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Proteau's Blog: Goat horns

• Jason Spezza wasn't quite the standout goat he was in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, but he wasn't much better, either. Neither were his two linemates, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley; the three of them combined for 11 turnovers and Alfredsson and Heatley in particular could be faulted on the lone goal of the game.

Nevertheless, you can make a semi-respectable argument that all Anaheim did was keep their home ice advantage. And since Ottawa coach Bryan Murray will be able to match lines to his liking at Scotiabank Place, I've got a hunch the Senators will be able to hold serve as well.

• By the way – anybody still want to try and convince the hockey world that Ray Emery isn't a force in net? If it wasn't for him, the Sens would have been smarting from two very lopsided scores.

• Almost choked on my breakfast burrito this morning when I saw a Chicago Tribune headline that said, “Hawks Have A Major Fan/Commissioner Says Team Will Rebound”.

That's right – Gary Bettman has his rose-colored contact lenses focused on Chicago. And he's spinning the perpetual misery in Chi-Town like a breakdancer with vertigo.

“In the peaks and valleys of franchises that all sports go through, there are always going to be periods of rebuilding,” Bettman said.

Rebuilding? For serious? Gary, the ‘Big Dig' in Boston took less time than the Blackhawks' rebuild. If you were as much of a fan of the franchise as you say, you'd be demanding the Wirtzes make like Craig Leipold and put the team on the market.

• Speaking of the Commish – I wonder how he's going to explain away the latest news that soon-to-be Preds owner Jim Balsillie has re-activated a lease agreement with Hamilton, Ontario's Copps Coliseum in order to use the arena as a permanent or temporary home for an NHL team.

You'll probably hear Bettman use words like “contingency plan” and “theoretically” quite a bit. But where there's smoke, there's fire. And right now, Bettman's pants are smoking like a chimney.


New name for Ottawa's top 3: the Yashins (like the Ramones with playoff beards). Would someone tap Spezza on the shoulder and remind him that he actually has to move his legs out there. The two guys who showed exemplary effort last night were Corvo and Fisher, and the Yashins hung Corvo out to dry. I think you're right about the Ducks simply holding serve, and yes trap 'em and hold 'em hockey is back, but if Ottawa doesn't wake up, this could be a much shorter series than anyone thought. As for Emery, the rebounds he gives up are so felonious that they're going to start giving him primary assists instead of goals against if anyone starts knocking 'em in.

- Joe Willix

Bill Wirtz is the most hated man in Chicago ,he is that man that killed hockey in this town I live in .I have not been a season ticket holder for over 4 years .my group of friends would buy season tickets (4) year after year ,since the late 70's ,but not any more .You can not give Hawks tickets away in this city .They can say whatever they want put Pulford still runs the team with Wirtz of course . I could write a book about how these two men murdered hockey here .Bettman should talk to the fans ( if he can find any ) in Chicago,but he'll need to take his blinders off.

- George Marinos

As much as Bill Wirtz did for the Blackhawks that was fifty years ago. It's dinosaurs like him that have kept the game in the dark ages and until they are all gone the game will continue to suffer. As for Emery any other league would be marketing him all over as he is everything the NHL needs to open up to a whole new generation of and personality but the NHL seems to think those are taboo.

- Andrew Jordan

Ray Emery has survived for one reason alone: The apparently hidden "New NHL" rule that rebound goals don't count. There has to be one, because otherwise I can't figure out any other reason why everyone from Pittsburgh to New Jersey to Buffalo failed to tap in any of the monster rebounds Emery gives up. This guy bobbles dump-ins worse than any pro goalie I've ever seen, and no one has yet to take him to task on it. But, hey, scoring pretty goals is nice, too. Sure...

- Eric


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