A few grains of salt are required, but a compliment is a compliment, even when it comes from a possible crazy person.
In his Coach's Corner segment during the first intermission of the Islanders loss to the Canadiens tonight, venerable hockey "analyst" Don Cherry stumped about hits and the teams that make them. Cherry, of course, is older than old school and feels hitting correlates to wins and that players must, whenever possible, lay out opponents for "juicy hits" at all times. No, I'm not making that up.
Anyway, at around the three minute mark, Cherry talks about two of the NHL's leaders in hits, who happen to play on the same line. He heaps some serious hyperbole on the Islanders' fourth line of Matt Martin, Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas and gives kudos to the general manager who put them together. The video is embedded above.
For the video-impared (or those that don't want a headache), here's a phonetic transcript of Cherry's conversation with co-host Ron MacLean:
MacLean: Garth Snow you love and why don't you just give him credit as you admire the line-up of the...
Cherry: COACH CAPALANO, TOO. THIS HERE IS THE FOURTH LINE WITH THEIR TEAM - THE TOUGHEST LINE IN HOCKEY. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT CLUTTERBUCK, MARTIN AND SIZITAS. THIS HERE LINE, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, MARTIN AND CLUTTERBUCK HAVE LEAD THE LEAGUE FOR SEVEN YEARS - OFF AND ON, EITHER ONE - FOR HITS IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT. THIS IS MAY BE THE BEST FOURTH LINE EVER IN HOCKEY AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED. BOTH GUYS... AND YA GOTTA GIVE GARTH SNOW CREDIT. BECAUSE GARTH SNOW IS THE GUY THAT TOOK ALL THE ABUSE WHEN HE MADE BAD TRADES AND EVERYTHING. THIS IS THE GUY WHO PUT THE TEAM TOGETHER. GOOD FOR HIM AND... AT LEAST HE'S GETTING A LITTLE...
MacLean: Yeah, it's fantastic.
So, there you go. "Best fourth line ever in hockey," according to a guy wearing a suit with goal lights on it. Can't get any more convincing than that.
Huge congrats to coach Capalano and Casey Sizitas* as well, whoever they are.
Edit: * - or Cididas or Tizidas or whatever.