It's nice to see someone finally pulling the alarm on the cozy and somewhat sickening relationship that Republican Sarah Palin has been cultivating with the NHL.
People in the NHL have been wallowing in her meaningless "hockey mom" publicity spin which culminated in Palin dropping the puck in Philly (as guest of Flyer owner Ed Snider) last night.
It took Adam Proteau of the Hockey News to finally offer something other than an acquiescent whimper that has been the norm from the attention hungry NHL crowd and I think he's dead on here:
"Listen, I don’t give a tinker’s damn if he supports Sarah Palin on his own time. Stars owner Tom Hicks did just that, and that’s well within his rights. But for Snider to foist his views on his fan base the way he did Saturday night, to openly bang the drum of politicians while they’re still running for office, to associate the NHL with one particular ideology, is beyond nauseating and will go down in history as a black mark on his ownership for the rest of time. ...
Moreover, it’s another element of the cutesy-fication of politicians that has lowered public debate in North America to the equivalent of the phony speech portion of beauty pageants. As the old bromide goes, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, and all Snider did was unnecessarily polarize the experience of all fans who showed up at the Wachovia Center with the sole intent of watching good hockey.
So shame on Snider – and on the NHL for not stepping in and stopping him from denigrating and diminishing the sport as he’s done here. And my eternal thanks to all Flyers fans who booed Palin (and, I’d like to think, the guy who invited her) for their enthusiasm and volume Saturday night."
-The Hockey News
Despite the uneven performance of the Senators last night against Detroit, rookie Jesse Winchester again stood out. You can't help but think of Peter Schaefer when you see Winchester dominating on the boards like that. Except the rookie seems to have a good attitude as opposed to the kind of "cooler than thou" aura that Schaefer always gave off.
For those of you in Ottawa on the Nikolai Khabibulin watch (or should we say the Gerber Gets Out Of Town watch), you might be happy to hear that the Russian netminder was being praised for his 30 save performance last night despite losing to the Capitals. It was Khabibulin's first game since last April after missing all of training camp in the waiver fiasco.
A lot of people are already pulling the "I told you so" card with the Tampa Bay Lightning getting off to a horrible start. Last night they completely collapsed against the Hurricanes and have now allowed at least 39 shots in all three games they've played. For those of you interested, Andre Meszaros played a whopping 27 minutes last night but that wasn't even good for first on the team. Matt Carle hit the 30 minute mark. Sounds to me like they could use a defensive workhorse with size - Kyle McLaren immediately comes to mind.
The blog 6th Sens has a pretty funny take on the game last night which includes their thoughts on a possible "underground women's movement" to discredit Mike Fisher, some solid Gerber frustrations and a picture that illustrates the physical similarities between Shean Donovan and a certain famous character from the Goonies who once uttered one of my favourite movie lines ever.
"Hey you guuuuyyyyysssss!"
It's a very good site in the vein of the popular Pensblog. Check them out.
I've got to say that the new Hockey Night In Canada theme is actually really good. Seriously. In my opinion it might even be better than the old one that TSN ripped from them. It certainly gets the heartstrings swelling a little. Yah, it's overdramatic but that's kind of the point I think.
Got to hand it to the CBC. They took what could have been a disaster and managed to salvage something out of it. The show itself was pretty good too with more energy than usual.
On the downside of things as far as HNIC goes, did anyone catch Greg Millen calling Senators coach Craig Hartsburg "Craig Simpson" last night?
Millen made up for it though by relating the story that Hartsburg reorganized the dressing room so that all the defenseman are sitting together as a group, meaning Chris Phillips had to change locker stalls for the one of the first times in his career.
My favourite "locker-room seating story" (yes, scintillating stuff) is how Mark Messier made the New York Rangers training staff remove the GatorAid table from the middle of the dressing room in his first year there so he could make eye contact with everyone in the room from his stall.
Messier is a god.