Â• I'm never disappointed when I watch a Gary Bettman Â“State-of-The-LeagueÂ” address, which always features more ducking and jabbing than a boxing match. The only way it could be better is if someone added a laugh track to it.
Some of my favorite Bettman lines from Monday's press conference:
Â–Â“This was another season of record attendance and record revenues.Â”
Â–Â“The game has been entertaining and exciting.Â”
Â–Â“Â…our issues and our challenges are but a mere fraction of what they were just a few years ago.Â”
But the winner for best Bettman quote this time around is a tie:
Â–Â“We are where we are.Â”
Â–Â“We are what we are.Â”
When did Popeye start dictating league philosophy?
Â• Congratulations, soon-to-be-announced new Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney. One of your first orders of business should be to straighten out a payroll that currently has three defensemen (Ed Jovanovski, Derek Morris and Nick Boynton) combining for more than $13 million in salary cap room next year, and only one elite-level forward (Shane Doan) signed up long-term.
Â• Separated at birth: Scott Niedermayer (Bird's Nest Playoff Beard Edition) and Will Forte's Â“The FalconerÂ” character from Saturday Night Live.
Â• Oh, were you looking for some comments on Game 1 of the Cup final? Alright: The Senators got sloppier as the game went on; their top line Â– in particular Jason Spezza Â– was abysmal; the Ducks remain relatively undisciplined; very quietly, Travis Moen is having a dandy little post-season; Anton Volchenkov is one tough shot-blocking mother; whoever it was that sang the Canadian national anthem can honor my country any time; and I still like Ottawa to win this series.
I know it is only one game, but Ottawa couldn't handle Anaheim at even strength. Ottawa was sloppy, but not because of the layoff. To blame that is ludicrous. Ottawa had about a week off bettween each of the previous two rounds, as did Anaheim, and they didn't miss a beat. Ottawa was sloppy because they couldn't match Anaheim's strength and speed. The Ducks were on them quickly and Ottawa spent most of the night reaching for pucks they couldn't get (or keep). Ottawa's physical edge in the first three rounds (especially rounds 2 and 3) were due to the opposition having smaller forwards (Brian Gionta, Daniel Briere, etc). That physical edge is now gone, and Ottawa didn't have a clue what to do ... much like a bully in the school yard who finally picks on the wrong kid (ie: someone who actually fights back). If it hadn't been f or their power play and some good saves by Emery, the score would have been a blowout.
- Patrick Kerr
If you take the first game as an aberration, then Ottawa will still win this series. So what if they had their worst game of the playoffs. So what if they looked out of sync. So what if it's the first time in the Finals for Ottawa compared to the greybeards of Anaheim. If Ottawa treats Game 1 as the diversity they finally needed to face, the Cup is still heading back to Canada. And PUHLEEEEZE spare me the "win one for Teemu" garbage. Winning a Cup for Ray Borque was one thing...winning it for a whiney Finn who hasn't been a difference maker since the Jets were in the league is another. Maybe someone should help Pavel Bure lace up his skates so we can win one for him as well.
- Joe Willix
Bettman is the worst president the league ever had. Lies,lies more lies .The league is doing so well that Nashville wants to move ,the Chicago team is a joke year after year .San Jose limps along ,and wait till you see how many Can's fans will not buy season tickets . The salaries are as high as before the lock out . Verus NBC should stick to bull riding golf. The Ducks have it ,if the Sens don't show some guts it could be a short series .
- George Marinos
Mr. Proteau, You are obviously well-versed in hockey, but my question is this: Do you even like the game? While I am sitting here at work (believe me, I envy YOUR job!!!) I always log on to thehockeynews.com, and often skim through your blog, and have found that rarely do you have something positive to say about the game or its players... or the refs.... or the coaches... or the fans... or ANYTHING. Do you even like hockey? If the state of the game is so horrible, you shouldn't trouble yourself with writing about it. Come and have my job, I'll switch with you any day!
- Matt Thacker