Roberto Luongo is going to make it very, very difficult for Hockey Canada brass when it comes to who is the starting goalie for Canada at the Vancouver Olympics. He would love nothing more than to occupy the crease that he does on most nights at GM Place when the games begin. The way he played last night, he should be the starter. Luongo was the difference as the Canucks take a 2-0 lead in their first round matchup with St. Louis with a 2-0 win. He made several spectacular saves to frustrate a young Blues team that is now really behind the 8 ball even though all Vancouver technically did was hold serve.
When's the last time a team won a Stanley Cup playoff game when on a two man advantage in overtime. Seriously??? I can't remember that ever happening before but it did Friday as Bill Guerin scored right near the end of the first overtime giving the Penguins a 3-2 win over Philly and a 2-0 series lead with everything heading across the state of Pennsylvania to Philly for the next two.
I didn't see much of the Carolina-New Jersey game but I did see the overtime winner by Tim Gleason giving the Canes a 2-1 win and a series split with the next two back in Raleigh. Jamie Langenbrunner left the game in the 2nd period and did not return.
As good as the Brandon Wheat Kings are, I don't see them giving Calgary a huge battle in the WHL East final. They sure didn't gave the Hitmen one in Game 1. Calgary is now 9-0 in these playoffs after a 9-3 win over Brandon at the Saddledome. The Hitmen scoring six times in the 2nd to break this one open. The West final between Kelowna and Vancouver begins in "The Coov" tonight with the Giants favoured but don't be surprised if the Rockets take this one to seven as well and perhaps win it.
The Humboldt Broncos lose Game 1 of the Anavet Cup final. They were beaten 4-1 by the Portage Terriers. The winner of the series heads to the RBC Cup in Victoria.
Canada will play for bronze at the World Under 18 championship in Fargo, North Dakota. They were beaten 2-1 by the host team in a semi-final game. Canada led it 1-0 after 40 but could not hold on.
I don't know about you, but I love it when the Jays play at home on a Friday night and they bring out the retro blue uniforms that they used to wear. I love those unis!!!!! They are sharper looking in person than they are when you see them on TV.
Sportsnet's Calgary correspondent Roger Millions is taking some heat today over a big time faux pas that occured during Thursday's Hockey Central. If you haven't seen the video yet, it is humourous but to a broadcaster its not funny. I have known Roger for a long time. At one time a long, long time ago I worked with both him and Peter Loubardias at CK Radio and I learned a lot from him. He is very passionate about what he does and he is very good at what he does. I would like to defend Roger in this space but I can't because he broke the first rule of broadcasting which is always assume you are on and never, ever utter any foul language. We have all done it. I'm guilty of it and so are many others. He made a mistake and its one that will haunt him for a long, long time. I think and believe Roger is man enough to admit that. However, there are many more to blame here. Who was supposed to edit this piece??? Who was to check what was being aired??? There was a big time lack of communication somewhere and if Millions is to be disciplined than so should the ones responsible for this screw-up in Toronto. It wasn't as grievous an error as what Roger made but when in Montreal at this year's Grey Cup, I sent an interview down to the CJME studios that I had done with John Hufnagel in which I made a factual mistake and was corrected by the Stampeder coach. I told the person responsible in Regina to make sure that was edited out. I should have asked to hear the tape before going on with our one hour special from Montreal but I didn't. The person responsible for editing out that piece of tape decided she had better things to do and didn't do what I asked. Thus, I looked stupid and many heard it and let me know about it when I got back or by checking out one of the Rider fanboards. It was my fault for screwing it up originally but it was the fault of the person back in Regina for not doing what was supposed to be done. It happens!! Roger is not the first to be burned and he won't be the last.
My old news director Murray Wood at CJME was adamant that every piece of audio tape be checked before it went to air to make sure there are no screw-ups. Do his anchors listen to that before every cast.....NO!!!! Do they sometimes get burned.....YES!!!! Do they get burned to the extent that Millions did.....in most times NO but sometimes it does happen for whatever reason. Here's hoping that Roger gets his 15 minutes of fame for all the wrong reasons, just like Global Saskatoon's Keri Ferguson a few months ago, but that this just eventually blows over and he can move on. Roger is too good to be remembered for this incident.
One other thing. Just as the 3rd period of the Vancouver-St. Louis game started, I got a text message from a prominent Reginan who wanted to know what was wrong with Kris Draper because he was in a hockey draft. Who the hell is still running a hockey draft on night three of the playoffs when two of the games are already over. I'm guessing not many Flyers were taken in this draft!!!
That's all I got for now. Have a good Saturday!!!