Monday, November 21, 2011

Credit where credit is due (and other Monday morning musings)

As much as it pains their critics, coach Jacques Martin and general manager Pierre Gauthier deserve at least some credit for helping get the injury-riddled Canadiens to the one-quarter mark of the season a game over .500 and well within striking distance of a playoff spot. Gauthier's ability to uncover useful replacement players and Martin's management of the limited resources available to him bode well for the Habs when and if they get back to something resembling full health...The depleted and relatively inexperienced and undersized defence corps gets its toughest test to date tonight at the Bell Center against the Bruins, who've won eight in a row after a slow start and haven't become any smaller or less belligerent...The long-awaited return of Sidney Crosby means at least as much for the NHL as it does for his own team. After it was announced that the Pittsburgh captain will play his first game in close to a year tonight, the Versus network in the US announced it was pulling the plug on the Boston-Montreal game to show the Penguins and Islanders in hopes of doubling hockey ratings on American television from 1.3 to 2.6 - people, not share points...Formula One might be the world's most glamorous sport, but it can't match NASCAR for drama. While Sebastien Vettel clinched the F1 championship with nearly two months left on the F1 calendar, the Sprint Cup title came down to yesterday's season finale in Homestead, Florida, where Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards finished 1-2 in the race and 1-2 in the Chase for the Championship, which went to Stewart on the basis of a tiebreaker after he and Edwards ended the season tied in points...A lot of President's Cup onlookers might have been disappointed, but no one should have been surprised that Tiger Woods and Steve Williams exchanged nothing more than a perfunctory handshake in their first public encounter since Woods fired Williams as his caddy. It's still golf, not roller derby.

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