Proteau's Blog: Stand-up goalie

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• More than a few NHL goalies have been known to dodge the media after turning in a clunker of a performance. So give Philadelphia's Robert Esche full marks for his mea culpa after the Flyers' 6-2 loss to Washington Tuesday night.

“It's not good enough,” Esche said of his play, which included allowing a goal that former teammate Donald Brashear scored (I know, I can't believe it either) from the side of the net. “Right now I'm extremely frustrated and I apologized to the coaches who had a good game plan and the players who played well.”

Esche's rebound control has always been in question, but his honesty never has been. (Perhaps “has been” wasn't the best way to end a sentence about him.)

• Coyotes center Mike Ricci has always been one of the gutsiest mothers in the league, so it's no surprise he's not ready to retire just yet. Here's hoping he finds the strength – literally – to continue playing.

• If you're a Maple Leafs fan tired of constantly searching the TV universe to watch your favorite team play, your troubles may soon be over. Industry rumors have the Leafs' Canadian TV rights, up for grabs after this season, going to a single carrier. And since TSN and the Buds share a common owner (Bell GlobeMedia), I'll let you guess which network will win.

• Kings goalie Dan Cloutier is seeking a second opinion on the hip injury that's sidelined him since Dec. 23. You can be sure Kings fans hope Cloutier – whose 3.98 goals-against average and .860 save percentage rank last in the league – hope he takes his time deciding the best course of action.


Are you nuts? Since when does a Leafs fan have to "search the TV universe" to find a Leafs game? If it's Saturday, it's a no-brainer--the CBC adores the Leafs, despite their craptastic play, paying little or no attention to the five other Canadian teams. As for the other six days of the week, TSN already loves showing the Leafs. Then there's LeafsTV and Rogers as well. Hmm. Yeah, I really don't have any sympathy for Leafs fans who can't find a Leafs game on. They probably forgot how to turn on the TV if they're having that much trouble. (And it wouldn't surprise me.) In a second reading of your article, I think your point is that there's too much choice for those remote-control-challenged Laffs fans. Yes, a single carrier would make it easier for those fans, but they should feel lucky they can at least get their team on TV any night of the week. Habs fans have to wait for Montreal to play Toronto for the game to be on HNIC. Otherwise, it's usually RDS (where available), whether or not the fan can parlez-vous.

- Geoff White

The notion that anyone would suggest that it's difficult for Leafs fans to find their team playing on TV is laughable. CBC has been forcefeeding the nation (notice that I said "nation" and not "Leafs Nation"-which the CBC obviously assumes we are) Leafs games on HNIC for years. It's perplexing to discern why such a marginal team deserves so much coverage. I honestly believe the first half of HNIC should be called "Maple Leafs' Saturday NIght Hockey". Hockey Night in CANADA is clearly a misnomer.

- JayDro

Search the universe? Hello??? You are forgetting Hockey Night In Toronto. On every saturday from 6pm - 9pm. To more accuratly put your statement. It's more if you are NOT a Leafs fan trying to find your favourite team on TV without cable. Good luck with that!

- Josh Lockhart

You seem to have an issue with the Leafs. You consistent put a more negative light on them and now your reader response is nothing but sarcastic drivel. Sorry that HNIC sees fit to show the Leafs most of the time as the first game of their double header. They seem to draw the biggest audience but rememeber the do show a regional game as well for various parts of Eastern Canada. Oh and who is the late game? Not the Leafs. So you all can stop whinning!

- Rich Evans

I guess sarcasm is wasted on some of you guys.

- Paul in Poland

Definitely agree with you, Adam, on the tv coverage. I live in Kingston and get Sportsnet East rather than Sportsnet Ontario, so if the game is on Sportsnet we never get it, they show darts and bowling and poker instead! Besides that, Leafs TV is the most annoying thing in the world. I tried to watch the Leafs-Boston game last week in toronto but couldn't because Leafs TV had it! So frustrating.

- Alex



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