Going into the WHL playoffs, I thought the Lethbridge Hurricanes were capable of beating the Saskatoon Blades in their first round playoff matchup. I was not alone with that theory. We might be right. The Hurricanes beat the Blades 3-1 Saturday night meaning they have a chance to go home Monday to wrap things up and avoid a Game 7. Playoff experience means so much in junior hockey and its something Lethbridge has and Saskatoon doesn’t have.
Many of the Hurricanes were on this team last year when they got to the league final before being bounced by Spokane. The Blades weren’t even a playoff team for the past two years. Lethbridge knows what needs to be done this year---especially Zach Boychuk. The Carolina 1st rounder turned this game around late in the 2nd when he scored on what looked like a nothing rush into the Saskatoon end with just five seconds to play. That goal really seemed to kill the Blades. Can they rebound Monday?? They were the top road team in the WHL this season so you do have to like their chances but a great season is in danger of going up in smoke in a big hurry.
In the West, 2nd round matchups are now known as Spokane and Tri-Cities have first round wins under their belt. The Chiefs finishing off Seattle in 5 with a 5-3 win while the Americans bounce Everett in 5 after a 6-1 victory. It means Vancouver will play Spokane and Kelowna will take on Tri-Cities in what should be two “ring a ding dong dandies”
While out and about Saturday I had an acquaintance ask me about Matt Dominguez and his status with the Riders. Matt is still a free agent and can go anywhere he wants after being released by the Riders a couple of months ago. Matt has been doing some p-r work for the club since being released and I’m guessing the only thing preventing him from signing a new contract is for the Riders to hear that Dominguez’s knee is 100 percent and that he will be able to play this season. If the knee is going to pose problems for Dominguez, I am guessing the Riders and all the other teams will stay away from him and his career will be over. That’s not the way big number 88 wants it to end but for some you can’t dictate how the final chapter is written. If Dominguez is done, the organization should see if he would be willing to be the team’s goodwill ambassador or something and make appearances during football season that players can’t make because of their prep time.
No medal for Canada at the World Womens Curling Championship. Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg rink were beaten by Denmark in the 3rd place game. It’s the first time since 2005 Canada has not won a medal at the event. That had better not happen next year when the Worlds go in Swift Current. One thing I do know about next years event is it will be well attended. Hardly anyone has been watching this thing in Korea. I understand you have to grow the game globally but the World Curling Federation must also understand you can’t take these things to places where no one is going to watch. I’m not saying the Worlds have to be in Canada every year but like hockey, we embrace the sport and turn out for things like the Scotties, the Brier and the Worlds. It really embarrasses the sport when there are more people watching on my block then are watching the event live.
In a cost-cutting move, the CBC has announced they are cutting “The Simpsons” from their programming lineup. Good god where will I find re-runs of the show now. (The sarcasm worked much better when I was in radio!!)
What does PJ Stock bring to Hockey Night in Canada??? I’m not sure. To me he brings nothing to the show.
I hear through the grapevine and this is pure rumour at this time. The Oilers are targeting Marian Hossa when he becomes a free agent and they are also willing to trade a couple of prospects and a roster player to get another top six forward. Still with the NHL, the Globe’s Stephen Brunt(arguably the best sportswriter in all of Canada) thinks the economic problems we are in will help Canada when it comes to the league if the recession should hit it. Read on!