April 24, 2004

Boston Globe writer Kevin Paul Dupont said Joe Thornton should relinquish the "C" just before game seven against the Habs. Kind of a dick move, right? Here's the thing, though: he explained his reasons on a public messageboard a few days ago. I was pissed about his column when it was published, but he makes some sense here.

Kudos to the dude for addressing the issues people had with his article. I love that a writer realizes that talking straight to internet nerds is important.

posted by Samsonov14 to hockey at 02:56 AM - 9 comments

on one hand it seems as though it was a bit of whining that thornton didn't talk to the media. but on the other hand - before the most important game of the season the captain (being asked by two team reps) MUST say something to the media even if he's just gonna spout cliches. By ducking out it made him look scared and if you are the face of the team then that just won't cut it ahead of a vital playoff game against your rival. I agree with the guy up to the point about Joe giving up the C. Not knowing enough about the Bruins mind you, but maybe this is an opportunity for Joe to live and learn.

posted by gspm at 03:49 AM on April 24

I don't follow the Bruins moment by moment, but after reading the article and the explanation, it does sound like curious timing to write something that would agitate Bruins Nation like that. Thornton may not be a natural leader, and maybe he shouldn't be Captain, but as a beat writer, questioning the leadership of a team in their main promotional organ on the most crucial day of the season is just as dangerous. KPD may not be on the Bruins payroll, but what he says affects the team directly as well as their followers. It can't have helped dressing-room morale to open a sore on the morning of Game Seven. That said, his points sound justified, and he gets full marks for at least addressing his critics and trying to be a stand-up guy.

posted by chicobangs at 07:28 AM on April 24

I was pissed at KPD for the article that morning (especially since he's one of the few respectable writers working for the Globe or Herald), but after Game 7 I'm left wondering if he's right. The Broonz have lost two first round series to the Habs in 3 years and both times they came up short in the heart department. Two guys looked like they cared in games 1-7, Travis Green and Martin LaPointe. Everyone else just seemed happy to be there (the final open net goal where Nylander simply handed the puck over was the icing on the cake).

posted by yerfatma at 03:31 PM on April 24

Ok, Patrice Bergeron too, but he's a rookie and doesn't know any better.

posted by yerfatma at 03:31 PM on April 24

The writer has a point: a big part of the captain's job is speaking to the media. Apparently Chris Pronger takes it step further: he makes the reluctant St. Louis players speak to the media.

posted by Philfromhavelock at 09:51 PM on April 24

No problem. You're right - let Thornton go. He can't be captain. Tell ya what. I'll take him. For the Leafs. I can't believe that anyone who watched that series would think that the Bruins loss was Thornton's fault. If anything he shouldn't have been playing - but this team has a lot of prentenders on it, specifically on the blue line. Montreal looked like it was trying to get eliminated. I don't think that you can call a guy your franchise, make him your captain and when things go wrong just take it all away say - sorry, lets just get this other guy to be the leader. You think you can work a Lecavalier on Joe fucking Thornton? He's not just an All-Star- he's an All-World. Stick with Thornton. Forgive him. Let him try again. You won't be sorry.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:42 PM on April 25

This story (about arguably the best captain in the business) underscores the importance of the captaincy and the captain's role in the playoffs.

posted by holden at 10:28 AM on April 26

How does a team take the 'C' from a supposed franchise player? Answer: The team does not take the 'C'. The only way Thornton won't be captain is if he gives up the 'C' himself. And if he did that, I'd want him to be captain, or atleast an alternate.

posted by garfield at 11:35 AM on April 26

Interesting reponse from another New England hockey writer. Especially the part about KPD's contentious relationship with the team he covers.

posted by yerfatma at 11:39 AM on April 26

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