Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sunday Pucks Brunch: Hockey Notes From Saturday Night

“Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting,” the Nickleback cover and ante/anti “Hockey Night in Canada” theme*, was the only mention of the word “fighting” in last night’s show. What a difference a week makes. Whereas last week's pre-game interview segment featured a grilling of League disciplinarian Colin Campbell that would make Atticus Finch blush, this week featured cliché after boring cliché pouring from the mouths of Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau and Pens superstar Sidney Crosby on their teams' respective playoff runs.

It appears that on ice discussion about fighting has quieted as well. In the "for what it's worth, correlation is not causation" category, fighting majors are down 26% in the 10 days since the Colton Orr-Todd Fedoruk knockdown (in the 10 days leading up to the incident, the League saw 29 fights in 61 games;in the 10 days since, there have only been 26 fights in 74 games.)

From Scott Harrington’s interview with Guy Carbonneau: “I’m paid to make decisions. Did he [Craig Rivet] pay for other people’s mistakes? I’m sure, because you can’t sit 20 guys. If I could have done it, I would have done it, but you can’t.” On Sergei Samsonov, “I gave him all the chances. He was playing every power play until Christmas. It just didn’t work out. So we had to go to the next step.” On his future in Montreal, “I’m going to be here for as long as I can. I’m not stupid enough to think that this going to last for 15 – 20 years in Montreal.”

“Coach’s Corner” was largely unremarkable with the exception of the clip showing Jan Bulis’ welcome to rookie Jack Johnson. In an interview with MSG, newly acquired rock-in-your-shoe Sean Avery gushed, “I love the [NY Rangers] jersey, I love putting it on every game and I love the city.”...CBC’s Bruce Rainnie is reporting that Rick DiPietro is “likely gone for the year.”...TSN's Michael Whalen says that should Sheldon Souray receive a substantial offer from one of the Western teams, "like Anaheim or the Kings," the Canadiens would have a difficult time keeping him in Montreal.

The “Satellite Hot Stove” is reporting: Boston GM Peter Chiarelli met with Dave Lewis on Saturday and assured him that he will be returning next year as head coach… Henrik Zetterberg is expected to return to the Red Wings lineup Tuesday…Andy Murray is now considered the front-runner to coach the Canadian World Championship team. An announcement naming the coach and team are expected by midweek. Red Deer Rebels GM and head coach Brent Sutter is being considered as an assistant coach… Paul Stastny will likely play for the U.S. team…Current Phoenix GM Michael Barnett will move to become President of the Coyotes. The two names being mentioned as his replacement are Steve Tambellini and Pat Quinn.

Watching HNIC is a joy, but assembling SPB means exposure to hours and hours of CBC commercials. Were you aware that “Canada’s punk pop star,” Avril Lavigne, has an exclusive special coming up? Mercifully the show airs tomorrow (check your local listings) and we’ll all be freed from having to see the perky girlfriend every 17 minutes. I never thought I’d pine for the Quizno’s lady.

* There’s only one legitimate HNIC theme.
Lines of the Night:
  • First star: When you have a three-goal lead, you're already thinking, 'Let's play smart and save some energy.' - Jaromir Jagr on Philadelphia's comeback in the 3d period
  • Second star: “No.” - Sidney Crosby when asked if he would ever vote for himself for MVP
  • Third star: “Hard to be humble. Hard to be humble.” - Don Cherry on Blades of Glory star Amy Poehler’s declaration that Cherry is her favorite figure in hockey.
Overtime was delayed for 10 minutes at Air Canada Centre after a fan collapsed in the stands. Paramedics were able to resuscitate the fan; providing Leafs’ fans everywhere an omen for their playoff hopes...For the tenth time this season, Pittsburgh has come from behind in the 3d period to earn at least one point…Pittsburgh has an identical 12-3-1 record in February and March…Mats Sundin remains one goal behind tying Darryl Sittler's Leaf's record of 389 career goals. He has just one goal in his last 16 games…In 5-on-5 play this season, Montreal’s Sheldon Souray, Michael Ryder and Saku Koivu are a minus 74…Canadiens rookie goaltender Jaroslav Halak is a perfect 6-0-0 with a 2.14 GAA and .924 save percentage at home…Sheldon Souray scored his 18th power-play goal of the season, tying Hall of Famer Denis Potvin and Adrian Aucoin for the NHL single-season record by a defenseman...Dany Heatley is 2 goals shy in his bid to become the first back-to-back 50-goal scorer since Pavel Bure in 2001…The Islanders have allowed at least one goal in 15 of the 17 full periods they've played without Rick DiPietroTodd Simpson, recently signed by the Islanders from the DEL, was not allowed to play Saturday night as the NHL honored an indefinite suspension Simpson received for abusing an official while playing for the Hannover Scorpions …Washington is 6-31-6 when its opponent scores first…Alexander Semin did not record a SOG for only the third game this season… Antero Niittymaki played in his 100th NHL game…Anaheim has set a team record 21 road wins… Nashville, which didn’t sell out any of its playoff games last season, sold out Game 1 within hours of tickets going on sale.

And a happy 79th birthday to a guy who could still kick our collective ass, Gordie Howe.

Sources: AP, CBC, Comcast, Elias Sports Bureau, FSN, MSG, NESN, TSN


Jody said...

So much for the idea that Souray would come here.

kb said...

Apparently Souray's ex-wife and his child live in Los Angeles. FYI Souray is the clear favorite in the poll JP is now running.

JP said...

She's not his ex - they're merely separated - and he hopes to reconcile (and by reconcile, I think he means "stop beating her up"). IIRC, she's preggers with the couple's second kid.

And Souray would be an awful, awful fit in Washington.