On Saturday night, Don Cherry called out both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers regarding their lack of toughness.
"Let me tell you something about Calgary," the Hockey Night in Canada analyst began. "They are last in the league in hits [at home]. Now if you can't score and you're not winning games, at least you can hit. … That tells me they're not trying, they're not going out on their shield or anything, they're playing it easy."
Cherry also criticized the Oilers, who are last in the NHL with 12 fights, according to hockeyfights.com.
"When you go into Edmonton, you don’t worry about a thing," he said. "You’re not upset, you can have fun, you can do anything."
Cherry referenced a Canadian rival as an example of what having a few heavyweights can do for a squad.
"The Leafs have basically the same team as they had last year, only they’re playing their tough guys. You go into ACC now, it’s your life. You go into Edmonton’s place, you don’t have to worry."
Anderson could be MVP
On Coach’s Corner, Grapes also gave praise to Senators netminder Craig Anderson following his return from an ankle injury.
Cherry declared, "If he hadn’t missed [19 games], he would have been MVP."
Anderson stopped 33 shots en route to a 2-0 shutout against the New Jersey Devils on Friday, his first win since coming back from the injury.
In 18 games this season, the 31-year-old is 9-6-2, and has a .949 save percentage and 1.53 goals against average – both best in the NHL.
Despite missing about half of the season thus far, Cherry thinks he’s been instrumental in the Senators’ success this year.
"He’s personally put them in the playoffs," he said. "I think he could be MVP."
Cherry also highlighted how well Canadians are faring in the league this season.
He noted that Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Chris Kunintz lead the league in points, while the top four-of-five goal scorers and top nine players in plus/minus are also from this country.
He almost mentioned that several lead the league in other categories, including blocked shots (Andrew MacDonald), faceoff percentage (Patrice Bergeron), fights (B.J. Crombeen) and hits (Matt Martin).
"Don’t ever forget kids, it’s our game. We’re the best."