Scattershooting after watching Cubs and Dodgers, Tigers and Red Sox, Yankees and Angels . . .

Scattershooting

The great Al Arbour won 29 playoff series as the head coach of the NHL’s New York Islanders. Yes, that is a franchise record. Who’s in second place? Barry Trotz, Jack Capuano and Terry Simpson, each with one.


“Look,” writes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, “Tiger Woods is one of the greatest athletes of our time. And he’s been great for golf as a sport. But a Presidential Medal of Freedom? Is Trump awarding it to him for his Masters’ win, or for being a fellow example of success and applause after repeatedly cheating on his wife?”

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Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong: “Tiger said he would reciprocate by giving Trump an autographed copy of the Nine Commandments.”


Hough, again, this time on the mess in which New England owner Robert Kraft finds himself: “How perfect that the Patriots finally are on the other side of being unknowingly videotaped?”



RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com weighs in on the Tampa Bay Lightning getting ousted in shocking fashion by the Columbus Blue Jackets: “With the Lightning suffering a Round 1 sweep, I’ll spare them electrical puns, like lacking a spark, feeling re-volted or the Jackets being amped up. I’ll only say this: Watt happened?”


So . . . you’re watching all the upsets in the NHL playoffs and you’re wondering two things:

  1. What does the regular season really mean?
  2. Is this parity or parody?


A baseball note from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “If Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich got to play all 162 games against St. Louis, based on his first seven games against the Cardinals in 2019, his season numbers would read: .500 batting average; .625 on-base percentage; 1.542 slugging percentage; 185 home runs; 231 runs scored; 440 runs batted in.



One thing that never changes when watching an NHL playoff game go into overtime . . . I always wonder why the referees bother coming out of their dressing room.



Headline at TheOnion.com: Dedicated Russell Westbrook Stays Late After Practice To Miss 100 Extra Shots


So . . . Sportsnet picked up Game 7 between the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks from NBCSN on Tuesday night. That meant that play-by-play man Gord Miller and analyst Ray Ferraro, who normally work for TSN, were doing a game on Sportsnet. Interesting!


Chess


The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets will play an NHL game at 33,000-seat Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Oct. 26. Tickets went on sale to the general public on Thursday morning. According to the Regina Leader-Post: “Prices ranged from $164.50 to $369.50. It appeared that about half of the stadium’s seats were booked up within the first half hour of the public sale.” . . . Yes, many Regina hotels already are full up that night.


It’s officially baseball season now that the first round of the NHL playoffs is over. By this point of every NHL season, I am tired of watching NHL referees ignore the rule book at their choosing, and my attentions turn to Major League Baseball. This spring shall be no exception.

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Scattershooting on a Tuesday as we await the start of a playoff game . . .

Scattershooting

For the second straight season, the Victoria HarbourCats of baseball’s West Coast League will be giving away a funeral package as an in-game promotion. The lucky winner gets a package that includes a will, investment/insurance advice and a funeral. The big day is June 26 when the Wenatchee AppleSox are to provide the opposition. . . . No, you don’t have to use it, especially the last part, that very day.


Laughjoggers


With the Kelowna Rockets having missed the WHL playoffs — for only the second time since they moved from Tacoma to the Okanagan for the 1995-96 season — there are a lot of hockey people looking on with a great deal of interest and wondering how Bruce Hamilton, the team’s president and general manager, will turn the team into a Memorial Cup contender in time to host the 2020 tournament.


“I’ll concede Duke star RJ Barrett of Canada is an outstanding basketball player,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “That said, what kind of goof goes by the name RJ?”

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One more from Currie: “Reuters reports a South African sow that creates paintings which sell for up to $4,000 has been named Pigcasso. I was thinking Francis Bacon, Ham Gogh or Porkelangelo.”



Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, had a hot take on Pacman Jones the other day. Here is part of it:

“A couple of weeks ago, Pacman Jones was arrested at an Indiana gaming casino on charges of disorderly conduct, public intoxication, intimidation and resisting arrest. . . .

“I have lost count of the number of times that Pacman Jones has been arrested for a wide variety of improprieties to include things like disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and — my favorite one — ‘felony assault with a bodily substance’ that was a result of him spitting on a police officer.  To date, none of those charges has resulted in any significant spans of jail-time . . .

“Jones’ most infamous brush with the law involved his presence at a Las Vegas strip club where he proceeded to ‘make it rain.’ That evidently created a scuffle that resulted in gunfire that resulted in multiple people being wounded. Jones got a suspended sentence out of that mess and lost a big civil suit to two of the wounded individuals. Believe it or not, that was more than a decade ago. Time flies when you are having fun.”

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The Sports Curmudgeon was at his best on Tuesday when he posted a piece that he chose to headline: Operation Varsity Blues. . . . Let me tell you, he is at his best — that means curmudgeonly with a good dose of sarcasm — in this one as he writes about “the college admissions/bribery scandal.” . . . You are able to read all of it right here.


Headline at TheOnion.com: NCAA launches investigation into why it wasn’t making millions off recent college-admissions scandal.


IHOP


“UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo resigned after he was indicted for allegedly taking $200,000 in bribes in a fraudulent college-admissions scheme,”  notes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “That’s what he gets for using his hands.”

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Perry, again: “New Denver DB Pacman Jones was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication, intimidation and resisting arrest at an Indiana casino. In other words, Chargers 4, Broncos 0.”



Australia has banned any visitor with a domestic violence charge on their record from entering the country. As Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, noted: “Well, there go any potential plans for NFL Australia.”


ICYMI, Barack Obama, the former U.S. president, filled out a March Madness bracket and has Duke winning it all. What about President Trump? Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong wrote: “Trump can’t decide between Trump U and the Electoral College.”

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 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 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.


ThisThat

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.


Tweetoftheday

Scattershooting after watching the GOAT vs. The Kid . . . Chiefs’ Larson OK, just sore . . . Boyko sparks Ams’ victory

Scattershooting

Tony Romo is in his second season as an analyst on CBS-TV’s No. 1 NFL crew. He already is No. 1 in his field. He was at his best — and then some — on Sunday as he worked the game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. Oh my, was he good!


grandma

By now you may have heard that Gladys Knight is to sing The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl in her hometown of Atlanta. Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong expects her to arrive on The Midnight Train To Georgia.

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Here’s RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Gladys Knight will sing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl. Pip Pip hooray!”


Chong also reports that “China has successfully grown cotton on the moon. President Trump immediately put a 25-per-cent tariff on it.”



If you’re like me and spend time watching PTI five days a week, would you agree that we are watching Michael Wilbon grow into an angry old man? Or is it all part of a shtick?


I really wish someone could explain how the Excited States got to the point where the Clemson Tigers, the NCAA’s top football team, were treated to fast food in the White House one day before Michael Strahan, a host on the TV show Good Morning America, invited the team for a visit and a feast of lobster and caviar. I mean, shouldn’t it be the other way around?



If you are a gatherer of hockey cards, you may want to get them out and start taking a good look at the backgrounds. That’s because Stephen Zerance has discovered the Menendez brothers, who killed their parents in 1989, in front row seats at an NBA game that is part of a 1989-90 card that features Mark Jackson of the New York Knicks. . . . This is an interesting story and it’s all right here.


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You think it’s easy being a reporter in this day and age of high technology? Here’s a tweet from Perry Bergson, who covers the Brandon Wheat Kings for the Brandon Sun . . .


A quiz from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times . . .

President Trump was widely panned for the Clemson football team’s White House visit because he:

a) Served the players fast-food hamburgers and pizza

b) Regaled them with nonstop political-football stories

c) Kept all the Happy Meal prizes for himself.

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Here’s another note from Perry, about something he saw on social media . . .

Jim DeBow, via Twitter, on President Trump feeding the Clemson football team hamburgers and pizza during their White House visit: “He was going to get Taco Bell but found out that Mexico wouldn’t pay for it.”


A couple of NBA-related notes from Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle . . .

“History won’t view the (Houston) Rockets as a significant powerhouse, but (James) Harden is lodging himself among the all-time greats of individual scoring.”

DeMarcus Cousins made his debut with the Golden State Warriors on Friday, and that resulted in this from Jenkins . . .

“When Cousins fouled out and returned to the bench to rousing applause, (Steph) Curry was beaming. He looked like a parent at his kid’s school play. Harden may win his second consecutive MVP award, and (Boston’s Kyrie) Irving surely will dazzle fans right to the end. In the category of pure leadership, Curry stands alone.”



ThisThat

F Cordel Larson of the Spokane Chiefs, who left a Saturday night game on a stretcher and SpokaneChiefswas taken to hospital, is on the road to recovery.

Larson, 17, was injured in the second period of a 2-1 shootout loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans when he crashed heavily into the end boards.

Larson was released from hospital on Sunday and is expected to join his teammates at the arena today. He won’t take part in practice, but he will be reunited with his teammates.

Dan Lambert, the Chiefs’ head coach, told Taking Note on Sunday night that Larson “is doing well . . . just soreness.”

Lambert also told Taking Note that the play on which Larson was injured “wasn’t a dirty hit . . . just unfortunate.”

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So . . . pretend for a moment that you work for the WHL and your main responsibility is to mete out discipline.

On Saturday night in Spokane, F Cordel Larson of the Chiefs skated down the right side of the offensive zone and went wide on Tri-City Americans D Aaron Hyman.

Hyman put a hip into Larson, who went heavily into the end boards and was down for about seven minutes.

When all was said and done, Hyman had a boarding major and game misconduct, while Larson was on a stretcher and on his way to hospital.

Larson, a 17-year-old freshman from Weyburn, Sask., is listed on the Chiefs’ website at 5-foot-9 and 168 pounds.

Hyman, a 20-year-old Calgarian, is in his fourth full WHL season. The Americans list him at 6-foot-5 and 221 pounds.

As you watch the video in the above tweet, ask yourself: Does that hit warrant a suspension?

The WHL decided it didn’t because Hyman was in the Americans’ lineup on Sunday as they met the Winterhawks in Portland.



The above tweet was posted on Saturday.

If you aren’t familiar with one of the great stories in WHL history, it all began on Jan. 19, 1983, when the Seattle Thunderbirds traded F Tom Martin to the Victoria Cougars in exchange for a bus. Yes, it really happened.

Evan Weiner of nhl.com wrote about the trade on Oct. 31, 2008, and it’s all right here.


SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

The Red Deer Rebels built up a 3-0 lead and went on to beat the host Calgary Hitmen, 4-1. . . . Red Deer (27-14-3) now is second in the Central Division, one point behind Edmonton Red Deerand a point ahead of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. . . . Calgary (21-19-4) has lost three in a row and now is 10 points behind Medicine hat. . . . The Rebels were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours; they went 2-1-0. . . . F Brandon Hagel (27) got Red Deer started with a shorthanded goal at 1:49 of the first period. . . . F Alex Morozoff (8) upped it to 2-0 at 14:59, and F Arshdeep Bains (4) got it to 3-0 at 1:40 of the second. . . . Calgary got its goal fro F Hunter Campbell (2), shorthanded, at 9:50. . . . D Carson Sass (7) scored Red Deer’s fourth goal, on a PP, at 14:41. . . . Red Deer was 1-7 on the PP; Calgary was 0-2. . . . The Hitmen lost F Mark Kastelic at 16:32 of the second period when he was ejected with a match penalty for head-butting. . . . At 3:47 of the third period, Calgary D Egor Zamula was hit with a headshot major and game misconduct. . . . G Byron Fancy stopped 23 shots for Red Deer. . . . With G Carl Stankowski still out of action, G Jack McNaughton made his 19th straight start for the Hitmen. He stopped 28 shots. . . . The Hitmen scratched F Jake Kryski and F James Malm. . . . The Rebels were without D Alex Alexeyev. He left Saturday’s game in the second period, but came back and finished. However, he obviously was unable to play yesterday. . . . Red Deer also was without F Jeff de Wit, who was injured Saturday in a goal-mouth collision. . . . F Sean Tschigerl, a 15-year-old from Whitecourt, Alta., made his WHL debut with the Hitmen. The fourth-overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft, he has 43 points, including 18 goals, with the OHA Edmonton prep team.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s last two goals and beat the Cougars, 3-2 in OT, in Kamloops1Prince George. . . . Kamloops (17-24-3) went into the doubleheader in Prince George having lost six straight. Now the Blazers have won two in a row. They beat the Cougars 3-1 on Saturday night. . . . Kamloops is tied with Seattle for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, one point ahead of the Cougars. . . . Prince George (16-24-4) has lost three in a row. . . . Kamloops is 5-0-0 against the Cougars this season, having outscored them 20-8. On top of that, Kamloops now has won 10 straight games in Prince George. . . . The Blazers went 2-1-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours. . . . F Josh Maser (18) gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 12:01 of the second period. . . . The Blazers tied it at 12:27 when D Montana Onyebuchi (5) scored. . . . F Matěj Toman (5) put the Cougars ahead 2-1 at 15:50. . . . F Martin Lang (10) pulled the Blazers even at 8:38 of the third period. . . . F Zane Franklin won it with his 21st goal, at 4:10 of OT. . . . Lang, who had a goal and an assist on Saturday, added an assist to his Sunday goal. . . . The Cougars failed to score on the game’s lone PP. . . . G Dylan Ferguson stopped 27 shots for Kamloops, eight fewer than the Cougars’ Taylor Gauthier, who made his ninth straight start. . . . F/D Jeff Faith returned to the Blazers’ lineup after serving a five-game suspension, but D Luke Zazula missed his second game in a row.


G Griffen Outhouse turned aside 39 shots to lead the Victoria Royals to a 2-1 victory over VictoriaRoyalsthe Silvertips in Everett. . . . Victoria (23-19-1) had lost its previous four games. The Royals are third in the B.C. Division, five points ahead of Kelowna with two games in hand. . . . Everett (33-12-2) has lost three straight. It leads the U.S. Division by nine points over Portland. . . . Outhouse stopped 13 shots in the first period, 12 in the second and 14 in the third. . . . F Tarun Fizer (10) put Victoria ahead at 1:40 of the second period. . . . Everett F Bryce Kindopp (23) tied it 57 seconds into the third. . . . F Kody McDonald (10) broke the tie at 7:54. . . . The Silvertips got 20 saves from G Max Palaga. . . . Both teams were playing for the third time in fewer than 48 hours — Victoria went 1-2-0; Everett was 0-3-0. . . . The Royals scratched D Ralph Jarratt, who apparently was injured while blocking a shot on Saturday night. . . . Victoria was able to dress only 16 skaters, two under the maximum. . . . D Gianni Fairbrother, who had been ill, was back in Everett’s lineup after a two-game absence.


G Talyn Boyko made 45 saves to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 3-2 victory over the tri-cityWinterhawks in Portland. . . . Tri-City (24-16-3) has points in four straight (3-0-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot by 14 points, and also is fourth in the U.S. Division, just two points behind Spokane. . . . Portland (27-13-5) had won its previous two games. It is second in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Everett. . . . The Americans lead the season series, 5-0-0; Portland is 1-3-1. . . . The Americans played their third game in fewer than 48 hours and finished 3-0-0, with the first two victories both coming in shootouts. . . . Tri-City took a 1-0 lead at 10:49 of the first period when F Kyle Olson scored, on a PP, and never trailed. . . . Olson, who has 13 goals, made it 2-0 at 19:09. . . . F Cross Hanas (6) scored for Portland at 2:49 of the second period. . . . F Paycen Bjorklund (3) restored Tri-City’s two-goal lead at 5:59 of the third. . . . F Joachim Blickheld (40) pulled Portland to within one at 14:31 but the Winterhawks weren’t able to equalize. . . . The Winterhawks outshot the visitors 15-8, 14-5 and 18-5 by period. . . . Boyko, a 16-year-old freshman from Drumheller, Alta., was making his fourth start — his fifth  appearance — of the season. He is 2-1-1, 4.08, .886. The 6-foot-6 Boyko was a third-round pick by the Americans in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.


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Our Christmas arrived earlier than usual . . . Of fresh peaches and leukemia, outdoor rinks and a hurting Mule


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What? You thought I’d take the night off? Hey, the big guy is working tonight, so I am, too. LOL!


As I sit here on Christmas Eve, drinking tea — well, there may have been a glass of wine earlier — and nibbling on shortbread, let me tell you about our Christmas.

We actually got our first gift a couple of Fridays ago, and what a gift it was!

Dorothy has to visit the renal clinic here — why don’t they rename it the kidney klinic? — three times a year. She has been going for bloodwork once a month for about as long as we can remember. It’s at her thrice yearly sessions at the clinic that the good people there interpret the numbers and let her know just how she’s doing.

So there she was two Fridays ago, handing out crocheted dishcloths and smiles, as she always does, then meeting with Dr. Conley, one of three nephrologists who look after her so well.

It took Dr. Conley a matter of moments to tell Dorothy how thrilled she was with the numbers and just how well she was doing, and then the two women moved on to Christmas chatter and chit-chat about life in general.

Oh, Dr. Conley also added that bloodwork now need be done every second month.

Now all of this may not seem like much to the unaffected, but let me tell you that it’s a big deal in our household. It means that more than five years after Dorothy underwent a kidney transplant, she continues to move forward.

Yes, it was a great, great start to our Christmas season.

Our wish to you, then, is that you don’t ever take your health for granted, and don’t ever hesitate to give those close to you a hug and let them know that you love them.

Merry Christmas to all, thanks for stopping off here, and please stay safe.


It also is the time of season to give thanks . . .

Thanks to Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, for all he does for this site over the course of a year. Not only do I steal lines from sportscurmudgeon.com, but I also take the odd graphic from the almost daily funnies that he sends along. . . .

Thanks, too, to Garth MacBeth, who has stuck with me from the start as he tracks former WHLers on their journeys through Europe, Asia, Australia, etc. . . .

Thanks also to Terry Massey. In another blog life, he designed a whole lot of graphics for me, many of which are still being used on this site.

And thanks to Dwight Perry, Janice Hough, Cam Hutchinson, RJ Currie, Torben Rolfsen, TC Chong and the other regular contributors to Scattershooting. I couldn’t do it without you.



One of the great Christmas columns has to do with fresh peaches and a youngster who was dying of leukemia. . . . If you haven’t already seen it, it’s right here. Enjoy!


If you’re looking for a real touch of Canadiana on this Christmas Eve, and if you’re on Twitter, check out the account operated by TSN’s Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger). . . . A lot of people send Dreger photos of outdoor rinks (past and present) and he passes them along via his account. Oh boy, there are a lot of memories and good feelings there.


When F Johan Franzen played in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, his nickname was The Mule. That tells you what kind of game he played. . . . Now, almost four years since brain injuries ended his career, he struggles to get through his daily life. . . . “Sometimes my whole world falls apart and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Franzen told Expressen, a Swedish newspaper. . . . Click on the link in the above tweet for more on this story.


EHC Biel beat visiting Geneve Futur, 4-3, in a game in Switzerland’s top junior league on Friday night. There were 47 fans on hand; they witnessed a 25-round shootout. Yes, there were more shootout attempts than there were spectators. . . . Both goaltenders were beaten twice in the first five rounds of the shootout, then were perfect until the 49th shot. . . . According to the IIHF, this was the longest shootout “worldwide in male ice hockey.” The previous record was set two years ago when HC Ajoie beat HC La Chaux-de-Fonds, 3-2, in a game that was decided in a 23-round shootout in Switzerland’s second-tier pro league. . . . If ever there were two good reasons to dump the shootout . . .


The WHL, the Kootenay Ice and the Victoria Royals have clarified the terms of a deal made on Saturday. . . . When the deal was announced, it had F Carter Loney, 16, and a seventh-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft going to the Ice in exchange for sixth- and seventh-round picks in the 2019 draft and an undisclosed conditional pick in 2020. . . . Sometime after that, the news releases announcing the deal were changed. It seems that Victoria gets a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft and a conditional fourth-round selection in 2020. . . . Loney, from Winnipeg, was taken by the Royals in 10th round of the 2017 bantam draft. He hasn’t yet signed a WHL contract and, in fact, has committed to the U of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs for 2021-22. . . . This season, he is playing in Winnipeg for the Rink Hockey Academy prep team.


If you feel so inclined, please click on the DONATE button over there on the right. Thanks in advance, and Merry Christmas.


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