Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekend Thoughts

There was certainly enough to keep one busy on the sporting front this weekend. The end of the NHL season, the WHL playoffs, baseball's opening weekend and the Masters was just about enough for this blogger. Thankfully, the Riders didn't do anything of note nor did any of the other teams. Lots of things to  talk about. In no particular order, here we go...........

--The Moose Jaw Warriors are in full control of their WHL 2nd round series against Medicine Hat after taking the first two games at beautiful Mosaic Place. The Warriors win against Regina in the first round arguably turned when referee Brent Montsion called a controversial clipping major on Dyson Stevenson in Game 5 of that series---a game that it looked as if Regina would win to tie things at 2. The 2nd round series may have arguably changed thanks to Montsion as well. He called a 5 minute kneeing major on Medicine Hat's star player--Emerson Etem--less than five minutes into the opener. That was all Warrior fans would see of Etem at Mosaic Place this weekend as he was suspended for Game 2. The call on Etem was justified--I had no problem with it. I didn't like the five minute major and game misconduct given to Dylan Bredo in the 2nd period though.

--Consistency in officiating is all I want when I watch a hockey game---especially a playoff game. In Game 1, Etem and Brado were tossed, yet 24 hours later, Moose Jaw forward Sam Fioretti was guilty of a kneeing penalty that was extremely similar if not more egregious than the one Etem committed only to get away with it. Moments later, a Tigers defenceman elbowed Moose Jaw's James Henry in the head in an act that I thought was more vicious than the Brado elbow in Game 1 and was again not penalized. Both should have been game misconducts and in Fioretti's case, a suspension as well.

--I don't have a problem with Dan Russell doing WHL games on SHAW, but I don't understand how SHAW can under utilize Peter Loubardias. Yes, Peter is a good friend of mine so perhaps its a biased statement, but someone of his calibre shouldn't be doing interviews from rinkside and the bench during the game. He should be calling the games. I find it shameful that Loubardias is not doing the play-by-play and he at least should be the host of the broadcasts.

--As good as the Portland Winter Hawks are right now, consider the fact they could have Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederriter on the team this year as well. YIKES! If those two were still with Portland, they could have had the most explosive team that we have seen in the WHL in years.

--The NHL regular season is over so who ya got for the Cup? The fun and drama starts later this week as the battle to win hockey's holy grail starts. I have no idea who to take. I was asked last week to participate in the Press Box Sports Bar draft where teams of I don't know how many make their selections. I had to bail because I am in another draft and that's probably a good thing because if you're not totally agreed as to who you think will win, the teams prospect could get ugly. A lot of people are taking Pittsburgh and I don't discount that and a lot of others are taking Vancouver. I don't think either will be in the final, but I don't know who will be. I guess I had better decide soon though if I am in a draft.

--Perhaps the Leafs entire season was symbolized in their final game Saturday night. Its got to be embarassing when you have a two man advantage and give up a shorty as the Leafs did to Montreal's Tomas Plekanec.

--Can someone tell me what exactly was Carey Price trying to prove Saturday night? Was he going to a Johnny Cash look-alike contest after the game or had he been to one before-hand.

--The Winnipeg Jets did not make the playoffs, but I think those connected with the Jets organization have to be extremely happy with how their first season in Manitoba played out. The love affair with the city is strong and I think the team realizes that it needs to take a step here or there to become a playoff contender. A couple of more road wins this year and they would have been there. I won't be surprised to see them in the playoffs next year----if there is a next year.

--Speaking of the Jets, their fans are very intimidating, but they are also smart enough to recognize an accomplishment. It was good of them to give Steve Stamkos a nice ovation when he notched his 60th.

--The fact San Jose's Ryan Clowe did not get fined or suspended while playing the puck from the bench during a game against the Kings this week is an absolute joke. With cameras everywhere, you can't catch everything but supplmentary discipline has been handed out in the past for hits that have gone unpenalized in the NHL so why not an act like this that prevented an odd-man rush from happening. Had a King gone to the Sharks bench and given Clowe a good old fashioned glove to the schnozz, would that player have been disciplined. I think we both know the answer to that.

--I found it odd that 45 percent of those voting in the last poll said Calgary was the Canadian non-playoff team in the worst shape. I would have thought that honour would have gone to Toronto or Montreal especially when you consider that Calgary wasn't that far out of a playoff spot. Those three teams do have some big jobs in front of them this summer though.

--Could Regina play a big part in Canada's entry at the World Hockey Championships. One can't help but think if they wanted to play that Ryan Getzlaf, Tyler Bozak, Jordan Eberle and Josh Harding should get an invite.

--Say what you will about the Toronto Blue Jays, but three games in and it looks as if this team is going to be exciting.

--I have no problem in seeing both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at 0-3 to start the season.

--I know the Jays will have a near sellout if not a sellout crowd for their home opener against Boston on Monday. I just hope they have a good crowd on Tuesday as well as people start to get behind this team. The Leafs are done and the Raptors are going nowhere so its time for Toronto sports fans to get behind a team that might actually win more than it loses.

--Just two games into the 2012 season and this Chicago Cubs fan is already fed up with their bullpen as Carlos Marmol blew his first two save opportunities of the year. Cubs manager Dale Sveum threw Marmol back out in the bottom of the 9th Sunday against Washington. Marmol gave up a walk to put the tying run on base before inducing a pop-out to end the game. Had Washington come back, I may have been advocating Steve Bartman to manage this team. It could be a long year at Wrigley.

--Did anyone really think we were going to get off without one last snowstorm before spring actually comes. Don't be surprised if we see more white stuff this year. That was heavy snow that fell Friday night-Saturday morning. I had to go out Saturday and I think it took longer to clear the snow off the car than the actual trip took. I also laughed at people shovelling their driveways. Mother Nature had my driveway cleared by Sunday afternoon.

--Easter ham, turkey or both?

--Do you find it fitting that a guy named "Bubba" wins a prestigious golfing event in Georgia. I think a lot of people were rooting for Bubba Watson, especially after it became evident that Phil Mickleson was not going to get it done on the final Sunday of the Masters. Watson saved his best shot for the last hole when he somehow managed to find the green with a hook shot that will be talked about for years. While that shot that got him the green jacket will be talked about for years, it won't go down as the shot of the tournament. How about Louis Oosthuizen's 2 on the par 5 2nd. It was the first two on the hole in the history of the event and just the 4th double eagle ever at Augusta National. That shot and Phil's bad drive on 4 certainly changed the complexion of the round---a round that once again was thrilling and compelling as each golfer made his way down the course. Some thrived in the pressure while others were driven to their knees by the pressure that is the final round of the Masters. It was once again, TV at its best.

--I hope that Bubba besides winning the green jacket also got a place to get a haircut. That's a bad mop he is sporting.

--How many pro shops across North America that sell Bubba's driver had their employees stay late Sunday night to spray-paint them pink?

--I guess we are spoiled in this country because of the rinks that have represented Canada at the worlds mens curling championship, but I was expecting Glenn Howard to win gold which is what he did. Its simply first or nothing for me in that event and yes, I realize there are many good nations involved.

--Now that the curling season is over, I have one statement and one question. The statement---thank god we don't have to see those lame curling ads until next year. MEMO to companies advertising on curling---can we find some humourous ads involving curlers and no Jennifer Jones at the grocery store is not humourous. Question: Do you think Mary Dobbin and Johnny "The Hammer" Chow met this year and well-----------------you know! Perhaps we will get the answer next year.

--Vic Rauter at curling is as good as any play by play man in North America calling their game of choice. Vic just brings his "A" game every night. The drama he puts into the call of the game is second to none.

--Chocolate does taste better when it comes in the shape of an egg!

--While it may be a little late, I do wish you Happy Easter...



Anonymous said...

You take Kipper from the Flames and you're left with nothing but the most over rated player in the league and a bunch of slugs.

Anonymous said...

Shanahan suspends players for "questionable" hits, but does nothing when the integrity of the game is challenged. Clowe should have had the hammer come down on him.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have any bunnies like that in my backyard!!!

Anonymous said...

Bozak? I don't think so. Wayyyyyy too many talented forwards out there ahead of him. I know he's from Regina, but I think he's a little over-rated.


Anonymous said...

Jays won't make the wildcard. They will win the AL East. I love their enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

The Jets finished right where I thought they would finish. As a fan, I was happy with what I saw. I think this team has the right structure in place and the right plan going forward. They will be top eight next season.

Anonymous said...

Kate Upton is simply unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

Take Kipper away from the Flames and all they have left is the most over rated player in the league along with a bunch of slugs.

Mike from Vita, MB said...

Kate's bank account must be near zero, for her to do such a gig

Anonymous said...

No doubt on the consistency issue. I watched both of the games from Moose Jaw on Access this weekend. The Etem knee was justified, but the Fioretti knee was just as bad and went uncalled. Players have no idea what they can and can't do out there anymore because there is no consistency amongst the stripes. I find it interesting that the same guy that called the clip on Stevenson was the guy who made the calls in Game 1 as well. Does he think he gets a ring or something if MJ wins? He has certainly turned the tide of two series with his antics.


Anonymous said...

Perry is going, but not Getzlaf. Not that surprising since Ryan had a terrible season.

Anonymous said...

Still sour grapes from Pats fans a week after series is over. Get over it!

Anonymous said...

Good call on Loubardias. Shaw is wasting his talents.

He should come here and take the Pats job if its still open.