuriates me with every word he utters. So, the latest Cherry-ism to piss me off is this whole business of Alexander Ovechkin acting like "a goof" with his celebrations.
I'm sorry, was it not Cherry himself who for years has criticized the Europeans at every chance he gets? They are talented, but they don't have what it takes to win, because they don't care enough. They don't have enough grit, they don't check, they don't play hard, they aren't tough enough, THEY DON'T PLAY WITH ENOUGH HEART. Tomas Holmstrom alone is enough to make all of Cherry's comments laughable.
Yet, let's celebrate players like the skate stomping, stick swinging, all-the-time-elbowing Chris Pronger.
However, now we get a player like Ovechkin, perhaps the most talented player in the game today (my vote is for Datsyuk and Zetterberg, and I could argue this, but I also admit I may be biased), who is tough, who plays with grit, who checks (he was voted as the most underated and hardest checker in the game, in a player poll last year), and doesn't skate a stride without displaying his heart. Every shift, every game, Ovechkin is the hardest working player in the game.
Surely, Cherry couldn't find fault with Ovechkin, even despite his non-Canadianess.
Wait a sec, you know what's wrong with Ovie? He celebrates too much when he scores. We've all seen it. He jumps around, he cheers, he jumps into the glass. It's fantastic, and it shows that he LOVES the game he is playing. Yet, according Don 'The Idiot' Cherry, this is showboating, and going too far. This is acting like "a goof."
So, let me get this straight. Play hard. Play tough. Play with heart. Just not too much. And especially not if your European. In fact, if you're European, just take dives, so that Cherry can keep slamming you.
I say that we do our best to get Cherry off the air. Write letters to the CBC, send emails, turn the tv off between the 1st and 2nd periods.
And when he finally does leave the air, let's all jump around, cheer and jump into the windows of our neighbours. It's a bigger goodbye than Cherry deserves, but too apt not to do it.
So, recently a bunch of NHL GM's made some recommendations to try and curb fighting, perhaps leading to it's eventual all-but-elimination from the sport, and poor Georges Laraque thinks this is just terrible. Tons of players whose only job on their team is to fight, will lose their jobs.
Oh no. So a bunch of guys who can't play hockey won't be allowed to play hockey anymore? Yes, I can see how this might be bad for the sport.
I mean, imagine if they got rid of all the baseball players who can't catch or hit for shit, but who can charge the mound like no one else.
Look, I like a good hockey fight, like anyone else. One of the best fights I ever saw was Lecavalier vs. Iginla in the cup finals a few years back. Not because it was a great fight, but because who was fighting, and when they fought. It was the intensity of the moment and situation that they were in, not because that was their job. These guys actually play the game. They score. A lot. You may have heard of them.
Hockey is an intense game, and tempers are going to flare. Fights will happen. But the league needs to eliminate the guys whose sole purpose is to fight.
As long as the NHL allows fighting with no severe penalty for it, there will always be a place on a team for a Laraque or a Boogaard. Make the penalty more severe, and these guys will be weeded out of the league, much to Laraques chagrin. And no one will miss the five points a year they were producing for their team.
By the way, these are the type of guys Don Cherry just loves. Can anyone say Tie Belak? Or was that Wade Domi?
Doesn't this unknown Puerto Rican player look like he's concentrating just a little too hard on where exactly to pat Alex Rios on the ass? I mean, I know he looks good in those pants, but really, anywhere on the cheek will get the message across.
The Flyers haven't won in Detroit since 1988. Children born in The City of Brotherly Love the last time Philly won in Motown can legally drink their sorrows away in green beer tonight as the Wings beat them once again 3-2. If you get the chance, watch the hilights, as the second goal was a Datsyukian thing of beauty. And it wasn't even Pavel who scored.
Favourite player stat of the night: Henrik Zetterberg 1 G, GWG