Proteau's Blog: Questions abound

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• Let me get this straight – people on Long Island are starting to question Alexei Yashin's effort? This is earth-shattering news, but I'm sure the Isles captain won't rest until (a) he proves all the doubters wrong, or (b) his next tennis match is finished.

• I'm an unabashed fan of Spike TV's Pros Vs. Joes, and I was thrilled to see legendary cheap-shotter Claude Lemieux on Thursday night's episode. I don't know what was more entertaining: watching Lemieux smile slyly and talk trash on the sidelines, or when he high-sticked his competitor in the mouth on the first drill in his event with the amateurs.

Whatever the case, the episode made it clear we need Lemieux back in a position of prominence with the NHL. I say we make him Colin Campbell's secret henchman, ready and willing to deliver retribution via dirty cross-checks in the alleyways and shadows. Watch your back, Jordin Tootoo.

• Newsday sports columnist Johnette Howard has joined the growing list of media questioning Gary Bettman's future as NHL commissioner. As I wrote for the Globe And Mail's hockey blog Thursday, Bettman isn't the only league bigwig who should be worried.

• Yes, the Nashville Predators have dropped two straight games, including Thursday's 3-2 loss to Phoenix, but here's the good news for Nashville fans: not counting the three-game losing skid they started the season with, the Preds have only lost as many as two in a row twice all season. That's the sign of a team with a long playoff run in it.

• Had a conversation with a friend recently about the drawn-out business of mainstream moviemaking these days. She couldn't understand why the process could drag out for years, like the highly-anticipated film from Terminator/Titanic director James Cameron that's scheduled for release in 2009.

“Oh, that's easy to explain,” I said. “Roy Scheider said it best when he was talking about filming Jaws: ‘it's not the time it takes to take the take that takes the time; it's the time it takes between the takes that takes the time to take the take.' ”

For some reason, she still doesn't get it.


You like to see Lemieux high stick a guy in the mouth but want to see fighting abolished? This rag gets worse by the day.

- James Inglis

I wish people would just shut up about getting rid of fighting. without fighting, it's just figure skating with sticks, and honestly, what's worse figure skating or fighting? I think you know the answer (thank you Norm McDonald)

- Daniel

It seems to me the Hockey News loves to pick on the Islanders, Yashin in particular. Let it go, will you?

- Al Horcher