Rants And Rumblings – Eyes Are On You

Such a fitting image, don’t you think? – Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Middletown, N. J. – The world of professional sports never ceases to amaze me and neither does the athletes who play those games either. For every great performance, stand up interview and community service, there are many more ready to drag their fame and fortune through the mud, seemingly unaware that the entire sports community is watching. The sense of entitlement and being above everything else is what is wrong with certain sports figures today.  Tiger Woods, Ray Lewis, Alex Rodriguez, Dennis Rodman : the list goes on and on and even extends to the National Hockey League at times.

Fire When Ready

My first rant involves the absolutely abhorrent, insensitive and purely idiotic comments made yesterday by Don Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada. Here is the video…

Cherry, as a respected coach of the Boston Bruins from 1974-1979 knows the game and is certainly entitled to his opinion. But even if you agree with what he said, and I do not, why in today’s world of uber-sensitivity, would you come out with it on national television? If it is to garner controversy and ‘shock value’ per se, that already surrounds you Don. No need to drive the point home. Females are every bit as entitled to a career as a credentialed hockey journalist as a man is. It is not about a person’s gender, but  rather their talent, plain and simple.. The question she asked Duncan Keith was a legitimate one concerning a goal that was scored by the Canucks Daniel Sedin followed by a whack to the back by Keith with his stick. I love the way he tries to backtrack and make it palpable by referring that he was embarrassed for the female reporter who entered the locker room when he played.  NOBODY buys the sensitive Don Cherry…….NOBODY.

This is not the first time Cherry has commented on women in hockey either…Take a gander…

Reporters/Journalists/TV Anchors have been fired for much, much less. Let’s see how HNIC responds to the latest Cherry blunder.

Hit To The Stern

The New Jersey Devils went into Madison Square Garden yesterday to close out their season against the New York Rangers. New York was looking to improve their regular season standings and first round playoff match-up and leapfrog the Islanders. New Jersey was making reservations at the local country club to play 18 holes.

As a former hockey player and current coach, I absolutely never thought that teams, even after being eliminated, would not give an effort in front of a packed arena on a national stage. What we saw yesterday from the Devils was outright embarrassing  humiliating and every player on that team should be embarrassed as they awake this morning. I will go as far as to even call it gutless.

This is not even from the viewpoint of an Islanders fan, which I am. It is well-known that we blew 3 of 4 points on Thursday and Friday to the Flyers and Sabres and yesterday’s game should not have meant anything for the Rangers. But you are making millions of dollars to represent not only yourself, but a professional sport and organization and that is how you conduct yourself?

They took 6 penalties, 20 shots on goal (mainly from their own zone or center ice dumps) and never even showed anything resembling an American Hockey League club, never mind an NHL one. If you don’t believe me, check out the Ryan Callahan shorthanded goal : Turnover with 4 guys up the ice, Johan Hedberg does…..well, I still don’t know what the heck he did. Better yet, check out 3 Devils watching the puck behind the goal on Derek Stepan‘s goal. Still not impressed….watch how EASY Rick Nash scores both his goals.

Pay real close attention to Ilya Kovalchuk on the second Nash goal in the 3rd period. Are you serious? Joking perhaps? Was this announced as a practice? I don’t think NHL players even practice with that absence of intensity. Go home Devils, you didn’t even deserve to play this game, not to mention be in the playoffs.

The Ship Goes Down

Last but not least was this little tidbit that came floating around Twitter at around 5pm.

Now, Bob runs a website, IBN Sportswrap where he lays claim to breaking news, betting odds and much more. He has 55,304 tweets and 94,615 followers. Does that make him credible? I honestly don’t know. There is truth to the fact that he is a diehard Islanders fan so this could have been just ‘stirring the pot’ sort of speak as he tweeted it out to Matt Moulson, Matt Martin, John Tavares and Colin McDonald on twitter.

This I do know however – Matt Cooke is a puke. Always was and always will be. He supposed turn around in his game is nothing more than a directive from upper management and head coach Dan Blysma to stop or get released (my opinion, not fact). His nomination last season for the Masterton trophy was an absolute dog and pony show and one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen in hockey the last ten or so years.  The PHWA should really review who their voting members are putting up for these awards and make some alterations before submitting them.

The hit on Erik Karlsson I believe was intentional. We will never really know as it is almost impossible to judge a player’s intent on a play like that but being on the street and ice for so many years I can tell you this – I have NEVER lifted up my leg like that going into a hit. EVER. And with his reputation preceding him, you make your own assumption.

Feel free to leave your comments on any of my 3 rants in the comment section below. You can log in via Facebook, Twitter or Discus.

Have a great Sunday and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.