HOCKEY NIGHT IN AL STRACHAN’S FANTASYLANDWhat will Al make up this week?

10:00 pm - Two weeks ago Al Strachan reported that Lightning co-owner Len Barrie was designing the team’s power play. Last week on Hockey Night in Canada the longtime hockey reporter said there was discontent on Long Island. Strachan discussed an alleged shouting match between Scott Gordon and Bill Guerin and mumbled something about the team – oh no! – having to do a pair of charity events. You can watch the segment here, if you have a few minutes to waste.

 

This is what Al Strachan does. It’s what he’s been doing since the invention of the goalie mask. That is, when he’s not making Nazi references about Jewish media relations executives.

 

Here’s the tried-and-false Strachan formula:

 

  • Find a team that’s losing, preferably far away from his Toronto base so he can turtle.

 

  • Cite an “unnamed source” – usually someone with about seven degrees of separation from the team, if not the voices inside Al’s head.

 

  • Lather, lather, lather, report.

 

If it means throwing mud and doubt on someone like Gordon during the first dozen games of his NHL career, so be it.

 

I asked Guerin this afternoon about Strachan’s report of disharmony. The captain said there was one instance in practice two weeks ago when there was some confusion during a drill. From one end of the rink to the other, some loud, but neither insubordinate or profane words were exchanged. (I was there and can confirm Guerin’s account. It was fairly standard fare).

 

Otherwise, Guerin says the Islanders are a team that at times has been frustrated by the losses, but committed to finding solutions together. “The record is nowhere near where we want it to be, but we are a close team with a lot of respect for our coach,” said the captain.

 

He also had a message for Al Strachan. “Tell Al he should check his sources,” Guerin said. “I’m available to anyone who wants to get a story right. If Al doesn’t have my number, I’d like to think he has plenty of contacts who know how to find me.”