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Because it was my goal in life to receive an email from John Rocker's publicist...

· Praise your various gods, puck junkies. The NHL resumed today. There are some that still believe the NHL's presence at the Winter Olympics should continue. After the quality of hockey I observed during the entire tournament, I'm not so sure. There are obvious benefits of being able to see players like Kovalchuk, Ovechkin and Kovalev play together. But for every treat there were various disappointments. Multiple times during the tournament, I was reminded of pre-lockout play. This can be attributed to two things: The reimergence of the trap, and obstruction penalties (both called and uncalled).

For the most part, I didn't notice a difference in speed, which normally occurs with the larger ice surface -- the only exception to that would be the Canadians, who were surprisingly slow. My concern right now is that some of this play will make its way across the pond and begin to slowly resurface within the NHL. The officials have a responsibility to maintain the the crackdown on obstruction, but the Finns were able to demonstrate how the trap hasn't lost its potency. Newer rules have made it difficult for teams to implement the trap, but coaches are creative. Hopefully the fine balance that has been struck thus far will continue.

· Here's a thought: Do you think that Bryan McCabe sent Todd Bertuzzi a fruit basket after they returned from Torino? After all, when the critics came out en masse against Team Canada, it was Bertuzzi's pick in the quarterfinal game vs. the Russians that was referred to as "the penalty that killed Canada". (I'm using quotation marks because that was exactly how Ron MacLean referenced it after the game.) McCabe finished the tournament with a -3 and 18 penalty minutes -- the most out of the entire team. He was repeatedly called for easily prevented infractions and appeared overwhelmed for the majority of games. Okay, so he prevented a goal. Does that redeem his play? Doubtful. But with a single penalty, Bertuzzi was thrust in the spotlight (yet again) for emotional play, coming at the cost of the team. I wonder how Glenn Healy feels about Bryan's performance? After all, it was the TSN analyst that jocked the inclusion of McCabe harder than anyone.

· As I referenced above, I received an email from John Rocker's publicist after what I wrote in this week's column. I found what appeared to be John Rocker's profile on match.com, after perusing SportsbyBrooks -- the profile has since been removed, but you can read the story on SbB (3/4 of the way down the page as of today). Here's what I wrote:

"Cheers to SportsbyBrooks.com for unearthing John Rocker's profile on match.com. Rocker describes himself as "mature," with a penchant for bowling and erotica (respectively, not combined ... I hope). He's so cosmopolitan. All this time I assumed he was just a racist who could run fast."

Here was the response:

"As John Rocker's publicist, I can assure you he isn't on match.com."

Debi Curzio
Public Relations & Promotions

Bloody hell...how many of these do you think she sent out? I know
Deadspin also received one after posting the story.

· In spite of me catching Olympic fever (not to be confused with anything that would require a round of penicillin and a trip to the free clinic), I will not miss hearing or seeing any references to that freeloading tool, Bode Miller. Miller has all but admitted that he used his Olympic experience to party on his corporate sponsors' and Team USA's dime. And this would all be forgotten if he hadn't gone 0-for-5 on the podium. What a jackass. Oh, and by the way, I'm convinced that SI photoshopped out his beer gut from the ski team's cover photo several weeks ago. No one gets down that much, only to appear shockingly svelte in a skinsuit in a much-publicized photo. And if you saw him in action in Torino, you know what I'm talking about.

See you tomorrow. Uh...maybe.

1 response to "Tuesday evening deglaze"

  1. Re: McCabe/Bertuzzi

    Right on. It's about time the McCabe boosters stopped leading the charge for his nomination for the Norris Trophy and had a look at his +/- (as of this morning, he's at zero). Last year the guy was a +22. Since he's racking up so many more goals, how do you explain his +/-? How about this: he's gotten worse in the defensive end, especially now that the clutching is gone and his "can opener" move is outlawed.

    As for Team Canada, I've finally heard some folks expressing the same opinion I've had for a while: Pat Quinn ain't the coach his rep suggests. Any Leafs fan can tell you the team stinks in their own end and this has been a chronic problem for about 5 years. Quinn is good at keeping marquee players happy (how else do you explain Jason Allison getting ANY ice time?), but he knows squat about systems, especially defensive ones.

    He. Can't. Coach.

    So while he's the type of coach Team Canada players might like, he ain't the right coach for a short tourney that requires everyone to be on the same page strategically. Sure the trap sucks, but kudos to the coach for getting the players on side so quickly.

    Quinn should have kept his GM job, 'cause the guy in that position can't do his job right, either.

    (I was doing a random search for blogs: glad I came across yours. Enjoy your Stanley Cup!)