I guess I'll start with Saturday's loss to the Czechs at the World Juniors. Has the old "we don't have dominant goaltending" story started to surface again? We produce all-star forwards in this country and we produce all-star defensemen, but we don't produce great goalies. It also bothers me somewhat the kid from the Czechs plays in Medicine Hat as he is developing his game at the cost of some Canadian kid, but that loophole is about to close. Jake Paterson did not look very good so lets see what Zach Fucale can do. People are jumping off the cliff after that loss, but there is still a long ways to go in the tournament. A win over the US on December 31 would be nice though. Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino said before the tournament started it would be tough for the Canadians to get on the podium because of teams like the Americans, Russians and host Swedes. He said it would be a monumental effort to get gold. He appears to be right early on.
Someone needs to explain to me how Czech defenseman Michal Plutnar gets away with only a two minute penalty for running over the linesman at the end of the 2nd period of the Canada game. Yes, Connor MacDavid was in the wrong for shooting the puck at the goalie after the buzzer, but you can't mow over the linesman (even though it was highly entertaining to see). I just wonder what would have happened had that been a Canadian player doing that.
Since when did this country become a tennis country? Milos Raonic as the male athlete of the year bothered me a little considering I thought people like Graham DeLaet and Jon Cornish were far more deserving and now some tennis player I have honestly never heard of wins the female athlete of the year award. I didn't know who Eugenie Bouchard was until I saw the story come across the wire. Did everyone seemingly forget about Humboldt's Brianne Thiessen-Eaton who finished 2nd at the World Championships in the heptathlon along with winning the NCAA heptathlon title both indoors and outdoors. If I had a vote, I don't know if Raonic or Bouchard would have even gotten on my ballot. Somewhere my "Locker Talk" co-host and avid tennis player Pete Paczko cringes.
Tim Hortons sells reusable cup sleeves for 99 cents. CMON!!! Other places can give you cardboard sleeves for free and you can't. How many of those sleeves are purchased and then accidentally thrown away. What a cash grab!
I'll be publishing the top 10 local stories in my mind before the year is over, but I started wondering about the top 10 stories overall in the world of sports this year. It certainly doesn't compare to what TSN gave us. In no particular order, I would say these are my top ten stories of the year
1. Riders win 101st Grey Cup with the Rider Nation right there to see it all
2. The tragedy of the Boston Marathon and how the Boston Red Sox helped the city heal
3. Lance Armstrong comes clean and confesses his guilt after years of not doing so
4. A half a season without NHL Hockey
5. The failure of the Toronto Blue Jays
6. Jon Cornish wins the CFL MOP becoming first Canadian to do so in years
7. The Super Bowl blackout
8. The Manti Teo story
9. The Blackhawks avoid a Game 7 in SC Final with a stunning Game 6 victory
10. The retirement of Mariano Rivera and his final appearance at the All-Star game
Feel free to add any story of national value that you think I missed.
Connor Knapp is a goaltender in the Buffalo Sabres system. He plays for Greenville in the ECHL. He snapped this photo after Saturday's game with the caption "OUCH"!
Speaking of which, how was your weekend Anderson Silva? I did not see the PPV with my gang of friendly neanderthals, but I can only imagine how that scene would have played itself out. I did see the video though. YUCK!!!!
The last weekend of the NFL season brought the drama you knew it would. How about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers? How about Kyle Orton doing his best Romo imitation at the end? How about the Dolphins blowing a golden opportunity and the Chargers just about blowing one. The playoffs are going to be very interesting. They will start Saturday with the Chargers in Cincinnati in the AFC with Indy taking on Kansas City Sunday. The winners will meet Denver and New England. In the NFC, Seattle and Carolina have first round byes with the Saints taking on Philly and San Francisco at Green Bay on Sunday. How good of a game will that be? In the end, I will say the Seahawks will be taking on the Patriots at MetLife Stadium in the Super Bowl.
Its Black Monday in the NFL as a lot of head coaches will be fired. Before New Years, I say Jim Schwartz (Detroit), Leslie Frazier (Minnesota), Rob Chudzinski (Cleveland) and Mike Shanahan (Washington) will be gone as will Joe Philbin (Miami) and Jason Garrett (Dallas). Don't be surprised to see Shanahan end up in Miami.
Why don't women understand men's fascination with bacon? Is it the same reason we don't understand womens fascination with shoes?
Have a great week!