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Proteau's Blog: Jackets GM had it coming

•It should surprise no one that the axe fell on Blue Jackets GM Doug MacLean. In fact, his dismissal can be chalked up to a simple math equation:

Six years running a team + zero playoff appearances = Here's your hat, what's your hurry?

•Speaking of the firing line, you've got to figure Thrashers management will have their tootsies held to the fire over the off-season, if they're not burned at the stake first.

Atlanta's players looked as if they flat-out quit on coach Bob Hartley in their first-round series against the Rangers. And what will GM Don Waddell guarantee next year – they'll actually win a playoff period?

The most damning words, though, came from one of the Thrashers' most accomplished veterans.

“I don't think we were even close to being competitive in the playoffs,” Bobby Holik told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There's a long, long way to go here. I don't think there should be any sense of accomplishment whatsoever.”

Being beaten in the first round is one thing. But getting outclassed and humiliated the way the Thrashers were speaks to a bigger problem than one that can be solved by a few summertime acquisitions. Which is why it's likely Hartley will be dusting off that C.V. in the not-distant future.

•As noted in my rundown of the first round's winners and wilters, Martin Brodeur has not looked like himself so far this post-season.

The Devils' star goalie was average again Wednesday in Game 4 against Tampa Bay, forcing New Jersey to turn to the scoring skills of Zach Parise to eke out a win.

They won't be able to lean on Parise every game, so Brodeur is going to have to rediscover his consistency in a hurry.


I'm someone who's old enough to remember cheering myself hoarse as the Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967. And in the intervening years, I've been reading "The Hockey News" cover-to-cover. Over the course of these forty years, I have never loathed a player as profoundly as I loathe Scott Gomez. I detest him with an unparalleled passion and fervent intensity that burns so brightly you could read by it on a January night in Medicine Hat and oddest of all, I'm not entirely sure why I feel this way. The NHL has been represented by some truly shameful individuals over the years who are far more worthy of my scorn and derision but honestly, I can't bear to watch a minute of any Devil's game in which he's playing. I could have cried when I found out that he scored the overtime winner to even out the series.

- D.S.

Hey D.S., you should probably be crying about the fact that your Leafs didn't make the playoffs this year...pretty much the same way I'll be crying when Gomez leaves the Devils after the season and goes to Phoenix.....its better hating Scott Clemmenson

- Joe G


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