Â– Blog reader Â‘D.S.' asked yesterday what I thought of the Senators not coming after Toronto's Darcy Tucker after the Leafs winger jumped on Patrick Eaves Tuesday night.
I was surprised Tucker played a period-and-a-half that night without tasting the butt end of somebody's stick, or at least their gloves. But I was more surprised after the game, when none of the Sens were willing to even criticize Tucker's actions. It took GM John Muckler's comments to get this team's collective head thinking properly about the liberties Tucker took.
However, I thought the Sens took their revenge the right way last night in the rematch. It would've been easy for someone to attack Tucker whether he wanted to throw down or not, but a 7-2 humiliation is a much better manner by which to let the Leafs and Tucker know they don't want to go down that road again.
Â– Thrashers coach Bob Hartley pulled Johan Hedberg last night after overtime, and inserted Kari Lehtonen in the shootout. That was a dumb move when Edmonton's Craig MacTavish did it last season, and it's just as dumb today. Hedberg had only allowed two goals through 65 minutes, so it wasn't as if he deserved the hook. And any goalie, whether their skill level is as stunningly high as Lehtonen's or not, cannot possibly find his rhythm in five or six minutes.
Â– Kudos to Canucks center Brendan Morrison for telling it like it is about one of the most troubled, and vital, hockey markets in the league.
Â“It's embarrassing,Â” Morrison said of the announced crowd of 11,641 that showed up Wednesday to see Vancouver beat Hawks 5-0. Â“We need Chicago. We need this market. Talking to guys on the team, this used to be the top market in the league.
Â“It's embarrassing really, a great hockey city like this,Â” Morrison told The Vancouver Province. Â“To come in here and have it one-third full or half full and the worst atmosphere in the league is disheartening.Â”
Â– Capitals coach Glen Hanlon was honest enough to say he liked the reduced-travel NHL schedule because it gave him more time with his family, but most players are like his goalie (Olaf Kolzig) and Colorado's Joe Sakic, who said this yesterday:
Â“I'd like to see us play teams in the Eastern Conference at least once during the year,Â” Sakic said. Â“It'd be nice to at least be able to see everybody at least once.Â”
Hanlon agreed with that sentiment, and so do I. The league has stated they won't change the division-heavy schedule until after the 2007-08 season, but they need to rethink their plans. If they can change the game, they can change the schedule.