Thursday, January 28, 2010

Danton Does Hali

So I guess I finally started a hockey blog. Neat-o.

Mike Danton skated for the Saint Mary's Huskies tonight for the first time, scoring the only goal in a 4-1 loss to Acadia. There's been much debate about the move to SMU, fresh off a 5 1/2 year prison sentence. As far as I'm concerned, the guy deserves a second chance, as mostly everyone does. He had a rough upbringing, made some bad mistakes, admitted to it, served his time, and now he's showing that he's ready to move on with his life. Good for him.

The issues surrounding his arrival in Halifax have been debated to death so I won't get too far into it; I'll stick with the game notes. I arrived at the Halifax Forum about 10 minutes past the start time, to find the lineup stretching all the way from the door, around the corner, and down the length of the arena. Pretty clear that Danton was a big draw, for tonight at least. It took about 15-20 minutes to even get into the building, and by that time the first period was drawing to a close. Danton was the best player on the ice all night. His speed, for a guy who was off the ice for nearly 6 years, was surprising. You'd think there would be a bit of rust, and maybe in an NHL environment it would be more evident, but he was in a league of his own in the speed department.

His hands were a different story. He finished off a cross-crease pass midway through the third to bring the Huskies within two, but there were a lot of chances that he couldn't capitalize on. One thing that was evident, though, was that he hasn't lost his hustle. He outworked the opposition all night and competed hard, making his own luck since there certainly wasn't much support from his teammates on this night. Check out the audio from the post-game scrum.

It'll be interesting to see what the turnouts are like for SMU's two remaining home games. It should tell the tale of whether Halifax was starved for a look at a talented hockey player, or if people just came out to see the criminal kill someone on the ice. I hope it's the former, because this guy is entertaining to watch.

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