* In case you missed Brenden Morrow
’s line from Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, here it is: 57 minutes of ice time, 19 hits, seven shots and, oh yeah, the game-winning goal. Let’s put it this way -- Morrow can play for CTN’s team anytime.
* Is it just CTN, or did San Jose’s Jeremy Roenick
look like he was 10 years younger during the playoffs? If he could have kept the grey out of his beard, it could have been the JR of the Sega Genesis era.
* Johan Franzen
is not as good as he has been for the past two months. He is the first one to admit that he is riding an unbelievable wave of good fortune. But CTN assures you that “The Mule” is better than many believed him to be before his run of 26 goals in 25 games.
* Is it time to start giving Marty Turco
his due yet? Or are there still doubters out there? CTN can assure you that there are none in the Dallas room.
* Perhaps the scariest thing about the Red Wings at this point in the tournament is that Nicklas Lidstrom
hasn’t been put to the test physically. Because of the ease with which the Wings put away the Avs, Lidstrom is playing 25:32 a game, a pedestrian figure for a workhorse. He’s still fresh for the rest of Detroit’s run, be it four games, 14 or somewhere in between.
* Dallas’ Steve Ott
sure looks like he is a pain in the butt to play against. And that is a good thing, especially at this time of year.
* Sergei Zubov
sure looked good in his return, although his propensity to force D-to-D passes on the attacking blue line can be nerve-wracking at times.
* Patrick Marleau
certainly proved that point with his shorthanded goal of a Zubov turnover in Game 4. It’s hard to believe that Marleau wasn’t used as a regular penalty killer during the regular season.
* Joe Sakic
didn’t make much noise this postseason and then you look at the stats and he averaged a point per game. Not surprising when you consider how quietly great Sakic has been throughout his career.
* Dave Tippet is a better coach than anybody wants to give him credit for being.
* CTN misses Mike Babcock as describing his players and his team’s style with the term “greasy,” like he did as Anaheim coach in the 2003 playoffs. Hopefully he will come up with a new catch-all phrase in short order.
* There may have been few bright spots in Colorado’s ouster in the second round, but CTN thought the play of David Jones
was one of them. This young man is a lot of fun to watch. He plays hockey the right way!
* If you live in Pennsylvania, by all the ice and heating pads you need now before the Eastern Conference Finals put a drain on the availability of those resources.
* CTN wonders if Evgeni “Geno” Malkin will go to Geno’s for a cheese steak when the ECF arrives in Philly next week. If it was CTN’s choice, CTN would send Malkin across the street to Pat’s.
* There aren’t fans with more class than the Montreal Canadiens
. CTN will hear no argument about this. The Bell Centre crowd’s behavior in the dying minutes of Montreal’s season was exemplary, even with bitter disappointment setting in.
* It’s still hard to believe that Carey Price
was benched during this series after all the hoopla surrounding his first playoff experience. It will be interesting to see how he responds next year. CTN’s guess is that Price won’t miss a beat.
* Pascal Dupuis
should get more credit than he does for making the Penguins a dangerous team. His ability to play top-line minutes and be the defensive conscience of the first line makes the Pens a much harder team to line-match against.
* Jaromir Jagr
played brilliantly in the playoffs, of that there is no doubt. There is also little doubt that he has played his upcoming free agency just as well.
* Sean Avery
is not a CTN-type player, but that won’t stop CTN from wishing the Ranger wing a speedy recovery from his lacerated spleen injury.
* CTN can’t believe it has been 45 years since the release of The Great Escape
, one of the 10 best movies ever made. CTN caught a re-airing of it Tuesday night and that makes at least 20 viewings of this classic.
* And, not for nothing, The Great Escape
character played by Steve McQueen, Capt. Virgil “the Cooler King” Hilts, had the perfect makeup to be a top-flight checking center in the NHL.
* Canada is playing a line of Ryan Getzlaf
, Dany Heatley
and Rick Nash
at the World Championships. Wow! It’s like an all-Canadian re-incarnation of the “Legion of Doom.”
* Latvia’s fans have been the hit of the World Championship tournament to date. Canadian assistant coach Pat Burns said he talked to Devils GM Lou Lamoriello after Canada’s game and asked, “Can we buy them and bring them to Jersey with us?”
* Prince is putting out a book this fall. The funk rocker will release a photographic essay featuring the works of noted photographer Randy St. Nicholas and based on his 21-night sold-out run at the O2 Arena in London. That’s going on the CTN Christmas list, for sure.
* CTN’s a little late to the party here, but the new album by Sebastian Bach, former lead singer of Skid Row, is fantastic. As an added bonus, Angel Down
, released in November, also features Axl Rose, Guns N’ Roses frontman, as a vocalist on three tracks.