Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Oilers Continue To Annoy Me

Needless to say I’m a little pissed off at the play of the Edmonton Oilers this morning. No let me correct myself. I’m a lot pissed off!!!
In yet another big game for this club when it comes to making the playoffs, they go out and soil the linen. By the time they decided they wanted to play it was too late and even when they do have some momentum, coach Craig McTavish decides to try for the old illegal stick trick which backfires resulting in the team being shorthanded resulting in the empty-netter to maybe hammer the playoff coffin shut as Edmonton loses 5-3 to the Ducks.
Who’s kidding who…there are guys on this team that just don’t have what it takes. Robert Nilsson---can I just put a drink on you because you are nothing but a coaster!!!! Dustin Penner—are you playing for a cheque or what. You are a big physical winger and you play like someone who doesn’t want to get their nose dirty. Denis Grebeshkov…is Grebeshkov Russian for brutal. These guys are like the Pats. They have talent in Hemsky, Horcoff, Cogliano, Gagner and Souray yet they can’t put it together. Like I said in an earlier posting, I like Craig MacTavish but his message is no longer getting through. It is time for a change. Someone call dial-a-maid because I know of a house that needs cleaning!!
Yes Edmonton is not mathematically eliminated but they will have to beat San Jose, Vancouver and Calgary to have a sniff. Methinks its another year of watching the playoffs without my team in it.
Meanwhile the Canucks now own the Northwest Division lead. They beat Minnesota in overtime so they sit a point ahead of Calgary.
There is no joy in Swift Current this morning. The Broncos season is over as they fall 4-1 to Medicine Hat in Game 7 of their first round series. Sean Ringrose’s goal in the last minute of the first proved to be the winner. The Tigers will play Calgary if Saskatoon should win Game 7 of their series against Lethbridge tonight. If the Canes win, they get Calgary and Medicine Hat will play Brandon.
Humboldt evens the SJHL final. They beat Melville 3-1. Game 3 is Friday back in Humboldt.
Many of us have been to the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto. A lot of us have had our pictures taken with hockey’s holy grail while spending a few hours in the shrine. I’m guessing that in a couple of years you will be able to go and see an exhibit featuring Hayley Wickenheiser. Starting in 2010, the Hall will consider male and female candidates separately. The new bylaw will allow a maximum of four men and two women to be inducted each year. Currently there is a maximum of four player inductees and women are judged and considered against men. Now that women can be inducted separately, you have to think the pride of Shaunavon will be the first woman to go in---unless of course she is still playing and something seems to tell me Vancouver will be her swan song.
The Detroit Tigers released Gary Sheffield on Tuesday. He sits at 499 homeruns and has hit four homers during spring training. Might the Jays be interested in Sheffield as a DH. I doubt it but Sheff can still hit. He may have the most ferocious swing of any major leaguer I’ve ever seen.
There’s a new tell-all baseball book out there but this one doesn’t involve steroids. However it does involve some injections. The writer of this book…..Alyssa Milano. The former “Who’s the Boss” and “Charmed” star who also showed off the goods in “Embrace of the Vampire” likes showing off her goods to pro hockey and baseball players. She talks about her love of baseball and her love to pitchers like Barry Zito and Brad Penny. She even tells us Penny made her wear his jersey to bed after seducing her. (Insert joke here!!)I’ll probably pass on this book. I’m sure the movie will be on SEX TV late one night…Alyssa can probably be herself in that movie.
One last thing. Ruffles makes barbecue chips because I had a couple of bags when in Montreal at Grey Cup but they aren’t sold in Saskatchewan. Why is that??? If someone can also please tell me what has happened to Cherry Powerade or if there is some place in Regina where I can buy it, please let me know. Thank you!!

Jay Cutler Will Soon Be Someone Else's Problem

The Denver Broncos are cutting the string. The NFL team announcing Tuesday night they will attempt to trade the quarterback because he no longer has the desire to play for the football team. I am not a Broncos fan. When it comes to Denver I am rather neutral but really I think you have to say good riddance to this headcase that isn't as good as he thinks he is. Cutler has had a soother in his mouth ever since finding out new coach Josh MacDaniels was thinking of trading him in an attempt to get Matt Cassel.
Of course, MacDaniels might not have been needed in Denver had the team decided to keep Mike Shanahan. They may have decided to keep Shanahan around had the team made the playoffs. They would have made the playoffs if they didn't piss away an 8-5 record by losing their last three games. Who was the quarterback of the Broncos in those last three games. Oh right, it was Jay Cutler.
Maybe if Cutler would have taken his head out of his ass in those games against Buffalo, Carolina and San Diego they would have made the playoffs. How bout that goal line pick against the Bills Jay. This guy had the gall to compare himself to John Elway--a guy that actually accomplished something wearing Bronco colours. He wasn't a quarterback that was under 500 like you. I hope Denver trades him to Detroit and he rots in what is football's equivalent of hell. If he thinks it was bad in Denver, head to Motown. Word is several teams are interested and I can see him ending up with the Jets or Buccaneers. Whoever gets him should get a case of Advil as well because this guy has proven he's nothing but a headache.

Who Is Dishing Out The Stupid Pills In The NFL Office??

What is going on in the head offices of the NFL. Its bad enough that they are softening up the game by basically not allowing defensive players to hit the quarterback anymore as hits above the neck and below the waist will now result in penalty. Now this! The league--as you know--wants to expand the schedule to 17 or 18 games. This would mean the Super Bowl would go in mid to late February meaning the conference championship games would go in late January-early February. It has prompted some to suggest those games be played in a neutral site. ????!!!!! How on earth can this even be considered?? You support a team all year long and go to their games and when it gets time for the biggest game of the year that you will see at home there is a chance it could be yanked away and unless you shell out the $$$$ you won't see it live.
How would you feel as a Rider fan if the CFL all of a sudden said the Western final wouldn't be played in Regina but in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal because it would be climate controlled. You would be outraged and you would have every right to be. A team earns the right to host playoff games and those games should not be moved. End of story! The Super Bowl still needs to be played in late January-early February and if that means the season has to start earlier to get that in than so be it. Quit screwing around with something that works. Doing that will just make you look bad and it will come back to bite you in the ass.
One other note. The brand new Co-Operators Centre at Evraz Place has its first major event. Hockey Canada announcing today the 2010 Esso Cup--the national female midget hockey championship--will be played in Regina. Five teams will take part including the host Regina Rebels.

CFL Fines Riders Regarding SMS

The CFL says only one team exceeded the 4.2 million dollar salary cap in 2009 and to no one's surprise that team is your Saskatchewan Roughriders. In a release from the CFL, commissioner Marc Cohon says seven of the eight teams adhered to the cap but the Riders were $87, 147 dollars over meaning they have been fined that amount by the league.
With all the injuries the 2008 Riders had to endure, the fact they are over does not surprise me. The fact they are only over by 87-thousand says something for the job Eric Tillman did in managing this cap to the best of his ability. The 2008 Riders as we all know were stretched very thin because of the injuries. Its never great to be handed an 87-thousand dollar fine but when you consider what this could have been, I think Rider fans will take it. I know I will.

Monday, March 30, 2009

One More Time

C'mon guys. Remember the 80's. You were off to Delbert's or Checkers (I can't walk into the South Shoppers without thinking about what used to be on that site)or the California Club and sooner or later it would come on. A little Kenny Shields and Streetheart would start rockin the place.

"I heard a little rumour that was going round town.
He was your boyfriend I was your clown
I was waiting in the wings, I knew you didn't care
And when he told you so, I was standing right there.
Is your heart still cold now that he's not there
Have you had a change of mind
You can call it love, honey I don't care
Get it up one more time!!!!!!!!

OK now that you've either stopped reading or your memory banks have taken you back to days and nights that you wish you could relive, you know what I'm talking about. If you are a Western Hockey League fan in either Swift Current or Saskatoon you will get it "one more time"
as some Game 7's are upon us.
Tonight. the Broncos and Tigers will meet in Game 7 of what has been a thoroughly entertaining first round matchup. Wednesday night, the Blades will be back at Credit Union Centre to go at it against Lethbridge one more time. Saskatoon had to go into Lethbridge and win to force a one game winner take all showdown and that is what they do as they knock off the Hurricanes 5-2. I've always said in a Game 7 that I will take the home teams so if that's the case, Swift Current and Saskatoon will move on. They should be two great games. Of course we will see Game 7 from Saskatoon Wednesday thanks to the fine folks at Shaw and Access(sorry Sasktel Max subscribers) and I may just have to tune in to the WHL site to watch the happenings at the Credit Union I-Plex tonight.
When Sean Avery went back to the Rangers, Marty Brodeur knew he would have to face the pest at least "one more time" and that time came last night as the Blueshirts and Devils skated around Madison Square Garden with the Rangers winning it 3-0. Avery had an assist in the game and while he didn't get under the skin of Brodeur the way he did in last year's playoffs, he did get under New Jersey's skin. Like him or not you have to admit when he is agitating the opposition the way he does the Rangers are a better team. His style didn't work in Dallas but its working in New York and you know he will be at his pesky best come playoff time.
I can't forget the SJHL final although one couldn't blame me. After starting the series Friday in Humboldt, Game 2 doesn't go until tonight with the Broncos needing a win in Melville to even things up. Why such a long wait between games????
Big surprise here. Tiger Woods' victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday produced the highest rating for a golf tournament since--------you guessed it last year's US Open. Whenever Tiger plays and is on the leaderboard, people tune in to see what magic he will perform. Its as simple as that. Last year when the US Open was on, I was in Toronto to watch the Cubs and the Jays. With the tournament being on the West coast it meant TV coverage of the event went into the early evening hours in the T dot O dot and I got caught up in it and so was everyone else at Jack Astors when I went in there. You can't deny the man's popularity and what he does for golf. If he plays, people watch. If he doesn't, people could care less. I'm guessing it wouldn't be that way for events like the Masters and other majors but more get drawn in if he is in the running. That is why Tiger is bigger than the PGA. The association doesn't dare tell Tiger what tournaments to play in because they can't. Tiger does what Tiger wants to do and the association will just have to continue living with that.
A good friend of mine had a great question yesterday concerning the Regina Pats. Everyone was quick to draw the swords out and criticize Brent Parker this season for one that went awry. Did these same people praise Parker last year when he helped form a team that won the Eastern Division pennant. Of course the answer is no. Yes the team went out in the first round to Swift Current but when the gap is just five points between the two teams was the "upset" that monumental. It was for a lot of people. Then again, Regina sports fans as passionate as they are have never been known to be a patient lot.
TSN's "Off the Record" is not a show that I feel I have to watch every day unlike "Around the Horn" and "Pardon The Interruption" but I will watch today. The reason...Regina mayor Pat Fiacco will be one of Michael Landsberg's guests. As much as many of us would like to see Fiacco deliver a one two combo to the pompous solar plexus of the host we know it won't happen but it will be interesting to see what Pat has to say. Here's hoping his appearance is better than Rod Pedersen's. He was ambushed right off the start and it didn't get any better from there. Watching that reminded me of watching wrestling and seeing the good guy get attacked before he gets in the ring.

Where Did They Go??

As it stands right now, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will only have one selection at the CFL draft when it goes next month. What happened to all the other picks? Where did they end up going and who did we get in return? The Leader Post's Murray McCormick(who despite being a Steelers fan is a good guy) has the answer....

First round6th overall to B.C.: April 30, 2008 — B.C. received Saskatchewan’s first-round pick in 2009 (along with 20th overall selection in 2008) in exchange for B.C.’s 14th overall selection and B.C.’s 30th overall selection in 2008. (Saskatchewan selected DL Mike Stadnyk with the 14th overall draft pick and OL Jean-Francois Morin-Roberge with the 30th.)
Second round14th overall to Montreal: Feb. 23, 2009 — Montreal received Saskatchewan’s second-round picks in 2009 and 2010 drafts for DB Donovan Alexander.
Third round22nd overall. Saskatchewan
Fourth round30th overall to Calgary: July 23, 2007 — Calgary received C Rob Lazeo and Saskatchewan’s fourth-round pick in exchange for RB Wes Cates.
Fifth round38th overall to Winnipeg: June 13, 2007 — Winnipeg received Saskatchewan’s fifth-round pick for OT Jermese Jones.
Sixth round46th overall to Hamilton: March 7, 2007 — P Jamie Boreham for DL Al Washington with future considerations. (If either player was named to the 42-man roster in 2007, a sixth-round pick goes to the other team in 2009. Boreham was on the Riders’ roster and Washington wasn’t on Hamilton’s thus the Tiger-Cats received the Riders’ sixth-round pick).

There ya go!!

What Sport Can You Just Not Watch??

So in my previous post I said that try and try as I might I just can't watch NASCAR. It doesn't excite me. Watching them go round and round and round bores me. That's me! I know there are many out there who eat and breathe NASCAR the way I do football, hockey and baseball. There are some out there that would rather have bamboo shoots put under their fingernails than have to watch baseball. I understand that. The question I have is what sport can't you stand watching. NASCAR, Poker(Ok its a not a sport but its on the sports networks), X-games are all things that top my list. I don't know why but I can't watch club soccer but you give me international soccer like a World Cup or a European championship and I will watch. (???) Comment away if you wish!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Guess Who Is Back In The Winners Circle??!!

There are three things in life you can be sure of. Death, taxes and Tiger Woods draining a long distance putt to win a golf tournament. The PGA Tour muckety-mucks have to be smiling after Tiger roared back to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tiger went into the final round trailing Sean O'Hair by five shots but there he was standing over a 17 foot birdie putt---one that would win the championship. If you were watching, you knew he would make it. You just knew he would just like has so many other times. This means Tiger is officially back and one would have to think in a couple of weeks he will be wearing another green jacket after winning another title at "The Masters". If there is any athlete out there today who is more clutch than Tiger, I'd like to know who it is.
Medicine Hat and Swift Current will go 7. The Tigers forcing a one game winner take all showdown in Swift Current as they win Game 6 3-0. Ryan Holfeld stopped 22 shots to get the win while Brennan Bosch and Tyler Ennis each had two points. Of course tonight, the Blades need a win in Lethbridge or else the Hurricanes move into the 2nd round and what was a great season by Lorne Molleken's men goes up in smoke.
The Canucks are keeping the heat on the Flames. Roberto Luongo gets the shutout as Vancouver beats Chicago 4-0. The Canucks are once again one point back of Calgary for first in the Northwest and 3rd overall in the West. They are also tied with Chicago for 4th place in the West. Meanwhile, the Oilers came out with the intensity of an afternoon nap against Minnesota and lost 3-2 meaning they have gone from 8th to 10th just like that. I really don't know if the Oilers are going to make the playoffs. Will it really matter in the long run?? I'm guessing if they don't that will be it for Craig MacTavish. Even though I am a MacT fan, a change may be needed behind the bench and if not making the playoffs means that change happens than so be it.
It will be North Carolina, Connecticut, Villanova and Michigan State in the final four at the NC double A mens basketball tournament. I had Connecticut and that was it. My brackets are officially toast!
I tried again Sunday but I just can't. NASCAR brings absolutely nothing to me. I just can't sit there and watch it. It bores me to tears. I just can't get into it. Some don't want to watch golf on TV, some don't want to watch curling, some don't want to watch baseball. NASCAR does it for me, I just can't watch it. I appreciate the passion NASCAR fans have for their sport but try and try as I might, it just makes me reach for the remote. Sorry NASCAR fans!!
Nickelback wins three Junos including group of the year. Yeah OK!! I don't love Nickelback but I don't despise them either.
For those wondering and I know the buzz is out there. Today is not the day we find out whether or not Regina is on the "Highway to Hell". (Although you do have to pass through Regina to get to Winnipeg BA HA HA!!) Its a joke!!!!

The Allure of Tim Hortons Coffee

Let me say right now I do not hate Tim Hortons. I have visited many establishments and I have sampled many items ranging from sandwiches to donuts to coffee. The popularity of Tim Hortons is one though that baffles me. I can't understand what would possess people to wait and wait and wait in a drive-thru line just for a coffee. Is there something in those coffee beans that keep people coming back? Is it the chance--albeit a slight one--that you might roll up the rim and win.
Robins coffee is just as good and who's kidding who, a 7-11 coffee is just as comparable. As I said, I don't hate Tim Hortons. I just don't understand the fascination with it. Someone must know the answer but can they give it without fear of the Tim Hortons mafia taking out their wrath on them???? For that matter, will the Tim Hortons mafia take out their wrath on me for writing this. It is one of life's many secrets that really does need answering.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Boychuk Burns The Blades----Again!!

Going into the WHL playoffs, I thought the Lethbridge Hurricanes were capable of beating the Saskatoon Blades in their first round playoff matchup. I was not alone with that theory. We might be right. The Hurricanes beat the Blades 3-1 Saturday night meaning they have a chance to go home Monday to wrap things up and avoid a Game 7. Playoff experience means so much in junior hockey and its something Lethbridge has and Saskatoon doesn’t have.
Many of the Hurricanes were on this team last year when they got to the league final before being bounced by Spokane. The Blades weren’t even a playoff team for the past two years. Lethbridge knows what needs to be done this year---especially Zach Boychuk. The Carolina 1st rounder turned this game around late in the 2nd when he scored on what looked like a nothing rush into the Saskatoon end with just five seconds to play. That goal really seemed to kill the Blades. Can they rebound Monday?? They were the top road team in the WHL this season so you do have to like their chances but a great season is in danger of going up in smoke in a big hurry.
In the West, 2nd round matchups are now known as Spokane and Tri-Cities have first round wins under their belt. The Chiefs finishing off Seattle in 5 with a 5-3 win while the Americans bounce Everett in 5 after a 6-1 victory. It means Vancouver will play Spokane and Kelowna will take on Tri-Cities in what should be two “ring a ding dong dandies”
While out and about Saturday I had an acquaintance ask me about Matt Dominguez and his status with the Riders. Matt is still a free agent and can go anywhere he wants after being released by the Riders a couple of months ago. Matt has been doing some p-r work for the club since being released and I’m guessing the only thing preventing him from signing a new contract is for the Riders to hear that Dominguez’s knee is 100 percent and that he will be able to play this season. If the knee is going to pose problems for Dominguez, I am guessing the Riders and all the other teams will stay away from him and his career will be over. That’s not the way big number 88 wants it to end but for some you can’t dictate how the final chapter is written. If Dominguez is done, the organization should see if he would be willing to be the team’s goodwill ambassador or something and make appearances during football season that players can’t make because of their prep time.
No medal for Canada at the World Womens Curling Championship. Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg rink were beaten by Denmark in the 3rd place game. It’s the first time since 2005 Canada has not won a medal at the event. That had better not happen next year when the Worlds go in Swift Current. One thing I do know about next years event is it will be well attended. Hardly anyone has been watching this thing in Korea. I understand you have to grow the game globally but the World Curling Federation must also understand you can’t take these things to places where no one is going to watch. I’m not saying the Worlds have to be in Canada every year but like hockey, we embrace the sport and turn out for things like the Scotties, the Brier and the Worlds. It really embarrasses the sport when there are more people watching on my block then are watching the event live.
In a cost-cutting move, the CBC has announced they are cutting “The Simpsons” from their programming lineup. Good god where will I find re-runs of the show now. (The sarcasm worked much better when I was in radio!!)
What does PJ Stock bring to Hockey Night in Canada??? I’m not sure. To me he brings nothing to the show.
I hear through the grapevine and this is pure rumour at this time. The Oilers are targeting Marian Hossa when he becomes a free agent and they are also willing to trade a couple of prospects and a roster player to get another top six forward. Still with the NHL, the Globe’s Stephen Brunt(arguably the best sportswriter in all of Canada) thinks the economic problems we are in will help Canada when it comes to the league if the recession should hit it. Read on!

A Mock NHL Draft Already

The fine folks at are getting a little carried away. At a time when hockey fans are watching the final couple weeks of the season watching tight races in both conferences and thinking about their upcoming playoff drafts, those at are already looking to next year. The final rankings from NHL Central Scouting aren't out yet but if you go to the site, you will find they have three guys who have conducted mock drafts.
The three have all conceded the New York Islanders will win the draft lottery and will take John Tavares. That means Saskatoon should see a lot of Tavares when the Islanders hold their training camp next year at Credit Union Centre and while I doubt as if he will back at Christmas time, there is a chance he could be wearing Canadian colours at the World Juniors.
All three of those taking part in the draft say Saskatoon will be well represented with three Saskatoon born players all going in that first round. They are Spokane's Jared Cowen, Lethbridge's Carter Ashton and Brandon's Brayden Schenn. In fact two of the drafts have Schenn going to the Maple Leafs. If that holds true it would mean Brayden would have the chance at playing with big brother Luke. I could actually see that happening at some point in the future. Two of the three also have Blades defenceman Stefan Elliott going late in the first round. I again don't argue with that and believe Elliott could go even higher if his team can go far in the WHL playoffs.
It also begs the question about the development of hockey players in Saskatchewan's two biggest cities. Counting Luke Schenn last year, Saskatoon minor hockey will have provided four first rounders to the NHL. Who was the last product of Hockey Regina to go in the first round? I believe--and someone please correct me if I'm wrong--that Jordan Eberle is not a Hockey Regina grad as he played his hockey growing up in Calgary. If that is the case, the honour goes to Ryan Getzlaf who was the first round pick of the Ducks way back in 2003. Even if it is Eberle, that makes two in six years compared to Saskatoon who will have three this year alone. Why are Saskatoon players so much better than Regina players and what is happening to the products of Hockey Regina. Feel free to answer that question because I don't have the answer and I would like to know what you're thinking if you want to give an opinion.

By the way, Jordan Eberle is already making his presence known with Edmonton's AHL team in Springfield. In his first game, Eberle set up a goal as the Falcons lost 3-2 to the Worcester Sharks. After the game, coach Rob Daum thought Eberle handled himself well and that you could see he has tremendous ability.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Going Shopping This Weekend

If you are a Riders or a Pats fan, you may want to get your VISA out this weekend. Both teams are holding sales and there are some good deals to be had. The green and white has a spring sale going on as they try and get rid of their 2008 stock. Up to 65 percent off can be found on some items. NICE!
Meanwhile the Pats are holding their year end sale at the Neutral Zone. You could get a game worn jersey for 50 bucks. NOT BAD!! I'm guessing both teams will see a lot of merchandise flying off the shelf.
Swift Current fell down 2-0 early in the pivotal Game 5 of their WHL Eastern conference first round series against Medicine Hat but they came back to beat the Tigers 5-3. Cody Eakin with a hat-trick for the winners who look to wrap the series up in Medicine Hat. The only other game had Tri-Cities beating Everett 4-1 to take a 3-1 lead in that matchup.
They are happy in Melville today. The Millionaires taking Game 1 of the SJHL final as they walk into Humboldt and beat the Broncos 3-2. Melville scoring all their goals in the 3rd with the winner coming off the stick of Kale Dolinski with just 16 seconds to play in regulation. That's gotta hurt if you're a Humboldt fan.
Are the Canucks going to catch Calgary? One has to say the way Vancouver is playing that the answer is yes. Vancouver beat Colorado 4-1 meaning the Canucks are just one point behind Calgary for first in the Northwest and the number 3 seed in the West. Everyone thought Calgary had this division wrapped up. Not so fast!! The Oilers needed a win in Anaheim and they got it by a score of 5-3 to keep playoff dreams alive. Roloson stopped 51 shots in the win and in the 3rd Anaheim outshot the Oilers 24-3. YIKES!!It will be interesting to see what team gets those final two spots in the West as the gap between the 7th place Oilers and the 11th place Wild is three points.
A Regina boy is getting a lot of attention from NHL GM's. He is Tyler Bozak and his season with Denver University has just finished. He is a free agent and a lot of teams are trying to woo the 23 year old. How popular is he?? TSN"s Darren Dreger says 25 teams are expressing interest. 25??If you have that many teams chasing this guy, you know he has to be something special. It will be interesting to see where he ends up and if he contributes for someone this year in the playoffs. I gotta admit I don't know a lot about Bozak. I heard about him going into the start of this season but he got hurt just before Christmas and only got back in the lineup before seeing his team get eliminated.
My pick to win March Madness is still alive but thats about all I've got to hang my hat on right now. Oklahoma moving on with a convincing win over Syracuse. Louisville, Michigan State and North Carolina also winning Friday as the field of 65 now stands at 8 with that number being 4 on Sunday afternoon.
Rule changes in the NFL this week have some current and former players wondering just what is happening. Ex New York Giant current FOX analyst Michael Strahan believes NFL rule changes when it comes to hits on the quarterback will take away the aggressiveness and the fun of the game. Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew says football is a violent sport and if you don't want to get hurt than don't play. He adds that taking out "crack-back" blocks is "ridiculous." Jones-Drew says that's when the offensive player gets a chance to hit the defensive player, and it's fun for the fans. I can't disagree with him on that one.
Have a great Saturday!!

Corporate Canada And The CFL

One thing I've always wondered about the CFL is why can't their players be part of a national marketing campaign. Future Shop got on the ball last year by having Kerry Joseph and Jesse Lumsden in ads to promote CFL all-star voting. I've always wondered though why corporate Canada doesn't embrace CFL players when they advertise.
Proof of that came this week when I came across an article in which Montreal born UFC star Georges St. Pierre has signed on with Gatorade as one of their faces in the "G" marketing onslaught. The article went on to say St. Pierre will join other top Canadians like Gordie Howe, Cassie Campbell and Chantal Peticlerc and Ray Zahab. I don't even know who Ray Zahab is!!!(a Google search tells me is a marathon runner)
Gatorade's vice president of marketing says just like in the US, the Canadian Gatorade brand is recognizing some of our nation's most influential and inspiring athletes. They represent Canada's best while serving as motivation to any Canadian who sweats.
While I have no problem with that statement, I have to ask why Gatorade wouldn't approach the CFL looking for a couple of players. Would Henry Burris not make a fine spokesperson for Gatorade or Jesse Lumsden or Jason Clermont. Solid arguments could be made for a lot of CFL players.
The CFL doesn't have any problem with attracting corporate sponsors but those sponsors seemingly don't want to reciprocate by dedicating advertising campaigns behind players. Even though I hated their ads during the Scotties and the Brier, Capital One utilized Jennifer Jones and Kevin Martin. Can Wendy's not do something. Imagine the Rider o-line pulling up to a Wendy's drive-thru asking for a whole whack of Baconators. Could RONA not use some hulking linemen in an advertising spot or two. How about Nissan and Purolator. Yeah, Purolator does a great job hawking their food bank days but get some players involved.
Is it too much for corporate Canada to involve the CFL in what they do. Apparently it is. Are they to take complete blame for this?? That's something I don't know but one would think the players association and the league would want what would be a win-win situation for everyone involved. Maybe someone in the association has to take the bull by the horns and start lobbying those that put some dollars out of their advertising budget into the CFL. Whatever it is, here's hoping something is done in time for the 2009 season.

Flame Out

Being an Oilers fan, I love it when the Flames fall flat on their face and when people talk up Calgary as being a Stanley Cup contender when truly that is not the case. While the Oilers playoff chances remain remote at best(and didn't they put up a great effort in Phoenix), they don't have unrealistic expectations placed upon them like Calgary does. Acquiring Olli Jokinen at the trade deadline had everyone salivating about another long playoff run and how Lord Stanley will come back to Canada wearing a stetson. The last two nights should tell hockey fans that Calgary isn't going anywhere this playoff season. I will be the first to tell you the Flames have a good team with the likes of Iggy, Camalleri, Phaneuf and Kiprusoff but they are missing something. While good on home ice, they can not get it together on the road where they are barely 500. They have been blanked in their last two road games and they have been giving up a lot of goals. That isn't the formula to have going into the playoffs. Home ice advantage isn't what it used to be in the playoffs and if whoever finishes 6th in the West can steal a game in Calgary it could be another season of asking what if in Calgary. If that does happen, I can't see Mike Keenan being back for year number 3.

I also can't see Craig MacTavish being back in Edmonton if the Oilers should fail to make the playoffs. They were as flat as could be against the Coyotes for two periods and by the time they started to play it was too late. Coming out flat at this time of year when you are fighting for a playoff spot is unacceptable. MacTavish may be guilty of being in one spot for too long. I wonder if he lacks what is needed to motivate the team now. Last nite's loss against a Phoenix team they should have beat may have been the difference between being out and getting in.


The Toronto Star has a nice little write-up on former Pat Jamie Heward. He hasn't played for a while after suffering a concussion earlier this year but he is hoping to get a few more NHL games under his belt this year. Take a read....

I don't need to tell Pats fans what type of hockey player Heward is. Here's hoping he gets his chance to play a couple of more games this year because time is ticking.


The SJHL final begins tonight in Humboldt. The Broncos take on the Millionaires in what should be a good series. The Broncos were the better team in the regular season but Melville won three of the four meetings between the two. A trip to the RBC Cup likely awaits the winner as SJHL teams usually have little problems with the Manitoba Junior Champs in the Anavet Cup.


Some pivotal Game 5's tonight in the WHL playoffs. Lethbridge is in Saskatoon and Swift Current is home to Medicine Hat. No doubt the story of the Hurricanes-Blades series has been Zach Boychuk. He has scored 5 goals in the two Lethbridge victories and has been held off the scoresheet in the two losses. I'm guessing the Blades will be keeping a very close eye on where the Carolina Hurricanes first round draft pick is at all times. If they don't, they may be heading back to Chinook Country needing a victory to force a Game 7 on home ice. While the Blades have to worry about Boychuk, the Swift Current Broncos have to watch for Tyler Ennis. The flashy Medicine Hat forward led his team to victory in Game 4 with a hat-trick and with the playoff experience he has he will turn his game up another notch in what could be his last ever game in Swift Current. Knowing the Tigers-Broncos rivalry, he would love nothing more than to have that potential last game be a memorable one. Both should be outstanding contests so if you are in Saskatoon or Swift Current get out there and cheer your team on.


Villanova, Pittsburgh, Missouri and Connecticut have moved on to the elite 8 at the NC double A mens basketball tournament. I have to say I was disappointed with the nights play. I thought all four games would be closer than what they were with the exception of the Xavier-Pittsburgh game which was just a poor shooting effort by both. Gonzaga-North Carolina tonight should be a treat.

If you want to get into a big money hockey draft than the Press Box Sports Bar is where you want to be.

400 bucks per team. Who's in????? No fooling around in this one. Who would you take with the number one pick. I'm guessing it would have to be Ovechkin but is Washington heading to the Stanley Cup. Maybe it would be Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Imagine you get a call saying your mother in law is dying and doesn't have much time left. You and your wife get in the car and head towards the hospital early in the morning. You approach a red light and you put your hazards on and go through making sure that you will not cause an accident by doing this. A police car sees your actions and follows you into the hospital parking lot. He has no desire to hear your side of the story and is a little hostile with you. At the same moment you are pleading your case and having a ticket written up, your mother in law dies. This is exactly what happened to Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats. The video of what happened can be found here.....

The color card has already been brought up because Moats is black. While I obviously don't know if that had something to do with this, I do know that a policeman is supposed to help in times of trouble. I can understand him stopping Moats for running the red light but doing what he does in the hospital parking lot is a little questionable--especially when Moats is telling him why he has done what he has. The officer has been re-assigned and the Dallas police department is in full damage control today. It is sparking a lot of debate in the US as to what should have happened here. What are your thoughts??

This And That

I wonder if Regina mayor(and all around good guy) Pat Fiacco has sent an e-mail to the “good” people at MacLeans magazine today. The Canadian newsragazine,--I mean newsmagazine—has never hesitated to take shots at Regina but I’m guessing they won’t acknowledge the story that appears on the front page of “The Leader-Post” today. That article tells you the amount of crimes in Regina in 2008 was the lowest we have had in a decade. In fact, the number is 26.6 per cent below the total in 1999 and lower than that of every year between. It goes on to say crime numbers have been decreasing steadily since 2004. There are still problems in this city and in some areas that problem is greater than others but this is indeed a good news story and is something the city should blow its own horn on. Considering the way MacLeans has bashed Regina in the past it would be nice to see them splash this positive story in a future issue. I think its safe to say they owe that to Fiacco and to Reginans.
Anna Kournikova was a guest on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last nite. I am not a fan of Fallon but if Anna is on, I will watch “The View”. She is still quite high on the draft board if you know what I mean. WOWWW!!!!
What world does Terrell Owens live in. The Buffalo receiver has decided he is not going to take part in some voluntary workouts with his new team. There might not be a better occasion to make a good impression with your new team, get a chance to catch some balls from quarterback Trent Edwards, a chance to see what the offence will look like and a chance to bond with the guys. NAHHHH!!!! Then Owens has the gall to come out and say he is upset with the fact he is considered to have a bad reputation. He says the media can make him to be the worst guy in the world but at the end of the day I know who I am at heart and I don’t need to change a thing. You keep thinking that T-O and people will just keep thinking what they already think about you.
How much can one age when trying to turn left onto University Park Drive coming out of the Victoria Square shopping centre---especially at night. You know of what I speak if you have been unfortunate enough to be in that position.
There can’t be anyone out there thinking the Toronto Blue Jays will be above 500 this season is there. I think this team is destined to be the cellar-dwellers in the American League East.
I’m still not sure why there are those believing the Flames are in the category of the Sharks and Wings in the West. The Jokinen trade is working but this team still has some serious flaws. They aren’t a good road team and they are giving up far too many goals. If they could have added someone like Bouwmeester at the deadline, they could have been in that upper tier but I still see them getting bounced in the 2nd round.
MMA fighter Lyoto Machida has revealed that he and his family drink their urine at least once a day. WTF???!!!!! He says its like a natural medicine. This would make taking a couple of teaspoonfuls of Buckley’s medicine more palatable. I just can’t see this scene around the Machida breakfast table where the family enjoys a meal of bacon, eggs, toast and my urine.
The PGA is going to mike some caddies to see if they can get some interesting conversation. Uh OK!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Movin' On

Most thought going into the WHL playoffs that the Calgary Hitmen wouldn’t have much of a problem with the Edmonton Oil Kings and they were right. The Hitmen completing a four game sweep of their Alberta rivals with a 4-1 win. Kris Foucault leading the winners as he had a pair.
Brandon is making that long bus trip from Cranbrook back home but the Ice aren’t getting on the bus to head into Manitoba. The Wheat Kings finishing Kootenay off in four straight with a 4-3 win. Brayden Schenn getting the game winner with just over three minutes to play.
Lethbridge evened up its series with Saskatoon at two games apiece after a 2-1 win. The hometown Hurricanes went into the final 20 minutes down 1-0 knowing a loss to the Blades would likely end their chances of moving on. They pulled together getting goals from Zach Boychuk at 308 and 1057 of the final frame to get the winner. In Lethbridge’s two wins, Boychuk has five goals. He has no goals in the two losses. Its become evident as to what the Blades must do to move into Round 2. Game 5 goes Saturday at Credit Union Centre.
Swift Current and Medicine Hat are also even at two after the Tigers take Game 4 on home ice 5-3. Tyler Ennis with the hat-trick for the winners. Game 5 goes back in Swift Current Friday night.
Across the mountains, the Vancouver Giants polished off Prince George in four straight with a 3-2 win. Lance Bouma had a pair for the winners who outshot the Cougars 200-108 in the four games…that’s an average of 50 shots a night for Vancouver. Jamie Benn had a goal and three assists for Kelowna as they move on after a 5-3 win over Kamloops to complete a 4 game sweep. Spokane takes a 3-1 lead in their series with Seattle after a 3-2 win and Tri-Cities beats Everett 4-2 to take a 2-1 lead in that best of 7.
Glen Suitor has had enough of those who want nothing to do with Casey Printers. Click the link to see what I mean…..
The NC double A mens basketball tournament resumes tonight with the Sweet 16. All four number one seeds are still alive with two of them Connecticut and Pittsburgh playing tonight. The other two—North Carolina and Louisville—will play their games Friday. Not all four number one seeds will advance to the final four in Detroit. I took Oklahoma to win before the tourney started and I stand by that pick. Then again I had Wake Forest going to the final four and they got bounced in their first game.
WWE wrestler John Cena thinks Alex Rodriguez should go to jail for taking steroids. Does Cena not realize there would be no one left in his business if those taking steroids ended up behind bars. C’mon John. By the way, here’s hoping your 2nd movie ’12 rounds” is better than ‘The Marine”.
Somehow you just knew this was going to happen. The Parti Quebecois says it is time for the Montreal Canadiens to be once again locally owned. P-Q leader Pauline Marois says what better way to do it then to get the province's homegrown Caisse de dépôt et placement in on the act? After all, the Caisse was involved in a transaction eight years ago when Denver businessman George Gillett borrowed $140-million from the pension fund to help buy the team.Now the team may be up for sale again and the PQ contends that nationalist aspirations should inspire the Caisse to help Quebec entrepreneurs buy it back. Marois says the Canadiens is more than just a professional hockey team, it is part of the social and cultural fibre of the Quebec nation. Unless Marois is the wife or mother of former NHL defenceman Mario Marois, just “femme les bouche sil vous plait….merci!!”

Put Your Money Down Rider Fans!!

Here's how Vegas oddsmaker lists the eight CFL teams' odds of winning the 2009 Grey Cup:
1. Calgary -- 3 to 1
2. B.C. -- 4.5 to 1
3. Edmonton -- 6 to 1
4. Montreal -- 7.5 to 1
5. Hamilton -- 9 to 1
6. Toronto -- 10 to 1
7. Saskatchewan -- 12 to 1
8. Winnipeg -- 15 to 1

12 to 1. I'll take that!! But saying the Riders are behind Hamilton and Toronto shows me the glove of disrespect is slapping the organization yet again!!

Does A Defibrillator Come With This!!!

I don't know what my summer plans are but if I'm going to a baseball game in Grand Rapids, Michigan I may want to fast until I set foot in the ballpark. GOOD GOD!!!

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Well, at least the salsa is low-cal. The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league baseball team, will be offering up major league cholesterol, carbohydrates and calories in an enormous hamburger being added to the menu this year at the Fifth Third Ballpark.
The 4-pound, $20 burger features five beef patties, five slices of cheese, nearly a cup of chili and liberal doses of salsa and corn chips, all on an 8-inch sesame-seed bun. That's a lot of dough!
The Grand Rapids Press reports that anyone who eats the entire 4,800-calorie behemoth in one sitting will receive a special T-shirt. Saner fans can divide it up with a pizza cutter and share.
The Midwest League team is a Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
I wonder what the T-shirt says. R-I-P???!!!

Its Not April 1 Is It??

This can't be a real story!! It has to be a gag. It just has to be. However Natalie Shepherd is actually a reporter for this Florida TV station so I have to believe this is legit!!!

Are we all not guilty of this at one time or another in our lives boys??!! C'mon tell the truth! This is one of the funniest things I think I have ever seen. Can you imagine poor Natalie when she got the details of this assignment.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Oil Frustrates Me Yet Again!!

ARRGGGGHH!! That is the sentiment for this Oiler fan and many others after watching Detroit walk out of Rexall Place with a 3-2 win. There is no doubt the Red Wings were the better team on this night but the Oilers once again teased us by being so tantalizingly close to getting a much needed two points. They held off wave after wave after wave of Detroit attacks into the Edmonton zone until finally they could hold off no more as the Wings scored three times in the final 10 minutes. What makes the play of the Oilers so frustrating is their inability to want to shoot the puck. So many times last night an Edmonton forward would pass up a shot on goal to try and make that extra pass. On a two man advantage in the first, it seemed as if they were trying to kill the penalty themselves by passing it around. A coach once told me you will never score if you don’t shoot the puck on goal. Yes, the shot might get blocked but yes it might go off a skate or off a stick or off a body and into the goal. This endless passing of the puck on the power play around the perimeter is and always has been a waste of time. I don’t know why teams just don’t fire the puck on goal. At this time of year, it doesn’t matter how the puck goes in just as long as it does. SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!
Home ice advantage??? Not in the WHL playoffs….at least not Tuesday night
The Blades showed why they were the best road team in the league this season. Saskatoon wasn’t spectacular but they were solid as they spotted Lethbridge a 1-0 lead before taking Game 3 of their best of 7 against the Hurricanes by a score of 3-1. You have to like what Lorne Molleken has put together. There are no real stars on this team with the exception of Braden Holtby but they are a team that has three very good lines and a defence that is extremely solid. They will be tough to beat.
Brandon is one game away from taking the brooms to Kootenay. They needed overtime to beat Kootenay 4-3. Matt Calvert’s 2nd goal of the game 255 into the 4th period was the winner.
Michael Stickland had a goal and three assists for the Broncos as they take Game 3 of their series in Medicine Hat by a score of 5-2. Swift Current now leads that best of 7 2-1.
In the Western Conference, Vancouver beat Prince George 3-2 to take a 3-0 lead in that series. Craig Cunningham getting the winner at the 1644 mark of period 4. The Giants unleashing 53 shots on PG goalie Kevin Armstrong as they move a game away from round 2. Cody Almond scored with three seconds left in regulation and then got the winner at the 1221 mark of overtime as the Kelowna Rockets beat Kamloops 3-2 for a 3-0 lead and Spokane beat Seattle 5-1 to take a 2-1 lead in that matchup. The results meant road teams were 6-0.
Would Brendan Taman really be that bad? Rider fans have been spoiled with the performance of Eric Tillman in his time as general manager of the football team but words by Jim Hopson last week that he would be interested in speaking to Taman if he were interested has some Rider faithful wanting to jump ship. For those who are so dead set against Taman being a paid member of Riderville, I ask you this question??? Who do you want as GM if Tillman does not or can not continue in that position. Matt Dunigan??? Tom Higgins??? How about Carm Carteri or John Gormley or yours truly as the Riders can follow the recommendations of Roy Shivers when he left town. There are not many guys out there who are qualified right now. Taman can do what Tillman did and that is he can bring in players. If Eric is forced to give up his GM duties then I will have no problem in seeing what Taman can do. Who’s kidding who, it doesn’t matter who is brought in as that person will have his critics. Even Tillman despite all the good he has done since replacing Shivers still has a number of critics. Was every move made by Eric the right one? No! However his good moves far outnumber the bad ones.
Is it time for NFL quarterbacks to have velcro flags on their belts. One would have to say yes after the league decides to hand out a 15 yard penalty if a quarterback is hit at or below the knees. So lemme get this straight, you can’t hit a QB high or low now. Why don’t we just encase these guys in a glass box or put a dress on them or something. I’m not in favour of this rule at all. I’m also not crazy about the league expanding the regular season to 17 or 18 games. That would mean the Super Bowl wouldn’t be played until mid-February. It gets damn cold in some NFL cities in February and weather shouldn’t play that much of an advantage. Can you imagine Rider fans if the CFL season was extended by another couple of weeks and a Western final went in Regina in December. Uh no thanks. Then again the way this winter has gone there could be snow on the ground when the green and white play their first pre-season game. Move the season up if you want to add games. Have the season start in the last weekend of August if you want but pushing things back doesn’t do anyone any good unless you play in a dome.
One last thing. I heard the tail end of "The Drew Remenda Sports Show" last night and I had to laugh when our favourite wingnut from Calgary called. If you have heard the show, a caller from Cowtown named Jason(the guy who bought Brent Curvey’s ring) came on to question Rob Vanstone for his column on Kevin Glenn and how the Riders should have pursued him on Monday and to belittle the so-called “rumpled scribe”for having the opinion that the football team should have tried to sign Glenn after he was released. Kudos to Drew for basically telling this moron to get off of his show(which is something he should have done a long time ago) and to Jamie Nye for both sticking up for Rob. Had I been there I probably would have told Jason how many ways he can do you know what to himself and if he doesn’t know how to I would gladly send him an instruction manual. This guy was adamant back when Eric Tillman traded Kerry Joseph that Tillman and Hopson should resign and tried telling us he was buying a full page ad in which he and a lot of others were getting rid of their season tickets. I’m still waiting for that ad. He also tried to tell me that he had it on "good knowledge" that Eric received a substantial amount of money from Ole Miss for letting Kent Austin leave. Yeah OK and the sky is orange and men don't like porn!!!
Not only is Rob a good friend of mine but he is one of the top sportswriters in this country and is one of the most respected sportswriters in this country. There aren’t many I would place above Rob in this country. Like Triple H, he is that damn good. Rob’s only problem is that he needs to realize there are only 24 hours in the day and he can’t work for 20 of them. One of the things that makes Regina a great sports city is the guys that cover the teams----all professionals in every sense of the word. I may not be part of the “fraternity” any more but I will defend people like Rob, Rod Pedersen, Lee Jones, etc. etc. etc because they are good---they are damn good and should be plying their trade in a bigger market. There is no doubt Rob could write for a national newspaper just like there is no doubt that Rod could call a game for an NHL team and that Lee has what it takes to work in a much bigger market than Regina. I just scratch the tip of the iceberg as there are many others (Warren Woods, Derek(start calling me Duke) Meyers, Murray McCormick, Tim Switzer etc. etc. etc )who are top notch at what they do.
Jason, if you are reading this or if someone has to read it to you….I got two words for you…one starts with an F and if you can’t guess what the other one starts with well that’s your problem. For what its worth, I think not pursuing Kevin Glenn was the right thing to do. Its time to develop a quarterback and there are two here now with a third maybe coming. Those three being Darian Durant(who will be just fine this year), Dalton Bell and Chase Daniel.

Good Or Bad Marketing Idea?

Is this what is has come to in Phoenix?? The Coyotes have sunk to such a depth that they have entered a partnership which basically says buy booze and get a free ticket to one of our games. Is this really what it has come to?? Then again it might get Charles Barkley or John Daly to an NHL game!!!

Can you imagine the uproar if one of the Saskatchewan WHL teams had this promotion. Dare I say it but John Gormley would have a field day with it. Speaking of promotions, if Dan Plaster or Cliff Mapes from the Pats are reading this(and I hope they are), here are a couple of ideas you might want to ponder......
Remember George Kell. When we started getting WDIV in Detroit as part of our cable package from then Cable Regina now Access Communications, Kell was the play by play guy for the Detroit Tigers. The long-time Tiger, who I believe is in the baseball hall of fame, called the games on TV with another former Tiger Al Kaline. Kell passed away today at the age of 86. I always remember watching games with him that I don't think he knew what the names of the teams were because when discussing someone from the other team, it was always the guy who plays for the (insert city name here) ballclub.
Did you see Providence Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask lose it last night. Check out this footage...

Isn't that the team Pats defenceman Victor Bartley went to go play for once his days in Regina were over. I'm guessing Bartley would have had quite a chuckle over that.

On another note, I got back behind the microphone today for an hour. The guys that run Gameday on Regina's Community Radio Station 91.3 CJTR asked me if I wanted to sit in with them to get my thoughts on a variety of things including the Riders, Terrell Owens and the Ovechkin celebration. It was a lot of fun. Thanks guys!! We'll do it again!!


Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley isn't a very popular man when it comes to fans of the Cleveland Browns these days. Cooley was involved in a trade rumour last week suggesting he would be heading to Cleveland. On his blog, he stated he would be pissed if his ass got shipped off to Cleveland. That angered Cleveland fans who pelted his blog with negative comments. One comment in particular made Cooley respond. Enjoy!!!!

Methinks Dennis would make a great Rider "fan". Cleveland fans should just ask the question why are we the only NFL team that doesn't have a logo on our helmet.

Right Idea, Wrong Team

So much for that….at least for now. I had been thinking the Riders would make a deal with either the Tiger-Cats or the Argos to get one of the first four picks in the 2009 CFL draft. It would appear as if BC has beaten Saskatchewan to the punch if indeed the Riders were considering doing such a thing. The Lions have sent Canadian born linebacker Jason Pottinger to Toronto for the 4th overall pick in the draft. The draft by the way if you don’t know is Saturday May 2nd. I wonder if the league is planning on doing any TV coverage with the draft being on a Saturday. Last year, TSN did a webcast on the draft and I thought Rod Black and Duane Forde did a pretty good job on it. Keep your fingers crossed!!
Rider tickets are once again very popular. Word is many tickets have been bought since they started going on sale March 17 and that they are already over last years season ticket total of 18-thousand. It might be a bold statement to make when the field is still covered in snow but one has to think the sellout streak will continue. The question to Jim Hopson now is are the temporary seats going to return and if so when. The demand will be there if the team plays up to its expectations and there’s nothing to suggest at this time they won’t.
Those getting excited about the prospects of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts playing in Toronto this year might want to pull back a little. I am hearing it will either be Tampa Bay or New Orleans playing the Bills in their annual game north of the border. Rogers Communications is also lobbying the NFL to change their agreement so that two regular season games a year are played at Skydome. I can’t see Buffalo fans who already weren’t happy with losing one game to their northern neighbours losing a 2nd.
The Calgary Hitmen are one game away from going to the 2nd round of the WHL playoffs and completing a predicted four game sweep of the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Hitmen beat the Oil Kings 4-1. Joel Broda had a goal and two assists for the winners. One other WHL item, the league is apparently going to look at its current playoff structure---one that I have no problem with. Under the current format, you have a chance at Brandon playing Kootenay which is the longest road trip in the East while Medicine Hat plays Swift Current in what is just a walk down the block compared to what the Wheaties and Ice are doing. The matter will be discussed at league meetings in June with it being asked whether teams want to go back to divisional play in the first round. I don’t like that for two reasons. A) I see enough of the Warriors, Blades, Wheat Kings, Raiders and Broncos in the regular season and B) its not right if the 5th or 6th place in a division has a better record than the 4th place team in the other. What the WHL needs to do is find some way to make all teams play in all buildings instead of the ridiculous way it stands now where you see Western Conference teams in your building every second year. As a Pats fan and a WHL fan, I feel gypped over the fact I didn’t get to see Vancouver or Kelowna this year and I won’t see Spokane or Tri-Cities next.
Japan wins the World Baseball Classic thanks to arguably their biggest superstar. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki stroked a two run single in the top of the 10th to give them a 5-3 win over Korea. Japan has won the WBC both times its been played. It just begs this question now for this baseball fan. That question being….how much longer till opening day???? Soon, very, very soon!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sand?? Eberle Update and 2009 NFL Opener

I've just returned from a trip into the downtown core. Just one question! Has anyone thought of maybe putting some sand on the sidewalks? I just about wiped out once and I did have to ask a woman if she was alright after she went on her you know what. I'm guessing she isn't the only one to have taken a tumble today.
Rod Pedersen has informed everyone who reads his "world-famous" blog (It is world famous is it not RP??!!) that Jordan Eberle will be his guest on 620 CKRM's Sportsline tonight. That comes on at 605---as if you don't know. While I completely understand Rod's rationale for not wanting to do that show five nights a week---it would be great to have that happen. I even know someone who might be interested in doing that gig. (Insert sound of whistles here!!!!)
Word is the first game of the 2009 NFL season will see the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Tennessee Titans. An official announcement is expected before the day is over. The game will be played Thursday, September 10. The first Sunday night game of the year will see the Packers playing the Bears at Lambeau Field. No word on what the first Monday night game of the year will be but I'm guessing and the rest of the Monday niters will be sans-Seahawks. That's what you get after a 4-12 campaign!!

Eberle Officially Joins The Oil

This Oiler fan is a happy camper this morning upon seeing this.

General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have signed Jordan Eberle to a three-year NHL entry level contract.
Eberle, the Oilers first choice, 22nd overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, recently completed his third season of junior hockey with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. The 5’10”, 181 pound centre from Regina, Saskatchewan led the Pats in scoring with 35-39-74 in 61 games.
The 18-year-old forward, who will turn 19 on May 15th, led Regina in goal scoring with 35 and was second in assists while registering 20 penalty minutes. Thirty-six of his 74 points came on the powerplay as he scored 12-24-36 with the Pats enjoying the man advantage. His 12 powerplay goals ranked 15th in the WHL, while he was 11th in powerplay assists.
A member of the WHL East Division First All-Star Team in 2007-08, Eberle scored 105-99-204 with 72 penalty minutes in 197 career regular season games with Regina in three seasons from 2006-07 to 2008-09. He scored a single-season high 42-33-75 in 70 games in 2007-08 to finish 15th in the WHL scoring race.
Eberle became a Canadian hockey hero at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ontario, when he scored the tying goal in Canada’s 6-5 OT win over Russia in the tournament semi-final. Eberle, who finished third on the Team Canada scoring list with 6-7-13 in six games, tied the game with five seconds remaining in regulation and after a scoreless overtime, he was one of two Canadians to score in the shootout as Canada earned the semi-final victory and advanced to the gold medal final where they defeated Sweden.
Eberle was second on Team Canada in both goals and assists, while scoring two powerplay goals and was +9 with two penalty minutes.
Enjoy one last season of Ebs in a Pats uniform next year and then see where he goes from there. I'm thinking we will be seeing a lot of him on Hockey Night in Canada and Sportsnet in the not too distant future as he joins the likes of Gagner, Cogliano, O'Sullivan and Kotalik.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Too Little Too Late...Isn't It??

It would appear the Ottawa Senators got their game going just a little too late. The Sens have won nine of their last 10 after beating the Rangers 2-1. The win streak likely won’t get them into the playoffs but I have to ask where the h-e double hockey sticks was this a couple of months ago. This team didn’t really dismantle its roster at the trade deadline. The only thing they did was get rid of Craig Hartsburgh and former Pats coach Curtis Hunt. At least Curtis stayed in the organization by becoming the head man with Ottawa’s AHL affiliate but I feel bad for him because he left a great gig to take that gamble with the bigs. It’s a gamble he likely doesn’t regret taking as you have to answer that call when it comes but he was set in Regina and one can only wonder what the Pats fortunes would have been had Hunt been behind the bench instead of Dale Derkatch. This isn’t a condemnation of Derkatch….its just a what if??
The Hitmen lead the Oil Kings 2 games to none in their WHL East quarter-final but they had to work to win the 2nd game. The Hitmen outshot Edmonton 56-25 but Oil Kings goalie Torrie Jung just about stole one. Kris Foucault sent the game into the 4th period with a goal with just over four minutes to go. Calgary then won it in overtime on Carson McMillan’s goal nine minutes into period 4. That one has to leave a mark.
The SJHL final is now set. Melville will play Humboldt after eliminating Weyburn on Sunday night. I would think the league final would start Friday but I haven’t seen anything official from the league.
Thank god for the NFL network. They are replaying games from the 2008 season which is something this football fan loves. Yeah you know what the end result is but its football and really isn’t that what matters.
The number one seeds have moved into the Sweet 16 at the NC double A mens basketball tournament. Pittsburgh, Louisville, North Carolina and Connecticut all getting through the first two rounds unscathed. All four will be in tough this weekend though as they look to move on to Detroit and the final four.
It looks like Jesse Lumsden might be an Olympian. He and Pierre Lueders teamed to win gold in the two man event at the Canadian bobsleigh championship. TSN has the full story on Lumsden’s weekend and what needs to happen for him to be in Vancouver next winter…..
Kevin Martin and Shannon Kleibrink took the mens and womens titles at the Canada Cup of Curling in Yorkton. Martin beating Randy Ferbey in the mens final with Kleibrink beating Marie-France Larouche in the womens final. I don’t really know what this means when it comes to rinks participating getting their chance at the pre-Olympic trials or the Olympic trials. All I know is when those events are on there will be some first class curling on the tube.
That’s all I got for now. Later!!

Could Printers Have A New CFL Home??

I really think Casey Printers has played his last down in the CFL but I may be wrong. Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun says today the Bombers are going to take a look at Casey...

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are at least going to take a look at Casey Printers.
Despite denials from both Bomber officials and Printers' agent earlier this week, a CFL source said yesterday the team has booked a plane ticket for the quarterback to attend the team's mini-camp in Florida next month.
Bombers head coach Mike Kelly, who was conducting a free-agent tryout camp in Long Beach, Calif., yesterday, didn't return a message left by the Sun.
On Friday he said "everybody and anybody's a possibility" when it came to quarterbacks who might attend the mini-camp.
The Bombers were hoping to have their own three quarterbacks at the mini-camp, which will include rookies and players on their negotiation list, but league bylaws prohibit veteran players under contract from participating in off-season workouts.
Fits the bill
As a result, the Bombers said they would examine bringing free-agent quarterbacks with CFL experience to the camp. Printers, who was released last month by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, fits that bill.
Printers, the CFL's most outstanding player in 2004 as a member of the B.C. Lions, left for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs after the 2005 CFL season.
He returned north in September 2007, signing with the Ticats and becoming one of the league's highest-paid players in the process.
It didn't pay dividends for the Tabbies, who were 1-15 with Printers as their starter. The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Texas native threw five touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season.
Hamilton released him with two years and approximately $800,000 left on his contract.

Have fun with that!!! Maybe see if one Michael Bishop wants to show up at the same camp.

The Canadiens Meltdown Continues!!

Could we see a Stanley Cup playoffs without the three Eastern Canadian teams? We know Ottawa and Toronto won’t be having players taken in a playoff draft and the way Montreal is playing they will be on the outside looking in as well.
The Habs looked absolutely brutal in losing 5-2 to Toronto. What has happened to this team that looks a lot like the team that brought so much excitement to Montreal last year and had so many thinking the 100th anniversary season might be special. This 100th anniversary season is starting to look like the team won’t even qualify for the playoffs. The only thing preventing Montreal from not being in a playoff spot this morning is the fact Florida let one get away against Columbus and lost 3-1.
Speaking of Canadian teams soiling the linen, the Canucks did that in Phoenix. With a chance to move within a point of Northwest leading Calgary, Vancouver didn’t look great in losing to Phoenix.
Sad news from the NHL on Saturday night. Walt Poddubny—remember him Leaf and Oiler fans??? He collapsed and died at his sisters home in Ontario at the age of 49.
Juha Metsola missed Game 1 of the Lethbridge-Saskatoon series as the Hurricanes goalie was still suffering effects from a concussion suffered last week. Metsola was back guarding the goal for Game 2 of the series and he left the Blades with a headache as the Canes even the series up with a 5-2 win. Zach Boychuk was the story in this one as he had the hat-trick along with setting up one other. Maybe that wasn’t the story. The story was the attendance or lack of it in my mind for the opening two games. A crowd of just over 5600 took in the contest. C’mon Saskatoon---what are you waiting for. You have wanted a winner and Lorne Molleken has provided it. Get out there for Game 5 and any other home games during this playoff run.
Matt Lowry and Andrew Clark each had a goal and an assist as Brandon beat Kootenay 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in that best of 7 with the two teams heading all the way to Cranbrook now for Games 3 and 4. Medicine Hat evened up its best of 7 with Swift Current with a 6-2 win. Brennan Bosch had a pair for the Tigers.
In the West, can Prince George just run up the white flag. The Cougars were beaten 9-1 by Vancouver meaning they were outscored 17-3 in the first two games. Every Giant with the exception of defenceman Nolan Toigo got on the scoresheet. Kelowna beat Kamloops 5-1 to take a 2-0 lead in that series. The other series are even at 1 as Seattle edged Spokane 2-1 and Everett got by Tri-Cities 3-2.
The end of the Gonzaga-Western Kentucky game was a prime reason as to why I love the NC double A mens basketball tournament. Western Kentucky hung with the heavily favoured Zags throughout and with seven seconds left tied the game sending the team into a state of delirium. However Gonzaga freshman point guard Dmitri Goodson ran the length of the floor and laid one in with .9 seconds to play sending Gonzaga to the Sweet 16 with an 83-81 win in what arguably was the best game of the tournament.
Want to go to a game at the brand new Yankee Stadium this year and if the answer is yes, do you want great tickets. If you want to buy a front-row seat at the new Yankee Stadium for an individual game, the list price of a ticket is $2,625. Individual game sales for the first season of the $1.5 billion ballpark start Tuesday, and the Legends Seats that ring the infield start at $525 a game, according to the team's Web site. Those seats cost $500-$2,500 as part of full season tickets, and they include food and soft drinks. On the top deck, seats in the Jim Beam Suite go for $130-$150. Terrace seats are $50, $75 and $85, and grandstand tickets cost $23 and $30. Full view bleachers are $14. A trip to the old ballpark isn’t what it used to be. I remember back when the Pioneer League was in existence with teams in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Great Falls and Billings. My dad and I made a couple of trips to watch players as they started their quest towards the majors. We saw a few guys who ended up being major leaguers. Guys like Lloyd Moseby, Candy Maldonado, Darren Daulton, Sid Fernandez and Raul Mondesi.
I also used to love to head to John Ducey Park in Edmonton when I worked in Peace River to go watch the Trappers who at that time were the Triple A team for many different major league clubs. I remember when the California Angels came to the park for an exhibition game and I also remember Ron Kittle (remember him) hitting one that I swear was still going up in the air when it cleared the light standard in left field. He must have hit that ball 600 feet. It’s the longest homer I’ve ever seen hit. I also remember going to a game there one year and heading to my car which was parked in a lot what I thought was well behind the right field fence. A buddy and I got to my car to find the car beside us had a souvenir---a ball that had gone through the windshield and was sitting amongst the shards in glass in his passenger seat. Oops!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Its Not Me!!! Damn!!

If you are reading this and you are in Saskatchewan, you may want to check your Super 7 ticket from last night. If you have a ticket with 10, 23, 28, 29, 31, 32 and 46 on it then congratulations is in order, you have just won 17 million dollars which is 17 million more than what I got on this week's draw.
Congratulations to CTV Regina sportscaster Chris Hodges. He is now a father as Annie Rea came into this world last night. Welcome to fatherhood Chris. Get a couple of solid nights of Z time because they will be few and far between over the next few months. Whatever you do, don't let your daughter see you in that stupid hat you are wearing on your Facebook page. Don't traumatize the child at such a young age.
Speaking of Facebook, who had the brilliant idea of changing the look at the popular social networking page. Its brutal!!!!
My good friend Tyler(you can click on his blog on this page) has basically crystallized my thoughts when it comes to shopping at Superstore. He made the post six days ago so you will have to page down but really I think he catches the entire essence of spending time in one of these places. The one thing Tyler does not mention though that angers me--and this isn't just at Superstore is people who run into one another while shopping and decide to have a conversation thus creating a traffic jam. I don't care what is happening in your lives at this time, what I care about is getting the item I seek that I can't because you are in my frickin way and you think the world should come to a stop just because you have engaged in this conversation. KEEP IT MOVIN!!!!!
My youngest daughter Annika is going to be playing baseball this year in the "Learn to Play" division yet somehow there is a need to hold evaluations for her and the others to determine what team she will be on. ??????????. I really would like to know what the evaluation process is. If she can run from home to 1st without going to 3rd she is on the "A" team. If she heads to 3rd first or stops halfway down the baseline to draw a circle in the sand she is on the "B" side. This one is a head-scratcher.
Is it safe to assume that one Donald Cherry will speak on the Alex Ovechkin goal scoring celebration controversy tonight.
10 teams are supposedly interested in Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler and the Seahawks are not one of them. This is good!!
Why does that little voice in the back of my mind keep saying the Riders are going to make a trade that will see them get a first round pick in the upcoming CFL draft? With Hamilton and Toronto each picking twice in the first four selections I'm guessing they would be your trading partner.
Martin Brodeur was invited to do a Top 10 List on the Letterman show after breaking the most career wins record this week but politefully declined. His reason--a damn good one. He had something scheduled with his daughter. One can only guess that by declining, he turned down what would have been a great shot at Sean Avery. By the way if the season ended today, it would be the Devils and the Rangers in the first round. Would the circus from last year be revived??
Don't look now Calgary, but here come the Canucks. Yes I am an Oiler fan, but Flames fans are to me just a little more annoying than Habs fans. Speaking of which, a lot of them have certainly gone back in the closet over the last few weeks. I'm guessing a first round win in the playoffs will change that in a hurry.
One member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and one member of the Saskatoon Blades will not play in Game 2 of their best of 7 first round matchup tonight. Lethbridge forward Kyle Beach and Saskatoon blueliner Jiri Niemi have each been told by the WHL they have been suspended for tonight's game after a 3rd period incident last night in which Beach cross-checked Niemi in the face. Niemi then gave some kind of "gesture" towards the Lethbridge bench. I would say advantage in this one goes to Saskatoon. Beach is a Sean Avery type player that can get under your skin and you can bet he will be doing that now that his team is behind the eight ball. Niemi is a good defenceman but his absence can be made up by Stefan Elliott and the others.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Leave Ovechkin Alone

Martin Brodeur gets another shutout, the Flames continue to sputter and the Oilers get a big shootout win in Chicago but that isn’t what the NHL is talking about today. Once again, Alexandre Ovechkin is stealing the headlines. What did he do this time??? When he scored goal number 50 against Tampa on Thursday, he stopped behind the net, dropped his stick and then tried picking it up several times but couldn’t because the stick was “too hot”.
It was fun, it was Ovechkin, it’s the way he plays the game. His child-like enthusiasm is refreshing. It makes a lot of highlight reels and isn’t that what the NHL wants---especially in the good old US of A.
A lot of players didn’t have a problem with what Ovechkin did but some do saying his hot-dogging was a little overboard and did nothing but show up his opposition. Some other media members have also jumped on that bus saying Ovechkin is embarrassing himself and the sport. CMON!!!
Can a guy now not celebrate a milestone goal. If this was goal 28 on the season or goal 52, I could see someone maybe being a little pissed off but this was goal number 50 which is a milestone mark to hockey players. I laugh at how so many people are now starting to get on Ovechkin’s case when he is doing nothing wrong except celebrate the game he loves by showing off his excitement.
The guy is the best thing the NHL has going for it right now so why is everyone trying to chop him down. How is what Ovechkin did any different than what Teemu Selanne did on the night he broke the rookie goal scoring record when he threw his glove up in the air at the Winnipeg arena and then shot it down with his stick. Was it any different than Theo Fleury’s celebration after beating the Oilers in Game 6 of a playoff series??. Was it any different than Sam Gagner celebrating his first pro hat-trick….a goal that made it 8-1 against Colorado??
Maybe the NHL should take a page out of the NFL’s book and give a player a two minute penalty if he celebrates too much. Is that what you want???? Is that the next step? The homogenization of pro sports is really getting sick and this is just another example of it. Let emotion be a part of the game and quit trying to muzzle it just because someone might get mad.
Speaking of emotion, there was a lot of it on Day 2 of the NC double A mens basketball tournament. A couple of buzzer beaters and a couple of upsets.
How about Ben Woodside of North Dakota State. This guy got his 15 minutes of fame and he capitalized on it by scoring 37 points even though his team lost to Kansas. He was compared to Steve Nash on the CBS telecast of the game but while the same size as Nash he is more dynamic than the Canadian when it comes to the offensive talent he possesses. Nash is known more for his assists than his scoring. Woodside’s drives to the basket were simply exhilarating. This guy has NBA written all over him. Could a lottery pick come from North Dakota State??
I had to laugh when during the game CBS gave Americans a little tutorial on North Dakota State like they have with all teams in the tournament. When it came to famous alumni, all CBS could come up with for NDSU was former WWE wrestler Bob Backlund. Remember him??
The WHL playoffs are now officially underway as seven of the eight first round series started last night one night after the Calgary-Edmonton series started. The Blades looked shaky in the first half of the first period but they eventually got their game going and beat Lethbridge 5-1. Jiri Niemi and Stefan Elliott both scoring highlight reel goals to lead the home team.
Swift Current got 3 in the 3rd to beat Medicine Hat 4-2. In Brandon, Brayden Schenn had two goals and an assist as the Wheat Kings pounded Kootenay 7-2. Out west, Vancouver demolished Prince George 8-2 outshooting them 53-18. Everett scored twice in the final three minutes to tie the game but Tri-Cities took Game 1 of their series when Justin Feser scored in overtime for a 6-5 win. Kelowna beat Kamloops 4-2 and Spokane got by Seattle 2-1.
One other thing if you didn’t hear. Kevin Glenn has signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Let The Playoffs Begin

The race to determine who will be the WHL rep at the Memorial Cup in Rimouski, Quebec starts in earnest tonight as seven of the eight first round best of 7's get underway. Calgary started things off last night with a 5-0 win over Edmonton. I don't expect the Hitmen to get much of a challenge in this series and to win it in four straight. The Hitmen are so solid from top to bottom and if one guy doesn't get you, another one will. They are so deep in so many different areas that not only should they beat Edmonton in four but they should be the ones hoisting the Ed Chynoweth Cup and perhaps the Memorial Cup. They are a treat to watch. As for the other first round matchups and predictions, here you go.

Lethbridge vs Saskatoon

The Blades surprised a lot of people this year with their play. They were one of the top teams in the WHL and a lot of people see them as being a legitimate threat to perhaps knock off Calgary. The Blades are also an inexperienced team when it comes to the playoffs having not been in the previous two years. The Hurricanes are the defending Eastern Conference champs and have three NHL first rounders on their team in Zach Boychuk, Kyle Beach and Luca Sbisa. However, Lethbridge has a problem in net as Juha Metsola will miss the opener as he recovers from a concussion suffered last weekend. He will miss Game 1 and maybe Game 2. If Metsola was 100 percent, I would take the Hurricanes in an upset. With Metsola missing perhaps the first two games, I will take the Blades in 6 tough games. Just a reminder, this is the series that SHAW and Access will have. It will be a beaut.

Kootenay vs Brandon

Kootenay played some great hockey down the stretch but they just don't have the horses to compete with Brandon. The Wheat Kings possess six players who scored at least 24 times and have nine forwards who had at least 45 points. They will just keep coming at the Ice and it will eventually become too much. Brandon in 6

Swift Current vs Medicine Hat

I like the Tigers, I really do! Willie Desjardins is one of the top if not the top coach in the league. Tyler Ennis is worth the price of admission alone. Medicine Hat has owned Swift Current in previous playoff matchups and if there is a series that is going to go 7 this will be it. The Broncos have the edge in goal with Travis Yonkman and they have the better team on paper. Medicine Hat will make it interesting if they can steal one of the first two in Swift Current but the Tigers weren't very good on the road this season winning just 13 times. The Broncos take this one and if they do head to Medicine Hat with a 2-0 lead they will take it in 5.

Vancouver vs Prince George

MISMATCH!!! The Giants beat the Cougars in all eight meetings this year and were outscored 40-11 in those eight games. Need I say more. Vancouver in 4.

Tri-Cities vs Everett

The Americans-Silvertips series should also be a short one as Tri-Cities is very solid at all aspects of the game. Like Brandon against Kootenay, I see Tri-Cities just coming in waves at the Tips who just won't be able to cope. Tri-Cities in 4

Kelowna vs Kamloops

The Rockets enter the playoffs as the WHL's hottest team having won their last eight including games against Calgary. They are one of the elite teams in the league having had success against the Hitmen, Giants, Chiefs and Americans. They would have to be considered the longshot to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Getting Mark Guggenberger from Swift Current really helped the Rockets in net as he went 17-3-3. The Blazers lost all nine meetings with the Rockets this year but goalie Justin Leclerc will steal one for Kamloops. Take the Rockets in 5.

Spokane vs Seattle

The Chiefs are the defending Memorial Cup champs and with guys like Dustin Tokarski, Drayson Bowman, Mitch Wahl and several others who hoisted the Cup--or at least what was left of it--they will be tough. If Spokane had Jared Cowen in the lineup, I might be prone to taking them to knock off Vancouver. I still think they could. They will beat Seattle in this series and again it could be in 4 straight.

Bottom line.....DROP THE PUCK AND LETS PLAY!!! It gets fun starting now!!!

Bravo Winnipeg Bravo!!!!

Winnipeg!! The city that whines over the fact their team got beat by the Riders in the 2007 Grey Cup. The city that has perhaps what might be the worst airport in North America. The city that clings to hope the NHL will someday return. OK, I think Winnipeg deserves a second shot too. But now this.

Was March 3 a stat holiday for Winnipeg's auto thieves?
No, but on that day — and for the first time in decades — not a single motor vehicle in the city was stolen during a 24-hour period, according to Manitoba Public Insurance.
"For too many years Winnipeg was known as the auto theft capital of Canada," MPI CEO and president Marilyn McLaren said in a news release. "That's a title soon to be relinquished."
Statistics were unable to confirm the last time Winnipeg went 24 hours without a car heist.
Manitoba's theft numbers peaked in 2006 when 16,986 vehicles were stolen or targeted for theft. In 2008, 4,465 vehicles were reported stolen in Manitoba, including 3,173 from Winnipeg. These are the lowest provincial theft numbers since 1992 when 2,411 vehicles were reported stolen.
The zero-theft milestone is confirmation that Manitoba's immobilizer program and the Winnipeg Auto Theft Suppression Strategy are working, said McLaren.

Congratulations Winnipeg. Something else to hang your hat on. I can't wait to see that sign coming into the city. Car-theft free days now sits at ___________. We in Regina are once again envious of your accomplishment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Chase for The Ed Chynoweth Cup Has Started

The WHL playoffs are underway and really there was no surprise on night number one as the Calgary Hitmen had no problems with the Edmonton Oil Kings beating them 5-0. Joel Broda had a pair of goals and an assist while Martin (don’t call me Lee) Jones stopped all 21 shots sent his way to get the goose-egg. The other seven first round matchups begin tonight. BTW: I would love it if someone had started a WHL playoff pool. The league website had that a couple of years ago but it was just a one time thing.
It took him a couple of games but Alex Ovechkin has hit the 50 goal mark. He did it in a 5-2 win over Tampa. I shake my head when I hear people talking about Ovechkin or Malkin as NHL MVP this year. There is no doubt that Alex the GR8 is the guy. His infectious enthusiasm for the game is outstanding. He is the face of the NHL right now and he is the league’s best player. End of story!
How bout Sam Gagner. The Oilers 2nd year player gets his first pro hat-trick as Edmonton walloped Colorado 8-1. If you read my post Sunday morning about what happened in Saturday’s game between these two, you will know I asked myself why Edmonton couldn’t have given that effort last Saturday night. I’d have been very happy to see that 8-1 pasting on that night for oh I don’t know---34 hundred reasons!!!!!!!
Cal-State Northridge and American University(I don’t even know where that is) provided some of the top seeds with a scare at Day 1 of March Madness but in the end Memphis beat Cal-State Northridge and Villanova downed American both by double digits to move on. Had Memphis lost, I’m guessing a lot of brackets would have been f***ed on Day 1. The biggest upset of the day was one that a lot of people actually called…that was Western Kentucky beating Illinois. All in all, a good day for US college basketball fans to just sit in front of the TV and watch the games. Same thing goes today. By the way, I was 12-4 on Day 1 and would have been 13-3 had Virginia Commonwealth beaten UCLA---they only lost by one and had a shot at the end. That loss hurts though as I had VCU going to the regional final. I guess that glass slipper has shattered into a thousand pieces.
Eskimos running back Jesse Lumsden is pushing Pierre Lueders' sled at the Canadian Bobsleigh Championships this weekend at the Whistler Sliding Centre. The 26-year-old Edmonton native had been training this week with the Canadian bobsleigh team, and a team representative said earlier this week that Lumsden had been invited for a "very preliminary" try at the sport. However, a source confirmed Thursday that the six-foot-two, 226-pound running back, who last month signed with the Eskimos after playing four CFL seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, will compete with Lueders in the two-man and four-man event this weekend. Whatever you do Jesse, don’t get hurt!!!
The Leader-Post is reporting that Regina city council will soon get a report which has eight big moves in it to further develop downtown Regina. How about---a new football stadium that would be located behind Casino Regina. I’m just saying!!!!!!!
I’ve gotten so tired of BJ Penn’s whining about not getting a fair fight against Georges St. Pierre because the Montreal native was “greased up” in their last fight. GSP made Penn his bitch in the octagon on that February night, and if Penn truly wants that again then please GSP---just give it to him and then some.

How Do You Feel About Fighting?

I don't have a problem with two guys dropping the mitts and chucking the knuckles in the NHL if its done for the right cause. I have a real problem when someone has to go after somebody who has just delivered a clean hit just because that has now become part of 'the code'. I don't want fighting to be taken out of hockey but others do. Its a debate that has been and will go on for years.
A new poll released today suggests Canadians are divided over proposed rules to curb fighting in the NHL, just as many are split on the issue in general.
The survey done for the Canadian Press by the Decima research group finds 42 per cent of those asked think NHL general managers didn't go far enough with a new 10-minute penalty designed to cut down on "staged fights." 39 percent said the change was right. That rule change was proposed by the GM's at their meetings in Florida last week. It must be approved by the competition committee and NHL's board of governors.
So I ask the question to you. Do you like this proposed new rule or are you one of those people that wants to take fighting out of the game completely??

The "Weal" Deal Is Eastern Conference ROY

No real surprise to hear from the WHL today that 16 year old Pats center Jordan Weal is the Eastern Conference nominee for rookie of the year. The North Vancouver BC product had 16 goals and 54 assists for 70 points. Either Weal or Prince George Cougar Brett Connolly will be recognized as the WHL rookie of the year later this year. Other award winners from the East today are Saskatoon's Braden Holtby as goalie of the year, Calgary's Paul Postma as top defenceman, Tyler Ennis of Medicine Hat was named most sportsmanlike with the scholastic nominee from the East being Blades blueliner Stefan Elliott. Lorne Molleken of the Blades is the coach of the year and Kelly Kisio of Calgary is the executive of the year. As far as the East all-star teams went, they are as follows.

Goaltender – Braden Holtby (Marshall, SK), Saskatoon Blades
Defenceman – Paul Postma (Red Deer, AB), Calgary Hitmen
Defenceman – Keith Aulie (Rouleau, SK), Brandon Wheat Kings
Forward – Brett Sonne (Maple Ridge, BC), Calgary Hitmen
Forward – Brandon Kozun (Calgary, AB), Calgary Hitmen
Forward – Tyler Ennis (Edmonton, AB), Medicine Hat Tigers

Goaltender – Martin Jones (North Vancouver, BC), Calgary Hitmen
Defenceman – Michael Stone (Winnipeg, MB), Calgary Hitmen
Defenceman – John Negrin (West Vancouver, BC), Swift Current Broncos
Forward – Joel Broda (Prince Albert, SK), Calgary Hitmen
Forward – Justin Bernhardt (Yorkton, SK), Prince Albert Raiders
Forward – Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, SK), Brandon Wheat Kings

The chase for the Ed Chynoweth Cup starts tonight as the Calgary Hitmen entertain Edmonton. The Hitmen should not have many problems with the Oil Kings in this one. I say Calgary in 4.