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Proteau's Blog: One ugly Coyote

• Early contender for quote of the year award goes to Wayne Gretzky, who had this to say about benching Ladislav Nagy in the third period of Phoenix's 4-0 loss to Minnesota Friday.

“I think it's pretty obvious,” Gretzky said, referring to Nagy's unbelievably dumb decision to skate off the ice on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush that led to the Wild's third goal of the game. “I didn't think I was gonna miss his three goals this year in the third period.”

Ouch. I'm guessing that Nagy, an unrestricted free agent this summer – and a healthy scratch for Phoenix's 2-1 Saturday night win over St. Louis – will be turned into an ex-Coyote long before then.

• When you get into this business, you have certain dreams. One of mine was to one day, in the same day, have my choice in clothing mocked mercilessly by well-known TV personalities like TSN's Rod Black and The Score's Steve Kouleas.

Saturday, on Live at Gretzky's and later on Leafs TV, that dream was realized after I decided to wear a velvet-like jacket. Thanks to all involved.

• Things are not going well for Manny Fernandez. The Wild goalie has won just twice in his last 10 appearances and has a beastly .838 save percentage during his last four games.

Saturday night in Columbus, Fernandez backed up Niklas Backstrom for the third game in a row and fifth time in eight games. With the Wild trailing 2-1 in the second, Fernandez replaced Backstrom. After Minnesota tied it early in the third Fernandez allowed three goals, including two in less than two minutes and 20 seconds.

Since the Wild are averaging just 2.83 goals per game (16th in the league and just .07 better than they averaged last season), they need superior defensive efforts from everyone. It isn't only Fernandez's fault, but lately they've needed him to play as well as he did before the big-ticket offensive snipers were acquired last summer. That certainly hasn't happened.


FEEDBACK:

Adam, I clicked on the "Live at Gretzkys" link and saw a few pictures of you and Rod Black. I tried to critique your clothing, but couldn't take my eyes of Rod Black's face - I was mesmerized by his "I think I just (deleted) myself" perma-grin. I wouldn't worry too much about MC Black's jacket comments - he's got his own issues.

- Rod

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