Proteau's Blog: Refreshed and raring to go - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Proteau's Blog: Refreshed and raring to go

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Still can't believe Don Cherry strayed from his comfort zone this past Saturday and went after European players on Coach's Corner.

This time, he's grumbling about relaxed stick curve regulations, which apparently are meant to appease Euros (as opposed to, say, making the game more entertaining). At this stage, Cherry is sounding like an even more-unhinged Tony Montana: “First, ju get de visors. Den, ju get de curved sticks. Den, ju get de women.”

In perhaps the greatest – and arguably, the only – creative move of his infamous Hollywood career, mega-hack film director Uwe Boll (House of the Dead, Alone In the Dark) recently took on five of his harshest professional film critics – by fighting them in the boxing ring. Can you imagine if this sort of thing caught on in the NHL? I'd be in trouble if it were Bobby Clarke doing the counterpunching, but Wirtz and Jacobs, I think I could take.

Nearly got ran off the set of TSN talk show Off The Record last week when I suggested that, were I Rick DiPietro's agent, I would've advised him not to sign the 15-year, $67.5-million contract he landed with the Islanders this summer. I still don't know why. When it comes to sheer volume of cake, it's obviously hard to turn down The Wang Show's generosity. But why tie yourself to a franchise that in the past 15 years has been to winning as Ilya Kovalchuk has been to defense?

From the Department of So Far, No Good: Goalies Cam Ward and Tomas Vokoun. Carolina's Conn Smythe Trophy winner has a save percentage of .887 this year. Vokoun's SP is even worse: .803. More would be expected of a goalie equipment-clad Nicole Richie. Standing sideways. Holding her breath.

Both Ed Belfour and Todd Bertuzzi dodged the Toronto media the day before Florida's game against the Maple Leafs. Somehow, reporters found a way to fill their notebooks without them.


Nice backhanded shot at Kovalchuk in your blog of October 10th.

Have you watched a Thrashers game this season? Yes, most teams have only played two or three games, but had you actually watched Kovalchuk play this year you would have seen him much deeper in the defensive zone and using his body to take control of the puck.

In the past Kovalchuk had taken liberties in the defensive zone, but in the second half of last season his play became much more responsible.

There is hockey south of the Mason-Dixon line, the ice may not be great but the teams have had a bit of recent success.

Just look to the south and follow the reflection of the arena lights off the Stanley Cup. Come on down and watch.

- William DeSilva

Maybe DiPietro signing that deal says something about his character. That is, money, security and being in New York are enough to satisfy him and winning is secondary. On the other hand, maybe he envisions himself as the man who can lead that team to victory.

I certainly wasn't impressed with his attitude when I saw him in a pre-season game. He got lit up for three goals by the Bruins early and took himself out, skating off the ice and directly to the dressing room.

Ted Nolan didn't say anything and, when you think about it, who's going to stop him? As I said to my friend at the game: Who's going to win the argument? The coach in his first year with the team or the untradable goalie with a 15-year contract?

That deal is all kinds of bad news.

- Nathan White

Didn't the season just start less than a week ago? Ward and Vokoun only have SPs in the .800s? You make it sound like it's a week before the playoffs. Another site was saying goal-scoring was down from last year. Wait at least until November until you write this blog.

- B_Billy