In a way I feel sorry for the Swift Current Broncos and their fans. The Broncos knew well in advance of this season that if they made the playoffs that they wouldn't have their home rink at their disposal in the first round because of the World Womens Curling Championships. They wouldn't get a chance to play in front of the people who have supported them all year unless those people drove 2 1/2 to 3 hours to watch. Swift Current didn't get to enjoy a home ice advantage against the Brandon Wheat Kings. They also didn't get to enjoy a victory. The Wheat Kings move into the 2nd round of the WHL playoffs with a 3-2 overtime win to take the brooms to the Horsemen. They now wait to see how the rest of the first round plays out. I'm sure Brandon thought going into the playoffs that they would meet Saskatoon, but it looks like they might be taking on Moose Jaw. That is if the Warriors can complete what would be a major first round upset of the top ranked Calgary Hitmen. How major of an upset would it be. Former Leader-Post sports editor Gregg Drinnan who is now based in Kamloops has been doing some digging and found this out. This comes from his blog which can be located at www.gdrinnan.blogspot.com
The Warriors finished eighth in the Eastern Conference, 29 points in arrears of the Calgary Hitmen, who finished atop the WHL's overall standings. And the Warriors now hold a 3-1 lead on the Hitmen in a best-of-seven first-round playoff series. . . . In the spring of 1980, the Portland Winterhawks, having finished atop the West Division and first overall, with 107 points, entered into one of those goofy round-robin series with the Victoria Cougars, who had 105 points, and the Seattle Breakers, who finished with 60. Only the Cougars and Breakers survived. (My memory seems to recall at least one of the Cougars being suspended at some point in that round-robin for suggesting that if it got down to deciding another team’s fate by losing, well, the Cougars could add and subtract just fine, thank you.) . . . There was another upset that same spring in the east, when the second-place Calgary Wranglers, who had finished with 80 points, lost in seven games to the Brandon Wheat Kings (60 points). But the Wranglers were a second-place team that season. . . . In the spring of 1983, the Saskatoon Blades received a first-round bye after finishing first in the East Division with 105 points. When they finally got around to playing, the Blades lasted six games. The Lethbridge Broncos, who had finished with 26 fewer points, took them out, 4-2. . . . The Warriors will try to write some history in Calgary on Thursday night when the teams play Game 5.---A note from Jim Swanson, the sports editor of the Prince George Citizen, who points out that the Cougars of 1996-97 came up with quite a playoff upset:"The Prince George Cougars in 1996-97 finished sixth in the seven-team West, and faced Portland in the first round (and) it still might be one of the most surprising upsets in WHL history. . . ."It was a case of a 97-point team (Todd Robinson and crew, coach was Brent Peterson) against a 61-point team (and a team that badly underachieved all winter, coached by Stan Butler, GM was Dennis Polonich, with Zdeno Chara, Quinn Hancock, Chris Mason, Eric Brewer, Blair Betts as a 16-year-old, Ronald Petrovicky, Joel Kwiatkowski....) -- and the Cougars won in six games, then went on to sweep Spokane in the best-of-five 'sandwich series' before losing to Don Nachbaur, Patrick Marleau and the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Kamloops Blazers continued what has to be termed as an ugly streak on Wednesday. The Blazers lost their 19th straight playoff game---yes, their 19th straight as they were beaten 5-4 by Vancouver who complete the sweep and move into Round 2. I can't think of any other team in recent memory that has had such playoff failure. That's beyond ugly! That's almost hard to comprehend.
If you see a Habs fan today, ask him if he saw last nite's game against Buffalo and then duck! Montreal had a 2-0 lead with two minutes to go and looked to be the dominant team. Goals by Tim Connolly and Paul Gaustad in those final two minutes sent the game into overtime and then Buffalo won it in the shootout. If Montreal fails to make the playoffs and they miss by a point, look no further than last night. That's terrible!
I applaud the fact that the NFL has changed its overtime rules, but why didn't they go whole hog. Why is it so hard to understand that both teams need to touch the ball once in the overtime? Can the league not see that this is the only equitable way to decide a football game. Under the new rule, a team can still go the overtime without having the other team touch the ball and win. That isn't right! It would be like baseball saying if a team scores a run in the top of the 10th they win without the home team getting an at-bat. Its not right!
Dan Hardy says he wants to change the UFC by defeating Georges St. Pierre Saturday night at UFC 111. Dan, I hope your health insurance is paid up. GSP is going to beat you down son! It won't be pretty!
The last draw of the World Womens Curling Championship will determine first place. Scotland's Eve Muirhead and Canada's Jennifer Jones both go into the last day with an 8-1 record. They will play one another in the final round-robin draw tonight.
I just had the opportunity to watch the season premiere of South Park on Thursday. The show really gives it to Tiger Woods and his sex addiction problem. I haven't laughed that hard at a show in a long time. If you haven't seen it and you like South Park, watch it! If you have, what was your favourite part of the show? I'm thinking Tiger likely turned the show off if he was watching it.
Have a great Thursday!