It never hurts to have a few golden boys in your league.
Tom Brady is cheered by New England Patriots fans for his ability to toss touchdown passes with astonishing regularity and win clutch games like it’s, well, his job.
But when the helmet comes off, the California boy attracts an entirely different demographic of fans, generally of the female variety.
It’s safe to say Brady isn’t dating supermodel Gisele Bundchen strictly based on his ability to read defenses and find open guys in the end zone. Heck, as a Brazilian girl she was probably surprised to find out “football” players in North America have more than one name.
Point is, the National Football League benefits from Brady’s crossover appeal. Guys like his grit. Girls like his genes. That translates into star power.
The NHL, which fights for attention in even its strongest U.S. markets, can use any piece of the spotlight it can get.
So when a photo-friendly guy like Jose Theodore puts together a month of hockey like he has in January (prior to a 4-0 loss Tuesday night to the Preds), the league has got to hope it’s a case of a former Hart Trophy winner regaining his form.
For the past couple years, the only hearts Theo has been breaking belong to the guys wearing the same jersey as him as they watched soft goals go into their net. But if he can regain his status as an elite goalie in this league, thus upping the Avs’ airtime on media outlets, it might help Colorado start a new sellout streak based on the patronage of 15-year-old girls.
Hey, if Denver once voted Mike Ricci as its sexiest athlete, you’ve got to like Theodore’s chances of packing the building.
B’s can’t beat the Hab-it
Theo’s old team, the Montreal Canadiens, put an exclamation point on their dominance of the Boston Bruins with an 8-2 win Tuesday night in Montreal.
Considering how tight the Eastern Conference standings are (I swear some American League teams are somehow in the running for playoff spots) the B’s could feel the sting of another spring without hockey thanks solely to no-shows versus their Original Six rivals.
The Habs, fifth in the conference after Tuesday’s action with 58 points, are 6-0 against Boston this year. The Bruins sit eighth with 53 points.
Had Boston even gone, say, 2-3-1 against Montreal this year, they’d have 58 points to the Canadiens’ 54.
Instead, on the back of the black and gold beat downs they’ve dished out, Montreal has a six-point “cushion” in its attempt to nail down a post-season berth.
Ryan Dixon is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey’s Young Guns and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Wednesdays and his column, Top Shelf, appears every second Friday.
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