"He was overshadowed a lot by bigger-name guys - but not better players. There's no way Messier's a better player, in my opinion, but he gets all the accolades."No question - Ron Francis was better than Eric Messier in every way. If Brindy was talking about Mark Messier, most obvservers would have to disagree. Messier's numbers are superior. His playoff numbers are staggeringly superior. Mess gathered two Hart trophies, two Pearsons and a Conn Smythe. Francis collected three Byngs and a Selke. Stanley Cups? 6-2. The clincher would have to be Scott Stevens' hit on Francis in the '01 playoffs. If Stevens had tried that on Mess, it may well have been Stevens staggering off the ice, slack-jawed. That's not to say Francis wasn't a great player. They're both among the all-time greats, but Messier was obviously a little bit better. Francis is a surefire HOFer. He should keep his head up at the induction ceremony because Stevens will be there, too.
Darius Kasparaitis, on manners:
"I'm not going to go into the corner and say, 'Excuse me, I'm going to hit you.' That's not how we play the game."Funny. That's how the Habs have been playing.
ESPN was foolish enough to provide the forum for Damien Cox's latest essay on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire:
"It's Quinn's job to organize the team to at least be competitive, even against superior opponents. It was Ferguson's job to drive the Leafs' bus out of the lockout in such a fashion so as to be even more competitive than was the case before the lockout. Both, based on recent results, have failed."His ascerbic missive includes this tidbit:
"The Leafs are unique in Canada, and probably only matched in the United States by the Rangers and Red Wings, for the fact they have fans in every NHL city, and hordes of them in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa."Hm. That's probably news to the hordes of Montreal Canadiens fans in every Canadian NHL city, including - egad! - Toronto!