Seven in the morning

Blame Favre, GSP reigns, Leafs rumours, more

The Globe and Mail

If you have nothing to do tonight, and the idea of watching the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans on Monday night bores you, good news! In a last-gasp attempt to keep his consecutive games streak alive, Brett Favre arranged for an ungodly amount of snow to fall in Minnesota, collapsing the roof of the Metrodome and forcing the Vikings-Giants game to be delayed until tonight and moved to Detroit. Favre loves playing on Monday nights, and the added rest will more than likely enable him to play after spraining his shoulder last week. Only a cynic would suggest that video of the roof caving in is some kind of metaphor for the end of Favre’s career, but there you go. We have some leftovers from the Habs-Leafs, an interesting Raptors connection to the Carmelo Anthony drama and traitorous Oilers fans, all at Seven in the Morning:

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1. Canadian teams, A Division:

The Vancouver Canucks won their third straight on the road, 2-1 over the Edmonton Oilers, but were they really playing on the road? Why were there chants of “looo” in support of Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo at Rexall Place? Because Oilers fans are faithless and spineless and prone to sell their tickets, apparently, at least in the view of those manning Coppernblue, an Oilers fan blog: “If you are a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers and you gave or sold your tickets to a Vancouver fan for tonight's game, you deserve to lose your seats for all future Edmonton sporting and cultural events for the rest of your existence. The amount of Vancouver fans in the first three rows behind each goaltender was an embarrassment. That they were able to stop talking into their Bluetooth long enough to put together a number of chants for Luongo louder than anything Oiler fans put together in the first or second period was an abomination” The fear is the problem will only be worse when the Leafs show up Tuesday night.

And if Canadiens fans are looking for some positives after dropping two straight on the road including Saturday night’s no-show against the Leafs, here it is: “The win keeps the leafs two more points away from handing the Bruins another lottery pick”

Although Marc Trestman, head coach of the Grey Cup champion Alouettes has been linked to job openings at the University of Minnesota and apparently was a candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Miami, indications are he’s going to be returning Montreal to try for a three-peat, in part because he doesn’t have an out clause in his deal.

2. Canadian teams, B Division:

The idea of Leafs fans showering their heroes with waffles after they were drubbed by Philadelphia on Thursday kind of took of in the Internet over the weekend. The best line, however, came from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun via Twitter: "A waffle is an odd missile to throw at Leafs when they're playing like crepe."

Also this weekend: reports that Brad Richards of Dallas, the most capable free agent centre on the market and the apple of Brian Burke’s eye, has all but removed the Leafs from his list of potential destinations, with Pierre LeBrun reporting the most likely options being: "Dallas (staying put), the New York Rangers (he won a Cup with coach John Tortorella), Tampa Bay (back to his roots) and the Los Angeles Kings (team on the rise). Never say never in terms of Toronto, because you never know how much money talks come July 1, but I get the sense the Leafs aren't on the radar for Richards and his agent, Pat Morris of Newport Sports."

LeBrun also says that Thomas Kaberle has given no indication that he's any more willing now to waive his no-trade clause than he was before, even if there might be an opportunity to play in Montreal.

3. Georges St-Pierre is more popular that Gretzky, at least in Montreal

The UFC star and native son delivered in front of a packed house at The Bell Centre on Saturday night, and they loved him for it: "From the moment St-Pierre walked to the cage bathed in the kind of giddy Montreal welcome that would make Guy Lafleur blush, this was his night. He didn't allow himself to get caught up in the crowd noise, maintaining poise as well as distance, beating Koscheck to the punch every time, the challenger's looping right hand hitting nothing but air. The crowd's "Ole!" singing may have invoked World Cup soccer images for some, but this was a bullfight, and GSP was the graceful and skillful matador."

4. Tom Brady and the Greatriots love snow:

It's not just that the Patriots have won five straight, including yesterday's 36-7 crushing of the Chicago Bears in snowy Chicago, it's how they've won them that make them look like Super Bowl locks right now, from Don Banks at SI.com: "Do the math. That's a five-game onslaught in which the Patriots have overwhelmed their opponents by a combined 196-88 (or 39-18 per game), with only one game having any drama by the fourth quarter. To slice it even a little thinner, since trailing at the half in Week 12 at Detroit, New England has outscored the Lions, Jets and Bears (oh, my!) 116-17 over the course of its last 10 quarters."

Why do the Patriots excel in adverse weather? They're ready for it: "They don't cancel football games very often,'' Brady said, with a nod to the Metrodome's punctured roof. "It's not like baseball, and we don't play out there in San Diego all the time. You're out in the cold weather. You're out in whatever the elements are, so you've got to be mentally tough enough to play in them. It's one of those days where a lot of people would rather be cozied up near the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate. But we work on Sundays, and all of us, we're pretty committed to coming out here and trying to play well and execute well in some pretty tough conditions. For the most part, we did that.''

5. Is it just me, or could anyone with a cell phone run an NHL team as well as Glen Sather?

You read Roy MacGregor’s solid piece in the Globe and you realize the point is that the old fox Sather is creeping up on the league from his perch running the New York Rangers by going back to his Edmonton roots as a shrewd, value-finding general manager. But then read through all the failures through his years in New York (Bobby Holik, $45-million for five years!) and that Henrik Lundqvist was an afterthought drafted in the seventh round and you’re like, I could do that….

6. Raptors fans, stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

Franchise star in the final year of his contract wants to move to a flashier market, original team left to struggle to find anything approaching decent value…etc. etc. Of course we’re not talking about Chris Bosh in this instance, but instead Carmelo Anthony, the sublime scoring machine of the Denver Nuggets who wants out of Denver but will only sign a $65-million contract extension with the New York Knicks. The person running the deal for Denver is Masai Ujiri, the former Raptors assistant general manager now running the show for the Nuggets, and having seen Bosh leave Toronto, he’s got a game plan: "There was plenty I learned going through that experience."

7. Who knew Bob Cole could rap?

In case you missed the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast Saturday night, the CBC engaged star DJ Steve Porter to do one of his famous remixes – where he sets news footage and images to music – in tribute to the Habs-Leafs game. The old clips alone are amazing.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter, by the way: @michaelgrange

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