Scattershooting on a Tiebreaker Tuesday. . . . The doors are open and 5,800 hockey fans are on the move

Scattershooting

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We’re perched high — well, maybe not that high — above the ice surface at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops awaiting a full house of more than 5,800 people with the Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets about to meet in a play-in game. . . . The winner will open a first-round playoff series with the Royals in Victoria on Friday. The loser? Don’t ask. It’s over. . . .

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G Dylan Garand, a 16-year-old from Victoria, will make his seventh straight start for the Blazers in the absence of the injured Dylan Ferguson. Danton Belluk, whose WHL rights belong to the Everett Silvertips, remains with Kamloops on an emergency basis and will be on the bench. . . . The Blazers are 5-0-1 in Garand’s six recent starts. . . . On the season, Garand is 11-7-3, 2.94, .902. Against Kelowna, he is 2-0-0, 0.96, .964. . . . The Rockets will counter with G Roman Basran (20-19-4, 2.79, .906). Against the Blazers this season, he is 4-3-1, 1.61, .942. . . . Judging by those numbers, someone wins by a 2-1 count tonight. . . .

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The Rockets have scratched D Lassi Thomson, D Matt Barberis and F Cole Carrier. . . . The Blazers will scratch F Travis Walton, Ferguson, and either F Jerzy Orchard or D Joonas Sillanpaa. . . .

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According to WHL regulations, the home team keeps tonight’s gate “after applicable expenses are paid” to the visitors. “This includes hotel expenses for one night, applicable meals (two days maximum) and applicable bus expenses to a maximum of $3 per mile. All expenses are in effect even if the visiting club wins the game.” . . .

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The Blazers being on the hook for the expenses may, or may not, have had anything to do with the Rockets having arrived in Kamloops on Monday for a Tuesday night game. During the regular season, these teams make the two-hour drive on game days and return after each game. A tiebreaker, of course, involves extraordinary circumstances. . . . The Blazers paying to bed and feed Rockets? That can only help the rivalry, eh!

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I’m hardly a math major, so I will leave it up to you to guesstimate what the gate receipts from tonight’s game might be with a crowd of more than 5,800 on hand. But the on-ice officials will get a cut — each of the referees is to be paid $155, with the linesmen getting $100 apiece. . . . Tonight’s referees are veterans Chris Crich and Brett Iverson. Nick Bilko and Nathan Van Oosten are on the lines. Willy Saari is the video goal judge.



Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, weighs in on one of last week’s hot topics: “Jose Canseco used a Tweet to accuse A-Rod of cheating on his fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, with Canseco’s ex-wife. Minutes after that tweet ‘hit the streets,’ Canseco put out another one to challenge A-Rod to a boxing match or an MMA match ‘anytime you want’ — apparently as a way for Canseco to defend Jennifer Lopez’ honor. I guess I am glad that he suggested boxing or MMA to settle this matter and stopped short of suggesting they reinstitute duelling with pistols at 10 paces.”


RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com asks: “Lo-Rod is: a) Engaged couple J-Lo and A-Rod’s married nickname, or b) Where Astros star Jose Altuve hangs his clothes?”



Headline at The Onion: Antonio Brown Buys Pittsburgh Billboard To Thank Antonio Brown For Putting Up With City.



Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times reports: “Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson apologized for posting a picture on Instagram that showed him driving at 105 mph. On the bright side, Vegas oddsmakers now list Jackson at 35-1 to win the Super Bowl and 5-2 to win the Indy 500.”

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“How do MLB apologists try to spin it when a player vanishes for half a season because of a marijuana suspension?” asks Perry, before answering: “Tommy Chong surgery.”



Ken Rosenthal and Emily Waldon reported on the weekend that the Toronto Blue Jays are going to give every play in their system a raise of more than 50 per cent. . . . “When the ‘Save America’s Pastime’ act passed in March 2018,” they wrote, “depriving minor leaguers of overtime pay beyond a 40-hour work week, the Blue Jays already were talking about how they could improve the compensation of players in their farm system. A year later, the team is in the process of finalizing a pay increase of more than 50 percent for any player who is on a roster of an affiliated minor-league club, from the lowest rung in the Dominican Summer League to the highest level at Triple A, club officials told The Athletic.”

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Scattershooting on a Sunday night while remembering the great Dan Jenkins . . .

Scattershooting

Dan Jenkins — yes, THE Dan Jenkins — died Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 89. If you haven’t read any of his work, you should. . . . In the meantime, Tom Callahan, a contributing editor at Golf Digest, wrote a tribute that is right here. I guarantee that this will be the best thing you will read this month, and maybe even this year.

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A daughter remembers her father right here, and this is a great read, too.

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ICYMI, Geir Helgemo, the world’s top-ranked bridge player, has been disciplined after testing positive for synthetic testosterone and clomifene, a female fertility drug. As Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, noted: “It’s enough to make you long for the purity of pro wrestling.”


Uber


Charles Barkley has said the Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics is “one of the most miserable people” he has ever seen. Of course, as Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com points out: “You would not be happy, either, if you were always worried about falling off the edge of the world.”


“The Kansas City Chiefs want OT rules changed so both teams will get a possession,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “ ‘Fantastic idea, and fair to both sides,’ said the CFL — 19 years ago.”

Best wishes to Brad Watson, one of the good guys. When I was the sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and running the Christmas Cheer Fund there, he always made a contribution.


DieHard


“The North Dakota State men’s football team is the latest championship squad to be served Big Macs and Chick-Fil-A sandwiches at The White House,” writes Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “Of course, the rest of the world only gets Donny’s Whoppers.”


So . . . in watching the Scotties and the Brier on TSN, I noticed that some folks took it upon themselves to name the best of this and the best of that when it comes to curling in Canada. . . . I only have one question. . . . Why?


Here’s Michael Rosenberg of SI.com, explaining how it is that super-agent Scott Boras has such success: “He stays patient, shows incredible guts, ingratiates himself and manipulates the media with leaks of a record offer from a mystery team on Mars that includes free use of a spaceship.”


A note from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Pot-loving Cowboys DT David Irving — suspended yet again by the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy — says he’s quitting football. Or is he just blowing more smoke?”

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Perry, again: “Just found a roll of $1 bills with a rubber band around it. Or as it’s known around Jupiter, Fla.: Kraft singles.”


Privates

Scattershooting on a Monday as we await the arrival of spring. . . . It is coming, isn’t it?

Scattershooting


“It’s doubtful Marie Antoinette, beheaded former queen of France, ever played hockey,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “If she had, history would note her as out indefinitely with an upper body injury.”


McMars


Hey, Sportsnet, if you’re going to make a to-do about a pregame fight you should know that it happened in the ECHL, as opposed to the East Coast Hockey League. If you’re wanting to be a nation’s hockey network, you should be aware of that. Once again . . . that pregame scrap took place in the ECHL. OK?



So . . . my wife, Dorothy, was in Brandon last week. While they were paying 97.9 for a litre of gasoline, the price in Kamloops was 1.27.9. Does anyone have a clear and reasonable and sensible explanation for that? And you can’t use the word ‘gouging’ in your explanation.


A couple of Robservations from Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post: 1. Why are hockey referees so oblivious to obvious cross-checks? On Friday, for example, Logan Nijhoff of the Regina Pats was cross-checked into the Brandt Centre boards by Dakota Krebs of the Calgary Hitmen. No call. The Hitmen proceeded to score a goal when they should have been killing a penalty. The laissez-faire officiating was also on display when Nijhoff gave Kaden Elder an extra shot after finishing a check. No call (repeat). Why employ two referees if they are going to ignore penalties? . . . 2. There isn’t any justification for fighting in hockey — not when player safety is supposedly an area of emphasis.


Santa


Here’s columnist Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times on the Dodgers’ attempts to sign Bryce Harper: “They flew to his Las Vegas home this week in what appeared to be a successful attempt to convince him of their charms. It seemed like Harper was all but begging to come to Los Angeles. Yet the Dodgers let him go to the one place he clearly didn’t want to go. . . . When it comes to bringing a star to Hollywood, the Dodgers are more about raising prices than raising hopes.”


Headline at SportsPickle.com: Report: Man agrees to live in Philadelphia for $330 million.



Headline at SportsPickle.com: Somehow this Bryce Harper deal will end with the Mets paying him $1 million every month through the year 2095.


Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, notes: “With Bryce Harper’s $300-million, 13-year contract,  there are kids not even born in Philly who will be booing him someday.”

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Hough, again: “Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper at the Oscars had more chemistry than we’ve seen live since Trump and Putin in Helsinki.”



“By now,” writes Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, “I’m sure you have seen photos of the exploded sneaker that led to Zion Williamson’s ‘Grade 1 knee sprain’. Photos of Janet Jackson’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ didn’t get wider distribution than the exploded shoe has gotten.”


If you’re looking for a good read, get a copy of Bower: A Legendary Life. Written by Dan Robson, it chronicles the life and times of Johnny Bower, and what an amazing story it was. It helps, too, that Bower was a perfect gentleman. It should be mandatory reading, too, for every player who is making his living playing hockey today.


OnHold


Wondering what’s in the future for outfielder Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels? Here’s Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s nice to envision Mike Trout wearing a Giants uniform when he becomes a free agent two years from now, but that’s a pipe dream. Trout is an East Coast guy (New Jersey). His buddies are tired of staying up past midnight to watch a dreadful Angels game on television. Only the Dodgers could keep him in California.”


Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times flagged this one . . . Rich de Give, via Twitter, on former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort’s sentencing memo taking up 800 pages: “Wait until you get to the end, when you find out not only did he remove a mattress tag, he used the descriptions and accounts of a game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball.”

Scattershooting on Sunday while wondering if there are any NHL trades yet to come . . .

Scattershooting

Scattershooting on a quiet Sunday while watching The Bourne Supremacy — again — and wondering why none of the Bourne movies won an Oscar. . . .


If you’re like me, you’re wondering why the WHL couldn’t have found a way to leave franchises in Chilliwack and Cranbrook, and sold expansion franchises for Victoria and Winnipeg. . . . I don’t know what an expansion franchise would go for, but you have to think there are WHL teams that could use a chunk of $5 million or so. . . . And don’t bother me with the theory that the player pool isn’t deep enough for two more teams. That has never stopped anyone from expanding, has it?


A note from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Look who’s back, back, back in the booth. Former ESPN icon Chris Berman will be among the rotating stable of announcers calling call Red Sox games on WEEI Radio this year. Mookie ‘Gentlemen, Place Your’ Betts and Mitch ‘This Land Is’ Moreland refused comment.”

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Here’s some 20/20 hindsight from Perry: “Marshawn Lynch should have run. Robert Kraft should have passed.”

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Godot


Hey, NBC-TV, now that you’ve given us the Elvis All-Star Tribute, how about showing us the ’68 Comeback Special in its entirety? Please.


If you haven’t already seen it, the latest post from The River City Renegade (aka Patti Dawn Swansson) is right here. As usual, it’s good and readable, although I doubt that Nick Kypreos will check it out.


Shoelaces


Headline at SportsPickle.com: Jordan makes sure all the bad Nikes go to Duke.


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “We’re not going to know what caused Zion Williamson’s shoe to blow up until Nike recovers the black box.”

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Here’s Ostler, with a thought on the future of Major League Baseball: “If the player-manager is an extinct breed, the next breed to vanish could be the manager-manager. We have the driverless car, next comes the manager-less ballclub. Why pay a guy to make pitching changes or defensive switches when a computer can do those things more effectively? Five years from now the manager’s primary job will be making sure the players keep the dugout tidy.”


After France recognized lightsaber duelling as a competitive sport, Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com asked: “What next? Putting together a Quidditch team for the Olympics?” . . . Well, break-dancing may be a recognized medal sport in the 2024 Paris Olympic Summer Games, so why not?


Cold


You may have seen a puck go off the face of Carolina F Justin Williams and into the net for a Hurricanes goal the other night. That got RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com to wondering: “Is that scoring on a faceoff?”

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Here’s Currie, again: “A final score from the Canadian women’s curling championship: P.E.I. 13; New Brunswick 12. Put it this way: they exceeded the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl total by three field goals.”


“Well,” points out Janice Hough, aka the Left Coast Sports Babe, “Kyler Murray is leaving baseball for football. If this lack of contract keeps up, maybe Bryce Harper can join him?”


I would have bet the house that Ontario skip Rachel Homan would have made one of the 10th- or 11th-end last-rock draw attempts, either of which could have won the Canadian women’s curling championship, on Sunday in Sydney, N.S. Instead, she pulled the string on both, meaning I’d be homeless tonight had the bookie taken the bet.


No, I won’t be up at 5 a.m. PT to watch NHL trade deadline day silliness. Will you?


Crows

Scattershooting while wondering why winter chose to show up in February . . . Dickson checks out MeTV . . . Bingo game turns nasty

Scattershooting

Headline of the week, and it isn’t close, from Global News in Winnipeg: Customers continue to line up at drive-thru as Winnipeg A&W burns to the ground.


Einstein


Scott Ostler, in last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle: Today’s quiz, and I won’t give you the answer — Which celeb golfer, playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am several years ago, was caught illegally moving his ball in the rough and explained to his caddie: “I cheat in business, I cheat on my wife, and I cheat at golf”?



An observation from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express: “Tim Tebow, 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds; Pat Mahomes, 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds; Donald Trump, 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds. Someone is fibbing.”


As I was watching the CFL free-agent frenzy on Tuesday, I kept asking myself: Did these teams find some sunken treasure? Did they uncover the secret of Oak Island? Did they win a lottery? What happened to the poor, poor CFL?


If you’re wondering how Jack Finarelli, the Sports Curmudgeon, spent Sunday evening, here’s a hint: “As you might guess, I will not be watching the NBA All-Star Game. I have something much more important to do on Sunday night; I plan to alphabetize all the checks I have written over the past 5 years. There is no reason to do that; it serves no purpose; yet it is more compelling than watching the NBA All-Star Game.”


Peanutbutter


After INRIX Global Ranking rated Boston as having the worst traffic problems in in the U.S., Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong notes: “No wonder! There seems to be a parade, marathon or some other sideshow every month.”

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Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the home of the Eastern League’s Hartford Yard Goats, has banned peanuts and Cracker Jack due to concerns about allergies. “So,” Chong writes, “the seventh-inning stretch will call for revised lyrics: ‘Buy me some donuts and cinnamon buns.’ ”


A report from RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “An update on the guy arrested at New York’s JFK airport for smuggling in South American finches, prized for their birdsong. He might do time in Sing Sing.”

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Currie, again: “A friend was in Paris recently, and said the Louvre museum was so big she had trouble finding her way out. I said there must be 50 ways to leave your Louvre.”


Headline at TheOnion.com: Schnauzers rioting outside Madison Square Garden following Westminster Dog Show defeat.


By now, you are aware that the Kootenay Ice will be leaving Cranbrook, B.C., for Winnipeg once this WHL season comes to an end. Now I’m told that another B.C.-based WHL team may be on the move. The Vancouver Giants, I’m told, are seriously considering going back to Pacific Coliseum after spending three seasons in the Langley Events Centre. . . . Someone else says that Giants majority owner Ron Toigo “is making a noise. . . . Think it’s more of a negotiating ploy.”


“I spend too much time watching TV news channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC,” Brad Dickson writes. “Lately I’ve grown so sick of the political rancor and finger-pointing that permeates these networks that I vowed to stay away and watch nothing but MeTV for one entire day. Last Thursday I viewed the classic TV network almost nonstop from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.” . . . After he was all done, Dickson posted this fabulous piece right here. Enjoy!


An excerpt from the latest filing by Patti Dawn Swansson: “Another receiver who won’t be doing his thing in Pegtown is Duron Carter, now the problem child of the B.C. Lions. ‘I am looking forward to making a fresh start on the West Coast,’ he told news snoops. By my count, Carter has had six ‘fresh’ starts in seven years: Two in Montreal and one each in Indianapolis, Saskatchewan, the Republic of Tranna and now Lotus Land. His ass-clown act lasts about as long as food on Chris Walby’s dinner plate. Carter’s hands are never the problem, of course. It’s his yap. Can’t see that changing, even if Lotus Land is the natural habitat of more flakes per capita than anywhere else in the country.” . . . It’s all right here.


“Police were called when two women, 86 and 79, came to blows over seating arrangements during Bingo night at a retirement home in Rideau Lakes, Ont.,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Because it was Canada, both returned to action after serving five minutes for fighting.”


Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot knows when the brand new Alliance of American Football will have arrived. “When one of its franchises can hold a city hostage over a new stadium deal,” he writes.


Quote

Scattershooting after dozing through Stupor Bowl . . . Brodsky family gets Hall call . . . Seattle’s O’Dette voices some displeasure

Scattershooting

Greg Cote, in the Miami Herald: “Tiger opens season at Torrey Pines: Justin Rose carries a three-shot lead into Sunday’s final round of the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Tiger Woods, in his first event of the new season, made the cut but is 13 off the lead. Except on the attention leaderboard, where he remains on top.”


Prior to this season, the WHL cut its regular-season from 72 to 68 games, and there still are far too many instances of teams having to play three games in fewer than 48 hours. Maybe it’s time to cut back to 64 games, or even 60, and get rid of even more of those dastardly mid-week games.


Itch

How excited was Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, to see the Super Bowl halftime show? “This year’s performance will feature Maroon 5 as the headliner,” he wrote, “In the event that Maroon 5 were to pull out of the performance at the last minute and be replaced by Chartreuse 7.5, I would not know the difference.”


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “There’s rumblings out of L.A. that the Lakers are itching to swing a three-city trade to land Pelicans big man Anthony Davis. In return, the Lakers would send Lonzo Ball to New Orleans, and LaVar Ball to Flin Flon.”

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Perry, again: “Whacky ex-slugger Jose Canseco tweeted that aliens have been trying to teach mankind the fine art of time travel but, alas, our species has just been too reluctant ‘to change our body composition.’ Which raises the question: Is there a concussion-protocol statute of limitations for home-run balls off the top of the noggin?


chicken


The group that owns the Victoria HarbourCats of baseball’s West Coast League has announced that if all goes well it will field a team in Nanaimo’s Serauxmen Stadium in time for the 2020 or 2021 season. It would be the third Canadian team in a league that also includes the Kelowna Falcons. The 12-team WCL has expressed interest in Kamloops and NorBrock Stadium in the past but hasn’t been able to find anyone interested in bankrolling the project.


The NBA has fined Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans the grand sum of $50,000 because his agent went public with a trade request. As RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com points out: “Tsk. There’s seven minutes salary he’ll never get back.”


When it came to watching the NFL Pro Bowl on TV, Hampton Roads, Va., was third in the ratings, behind only Kansas City and Pittsburgh. “Hey, neighbors,” wrote Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, “maybe it’s time we got out of the house more often.”


olddays


The best part of that Super Bowl game is that it’s over, which means it’s now baseball season. . . . Although I have to admit that the NFL’s showcase game did one thing good — it put me to sleep. Not once, but twice.


“Perhaps the highlight of the Super Bowl for most average Americans,” notes Janice Hough of leftcoastsportsbabe.com, “was the realization that 70,000 members of 1% paid thousands of dollars to be inside where they couldn’t change the channel.”


Former UCLA star Bill Walton, now a TV analyst, has suggested that Barack Obama should replace the fired Steve Alford as the men’s basketball coach at UCLA. To which Brad Rock of Salt Lake City’s Desert News asked: “What? Gene Hackman was busy?”



ThisThat

The Brodsky family, a major contributor to the WHL over the years, is among the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2019 inductees. The announcement was made on Saturday, with the saskhallinduction ceremony scheduled for July 6 at Saskatoon’s Prairieland Park.

“As probably everybody in the room will tell you, you come into these things and you just go to work every day and you do the things you want to be doing and enjoy doing,” Jack Brodsky said. “To be recognized, I’m especially appreciative of the fact that it’s the entire family going in. My dad (Nate) and my brothers (Rick and Bob) and sister (Debbie) were so supportive. To be here, for us to be recognized for this, is a wonderful thing. It’s humbling.”

Nate was a long-time owner of the Saskatoon Blades, which stayed in the Brodsky family until the franchise was sold to Mike Priestner of Edmonton after the 2012-13 season. . . . Rick Brodsky purchased the Victoria Cougars, moved them to Prince George in 1994 and and was involved until selling the franchise to local interests after the 2013-14 season. . . . Jack and Rick Brodsky both were heavily involved in the WHL at the administrative level, as well.

Also in the class of 2019 — Players: Bert Olmstead, Fernie Flaman, Keith Magnuson, Curtis Leschyshyn, Brian Skrudland and Ed Van Impe; Grassroots: Jim McIntyre and Joe Bloski; Builders: Murray Armstrong, Max McNab, Bill Thon and the Brodsky family; Official: Brad Watson; Teams: 2004-05 Saskatoon Contacts and 1966-67 Saskatoon Centennials. . . . The SHHOF is located at the Credit Union I-Plex, the Swift Current Broncos’ home arena.

Darren Zary of the SaskatoonStarPhoenix has more right here.


Officials of WHL teams and the folks who run their home arenas need to read this piece right here from CBS News. It details how the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons cut their concession prices, some by as much as 50 per cent, and had revenues rise by 16 per cent. Other teams have since followed suit and have experienced similar results. . . . “We talk about lifetime value of customers … and the lifetime value of the customer, for the Atlanta sports fan is, I think, quite higher now because people want to go there,” Scott Rosner, director of Columbia University’s sports management program, told CBS. “They don’t feel like they’re being taken advantage of. It’s an affordable experience.”


You are free to wonder if Matt O’Dette, the head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds, will Seattlebe hearing from Kevin Acheson, the WHL’s sheriff, after expressing some disgruntlement after a 7-2 loss to the host Everett Silvertips on Saturday night.

For starters, O’Dette wasn’t happy with the fact that Everett F Connor Dewar, who finished with four goals and two assists, wasn’t given a kneeing penalty for a hit on Seattle F Matthew Wedman.

“They saw everything that we did obviously,” O’Dette told Andy Eide, who covers the Thunderbirds of 710 ESPN in Seattle. “We know what knees can do and we’re pretty sensitive about that. They continue not to call them. I don’t know why, but they continue to not call them.”

The Thunderbirds are sensitive because F Dillon Hamaliuk had his season ended by a knee-on-knee hit agains the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Dec. 29. D Matthew Quigley was suspended for four games after that hit.

On Saturday, Everett finished with nine power-play opportunities, while Seattle had two, none after the early part of the second period.

O’Dette was so frustrated that when referees Tyler Adair and Fraser Lawrence awarded Seattle a PP at 19:56 of the third period, he ended up with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

“A typical referee move to give us a call with two seconds left,” O’Dette said. “No, no, no, no, we’re not taking that. We’re not making it look good on the boxscore. Typical cowardly ref move to do that. We didn’t want that power play.”

Eide’s complete story is right here.


If you like what you read hear, and even if you don’t, feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right. Thank you, in advance.


Tweetoftheday

Scattershooting as Ethan Hunt saves the world . . . Oil Kings back on top . . . Goodness Gricius! It’s the J and J show in Portland

Scattershooting

If you are at all familiar with Sheldon Kennedy, all-Canadian hero, and his work you may have wondered: Just how broad are his shoulders? Because the load he was carrying was huge. . . . Kennedy, you may be aware, has made the decision to step back a bit and lighten his load. . . . Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star chatted with Kennedy and filed this piece right here.


“The NBA-champion Golden State Warriors paid a visit to former President Barack Obama in D.C. during their trip to play the Washington Wizards,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Apparently it was such a last-minute deal that there wasn’t even time to have hamburgers and pizza delivered.”



Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Henrik Lundqvist tied Terry Sawchuk on the all-time wins list the other night, which is true but not contextually accurate. Sawchuk played in an era with tie games. He had 171 ties in his career. If every one of those games had a win/loss result, his win total would be significantly higher than what Lundqvist has accomplished here.” . . . It’s true. Thanks to the introduction of the loser point, hockey’s numbers from one era to another no longer can be compared.

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A question from Simmons: “Why do so many Canadian media members become giddy cheerleaders when Denis Shapovalov plays tennis?” . . . That brought this response from Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express: “Why do Toronto media cheerleaders get giddy when Auston Matthews farts?”



The Baseball Hall of Fame? I’ll pay attention when the doors swing open for Larry Walker. As Keith Olbermann so eloquently put it on Twitter: “And none of this Coors (Field) crap — 70 per cent of his PA weren’t at Coors.”


RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com is ready for a movie on women’s curling, and he even suggests three titles: 1. Kiss of the Slider Woman; 2. Erin Rockovich; 3. Brush, Brush Sweet Charlotte.

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“New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera is the first player to be unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame,” writes Currie. “Makes you wonder what gripe voters once had with Babe Ruth?”


gym


On Dec. 15, Postmedia columnist Terry Jones of Edmonton wrote: “For the entire calendar year, Peter Chiarelli has been a combination of the village wart carrier and village idiot. Friday night at Rogers Place, almost everywhere you looked, the Edmonton Oilers general manager appeared to be the resident genius.” That was after the Oilers won a sixth straight game. . . . How quickly things change in hockey. Chiarelli was fired during the second intermission of a 3-2 loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.


Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong points out that POTUS “called his buddy Robert Kraft and congratulated him and his New England Patriots for making it to the Super Bowl. He didn’t do the same for the Los Angeles Rams. So make that two non-calls involving the Rams last Sunday.”


Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle always provides an entertaining read. He has another one right here, as he writes about the jerks who are in his personal hall of fame for, if nothing else, making his job that much more fun.


sleepingdog


Old friend Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, signed up for an exercise class and then discovered that a requirement was that he wear loose-fitting clothing. As he noted: “If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing I wouldn’t need the bleepin’ class!”


I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again . . . If you want an entertaining read on a regular basis, check out Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade.

Among her latest observations . . .

“John Shannon, the sometimes smug gab guy on Sportsnet, delivered what was labeled his Power 25 — the top movers and shakers in the NHL — and he listed wet-eared Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks the sixth most-powerful person.

What Shannon failed to do was explain exactly what makes Pettersson more of a power broker than, say, Puck Pontiff Mark Chipman, co-bankroll and governor of les Jets and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee. Perhaps Shannon will also tell us that a parish priest in Moose Jaw holds more sway with Catholics than the Pope. Or that Adam Sandler makes better movies than Steven Spielberg.

“That’s really, really dumb.”

The River City Renegade’s latest posting is right here.


If you’re wondering, and I know you were, the Kootenay Kountdown is into Day 40. . . . The other Kootenay Kountdown is at 48 days. Yes, the Ice will play its final home game in Cranbrook in 48 days.


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SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Calgary Hitmen scored the game’s first four goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the Calgaryvisiting Kootenay Ice. . . . Calgary (23-19-4) has won two in a row and is eight points from a playoff spot. . . . Kootenay (10-32-8) has lost four straight (0-3-1). . . . The home side went ahead 2-0 on first-period goals from F Kaden Elder (18), at 3:34, and F Riley Fiddler-Schultz (3), at 6:51. . . . The Hitmen went ahead 4-0 on second-period scores from F Tye Carriere (4), at 8:20, and F Hunter Campbell (3), at 12:23. . . . F Austin Schellenberg (5) scored for Kootenay at 15:25. . . . G Jack McNaughton, making his 21st straight start for Calgary, stopped 20 shots, four fewer than the Ice’s Curtis Meger.


D Conner McDonald scored twice as the host Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Prince George EdmontonOilKingsCougars, 2-1. . . . Edmonton (26-15-8) now leads the Central Division, one point ahead of the Red Deer Rebels and two up on the Medicine Hat Tigers and Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Prince George (16-27-5) has lost seven straight (0-5-2) and is five points from a playoff spot. . . . The Cougars were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours; they went 0-3-0 and were outscored 11-3 in the process. . . . On Sunday, F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (17) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 9:51 of the first period. . . . McDonald tied it at 6:48 of the second period, then snapped the tie, on a PP, at 8:55. . . . McDonald, who has 12 goals this season, enjoyed the first two-goal game of his career. He has 31 goals in 237 career games. . . . This season, the 19-year-old McDonald, with three goals and two assists over his past three games, has 30 points in 49 games. . . . G Todd Scott stopped 27 shots for the Oil Kings, with Taylor Gauthier blocking 30 for the Cougars. . . . F Josh Maser of the Cougars completed his three-game suspension.


F Leif Mattson drew three assists in regulation time then scored the shootout winner as KelownaRocketsthe Kelowna Rockets beat the Vancouver Giants, 4-3, in Langley, B.C. . . . Kelowna (20-24-4) had lost its previous two games, including a 2-1 loss to the visiting Giants on Saturday night. The Rockets are third in the B.C. Division, six points behind the Victoria Royals and three ahead of the Kamloops Blazers. . . Vancouver (31-12-3) had one its past eight games and now has points in nine straight (8-0-1). The Giants lead the B.C. Division by 15 points over Victoria. . . . Kelowna went 1-2-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . Last night, Kelowna grabbed a 3-0 lead on first-period goals from F Mark Liwiski (4), at 11:31, and F Kyle Topping, at 14:23, and a second goal from Topping, at 7:15 of the second period. Topping, who also had an assist, now has 19 goals. . . . F Justin Sourdif (12) started the Giants’ comeback at 8:20, with F Davis Koch (19) making it 3-2 at 12:19. . . . D Bowen Byram (18) pulled the Giants even at 13:11 of the third period. . . . Byram, who will be early first-round selection in the NHL’s June draft in Vancouver, now has 46 points in 46 games. . . . Mattson was the second shooter of the third round and scored the lone goal to give the Rockets the victory. . . . D Noah Dorey, who turned 16 on Jan. 21, made his WHL debut with the Rockets. From Surrey, B.C., he was a fourth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. He plays for the West Van Academy prep team. . . . F Liam Kindree was among Kelowna’s scratches. He didn’t finish Saturday’s game after being involved in a collision with teammate Cayde Augustine.


G Joel Hofer stopped 37 shots, 19 of them in the second period, to lead the host Portland PortlandWinterhawks to a 3-0 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Portland (30-13-5) has won three in a row. It is second in the U.S. Division, seven points behind the Everett Silvertips. . . . Lethbridge (25-15-8) has lost two straight and now is fourth in the Central Division, one point out of second and two back of first. . . . The Hurricanes were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours. They went 1-2-0. . . . Since being acquired from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for six bantam draft picks, Hofer is 4-1-0, 1.59, .946. . . . Lethbridge F Dylan Cozens wasn’t able to beat Hofer on a second-period penalty shot. . . . F Jake Gricius scored Portland’s first two goals, at 4:32 and 10:01 of the second period. Gricius, who has 22 goals, scored the second one while shorthanded. . . . F Seth Jarvis (14) scored the other goal, at 16:36. . . . The Winterhawks were without F Cody Glass, who was helped from the ice in the third period of Saturday’s games with an apparent injury to his left knee. . . . Glass was in attendance last night, according to a Twitter post (@kerstineLarsen) “with only one crutch, and even looks like he may be putting a little weight on that leg.”


F Matthew Wedman scored twice and added an assist to help the Seattle Thunderbirds to Seattlea 5-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers in Kent, Wash. . . . Seattle (18-22-6) had lost its previous two games (0-1-1). The Thunderbirds moved back into the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point ahead of Kamloops. . . . Kamloops (19-25-3) had a four-game winning streak come to an end. The Blazers are fourth in the B.C. Division, three points behind the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Seattle took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Noah Philp (19), at 6:05 of the first period, and Wedman, on a PP, just 1:21 later. . . . The Blazers got their first goal from F Zane Franklin (23), on a PP, at 10:24. . . . The Thunderbirds restored their two-goal lead in the second period on goals from D Tyrel Bauer (1), at 2:53, and Wedman, at 8:07. Wedman now has 21 goals. . . . F Connor Zary (12) got a PP goal for Kamloops at 18:13. . . . F Sean Richards (15) scored Seattle’s fifth goal at 14:33 of the third period. . . . F Henri Rybinski had three assists for Seattle. . . . Bauer, a 16-year-old freshman from Cochrane, Alta., got his first WHL goal in his 44th game. . . . Both teams were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours. The Blazers, who played at home on Saturday, went (2-1-0); the Thunderbirds, who were in Portland on Saturday, were (1-1-1). . . . F Nolan Volcan, Seattle’s captain, was scratched after appearing to injure an arm in Saturday’s 3-2 OT loss in Portland.


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