A few Don Cherry takes from Coach’s Corner during the first intermission of Thursday’s game:
Despite the fact Vancouver led the series by slim 2-1 count, Grapes wrote off the Nashville Predators.
“They’re not winning the series,” he said. “Their game was that third game. They win that game, they win the series. They’re not winning it now.”
Question is, would Cherry have really said the Canucks were done had they lost Game 3?
Of all the pushing and shoving that goes on after whistles, Cherry had a predictable/good solution.
“I know how to stop all that garbage,” he said. “In the 50s and 60s, when we had little twits like that, the ref would just say to the linesman, ‘step back and let them go.’ It’s so much garbage that stuff. Step back and let them go. It would solve everything.”
Naturally, Cherry doesn’t think Bruce Boudreau should be made the scapegoat for his Washington Capitals losing four straight to the Tampa Lightning. Like Cherry, Boudreau spent years toiling in the AHL and, as Cherry noted, he has a .679 winning percentage.
Cherry liked how Caps GM George McPhee made sure his own feelings were clear when he said “I expect him to be back.”
Said Cherry: “If (Boudreau) is fired, it’s by the genius owner (Ted Leonsis).”
He never did get Leonsis’ name pronounced correctly, however.
Cherry gave credit for the Tampa win to fourth liners like Sean Bergenheim and Dominic Moore and said Washington didn’t have the grinders to match up.
“They had a lot of sweethearts and stuff,” he said. (The grinders) are the guys you win with.”
And for Bruins winger Nathan Horton, who had the Gordie Howe hat trick Wednesday, Cherry had plenty of love.
“That’s a hockey players hockey player,” he said. “That’s my type of guy. I love him.”
Who’d have guessed?
STARTS AND STOPS: Best save of the first period was made by neither Pekka Rinne nor Roberto Luongo, but Predators winger Nick Spaling, who snuffed out a Mikael Samuelsson shot that was headed toward an empty net. It was the best of about five blocks by Nashville players during a Vancouver power play that should not have been ... Mike Fisher banged the jaw of former Senators teammate Sami Salo off the glass as the Canucks defenceman was earning a delay of game penalty in the first. With his history, you have to be surprised it wasn’t broken. Not the glass, the jaw ... In the Nashville crowd were actress Nicole Kidman and her country singing husband Keith Urban, who attacked a slice of pizza like it was his first meal of the day ...
THINGS I THINK I THUNK: Along with learning how good he is, the rest of the hockey world is also discovering that Rinne has quite a temper ... In a totally unrelated matter, TSN’s Natasha Staniszewski is simply outstanding. You all thought it, too ... If I know the NHL media, Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Legends Corner - a couple of Nashville’s hottest hot spots - have done much better business than usual the past four days ... All the TV guys are calling Ryan Kesler Vancouver’s best player in the playoffs. But he could be looking even better than he’s been because the twins have been so pedestrian.
BETWEEN PERIODS: Earning rave reviews was Hockey Night in Canada’s pre-game feature on Nashville winger Joel Ward, who surely and suddenly now has fans that never even knew him before. You could almost hear Rodger Minard, Ward’s billet in Owen Sound, let out a loud whoop when Ward tied the game near the end of the first period ... Also solid was HNIC’s bit on Predators coach Barry Trotz taking his players to Nightstalker Boot Camp ... Bruce Boudreau said his team was plenty-prepared enough. “We knew how they were going to do it,” the Caps coach said of the Tampa Lightning. “They just played better than us.” Yes it’s called covering your butt. But it’s probably also the truth.
I actually have a blackberry but was typing while walking and buttons r beside each other . Apologize if anyone was offended. Didn’t mean it.
-Matthew Barnaby (@ MattBarnabyESPN), former player turned color analyst.
After getting beat 21-5 in ping pong by Jason Demers I retire from that sport. Who plays that game with paddles anyways...?
-Logan Couture (@Logancouture), San Jose Sharks centre.
I think it would be more fun if Flyers coach Peter Laviolette would announce his finisher rather than his starter.
-Chris Stevenson (@CJ_Stevenson), hockey columnist for QMI Agency.
Jim Hughson now sounds like Jim Hughson. And that’s good.
-Steve Simmons (simmonssteve), Toronto Sun sports columnist.
Two most popular quotes in these playoffs: 1. “Bergenheim scores.” 2. “My hotel doesn’t have Versus.”
-Ian Mendes (ian_mendes), Rogers Sportsnet