Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ottawa 4 Philly 2. Thugs 1 Deano 0.

(Tony Caldwell SUN)

While it was sickening to see Dean McAmmond get exploded by a headhunting punk like Steve Downie, what was almost as bad was Flyers tryout goon of the month Jesse Boulerice jumping into the fray and right on top of an unconscious Deano. If you watch the video, Boulerice’s skate lands on top of Deano’s head and grinds his face into the ice. Then on top of all this, Boulerice starts sucker punching Brain McGrattan who is busy trying to feed Downie. Literally, a gong show of outrageous proportions.

People are saying that Steve Downie was laughing as he left the ice, while paramedics were strapping Deano to the corpse board. There’s absolutely no way Downie would be getting away with crap like that if Keith Primeau was still the captain. Hopefully, Derian Hatcher has the foresight to sit down with the young punk and teach him about player to player respect before Downie’s career completely goes down in flames.

In case you aren’t familiar with Boulerice or Downie, here’s a quick primer on how to be a classless hockey player:

Steve Downie: In 2005-2006, Downie led the hazing ritual for his team, the Windsor Spitfires, which included locking all the rookies in the bathroom on the bus while they were naked. Rookie Akim Aliu (now a Chicago prospect), 16, refused to go in the bathroom and later on found himself the victim of a Downie crosscheck to the face at practice, knocking out three of his teeth. Downie was suspended 5 games and later traded to the Peterborough Petes. He was also ordered to see a shrink. Looks like it really helped.

Jesse Boulerice: Was charged with assault after levelling Guelph Storm player Andrew Long in the face with his stick back in 1998 while with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. In 165 NHL games, Boulerice has 10 points. Enough said.

Now that the bloodshed is out of the way, let’s retread the game a little.

Ray Emery got beaten twice on his glove side but looked comfortable handling the puck. Martin Gerber came in to relieve him in the third and continued to impress by looking solid. As long as he doesn’t completely fall apart in the next month or two, Gerber is positioning himself as the best goalie available on the trade market. In fact, if this keeps up, Bryan Murray might actually get something useful back in exchange, instead of just dumping his contract as the case would have been over the summer. A couple of draft picks and a decent backup goalie is not out of the question.

Jason Spezza looked like The Man again last night, despite playing on the back-to-back. Dany Heatley was feisty, giving Derian Hatcher a spirited shove after Spezza’s goal and rookie Alex Nikulin played another fine game, this time on a line with Alfie.

But to me, the two stars of the game were undoubtedly Joe Corvo and Patty Eaves. Corvo was unleashing bomb after bomb from the blueline and he looked like a cheetah when he was skating the puck through the neutral zone. Dean Brown of the Team 1200 said that Corvo’s fitness testing was through the roof at camp this year and he also mentioned Corvo being a guest bouncer on the Jerry Springer show, the episode of which aired yesterday. I missed it but I hope that he got to slam around a little white trash while he had the chance. Perhaps it was training for dealing with sociopathic hicks like Boulerice and Downey.

Anyways, the Sens look to be on track, despite only having to play against an unmanned Philly squad.

I still can’t believe that John Stevens is the head coach of the Flyers. This dude looks like an insurance salesman who got lost in the arena and found himself behind the players bench holding a greasy plastic tray of nachos. I’ll put my money on Stevens being the first head coach fired this year, if not because of his inexperience, then because of the major pressure that this revamped Flyers squad will be under to win. It might take them some time to get the losing attitude out but Stevens may not be around to see the bright side.

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