If the Montreal Canadiens are seething over the Max Pacioretty hit by Zdeno Chara earlier this month, they sure aren't showing it. Thursday night was a statement game for the Habs. It was their first game against Boston since the controversial hit. Would they take a run at Chara? Would they be pumped up for this game---one that could conceivably see them overtake Boston to finish first in the Northeast. The answer was no. In fact, the Habs were meeker than a new-born kitten as they were pummelled 7-0. Tim Thomas proved that all talk of the Vezina Trophy starts and ends with him and that any talk of Carey Price winning the award is ludicrous as Price was yanked for Alex Auld for the 2nd time in a week. This is not the type of game the Habs had to play if they were going to take a measure of revenge for the Pacioretty hit. They had to show Boston they meant business. Instead, they showed Boston they are a pushover.
Oh yes, Habs fans, I am well aware that the Oilers sucked just as bad with a pathetic loss to St. Louis in which they mustered less than 20 shots, but I did not expect Edmonton to be a playoff team this year and the Blues had done nothing to get under our skin the way Boston had to Montreal.
The WHL playoffs begin Friday with seven of the eight series getting underway. If you heard the Sportscage on Thursday, you heard the predictions of myself, Rod and Pats assistant coach Shaun Sutter who did a helluva job in breaking the matchups down. My final four combatants would see Moose Jaw playing Saskatoon in the East--although I was politely informed via e-mail after the show that those teams would meet in Round 2 if my first round predictions were correct as I have Saskatoon, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw winning in Round 1. Out west, I see the final series pitting Portland against Spokane with Prince George and Tri-Cities winning first round matchups. For some strange reason, I see the Cougars upsetting Kelowna.
The SJHL final could be known on Friday. La Ronge leads Melfort 3-1 with Game 5 in La Ronge. If the Ice Wolves should win, it sets up a rematch of last year's final that no one expected. I can't see many being surprised if it ends up that way this year seeing both teams won their respective divisions. The Mustangs have a team that can force the series back to Melfort for a Game 6, but I don't know if the Mustangs or any team in general can beat La Ronge three straight right now.
It will be breakfast with Amber Holland on Friday. Her game against Switzerland will be on TSN starting at 7 AM Regina time. Lets hope we get to watch Amber curl all weekend long. Amber got to the tiebreaker by beating Germany's Andrea Schopp in the final game of the round-robin. Was it just me or does Schopp look like Scott Schultz with hair. Both of them are German so you never know.
Butler was the Cinderella story of last year's NCAA mens basketball tournament getting all the way to the final before losing. They may very well get to the final four again. The Bulldogs knocked off Wisconsin to get to the regional final. If they win, they won't play Duke this time as they were beaten by Arizona. You can't help but cheer for these guys now.
LP sports reporter Craig Slater is in Arizona doing a lot of baseball stories. He spoke to Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster earlier this week in a story that made me jealous seeing I am a Cubs fan. He has a great story in todays LP with former Yankees first baseman and current Dodgers coach Don Mattingly. Don's brother Randy played with the Riders and that was Craig's line of questioning towards Mattingly. Don knew about Regina, the Riders and Ron Lancaster informing those around him that Lancaster is a legend. It would behoove the Regina Red Sox to find out how much it would cost to get Mattingly to Regina for their sports dinner in 2012. I'm guessing he would be more than happy to come if his schedule would allow it.
Speaking of baseball, opening day is one week away. Look outside!!! Yes, its baseball weather! YEESH!!!
Its now less than a week until Tiger Woods 12 "The Masters" comes out on the PS3. Once the SJHL season is over, I may be barricading myself down in the basement for a while.
Harry Houdini was born on this day, 137 years ago. When using handcuffs or other restraints tonight, please do so in his honor.