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JACK TODD, The Gazette
Published: Monday, November 06, 2006


Yepper, folks and blokes, we're all excited about those young run 'n' gun Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal. &&&& this team could have had Eric Staal as well, had they not drafted Marc-Andre Fleury instead - but it appears Fleury might not be too shabby himself.

Moreover, we are grateful to young Master Malkin for calling attention to some of the great names of hockey's distant past: Newsy Lalonde, Joe Malone, Cy Denneny.

There is some confusion as to exactly how many consecutive games those players scored in to begin the season back in 1917 - but since none of the three was anywhere close to being a rookie at the time, we'll accept Malkin's six straight as the record. The mere fact the NHL was newly formed should not make a 10-year veteran like Malone a rookie.

Even before the Penguins ran into a wall in San Jose, however, you had to wonder: Just how far can this team go with Michel Therrien as coach? How long will it be before they lose three straight and Therrien has another meltdown?

Before we find out, we here at MMQB Central decided to serve up our ratings of current and former Canadiens head coaches in charge of NHL teams. It goes like this:

1) Jacques Lemaire; 2) Guy Carbonneau; 3) Claude Julien;

4) Alain Vigneault; 5) Michel Therrien.

&&&&& so here's your MMQB trying to catch the score of the Capitals-Thrashers game t'other night.

Innocently click to The Score and there it is, as repellent a spectacle as we have ever witnessed - and that includes watching the Rev. Ted Haggard win the Hypocrite Sweepstakes for 2006.

One phony wrestler down on the canvas during one of those phony promo things the phony rasslers do instead of a phony bout. The other, wearing heavy boots, repeatedly kicking him, then beating him with a chair. (Or rather, pretending to kick him and pretending to beat him with a chair, if that makes a difference.)

One of these days we will figure it out. This nation's sports networks are all licensed by the CRTC - in effect, they are licensed to print money. And they show all the responsibility of a gang of thieves.

Poker? Oh, they'll show plenty of that. Wrestling? Steroid-pumped freaks pretending to compete, laying on plenty of vicious, showy violence for the kiddies? Bring it on.

But send a camera crew from downtown Montreal to cover the Canadian national swimming championships at Parc Jean Drapeau? Not on your life.

It's time the CRTC took a hard look at the licenses granted to The Score, RDS, TSN and

SportsNet. If the CRTC was doing its job, the WWE would never disgrace our airwaves again.

Make this guy an all-star: Tough loss for the Canadiens Saturday night, but there was Chris Higgins as he is every night. Killing penalties, driving to the net on the power play, skating until the ice melts.

If all-around play counts for anything (and it should) this guy is a first-team all-star.

Gallows time? The Ottawa Senators have fallen all the way to the bottom of the division and you have to wonder. With all the dynamic young coaches and GMs in the league, how long will it be before Eugene Melnyk will decide the problem is with the grey-haired duo running the franchise: John Muckler and Brian Murray.

Puh-LEEZE! Not again! The Argos and the Als for the East Division championship and a berth in the Grey Cup game. Sheesh. Can't we just re-run a game they've already played and avoid the tedium? Anyway, since they are threatening to actually play the game next Sunday, we're saying it finishes Als 23, Argos 16.

Lancing the wound: Leave it to Lance Armstrong to steal the headlines from the legitimate athletes at the NYC Marathon. What next? Barry Bonds tries to swim the English Channnel?

Lies, rumours &&&& vicious innuendo: You know Guy Bertrand has to be smart enough to understand that you have to be a country to compete in the World Hockey Championships and that any player who has competed for Canada (hello, M. Brodeur) could not compete for Quebec even if this province were a separate nation. Bertrand does have a purpose, however: He's out to call attention to himself. ...

Danny Maciocia is the head coach when the Edmonton Eskimos miss the playoffs for the first time in 35 years - so they had the title of director of player personnel to the rest of his duties? You read it here first: the Eskimos dynasty is done like dinner.

FULL STORY
 

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Jack Todd. Never liked the guy. He's got odd articles. How did it turn from Pittsburgh into wrestling? That's insane. :laugh:

And I think his point about former Montreal Coaches is weak. What's he tryingto find there.

If there's anyone trying to cash in on the Crosby/Malkin/Staal sweepstakes, it's him.
 

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Wow, that's some ADHD article up there! Jack Todd needs to take his Ritalin and learn to stay on topic.

Piece at a time:

It would've been nice to have Eric Staal, but Fleury's making it clear he belongs with first-raters like Crosby, Malkin and Jordan Staal. PIttsburgh made the right choice. (Feels strange still to think of the Pens making any right decisions....)

Not sure how that discussion became something confusing to do with pro wrestling, but I'd rather eat my friends and freeze to death in the Andes than even think about pro wrestling, so I'll just pass that bit by.

The Sens are struggling right now, yes, but to call it "gallows time" is overstating the mess. Ottawa will recoup.

Picking on Lance Armstrong will win you no friends anywhere. He's beyond being criticised by the likes of a mediocre journalist. Like the guy or not, agree with his politics and social outlook or not, the fact is he survived cancer--twice--and owns the Tour de France and everybody loves him. Picking on Lance Armstrong is only marginally less awful than hassling Michael J. Fox or Christopher Reeve--and for exactly the same reason.

Finally, Todd needs to do some fact-checking. You can compete for a nation in the World Championships after having previously competed for another--after three years have passed. Seven years for the Olympics. So if it's been three years since M. Brodeur and Bertrand are interested in the maybe/could be someday idea of competing for Quebec as an independent nation, they can do it if it's been sufficiently long since they played for Canada.

Whew.
 
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