LCS Hockey: Born Again
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April 20, 2019
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A Weasel Among Us



Yesterday, Ace Reporter Jim Iovino wrote about Darcy Tucker's pummeling of Patrick Eaves. While watching Tucker snap in the ol' gulliver and go Clockwork Orange on someone is usually a real good time, I must take umbrage with the malicious Maple Leaf on this one.

I had actually been waiting to write about Tucker until I had a chance to pen a "Heroes and Weasels" column, but since Jim mentioned it yesterday, and writing a "Heroes and Weasels" is rather grueling, I'll just say my piece now.

Tucker is a weasel.

That's right. I said it. And keep in mind, I'm the guy who made Tucker an LCS Hockey cult hero and the idol of millions from 8 to 80. It was my idea to have a Darcy Tucker Tribute Issue. I love him like a brother. But in this one instance, Tucker is a weasel.

For those of you who can't recall the incident, Ottawa was throttling Toronto 5-1 in the second period of their October 24th matchup when Tucker tried to send a message, running both Jason Spezza and Eaves. Tucker got the worst of his collision with Eaves, only further fueling his maniacal rage.

When Darcy got to his skates, he challenged Eaves to fight. Eaves, who later admitted he hadn't been in a scrap since juniors, wanted no part of it and tried to skate away. That wasn't an option. Tucker dropped the mitts and started dealing. It wasn't pretty. You can see for yourself on YouTube.com.

Don't worry, we haven't gotten to the weasel part yet. Sure, fighting Eaves is kind of lame, but it's not like Tucker jumped him from behind. Eaves is a big boy. He's a professional hockey player. If he doesn't know how to defend himself by now, it's about time he learned.

No, Tucker became a weasel two nights later when the clubs met again in Ottawa. Chris Neil lined up alongside Tucker for the opening faceoff and extended a dance invitation. Tucker declined. The Senators went on to pound the Leafs, 7-2. Tucker went quietly into the night, without a point, a penalty, or the even the slightest bit of protest. Truth doesn't make a noise.

After the game, Tucker had this to say about his run-in with Neil.

"It doesn't make sense to me to fight a 225-pound guy," said Tucker to the Canadian Press. "I'm going to get walloped and everybody is going to get a good cheer out of it."

And those, my friends, are the words of a weasel.

Listen, it's real simple. If you don't want to fight, then don't start fights. But if you're gonna chase down second-year players who wear visors, then you damn well better go with whoever comes calling.

Basically, Tucker was saying he's scared of Chris Neil. I never thought I'd see the day. Say it ain't so, Darcy! Say it ain't so!

There's no shame in getting your ass kicked. The shame is in not fighting. What's the worst that would have happened? They probably would have just wrestled around a bit and fell to the ice. It's not like Neil would have literally killed him. And even if he did, so what? If you're not willing to die for your teammates, take off the sweater. In the immortal words of Edward de Vere, "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once."

And if you're gonna quote de Vere in a hockey story, you better be willing to fight. So bring it on, Neil. I actually don't mind getting knocked out. They're really just trauma-induced blackouts. I normally have to spend a lot of money and alcohol getting to feel that way. Tolerance is a real strain on the bank account. Aw, I'm just kidding. I don't have a bank account. But I digress.

The great Colorado-Detroit rivalry, long since dead, turned when Claude Lemieux turtled on Darren McCarty. Lemieux would later try and make amends, fighting McCarty the following season, but it was too late. The damage was done. Lemieux's one moment of cowardice dogged him the rest of his career.

If Darcy Tucker is going to fight Patrick Eaves, he has to be willing to fight Chris Neil. The Toronto Maple Leafs will never beat the Ottawa Senators in a meaningful game again until Tucker fights Neil. It's the only way back to respectability. It's the only way out of Weaselville.

Until that glorious day, when Tucker does us proud, LCS Hockey's list of cult heroes has been diminished by one.


ROLSTON ROCKET
Did you see Brian Rolston's penalty shot against Roberto Luongo the other night? Rolston got to the top of the circles and dropped the hammer, blistering a slap shot right past the Canuck netminder. When was the last time anyone wound up on a penalty shot? It was awesome. See for yourself.

The weirdest thing is that Jacques Lemaire gave Rolston the idea because he had a dream Rolston would score with a slap shot in a shootout. My dreams seldom come true. I mean, I don't even think Angelina Jolie and Keira Knightley know each other, let alone own French maid costumes.

But Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press gives all the details of Rolston's dream goal against Luongo.


HOCKEY DAY MINNESOTA
Rolston and his Minnesota Wild teammates will be part of "Hockey Day Minnesota" on Saturday, January 20, when FSN North broadcasts 11 consecutive hours of hockey. Three games from three different levels of the sport will highlight the titanic television event.

First, at 1:00PM, St. Paul Johnson high school will take on Lake of the Woods high school. At 5:30PM, Denver University will battle the University of Minnesota. The Wild will cap things off against the Dallas Stars at 8:00PM, looking to squash the former North Stars.

The network even plans to spotlight some peewee hockey. If no peewee teams are available, they'll probably just settle for the Flyers.


GREAT GOALS
Here's a link the NHL provided to 10 great October goals, featuring the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Getzlaf, and Peter Forsberg. It's definitely worth seeing. But it runs almost nine minutes. So pack a lunch.




AGENT NEEDED: Hey, I need a literary agent. About this time last year, I fired my old one due to gross incompetence, and I never got around to getting another one. See, the whole publishing industry sickens me, so I try to avoid it and pretend it doesn't exist, but unless someone is willing to give me the money to start my own press, I doubt I'll ever be able to self-publish, so that means I need to pretend to give a damn. We all must make sacrifices in life.

The first step is getting an agent. So if anyone out there knows of any literary agents or, better yet, any publishers, please drop me a line at dell1921@comcast.net.

I've got three books ready to roll and another in the works. Reading is fundamental.

Thank you.


LCS Hockey: Born Again
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