LCS: Guide to Hockey
by Howard Fienberg, Correspondent
A new report out of Ottawa recommends that Quebec should have its own hockey team to compete on the international stage. Wales and Scotland have teams distinct from the United Kingdom at the World Cup of soccer. Why shouldn't Quebec have one for the World Cup of Hockey? Because it would lose miserably, same as Scotland and Wales always do.
Perhaps they were thinking of some by-gone era? Face facts. After you fill the goal, unless Mario Lemieux returned to the ice, Quebec faces a serious drop off in world class talent. Let us look at how we might fill out our prospective Team Quebec if the World Cup were in the immediate future.
At forward, who would be the number one center? Pierre Turgeon. Sad, I know. He's not been quite so dynamite since he was gooned by Dale Hunter in '93. Still, he is a great set-up guy, and legitimate talent. So far, everything's rosy, and this poutin has the making of some good french fries.
Also gunning up front would be Vincent Damphouse, Luc Robitaille, Joe Juneau, and Claude Lemiuex. Uh oh, trouble: Lucky Luc, Vinny, and Pepe le Peu are all on the slide. So let's add a little cheese--some youth: Alexander Daigle (underachieving), Pascal Rheume, Rene Corbet (no scoring possibilites) and Vincent Lecavalier (unproven). For good measure, add some gravy, in Claude Lapointe and Marc Bureau to kill penalties, and Gino Odjick to drop the gloves.
Mmm, tasty. Sticks in your throat like a crushed-glass sundae.
In goal, we find Quebec's real strength. Roy and Brodeur can fight it out in net, with Felix Potvin waiting in the wings. With the QJMHL production line of butterfly goalies, there should be no shortage of superstar Quebecois in this position any time soon.
To the blue line. JJ Doughnut and Eric Desjardins are the top two, and that ain't bad. Especially with a cup of coffee amd some chocolate sprinkles. But after that, its so long Tim Hortons and hello Joe's Truck Stop. Cote and Lefebvre are OK, Galley and Duchesne can still kick in the red light once in a while, and Bergevin, Brisebois, and Dykhuis can take the ice to play shinny with any old neighborhood kids who happen by.
Good old Karl Dykhuis. He used to beat up my friend Valerie, his neighbor in Septs-Iles, on a regular basis when they were young. Then he kindly brought his buddy Big E back years later to knock out her brother's teeth in a bar fight. On the upside, he is physical, and is the best on the Tampa Bay blueline. On the downside, my grandmother could lead the Tampa defenseman. Well, at least at knitting and nagging.
If this synopsis causes Quebecois to fear that they are losing their grip on the sport, fine. But remember, in a pinch, they can always declare folks like Leclair and Brindamour must play for Quebec, since they have French names. So get out there and win one for Charest. I mean Bouchard.