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5/14 The Penguins Hit the Links, CAPS Fans Get Some Solace and Don Cherry Is Stuck in the Days of OLD – I’ve Got a Gripe with “Grapes”

May 14, 2010


The Montreal Canadiens downed the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night 5- 2 and now some Washington Capitals fans have the chance to breathe just a little easier. For me, the immediate press and blog responses to the Capitals loss to the Habs in round 1, game 7 of some NHL hockey pundits were reactionary and myopic. It may be that Sidney Crosby has his name on the Stanley Cup, but to eschew Alexander Ovechkin’s hockey prowess based on a comparison to another young hockey player and that player’s on-ice accomplishments, particularly putting emphasis on the Capitals unexpected fall to the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs, is an exact example of “reactionary” and “myopic” in terms of dictionary connotation.

Even in light of my rabid Washington Capitals fandom; I couldn’t put a definitive “who’s the best NHL player” title on Ovechkin if the Cup and playoff ice-time were reversed and Crosby was the current “cupless” player. They are both great players and they have both played on two very different teams since their initial arrival on NHL ice. I could go on with my thoughts, but Dan Steinberg has done a superb job touching on the subject already. I’ll let the D.C. Sports Bog do the “talking” for me on this topic today.

How could I go on with my weekend without balancing my hockey-world out in terms of good OLD Don “Grapes Cherry? I was taken aback when I agreed with an entire “Cherrytribe” (see this previous post for clarification) and now it is my duty to return the Earth on the proper rotational axis, so to speak. In a “Coaches Corner” monologue by “Grapes” in between periods during Wednesday’s deciding game 7 between the Pens and the Habs; Cherry made a distinct point to stress that “WE call them SWEATERS,” in reference to the clothing worn by hockey players and specifically the “Memorial Cup” JERSEY. Yes, Don Cherry may like to make comments to the general public to alert them to their inaccurate statements, but I like to remind set-in-their-ways old-schoolers that the world actually continues to change and evolve – with or without them. If the store is selling official team JERSEYS  and the company that put its logo on the “Memorial Cup” JERSEY that Cherry was discussing calls them JERSEYS, then “Grapes” must have simply been referring to the “Royal WE” in his May 12th, 2010 “Hockey Night In Canada” lecture. Don, he and himself may call the uniforms sweaters all he wants, but the rest of us have moved-on to the appropriate nomenclature and we tend to use the word “JERSEYS”.

One more Don Cherry related issue in my “goalie-centric” world is this rather silly discourse from “old-orange face” on why NHL netminders should never be team captains. Well, I know that Don Cherry has to spend more and more time cleaning his dentures, applying that “burnt sienna” spray-tan and fastening his sock garters in the mornings these days so maybe he has little time left to actually know the current state of the NHL. Perhaps, while he has been in back-house fitting rooms getting measured for his “I’m over-compensating for something” outfits, he missed hearing about netminders like Rick DiPietro. DiPietro may not be a perfect example of leadership per se, but if Cherry has some outdated idea that ALL NHL goalies are silent and introspective and continues to use such a verbal qualifier such as “never”, then I can easily burst that bubble using Ricky D’s commonly known out-spoken antics as an example.

Many of today’s goalkeepers are less like the meditative Ryan Miller and more like “Nate the Great”. No, Nate Lawson hasn’t found a spot in the NHL – yet – but he surely isn’t the type of netminder “Grapes” has some misguided notion exists in the professional and semi-professional world of hockey nowadays. How many Washington Capitals fans think Olie Kolzig sequestered himself in a corner of the locker room, remaining to himself before every game? Well, that may be a rhetorical question, but here’s a one-on-one interview with “Godzilla” that adds to my point about Cherry’s ever-increasing departure from today’s netminder reality.

Well, I feel more “centered” now that I have found issue with recent “Cherrytribes” and “Mia World” is a little closer to normal now. (“Normal” is a subjective term considering I am of the goalie caste and therefore – quirky – at the very least). There’s more to the NHL than Don Cherry and his “when I was such and such in hockey” attitude. Of course, he’ll never know I have found flaw in his logic, because I am not only a female, but I am also an “internet mouth-breather” afterall.



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