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Two Line Passes

Here’s some quick thoughts on last night’s debut of Hockey Night in Canada:

1) I can’t think of a song more powerful than the HNIC theme song on the first Saturday of the season. Impulsively, when it came on I stopped what I was doing, went and stood in the other room in front of the TV, and took it all in.

2) Speaking of songs, did the Leafs really skate out to ‘Stronger’ by Kanye West? Really, do you think that’s the key to winning the Cup for the first time in 400 years is starting games with “Lets get lost tonight. You can be my black Kate Moss tonight”? If you do, consider what entering the field to the Daft Punk original version of Stronger did to baseball’s Barry Zito performance with the San Francisco Giants this year. Overall, it doesn’t compare to the classic Van Halen “Jump” that the Jets used to skate out to.

3) The Habs start the game with three guys named Plekanec, Kotstopolous, and Latandresse….I think when Harry Neale saw those names he decided to hand over the reigns in the booth over to Greg Millen.

4) If Eric Staal and Alex Ovechkin continue on their current torrid pace, the two stars of the NHL ’08 commercial are going do for hockey video games the exact opposite of what the Madden Curse has done for NHL careers (see Vick, Michael.) With the good fortune Ovechkin and Staal have had so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if the third star of the commercial, young Jared Kusnitz (the Ovechkin fan who plays NHL ’08 under the name ‘Puckwell’) finds himself dating Jessica Alba by the All Star break.

5) Elliotte Friedman tells us that the Oilers extended Kevin Lowe’s contract. In an Illegal Curve exclusive, sources close to the negotiations tell us that the negotiations progressed after reaching an initial impasse when Lowe argued that “If a mediocre player like Dustin Penner is getting paid $4 million these days, a mediocre GM like me deserves the same amount.”

6) Was anyone else creeped out when Ron Maclean ended Coach’s Corner by saying, in reference to Don Cherry’s ‘thumbs up’ to hockey parents; “There’s a little thing to stick’er out, from the guy who has to stick’er in.”? I don’t know where I’m going with this, at least not until Rich tells me if this blog is NC 17 or not.

7) Last night’s CBC telecast went way too long without giving updates on out of town scores. If you were out at a bar, and unable to switch over to The Score or check online (and especially if, like me, you were dying to see if your Pro Line selection of the Preds at home over Stars at the ridiculously good odds of 2.5: 1 was working out, which it was) then this was entirely excruciating and needs to be remedied. The solution isn’t rocket science guys – just give us a ticker, or put the scores in the top right corner like all the other networks do.

Speaking of wagering (which we at Illegal Curve do not endorse, of course), it’s time to run out and bet on today’s NFL games (Giants -4.5, Packers -4.5, and Chargers +1) so I am out. Wish me luck, just like Jared Kusnitz.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Steve Werier, and you’re not.