Monday, June 12, 2006


It's funny how the headline for Edmonton's 2-1 Game 3 victory differed greatly in the Canadian press vs. the U.S. press. See if you can guess which one is which:

1. Smyth's heroics get Oilers back in series
2. It's game on in Cup finals after disputed goal

If you said #1 was from Canada (TSN), and #2 from the U.S. (MSNBC), you're correct! It's funny how the MSNBC article calls the goal "rather questionable", while the TSN article says Smyth "somehow managed to bang home the rebound". Well, neither one is accurate, I'd say it's somewhere in between. I saw this goal when it happened: the puck hit Ward's stick before Smyth got to it, bounced off his chest, and it rolled into the net as he was getting hit from behind. They showed it a dozen times on the replay, and the validity of the goal was NEVER in question. It was your typical lucky bounce which happens in the NHL and every sport. Basically, Carolina has had ALL of the lucky breaks in the postseason (the winner in Game 1 of this series comes to mind), so how about we don't begrudge the one the Oilers get.

I'm only going to say this one more time: I officially don't give a flying puck what the Stanley Cup playoff ratings are. I'm still going to watch because it's enjoyable, well-played hockey, not because it's popular. If I felt the need to join a huge club, I'd ride the bandwagon with the newest members of Red Sox Nation. This Slate article sums up exactly how I feel about the NHL, primarily that it's a cult sport and that Bettman should give up "trying to woo the disinterested masses". I also love the idea of contracting the entire Southeast Division, and how this will make about six Carolinians angry. But instead of writing about the actual sport, most dickhead mainstream sportswriters will talk about the ratings (that's why I'm sticking to blogs for my sports reading). What does that have to do with the actual sport played on the ice? Screw you, I'm watching hockey and I don't care if you count me or not.

(Now that the US has lost 3-0 in their first game to the Czech Republic, and may not make it past
the first round, let's see if World Cup soccer gets any ratings in this country.)

Let's hope Edmonton can make it a series with a win tonight!

* * *

In other hockey news, not only is the sport ratings-free, but apparently alsosteroid free.

There were no positive drug tests among the 1,406 administered under the NHL's new anti-doping program, which targets steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs but not stimulants.

Jose Theodore, who was on Canada's preliminary 81-man Olympic eligibility list but not named to the final squad, failed a doping test Dec. 9. The urine sample showed Finasteride, a masking agent for steroids that is also commonly found in hair-restoration drugs. Theodore used the hair product propecia and team doctor David Mulder said that caused the failed doping test. He had been taking the drug for years and said he didn't realize it contained a banned substance.

Ha! Likely story, but it sounds like a bald-faced lie. So the NHL is clean, allegedly, despite Dick Pound's allegations. I don't have a joke here, I just wanted to mention that the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency is Dick Pound.

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