Toronto, Canada – Despite what he says, Don Cherry, 78, of HNIC (Hockey Night in Canada) gets things going and last night was no exception.

On CBC National TV (which is carried on USA networks as well) he made it a point to say Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is a “whiner”  and just in the nick of time, as the NHL playoffs get underway Wednesday.

In a story today in the Toronto Star Crosby was a highlight of the Don Cherry commentary Saturday night on HNIC, (see below)

Cherry touched on another hot topic, the crackdown on ‘head hits’ by NHL players and how it has affected their play. No-one disputes that they should be eliminated but Cherry says he explained this months ago, that if you end head hits, players will start to hit below the waist, which appears to be what has happened.

After all, Cherry himself says he’s “been in the game for 400 years” and he knows what he’s talking about.

There’s no doubt he’s correct about a lot of hockey issues, especially the ‘touch icing’ where players race for the puck to the end boards and many get seriously injured, or end their careers.

The NHL has proposed a trail period next year to look at ‘hybrid icing’ which may cut the dangers, but I doubt it and I’m sure Cherry will agree.

If player safety is the concern of the NHL, they must change the icing rule to no touch icing, which makes the whistle go, as soon as the puck crosses the end boards goal line.

Maybe Cherry will be around for another 400 years, but only time will tell.

OTHER NHL CHATTER

New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins have not always been favorite opponents, and last week Rangers coach John Tortorella was given a $20,000 fine by the NHL, for what, we still do not know. It appears it may just be because he crossed the line and made derogatory comments about Crosby and the wonderful untouchable Penguins.

The local Pittsburgh Post Gazette doesn’t see it the same way.

It looks like Philadelphia Flyers will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs, which should make for a great start on the trip to the Stanley Cup.

To see the full NHL playoff line-up CLICK HERE.

MORE TIDBITS – Just found out from a great sports writer for the New York Rangers, New York Post’s  Larry Brooks,  says players that just enter the playoffs from other leagues, Colleges or Universities, do not get paid, they play for free.

Brooks is not a big fan of head coach John Tortorella, and Torts, confirms it’s mutual, but Rangers will meet Ottawa in the first round at Madison Square Garden. It’s been an ongoing thing for many years between the two.

Wonder how Tororella will react if the Rangers lose to the Senators in the first round?

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Daniel … Toronto, Canada
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