Proteau's Blog: Ups and downs and spin-arounds

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• I disagreed with Martin Brodeur earlier this year when he complained to the league about Alex Ovechkin's mirrored visor. However, the Devils goalie is right to question the type of shootout goal Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored against Chicago Tuesday.

Bouchard's spin-o-rama move certainly was dazzling, but the video shows he kicked the right skate of Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin before scoring on his backhand. I don't mind players getting creative during shootouts, but if they make contact with goalies in the crease, the goal shouldn't be allowed to count.

• It's the time of year where you should think of others more than yourself, so in spite of my well-documented anti-fighting philosophy, here's a little early Christmas present for my friend Jeff Marek.

• Most Maple Leafs fans thought their team would go through some growing pains this season, but judging by the sky-is-falling rhetoric that's been coursing through this city lately, I think they expected too much “growing” and not enough “pains”.

As I said when they were beating the likes of the Sabres, Toronto is rarely ever as good or as bad as people make them out to be. That's still true.

• We all know the life of a typical NHLer isn't a normal one. Ric Jackman provided more evidence of that against Buffalo Thursday night.

Waived by the Panthers earlier in the week, Jackman scored the winning goal to lead Florida to a shocking 3-1 upset over Buffalo. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bugÂ…

• Only 9,078 showed up in Chicago Thursday. Granted, they were playing the Coyotes, but it shows you even Wayne Gretzky's presence isn't enough to put Windy City residents past their disgust with Hawks ownership.


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