Monday, May 12, 2014

Oh, grow up (and other Monday musings)

Shawn Thornton spraying PK Subban with a water bottle during play in Game 5 of the Canadiens-Bruins playoff series wouldn't be appropriate in a pick-up game, let alone at the highest level of professional hockey.  If the referees had caught it, they could have hit Boston with a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and that would have been the end of it.   Under the circumstances, it behooved the NHL to at the very least fine Thornton for conduct unbecoming, and they did so to the tune of 2800 dollars and change, which was the maximum allowable fine based on Thornton's 1.1 million dollar salary.  It's a slap on the wrist, but better that than doing nothing at all and sending the message that it's okay for a fourth line plug to openly mock and abuse one of the game's elite players and star attractions.  The Henrik Lundqvist-Sidney Crosby water bottle incident last night was no less unprofessional, but because it occurred after the whistle, it's unlikely Lundqvist will be fined.

Leave it to social media to make a thing out of Canadiens captain Brian Gionta not shaking Ginette Reno's hand before Game 4 at the Bell Center.  What in the pre-internet world would have been a soon-forgotten awkward social moment blew up on Twitter and became the reason Gionta was thwarted on at least two glorious scoring opportunities in a 1-0 overtime loss.  So now we have the dreaded Ginette Reno snub to go with the dreaded two goal lead, thanks to the immediate and massive propagation of one misguided idea.  There are many good things about the proliferation of media in the Internet age.  I just can't think of what they are.

Going to work the day after an immediate family member dies unexpectedly might not be everyone's idea of appropriate, but grieving is a deeply personal process, and everyone who matters in his life had Rangers winger Martin St. Louis' back when he decided to play in Game 5 against Pittsburgh following the sudden death of his mother.  The way his teammates closed ranks around St. Louis and that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby sought him out before the game to offer his personal condolences spoke volumes about the bond in the hockey fraternity, and suggested that if he was supposed to be with family, St. Louis wasn't in the wrong place.

Thank you, St. Louis Rams, for selecting Michael Sam in the last round of the 2014 NFL draft, because the hysteria would have been insufferable.  The Rams now face a media circus at training camp, as the same people who insist Sam's sexuality shouldn't matter continue to make it the central issue.  We get it.  He's gay. Let's move past that and see if he's a professional-calibre football player.

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