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Nothing but the truth

Mike Knuble's OT goal in Game 5 has the Caps on the brink. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Mike Knuble's OT goal in Game 5 has the Caps on the brink. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

There’s a reason why I’m a Fall and Spring guy – I love heat without the humidity that squeezes the life out of you, and a cool breeze minus the vicious bite it acquires in winter. Give me beauty sans extremes, and I’m good.

So on an amazing Friday in April, maybe that’s a small part of the reason why everything – especially NHL hockey – seems so much better this time of year.

I mean, anybody who missed the Washington/Philadelphia tilt on Thursday missed one hell of a game, including thunderous hits, sick (yeah, I’m a cool kid) saves, and dozens of heart-stopping thrills.

If the league could guarantee that kind of action in every one of its regular and post-season games, a discouraging word wouldn’t ever be heard from this writer. Unfortunately, the high praise showered on the Flyers/Caps game is a sad commentary on much more prevalent game strategies employed during the year.

Speaking of the Flyers…

Adam,

You didn't answer the question in your last post, and I think it's a valid question so I'll re-ask for the guy: Why are you and THN so anti-Flyers?

The Flyers have a solid team of up and coming stars, a solid, loyal and energetic fan base and they are a club that is deep in tradition (ie. Kate Smith). But even when they play well, they get no respect from THN or the league for that matter. It makes little sense to me.

Is it simply the Steve Downie/Jesse Boulerice incidents? Or is there more? I'm not going to defend either of those actions, or even argue the suspensions, but they both served their time. Downie was productive and did well in the games he played this season, and I highly doubt Boulerice will be a Flyer next season.

So, how about it Adam, what's the real reason for the Flyers bashing?

Jonathan Herr, Lancaster, Pa.


Jonathan,

No joke – as it goes with all 29 other teams, my attitude toward the Flyers is driven by the actions and results that take place when their players step on the ice. If a number of those players commit heinous acts, it reflects on the organization, and it is my job to direct attention to it.

Besides, you’re accusing a guy who, as a kid, loved to watch Tim Kerr and Brian Propp play the game. You’re mischaracterizing a guy who would love to see the Flyers be the first local team to deliver a championship to long-suffering Philadelphians in a quarter-century.

You’ve got me all wrong, what I’m trying to say is only the Flyers can put me in a position to write positive things about them. And the only way they do that is by playing the game the right way, and winning.

Adam,

I've been watching some of the Devils/Rangers series and I see Bryce Salvador playing regularly for New Jersey and Christian Backman playing good minutes for the Rangers.

Is there any good reason why Blues GM Larry Pleau traded these two guys? It quite often seems to me that a lot of GMs make moves that make you want to scratch your head.

Wilbert Crocker, Charlottetown, Nfld.


Wilbert,

In my opinion – and despite their record this season – St. Louis has one of the league’s best group of blueliners.

With Erik Johnson, Barrett Jackman, Eric Brewer and Jay McKee still in the fold, Salvador (a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent) and Backman (not altogether cheap at $2.3 million next year) were expendable – especially considering the Blues are already committed to nearly $42.5 million in salary for ’08-09 and need to bulk up their scoring.

Such is life in the salary cap world. Fringe players such as Backman and Salvador will be traveling to a new team every 2-3 years, and the only thing they can do to change that is sign a multi-year contract at below market value.

Adam,

I was wondering about the hockey 'code' among players when it comes to trash-talking. Recently, Martin Brodeur stated that Sean Avery was trash-talking him about his divorce – to which Brodeur told him to "get new material. That was five years ago."

Do NHL players consider it poor taste to chirp at a guy about his personal life, or is anything fair game?

Bobbie Ruthig, New Hamburg, Ont.


Bobbie,

Players definitely draw the line at opponents who bring families into the workplace. In fact, a couple of the more spirited scraps in NHL history have been triggered by non-flattering comments regarding somebody’s girlfriend, sister or spouse.

Of course, my gracious nature prevents me from revealing who was involved. But suffice to say, some NHLers believe no cow is sacred – and they’re usually the ones whose heads occasionally look like this.

Ask Adam appears Tuesdays and Fridays only on The Hockey News.com. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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