First things first: Capitals defenseman Mike Green’s faux-hawk is just bush league, and I mean that literally – it’s up there (or should I say “down there”) with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs’ dyed-red beards.
Anyway, today’s New York Post finds a certain oft-sensationalist hockey writer/ax-grinder having a Mushnick kind of morning – except for the fact that he’s neither ill-informed nor wrong.
Never has there been a more despicable promotional spot than the one MSG runs on Devils telecasts depicting an edgy New Jersey fan – in front of an area dominated by graffiti, no less – luxuriating in the Scott Stevens hit that concussed Lindros in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern finals.
The spot, for which some creative genius no doubt received a pat on the head, concludes with the actor-fan taking the famous and stomach-turning picture of an unconscious Lindros flat on the ice in a semi fetal position, and pasting it up against the wall.
“Dummy!” he exclaims in triumph.
He also takes the Ottawa Sun‘s Don Brennan – without deigning to identify him as anything other than an “Ottawa fan-boy writer” – to task for this:
Crosby’s got a bad RIGHT ankle? How will it stand up to a two-hander? The Senators have to find out….
As much as they will be looking for timely goaltending and scoring, the Senators need somebody to emerge as a modern-day Bobby Clarke. Maybe hockey historian Jason Spezza can explain to his teammates what the former Flyers captain did to Russian star Valeri Kharlamov when the latter had a bad ankle in the 1972 Summit Series.
It’s playoff time. Anything goes.
But wait – there’s more! Brooks concludes by mocking Gary Bettman’s mastery of hockey history:
It was, however, beyond bizarre to hear Gary Bettman state with assurance during an appearance Thursday on the WFAN Smug One and the Hyena show, that the Maple Leafs’ Ace Bailey, who nearly was killed on the ice by Eddie Shore on a check from behind in a 1933 incident, was the same Ace Bailey who was killed as a passenger on Flight 175 on Sept. 11.
The Ace Bailey who died when his plane crashed into the World Trade Center, was Garnet Bailey, the Bruins’ winger who scored the winner late in Game 1 of the 1972 Cup Finals against the Rangers, and who, following an eight-year NHL career, was the director of pro scouting for the Kings at the time of his death.
In Bettman’s defense, the custom of giving athletes the same nickname as an older and more famous athlete can be quite confusing. Keith Tkachuk’s nickname, for example, is “Walt.” And every player in the world named Campbell answers to “Soupy.” Why not “Clarence,” I wonder? Or barring that, “Chunky”?
Finally, on the Flyers message board I frequent, there was a thread called “Has a coach ever been fired in the middle of a playoff series?” after Game 1 on Friday. But all is right in Flyers-land for now. Philadelphia goalie Martin Biron gets the shutout, and tomorrow, Mrs. Biron gives birth by Caesarian. (In the same region where her husband works. Strange concept.)
Update: More details on the littlest Biron:
Biron has to be at a South Jersey hospital at 5 a.m. today. His wife, Anne Marie, is scheduled for a Caesarean section. The couple’s third child is expected to celebrate Dad’s first playoff win with a loud cry.
“The doctor told me, ‘I’ve got you early so you can go to practice,’ ” Biron said.
He was sort of kidding, but the realities of the NHL schedule already have changed the baby’s birthday. The procedure originally was scheduled for Friday, the day the team would travel to Washington for Saturday’s Game 5. By moving the birth to April 14, the goalie can be home for a few days with his family.