Officiating in these NHL playoffs has been sub-par — and, last night, that pleased the Senators.
Mike Fisher, in fact, was all smiles as he watched replays of how he got away with interference on New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur early in the third period. Fisher nudged Brodeur just enough to let Tom Preissing score on a bad-angle shot.
Turned out to be the winner for the Sens, who now lead this best-of-seven series 2-1.
Brodeur was livid that the referees missed the infraction, but Fisher insisted he didn’t intentionally bump intothe goalieand, in fact, didn’t even realize he had.
“I was just skating through the net,” he said, “and, before I knew it, Preissing scored. I didn’t know (Brodeur) fell.”
Brodeur was his old remarkable self last night as the Sens drilled 32 shots at him. Truthfully, he deserved a better fate.
• Mark Cohon’s cushy existence in the CFL is ending. A month after becoming commissioner, Cohon is about to be urged to intervene in a messy situation.
Several club executives, fearing the CFL cannot afford to lose quarterbacks with gate appeal, plan to approach Cohon about a controversy involving Jesse Palmer.
The ex-NFL QB is on the Montreal Alouettes’ roster and is renowned throughout Canada and the United States, mostly because of his television appearances on The Bachelor series and as an NFL analyst.
Palmer, raised near Ottawa, insists he won’t report to training camp if he is not allowed to compete against Anthony Calvillo for starting status. The Als consider Calvillo their undisputed, No.1 QB.
“The CFL is all about high-profile quarterbacks, and there has to be a place somewhere for Palmer this season,” a general manager told me. “We can’t just sit back and let Palmer disappear. Cohon has to do something.”
The execs want the commish to order the Als to trade Palmer. The Als, of course, won’t appreciate such meddling.
Palmer, 28, could sit out this season and become a free agent after the Grey Cup game. He could work as an NFL analyst this season and still start at QB in 2008 for the planned new franchise in Ottawa, which would be operated by his father, Bill Palmer, a former Rough Rider.
• Former Montreal Expo stars Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, Marquis Grissom and Delino DeShields are putting together a tour of exhibition baseball games this spring and summer throughout Canada and the States.
They’re also working on starting a new league, with franchises in cities with large black populations. They’re hoping blacks will increase their interest in baseball.