Tiger Woods: 'I don't think anyone watches hockey'

  • Article by: ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Updated: June 3, 2008 - 1:20 PM
DETROIT —  Don't count Tiger Woods among those glued to their TVs during the Stanley Cup finals.'

The world's top golfer appeared via teleconference on Monday, promoting August's PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in suburban Detroit.

Woods was asked if he was rooting for Detroit or Pittsburgh.

Woods started to laugh, then landed a zinger.

"I don't really care. Let's talk about the Dodgers," the California native said. "I don't think anybody really watches hockey any more."
Ouch.

"The National Hockey League has enormous respect for Tiger Woods, for all his accomplishments and for his work with the community," NHL spokesman Frank Brown said. "We think he's a great golfer."

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Sergei Gonchar badly wanted to help his teammates.

But the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman couldn't do much after flying headfirst into the end boards while chasing an odd-man Red Wings break in the second period. The veteran was helped up by trainers and taken to the locker room.

He tried to make a go of it in the third period, but didn't feel right and wasn't able to participate in either of the first two overtimes.

But with Pittsburgh presented with a 4-minute power play midway through the third overtime, coach Michel Therrien put Gonchar in, and he assisted on Petr Sykora's goal 9:57 into the third overtime that gave the Penguins a 4-3 victory in Game 5 and kept the series alive.

"Obviously, the game was still on. I want to help the guys," Gonchar said. "Start feeling better at the end of the second overtime. ... I knew we were going to come back. We had the power play, and we scored."

As for whether he intends to join his teammates on the ice for Game 6 in Pittsburgh, Gonchar's response: "Yes, I think so."

Another Penguins player, left wing Ryan Malone, also headed to the locker room prematurely in the second period. He was struck in the face by Hal Gill's slap shot.

Malone rushed off the ice with blood dripping into a towel, having broken his nose for a fourth time.

He was back out there in the third period and beyond.

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Red Wings legend Gordie Howe has been a presence during the Stanley Cup finals — and all season long — showing up at games and even practices.

"If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't be here all the time," he said. "I really enjoy watching practice."

Away from the rink, the 80-year-old Hall of Famer spends much of his time caring for his wife Colleen, who suffers from Pick's disease, a degenerative brain disorder that causes dementia.

Howe, when asked how his wife is progressing, said the situation was "not very good."

"It's sad. She hasn't said a word the last couple years, and she's getting thinner," he said. "She's tough, but it's been a tough stretch.
"The doctor has said, 'I don't want to scare you, but there's no cure for it,'" Howe said.

———
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's 55 saves were the most in a Cup final game since Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals made 55 stops against the Red Wings in 1998. ... Monday night's game was the fifth-longest in Cup finals history. ... Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney logged the most ice time in Game 5 with 50:46. ... Sykora scored the fourth OT power-play goal in Cup finals history and the first in 28 years. ... Kid Rock was among the thousands of crazed Wings fans at Game 5. When shown on a video scoreboard above center ice, the Detroit rocker flashed a two-fingered rock n' roll salute, and the crowd roared its approval.
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