Here are some headlines we would have liked to have seen this morning after the first night of the NHL playoffs:
- Ok, so maybe that's a little wordy for a headline but it sums things up fairly well I thought. Nobody gets more media attention than Crosby (whether he wants it or not, and whether we want to hear about it or not) but this is all getting to the point where people are starting to turn against the kid just because they're sick of hearing about him and seeing his face everywhere. Enough already! Everyone knows he's a great talent, just let us enjoy watching hockey and just let him play hockey.
- I understand the need to promote the superstars of the game, but this is getting ridiculous. It's gotten to the point where I just mute the TV and listen to my iPod while watching games on TV. Can't we just say enough is enough already? Bob Cole is without a doubt the best voice in hockey history. Well at least that my generation has heard, having never had the chance to listen to Foster Hewitt, except in this clip.
(It's 10 minutes long, so to just get the good stuff, let the clip load and then skip ahead to about the 6 minute mark. I love that the Canadian bench basically emptied - including Canadian goalie Ken Dryden coming all the way down the ice to celebrate - when Henderson scored, even though there was still about 50 seconds left in the game. I also love the guy on the Canadian bench, I think it's Harry Sinden, giving the F-you to the Russian crowd. It still gives me chills and it was 8 years before I was born)
But it's time for Bob to step aside. Never mind the fact that Bob openly cheers for the Toronto Maple Leafs while broadcasting their games on our publicly-funded CBC, because he is certainly not the only person on that network guilty of biased commentating. But last year's Stanley Cup Finals, where he didn't know more than half of Edmonton's roster and couldn't pronounce their names should have been his swan song. The people outside of Toronto who watch hockey on CBC deserve better than this. The heir apparent, Jim Hughson, is waiting in the wings and is ready to take over the main broadcast. Surely Bob Cole must be almost 80, I think it's time to pass the torch.
(Ok, I just looked Cole up on Wikipedia. I said he was almost 80 for dramatic effect but holy crap, he's 74. Also, I didn't know that he skipped the Newfoundland teams at the 1971 and 1975 Briers.)
- This is really what every real hockey ran feared isn't it, that the refereeing would be radically inconsistent in the playoffs? About a month or so ago the whistles went away, so to speak, and we saw games being called as we normally see playoff games called - very few penalties and letting the players play. But last night we saw that the NHL has obviously mandated that penalties be called by early-season standards. In the 4 games played last night there were 63, yes SIXTY-THREE penalties called. 22 in the Ottawa/Pittsburgh game, 17 in the Nashville/San Jose game, 15 in the Vancouver/Dallas game and 9 in the Anaheim/Minnesota game. The only total that seems reasonable to me is the 9 from the Anaheim/Minnesota game. All we can do is hope this trend doesn't continue. Nobody wants to see an endless parade to the penalty box or games and series being decided by power plays called on a referee's whim. Just let them play.
-In, what can only be described as a horribly misguided attempt to make the game seem cooler and more hip, NHL.com has given us "celebrity" blogs for the playoffs. And trust me, they are using the term celebrity in the absolute loosest sense of the word - as I'm not entirely certain that the bass player from Nickleback constitutes a celebrity, or how about professional wrestler Edge. Honestly, I can't say any more about this... they're just making it too easy, it's not even fun anymore. Oh, I should mention too that rapper Lil' Jon, who was famous for about 17 seconds 3 years ago, has a blog on there as well.
But here are the links so you can make up your own jokes about the NHL: