Don Cherry goes into caveman mode on Coach’s Corner

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

You just knew it was coming. Most every sports columnist has been talking about the embarrassment that is the first few days of the NHL playoffs, with head-shots galore, more fights than a WWF convention and way more goon highlights than cool goals.

So of course Don Cherry appears on his prime time pulpit – otherwise known as Coach’s Corner – and barks at the nation to let us know this is real hockey.

He started Coach’s Corner in the first intermission of the Monday night Rangers-Senators game with a strange rambling chat about the fight-fest between Pittsburgh and Phillie Sunday. He was defending Sidney Crosby but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what Cherry’s point was.

One big part of the whole rant – aka Coach’s Corner – was how impossible us reporters are. He said Crosby is, like Gretzky, so accomodating of reporters, clearly a major sin. Then came Cherry’s defense of the thuggery that’s defined the first games of the playoffs.

“First of all, the fans love it,” said Cherry. “These are the guys that pay the money. The players like it. The coaches like it. So who doesn’t like the fighting? It’s the reporters…..who don’t pay to get in.” (Eds. note: Does Grapes pay full ticket price to see the Leafs?)

To which Cherry’s sidekick Ron MacLean said – “I kind of agree with you on that.” (Eds. note: What a big surprise! Ronnie agreeing with Donnie!)

Then Cherry added: “This is war. This has been going on forever….Quit whining that this stuff has not been going on. If you don’t like it, take up tennis, with your little white shorts.”

Now on one level, this is all kind of comical. Sure Cherry is a cartoon character and all that. But once you stop laughing, you realize it’s just downright weird that our public broadcaster is giving prime on-air real-estate to a guy who’s happy to see millionaire hockey players pounding each other to a pulp. That he’s applauding a game where two of the most talented players in hockey – Crosby and Claude Giroux – get into a couple of punch-ups…..even though both have been sidelined by concussions.

That Penguins-Flyers game Sunday was the NHL at its worst. But apparently the most popular hockey commentator in Canada – and CBC’s most famous personality – thinks that kind of Neanderthal behaviour is just fine’n’dandy. Weird.

– Brendan

P.S. Then, for the Cherry on the sundae, Grapes arrives at the end of the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast to cheer on Bruin captain Zdeno Chara.

“He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” says Cherry, who went on to say that’s why he just knew Chara was not trying to hurt Hab Max Pacioretty with that infamous hit.

Of course Don. It was an accident! Chara didn’t even notice he was taking off Pacioretty’s head.

P.S. 2: Apparently the folks at The National don’t share their colleague Cherry’s enthusiasm for the on-ice pugilism. Chris Brown had a highly critical report on the violence in the playoffs on The National Monday. He noted that ratings were up this post-season, particularly in the U.S., while penalty minutes hit a six-year high.

  1. Stephen says:

    Cherry also suggested the Sedins are wimps because they didn’t understand this brand of hockey. He brought out the old 70’s tapes with those embarrasing hockey brawls as if these were “the good old days”… complete BS!! Hockey is a sport and should be about skill and sportsmanship-not violence! All my favorite players were great sportsmen-Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Wayne Gretzky etc. I love watching the Sedins play and there is no reason some goon has the right to take them out with an elbow or a blindside hit simply because Don Cherry says “that’s playoff hockey” … The CBC should have the guts to fire him. He’s advocating real violence against highly skilled players.

    • Kurt says:

      It’s clear that neither of you have ever played any sort of high level competitive hockey before. The Penguins-Flyers game Sunday is a prime example of what playoff hockey is all about – Two teams putting everything they have on the line for the game that they love. Read up on the Sports Illustrated poll taken by 200 NHL Players
      If fighting wasn’t part of hockey, it wouldn’t happen, the players wouldn’t fight and the NHL would hand down tougher suspensions for it! But the reality of the situation is, that the players determine whether it is part of hockey since they are the ones playing!! If you don’t like it and are going to bitch, moan and have a wet eye over it, then as Cherry says ” If you don’t like it, take up tennis, with your little white shorts.”

      Oh, P.S. Brendan

      If you knew anything about hockey, then you would realize that Max Pacioretty knew he was putting himself in a vulnerable position going into the Chara hit. Yes, the outcome was unfortunate, however, every player knows the risks associated everytime they step on the ice.

      And Stephen, well…. Judging by that cute little flower beside your name, it’s clear that you’re a Vancouver fan and have your sports mixed up as you should clearly be watching Ringette…. The Canucks team is full of the softest guys in the league!

      I realize the odds in you posting this are about as likely as the odds in you growing a pair… But the both of you should realize that this is hockey!


      • topshelfbk says:

        Hey Kurt, your comment is posted!
        So maybe next thing you know I’ll be growing a pair!!!!
        I can take it.
        And I actually think there is a place for fighting. But that game was a joke, on all levels.

  2. stephen says:

    I have played hockey at a very high level. I know the game inside and out. There is absolutely no place in hockey for fighting. It’s only the unskilled players who fight. The best hockey is when there are no fights at all. You don’t see fighting in the Olymics or in the later stages of the playoffs. So why is it necessary anywehere else? Fighting is only about intimidation, bullying and cheating-taking out the skilled players or distracting them around to the point where they can’t play at all. It doesn’t take balls to fight. It takes balls and real courage to exercise self control, skate away and play the game with dignity and sportsmaship. Violence contributes nothing to the game. And yes-I like flowers….

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