Cherry makes U.S. TV debut Print
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Monday, 04 June 2007 19:49
NHL Headline News

 For The Associated Press
OTTAWA (AP) -Hockey viewers in the United States got a Cherry-flavored taste of Canada.
Former NHL coach Don Cherry brought his hockey schtick and sartorial splendor to what was likely a narrow U.S. audience taking in Monday night's broadcast of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on NBC.
Cherry, who coached Boston to consecutive Stanley Cup finals appearances in 1977 and '78, appeared with Brett Hull and Bill Clement during the intermission following the second period.
Renowned for his eye-popping choices in suits, shirts and ties, Cherry chose conservative - by his standards - and stylish attire for his introduction to an American audience.
Wearing a cream-colored suit with navy pinstripes and a red rose on his lapel, a white shirt with French cuffs and his trademark high collar, and a navy tie with white polka dots, the 73-year-old Cherry lamented the decrease in fighting in the NHL.
Cherry has been a fixture on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Hockey Night in Canada since he left coaching after a brief stint with the unlamented Colorado Rockies, an experience that provided fodder for his broadcasting career, notably anecdotes about hapless Swedish goalie Hardy Astrom.
Outspoken and controversial, he is a champion of all things Canadian in hockey. Cherry has also been accused of xenophobia for his criticism of European and French-speaking players.
Hull, who appeared on Cherry's Coach's Corner segment broadcast during Game 3, likened appearing with Cherry to going on Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell.
``It's a highlight for me to be able to go on with him,'' Hull said. ``Remember how Cosell was, not everyone agreed with him and not everyone liked him but everyone stopped and listened when he spoke. I think people underestimate his impact and influence on the game. If we could ever get someone like him, that type of attitude down in the States on our coverage, that would make a huge difference.''
The American ratings need a boost.
Ottawa's 5-3 victory over Anaheim on Saturday night received a 1.5 overnight rating and a 3 share on NBC, the network said Monday. That was down 12 percent from the 1.7/3 for Edmonton's 2-1 win over Carolina in Game 3 last year.
ISN'T IT IRONIC?: Grammy Award-winning and Ottawa-born recording star Alanis Morissette saw her record at Senators games fall to 1-1. Morisette sang both national anthems Monday night, reprising her performance some 15 years ago. Before international stardom beckoned, Morissette sang the anthem for the Senators' first home game, a 5-3 win over Montreal, when the expansion franchise brought the NHL back to Ottawa in 1992.
Not all fans were happy with Alanis' addition.
In a letter published in the Ottawa Sun on Sunday, Mark Naftel criticized the decision to replace fan-favorite Ontario Provincial Police constable Lyndon Slewidge.
Slewidge, who finishes his anthem with a wink and a thumbs-up sign, has been the Senators' regular since 1992. He landed the job after he was transferred to Ottawa from Sault Ste. Marie, where he sang the anthem for the local Ontario Junior Hockey team.
ICE CHIPS: With their 12th one-goal victory in the playoffs, the Ducks tied an NHL record they already shared. Montreal won 12 one-goal games to win the Stanley Cup in 1993, while Anaheim won that many in losing to New Jersey in the Cup finals in 2003. ... The Senators have history against them. Only one of the 28 teams that have fallen behind 3-1 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup final have ever come back to win the championship, Toronto in 1942. The Maple Leafs overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat Detroit with four straight wins. Including this season, only 20 of the 219 teams that have trailed 3-1 in a best-of-seven in any round of the playoffs have won the last three games to take the series.

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