Don Cherry and Ron MacLean: Toronto’s happy hockey couple
By Ron Johnson
Hockey Night in Canada is the longest-running sports show on TV (Image: CBC)
The NHL hockey season is underway, as is the 60th anniversary season of Hockey Night in Canada — the longest-running sports show on television. And that also means a return to Coach’s Corner and the blustery brilliance of Don Cherry along with his broadcast partner Ron MacLean. Post City caught up with the puck-loving pair at the CBC’s recent launch event.
Will the Leafs make the playoffs this year?
Cherry: Hey, if you don’t get injuries, and Reimer plays good, they’ll make the playoffs. But it is the same old story, if Reimer doesn’t play good and they don’t get a goaltender in there, they aren’t going nowhere.
MacLean: My vote is that they have to beat Ottawa. Jared Cowen is out, and I think there might be a bit of a letdown after last year. I’d take aim at Ottawa.
Cherry: And, I just hope they are smart enough this time to keep Colton Orr. When they send him down, everything changes with this team. Who would you rather go into the corner against? If I was a defenceman against those 18 guys, I’d go in with any of them, but I wouldn’t want to go in with Colton Orr. And he gets sent down?
But will Reimer come back?
Cherry: He was 4-0 when Giona hit him in the jaw; he was smoking. But after that, he never got back in the groove again. That happens with goalies; they lose confidence, might never bounce back.
MacLean: I like Scrivens, too. I’m a big fan of Ben Scrivens. It used to be you didn’t want two young goalies, but they’re 27 and 25.
Is the ACC too dull and quiet?
Cherry: I think the opening at the ACC is one of the best. When I have people come, always get there early to listen to announcements, watch the kids, the lights. I like ACC; it has class, the whole deal.
MacLean: You just gotta win. In 2004, when they played Philadelphia, the goal Roenick scored to break their hearts. Toronto had a great team that year. It was unreal in there. Montreal, even Calgary was super quiet, but when you get in the hunt .…
Time for another NHL team in southern Ontario?
Cherry: Absolutely, we could have three and pack them all. Hamilton would be the best of them all. I remember for the Canada Cup they were lined up out onto the highway there. Newmarket, up north would be good.
Who is your favourite player to watch in the game right now?
Cherry: I gotta say his boyfriend Brad Richards. No, uh, you know, I like to watch (Drew) Dowdy. He reminds me of Bobby Orr.
MacLean: It wouldn’t be fair to say Brad Richards, because he’s a friend .... So I’ll go with Datsyuk. Pavel Datsyuk.
Hockey Night in Canada, 7 p.m. on the CBC.