Cam Cole: Sens' fans feel slighted by Doughty's dominance over Karlsson in poll

 

 
 
 
 
Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck away from Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens during last spring's Stanley Cup playoffs. (Jana Chytilova, Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
 

Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck away from Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens during last spring's Stanley Cup playoffs. (Jana Chytilova, Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Photograph by: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo, Vancouver Sun

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Items that may grow up to be columns, Vol. XVIII, Chapter 7:

A comment made in a tongue-in-cheek column accompanying the recent Postmedia hockey poll of players and readers — that I would take Drew Doughty’s 200-foot game over Erik Karlsson’s — drew such outrage from proponents of the Ottawa defenceman, a small explanation is in order.

1. It’s an opinion column. That’s mine. Yours may differ, and you have a raft of fancy stats to back up your argument that no one in the whole world compares to Karlsson, and if that closes the discussion in your opinion … well, that’s your opinion.

2. The eyeball test is admittedly subjective, but it is not invalid, it’s just a different test. Wins and losses are important, too. Doughty against the best players in the world has been unearthly good at two straight Olympics. I love his game. Period.

3. Owing to the extreme regionalism of our sports networks, we West Coasters rarely get to see Karlsson play, just as Easterners rarely get to see Doughty, except when he’s on a long playoff run, a thing that has not yet happened to the Senators in the Karlsson years.

4. I also love Erik Karlsson’s game, by the way. Just not as much. He’s far more of a “rover” than a traditional defenceman, but so was Bobby Orr, my favourite player ever.

MEN IN BLECH: An underrated gift for a hockey beat writer is the ability to ramp up the enthusiasm every day — or at least, fake it convincingly — to continue finding stories about a lame-duck team that’s just playing out the season.

Which is, like, all seven Canadian clubs.

HISTORICALLY BAD: The teams from the land of Our Game have been so awful, it’s difficult to be very heartbroken that not a single Canadian entry is in the Stanley Cup playoffs, for the first time since 1970.

Back then, after the first expansion from six to 12 teams, only two were Canadian, and both Montreal and Toronto were eliminated because four teams from the all-expansion West had to make it to the tournament. This is a whole other deal: seven chances for one of 16 spots, and after Ottawa’s elimination Wednesday, it’s now official that all have failed.

So to all the beleaguered scribes who showed up at the rink every morning thinking just maybe this would be the day for the local NHL squad, only to have it turn out much like every other day: congratulations on keeping the nose to the wheel while many a columnist (ahem) gravitated long ago to shinier objects.

FAREWELL, PODNAHS: That daily diligence is always admirable in the good ones, and Brad Ziemer, whose official last day of work after 30 years at The Vancouver Sun was Thursday, is a very good one. He wrote a whole lot better than the Canucks played this season.

Ditto Gary Kingston, who takes with him an encyclopedic knowledge of amateur sports, amazing versatility, great reporting skills and a lovely way with words that has edified a couple of generations of Olympic and Paralympic athletes — and every other sport to which he turned his hand, which is just about all of them.

FAIR BALL: No legal claim is a slam-dunk, but it’s difficult to imagine how the U.S. women’s soccer team can lose in its filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging wage discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

From the last U.S. men’s team I watched, I recall goalie Tim Howard, striker Landon Donovan and … oh, was Donovan not on that team? Well, there was Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and … give me a hint.

From the last U.S. women’s team I saw, off the top of my head I can name Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Julie Johnston …

In short, and not saying I’m typical, but the profile of the women’s team seems significantly higher, which makes their claim — that they are being paid about one-quarter of what the men’s team members get from USSF — especially outrageous.

“The reality is that this team is more valuable to the USSF than the men’s team has been. That’s what the facts show,” said Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer representing the women.

“We are the best in the world, have three World Cup Championships, four Olympic Championships,” Solo, the veteran goalkeeper, said in a statement. “And the (men’s team gets) paid more just to show up than we get paid to win major championships.”

Granted the world of women’s soccer is a significantly smaller world, and getting to the top of it is hardly in the same level of difficulty as even making it to the men’s World Cup.

Still, if you’re talking profile, Q-rating, impact on young kids and sponsors in the U.S., who’s driving that bus? Not the men.

Incidentally, the women’s team has qualified for the Rio Olympics. The U.S. men’s program, albeit under-23, fell short.

ccole@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/rcamcole

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck away from Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens during last spring's Stanley Cup playoffs. (Jana Chytilova, Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
 

Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck away from Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens during last spring's Stanley Cup playoffs. (Jana Chytilova, Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Photograph by: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo, Vancouver Sun

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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