By Stu Hackel
We don't often agree with Mike Milbury. His rantings on Hockey Night in Canada's "The Hotstove" intermission segment are legendary for often being shot from the hip. But he sounded uncharacteristically reasonable in his comments on the "Colie-mail" controversy, blogging on CBC.ca and saying on Saturday night (video) that while he didn't suspect any wrongdoing in the matter, the problem lies in Colin Campbell's inability to acknowledge that he did anything wrong and show any remorse.
"He screwed up!" Milbury wrote. "And the commissioner screwed up by not saying he screwed up!...
"The NHL and its chief of hockey operations made mistakes. Those mistakes have impacted Marc Savard. Call the guy and tell him it never should have happened. Apologize to the PA and the fans. Hockey people know Campbell's reputation and if it's as strong as the league statements of support would have you believe, then there is plenty of political capital to use to get by this.
"And you owe your son an apology, Colin. You have put him in a very uncomfortable situation in the Boston clubhouse. Greg seems like the type of man who can handle the heat but just the same, he deserves the call. After all, his dad's comments were about a teammate.
"And enough with the 'we did nothing wrong, we are men of integrity' spiel. A simple admission of making a mistake will do. Please don't tell me that the emperor is wearing a beautiful robe today. We all know better."
Mad Mike even quoted Brenda Lee in his post. What a guy.
MacLean watch: The Devils lost all three games on their just concluded road trip and, having hit the 20 game mark, GM Lou Lamoriello is looking for answers. While there's been speculation that coach John MacLean is in trouble, Tom Gulitti in The Bergen Record reports that Lamoriello is more focused on his players' shortcomings.
"Right now, my feeling is our best players have to be our best players every night, and we have not seen that," Lamoriello said. "We've seen some nights where we've got a couple and other nights [when they don't] and I've got to find out why."
Gulitti asked if coaching could coaching influence that inconsistency. "It's within the players," Lamoriello said.
The Devils have scored a league-low 36 goals in 20 games and are the only NHL team averaging fewer than two goals per game (1.8). Their power play is 30th best in the league at an astounding 2.6 per cent effectiveness. They try again tonight against the Capitals in Newark.
Game of the Night: A rematch of the Flyers and Canadiens in Philadelphia. Last time out, six days ago, P.K Subban triggered a mini-firestorm for his non-stop chirping during the game. Often when fireworks are expected, nothing comes of it, but you never know.
In case you missed it: With the Winter Classic six weeks away and HBO's "24/7 Penguins/Capitals Road to the Winter Classic" series weekly of specials leading up to it even closer, the promo machine is beginning to hum.
This 12-minute feature ran over the weekend on HBO...
...and the first full episode of the series debuts on December 15.
There's also very some nice photography in these short promos...
...but some fans might prefer to see this one:
And finally: Bob McKenzie on Montreal's Team 990 radio this morning had this comment on the Islanders banning blogger Chris Botta from Nassau Coliseum for mere criticism of the team: "Harold Ballard's been dead for a long time. Do we really have to go through this again?"