21 February 2010


Let me begin this missive by stating unequivocally that I LOVE DON CHERRY. I love his love of the game of hockey, I love his brash, outspoken, obnoxious, politically incorrect candor, I love his jingoistic patriotism, I love his sartorial splendor, I love his dedication and one-sided adulation of all things "CANADIAN" Hockey.

Here's a sample of Don's game from, of all places...Vancouver, 14 years ago.

But my man, "Grapes", has gotta be down, WAY DOWN in the dumps right now.

As we all know, The USA defeated a far more talented Canada team today(the beauty of hockey is that a HOT goalie can beat anybody). That result, in and of itself, would not concern me so much about Don's health. Cuz stranger things have happened in the world of sports, indeed in hockey. See Lake Placid-1980.

One defeat at the hands of an American Team would normally never shake the unflappable Don Cherry and his fundamental religion that the game of hockey begins and ends within the east/west borders of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the 49th Parallel and St. Lawrence River to the south, and Santa's workshop up north.

But today's accomplishment by our home grown hockey players amounts to far more than "one victory" over Don's vaunted, beloved and unequalled Canadian Hockey superiority.

This win is the 3rd goal in what has become a "hat trick" of U.S. Hockey domination over Canadian Hockey .........IN ONLY 49 DAYS.

To whit:
1/On Jan. 4, an under 17 year old U.S. Team beat Team Canada in the finals of the World Under-17 Challenge.
2/On Jan 5, Team USA took the Gold Medal in the World Juniors, after a dramatic overtime win over Canada.
3/And then there was today's British Columbia Gem By The Ocean.

By way of comparison, consider that these results from the hockey world are akin to a football team from Canada coming down and defeating a High School squad made up of kids from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida and California.
Followed up by the University of Toronto winning the NCAA Basketball Championship.
Culminated by the Regina Red Sox defeating the New York Yankees. (yeah right, MAYBE... if they change their nickname).

In the span of 49 days.

Don Cherry has got to be, at best, in tears right now. I fear for his well-being. I'm not sure that the usually unflappable Grapes (of Wrath) can rebound from this Trilogy of Shakespearean Tragedy that has befallen the Canadian Hockey legacy.

Somebody....PLEASE....keep an eye on him.....I love the guy, and cannot fathom the prospect of dealing with his loss, much less witness him changing his ways.

Nevertheless, a really huge congratulations of beyond Mt. Olympus proportions must go out to the entire U.S. Hockey Program. At every level.....every player, every coach, every administrator and every hockey mom, who have all united to put a nice coat of lipstick on this under appreciated pig that we call hockey in the United States of America.

Just my opinion...From Two Time Zones Away.

(Yes, I realize we have a long way to go to win the Gold Medal, and Canada is not out of that picture yet......but today WAS REALLY FUN!!!).

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