Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Thoughts

I'm guessing it may be a pretty quiet day in the tiny Quebec city of Shawnigan after what was likely a chaotic night. The host Cataractes won the Memorial Cup in dramatic fashion beating the London Knights in overtime 2-1. Congrats to the Cataractes (french for waterfall from what I'm told) for winning the event, but it always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when the host team wins the title at an event like this or the RBC especially when they don't go in as a league finalist.

The Knights, the Oil Kings and the Saint John Sea Dogs all had to go through a championship season in their respective leagues to get to the Memorial Cup while the Cataractes were waiting for them having had a month off. I know you can't change it, but I just don't like that scenario. If Shawnigan had won the Quebec title or been the runner-up, I'd be OK with it, but they didn't. One could argue that the Cataractes proved to be the best by beating all three league champions, but one could counter back that other teams could have had that opportunity as well. I don't know what you do to fix it and the Canadian Hockey League and Canadian Junior "A" Hockey League likely don't care, but it is a sports peeve of mine. A couple of years ago I suggested expanding the Mem Cup to involve league finalists and the host team to prevent something like this from happening, but that would stretch out the event.

What was great about the final is that we saw hockey the way its supposed to be played. One goal takes all. It was 5 on 5 hockey, no shootouts, and the refs put their whistles away and didn't call anything. Nothing cheap was just good hockey.

If you went to Vegas before the Stanley Cup playoffs and bet a few dollars that the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings would be playing in the finals, how much money could you have won. I'm guessing not many thought it would be the number 6 seed vs the number 8 seed in the finals. New Jersey goes in having home ice advantage after not having it in the first three rounds. Its a series that I think sees two teams that mirror one another in a way. LA has to be favoured, and those of you voting on the poll seem to think Kings in 6. I can't disagree with that, but something also seems to tell me that fate may be on the Devils side.

I would love to see both teams go retro for Game 1 with the Kings breaking out the purple and gold and the Devils donning the red and green. That would be great!

With the Devils in the final, a lot of people are now asking who would you rather have, Ilya Kovalchuk or Alex Ovechkin? It would seem as if Kovy has become a complete hockey player, but he still takes some shifts off and you can't afford that at this time of year.

If New Jersey wins, is Kovy the Conn Smythe Trophy winner or do you go with Zach Parise or Marty Brodeur. I think Parise has the slight edge right now, but if Brodeur outplays Jonathan Quick, the old man may get his hands on that hardware.

The Kings trailed the Leafs in the NHL's overall standings with 30 games to go in the season.

I forget who Darryl Sutter replaced behind the LA bench.

I did not know who Ryder Hesjedal was before today.

I did not know that Canada was home to Indy 500 racer James Hinchcliffe before today.

I like reading the columns of the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons, but I have to respectfully disagree with him today. He is also on TSN's "The Reporters" and he gave a thumbs down to the University of Ottawa for hiring Gary Etcheverry as their head coach saying the University should have hired someone Canadian. Etcheverry may not be Canadian, but the former Rider defensive co-ordinator has spent a great deal of time in this country coaching football so it shouldn't matter. The university hired the best guy. Does this mean when Canadian hockey coaches get a job overseas that they shouldn't have gotten it because they are not from that country. No, they get the job because they are chosen to be the ones who can teach whoever the game the best. That's a ludicrous argument by Simmons.

What a reality slap for the Blue Jays this weekend! That hurt! If this team is going to contend for a playoff spot, it has to find better relievers because the current crop of guys just are not getting the job done. Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero and Kyle Drabek all got knocked around pretty bad in their last starts as well, but I don't think the rotation is the problem and that all just had a bad turn. One can no longer ignore the fact though that after the starters, there is once again a huge void of talent.

Speaking of a huge void of talent, how about my Chicago Cubs! I didn't think they would contend in year 1 of the Theo Epstein era, but I didn't think they would lose 12 in a row---most since 87 and be tied with Minnesota for worst record in the majors. That's just unacceptable, but then again so have the last 100 plus years!

How does a moose get all the way into downtown Regina before being captured, tranquilized and sent back into the wilderness? Reports say he got into city limits by Douglas Park. I don't know what would go through my mind if I was driving along and encountered Mr. Moose sauntering down Broadway Avenue or Albert Street. Talk about a double-take. When I lived up in the Peace Country of northwestern Alberta, it was common-place to see moose, but in downtown Regina?

I read an interview with Vince Li, the guy who went berserk on that Greyhound bus a few years ago and beheaded a passenger. Why is this man out? I know it sounds harsh, but why didn't RCMP just finish this guy off on the bus when they had the chance? I wouldn't want a guy like this anywhere around my community. Sorry, but that's the way I feel.

This is pure rumour, but I heard it on NHL Radio Sunday morning. The Rangers are heavy in the trade talks for Rick Nash. The talking head (didn't catch who it was) said Columbus will get a 2nd round draft pick, a defenceman (Del Zotto or Staal) and a forward (Kreider, Stepan or Hagelin). They will then turn around and swap the defenceman in the deal to Edmonton to get the number one pick which will allow them to take Nail Yakupov and allow the Oilers to take the guy they want to which is White City's Ryan Murray at number 2. I can't say I really don't see that happening. There is actually some merit to that deal. Could rumour become fact? Having Del Zotto or Staal would certainly make that Edmonton blueline better.

Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500 fair and square. Takuma Sato tried to take the inside lane, but he got squeezed out by Franchitti--end of story as far as I'm concerned. There was no cheap chicanery there.

UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste was arrested on domestic violence charges hours before Saturday's event in Las Vegas. No other details have been released. I will just say this---I'm guessing Arianny knows how to handle herself and I'm guessing several of the MMA fighters would have her back and love to get some guy in the cage for 5 minutes to dish out some justice if you know what I mean.

Also in Vegas on the weekend, porn star Jenna Jameson (wife of MMA star Tito Ortiz) was arrested on DUI charges in or near L-A. The report I saw said Jameson was charged after her car went off the road and she blew a breathalyzer. The jokes just write themselves sometimes I guess.

I didn't watch much of it, but my Twitter feed was exploding with comments on the San Antonio-Oklahoma City NBA West final. If its as good as what people were saying, I may have to tune in and watch a game.

What's Brendan Taman thinking as the Riders approach the start of the 2012 season. I spoke to the congenial Riders GM on Friday for a story that's on If you haven't seen it, here it is.

I checked out roller derby for the first time on Saturday night at the Callie Club. I was entertained, but I was greatly confused as well. It wasn't like being at High Impact Wrestling for a variety of reasons. Being at the Callie though made me wonder why the HIW guys can't get the Callie or the Tartan or some place like that in the summer when the ice is out of the curling rinks. The Victoria Club is just too small a venue for them. Its gotta be $$$$.

A former co-worker of mine let me know over the weekend that he had sampled "deep fried steak" and that it was not greasy and some kind of delicious. This is something I may have to sample.

Dominik Hasek wants back in the NHL at age 47? Does Chris Chelios want to get back too?

When will I go to a restaurant and hear that "whiskey" is the soup of the day!

Have a good Monday and stay dry!


Anonymous said...

I thought that was you at Roller Derby. Are you going to be a regular now?

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are saying about the host team, but what else are you going to do. The leagues have to know where the tournament is going to be played so it can't just be saying it will be played in this place at the spur of the moment. I don't like the fact the host team won the event either, but I can't see the format changing anytime soon. It was a great hockey game though and that shouldn't be ignored.


Anonymous said...

So does Simmons like the fact there are no Canadian head coaches in the CFL. Perhaps he should preach that guys like Nill, Ptaszek, Towriss and McCrystal be favoured for CFL head coaching jobs. What a moron! Good luck Etch!

peter dalla riva

Anonymous said...

Kovalchuk wins CST hands down if Devils win. He has been their best player throughout.


Anonymous said...

Completely agree with you on the Vince Li thing. That guy should NOT be walking the streets.

The OKC-SA game was great last night. Whoever wins that series wins it all. It will go 7.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I agree with Grant.

Anonymous said...

That trade isn't as implausible as one would think. It would help all three teams.

In that Riderville piece, Taman says he is looking at Sisco. No kidding! Its time for that kid to step up and show us what he has or start delivering pizzas.



Anonymous said...

Hinchcliff is from Toronto. He has been racing for about 5 years I think.

Anonymous said...

The Toronto Sun is a low-brow right-wing tabloid of ill-repute. So I am not surprised about Simmon's opinion.