Much like Mario Lemieux finally learned how to be a champion by playing with Gretzky, Messier, and Coffey in the 1987 Canada Cup tournament, Kris Letang took a major step toward fulfilling his Hall of Fame potential by leaping into the fiery crucible of the 2011 NHL All Star Game and emerging with two dazzling goals. Not really. I'm pretty sure Henrik Lundqvist scored two goals in "Team Lidstrom's" 11-10 victory over "Team Staal," and Letang worked harder at the team's holiday party than he does here:
Still, it's a good thing he gave us some highlights, because Marc-Andre Fleury reportedly gave up 13 goals in 4 minutes of play. Asked this morning if he was sorry he missed the game, Sidney Crosby replied, "What ga....Oh. No. Er, it was a special day for the league and the people of Carolina." When asked the same question, Evgeni Malkin said, "Girls like." In other news today:
- Packers Coach Mike McCarthy is from Pittsburgh. The Staals are brothers.
- I was reaffirming my decision never to watch NBA games Sunday by sitting with my buddy as he took in the Celtic's convincing win over the Lakers while sporting a hideous Robert Parish t-shirt. "How are you feeling about the Super Bowl?" he asked me. "Concerned," I replied. "It's no secret how you attack the Steelers' defense."
"Do what the Patriots do," he said.
"Spread them out," we said, in unison.
You see? Not a secret. You would not know this by listening to ESPN's Mike & Mike this morning, as they tried to pass off Kurt Warner's "insights" in this regard as somehow groundbreaking or, at the very least, "fascinating." No, it is not a revelation that this is a way to beat Pittsburgh, provided you have the personnel, which the Packers do. Nevertheless, prepare yourself to listen to breathless punditry on this very topic over the next six days, because these people need to sound like they're breaking news. Take solace in the fact that if either James Harrison or Lamarr Woodley gets around the corner and pops Aaron Rodgers just once, that game plan could backfire completely.
- The Ravens have fired quarterback coach Jim Zorn. Quarterback Joe Flacco, who, at last check, has retained his job, salary, and benefits, interpreted Zorn's firing as "a personal attack on me." It's completely understandable that Flacco is upset, but GTOG advises him a) to work on his game; and b) to remember that Zorn once tried to run a fake field goal against the Giants, the Giants realized the fake was on and called timeout, and then Zorn ran the exact same play anyway.
Could be he was fired on the merits.