Saturday, January 28, 2012





After Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas stiffed his teammates and President Obama earlier this week, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada noted: “There were suggestions Thomas should have gone to the White House and directly confronted President Obama. Yeah, that would’ve gone smoothly.” . . . The Montreal Canadiens, with a bunch of Smurf-like forwards, are trying to play a chip-and-chase game. What is wrong with that picture? . . . Headline at Fark.com: “Deion Sanders’ wife files for divorce, says he ‘suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder.’ Well, duh.” . . .

When Brendan (Sheriff) Shanahan gave Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference three games for the hit on defenceman Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers last weekend, it may have been good in terms of discipline. But it won’t serve as a deterrent. . . . You have to wonder when Shanahan will get really serious, or will the NHL have to put OHL boss David Branch in charge of discipline? . . . It’s great fun having Canadian Milos Raonic making noise on the international tennis stage, especially when it comes to watching the Grand Slam events. He lost in four sets to Aussie Lleyton Hewitt last weekend, but you can bet Raonic gained a lot of confidence and now knows he fits in at that level. Now to work on that footwork and gain more consistency with that thunderous first serve. . . .

“D-Wade celebrated his 30th birthday and gifts included a 2012 McLaren sports car worth $250,000,” writes Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. “My last birthday gift was a dress shoe. The right one. To go with the left one I got for Christmas.”. . . If you followed the junior A Kamloops Rockets back in the day, you should go to bchl.ca and vote for the BCHL players of the decades. Goaltender Harvey Budarick is on the list for the 1960s, as are forwards Glen Madsen, Bob Nystrom, Dale Sandyke and Eric Shishido. The list for the ’70s includes defenceman Doug Lidster and goaltender Andy Moog. . . . Shishido remains the only player in league history to win back-to-back scoring titles. . . .

Roger Sloan, the pride of Merritt, is in Houston and says he’s “raring to go.” He’ll take part in British Open and U.S. Open qualifying before joining the Canadian Tour in June. “I took some time off this year after the disappointment of Q school,” he said the other day. “I got my goal-setting back in order and got my mind right. I’m focused on this year and the good possibilities that can come out of another good year of hard work.” . . . When the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran a story on New Zealand sheepshearers wanting it to be an Olympic sport, the headline it used was “Baa, humbug!” . . .

Just the other day, Shaquille O’Neal, now an NBA analyst on TNT telecasts, refeerred to Spanish rookie point guard Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves as “the Italian Pete Maravich.” To which Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times noted: “No wonder Shaq had so much trouble finding the Colosseum the first time he visited Madrid.” . . . Some recent birthday wishes from Steve Rushin of SI.com: “Happy 110th birthday to Frank Zamboni, who left us in 1988 but still resurfaces periodically.” . . . If Bobby Orr and Don Cherry aren’t going to be there, which will be the case on Wednesday in Kelowna, isn’t it time the CHL changed the names of the teams in its Top Prospects game? . . .

“Jeff Fisher chooses the St. Louis Rams over the Miami Dolphins,” writes Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel after one NFL team signed its head coach. “That’s sort of like choosing the beets over the Brussels sprouts.” . . . Manny Pacquiao, some boxing fans will tell you, has been ducking Floyd Mayweather. Which might be why Mayweather recently tweeted “Step up punk” in Pacquiao’s direction. . . . As the aforementioned Cote put it: “Always love it when a man facing jail time for domestic violence calls another man a punk.” . . . Head coach Mike Babcock, after his Red Wings got pounded 7-2 by the Habs in Montreal on Wednesday night: “I’m not going to study video of this. I’m going for a drink.” . . .

Ken Hitchcock has never won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year. And when you consider that he wasn’t even coaching when this season began, what were the odds of him winning it this time around? But he has the St. Louis Blues in the hunt for first overall and now he’s the odds-on favourite. . . . Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the award is voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters Association. . . . Head coach Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks went bowling the other night. How’d that go? “I’m out of shape,” Boudreau told the Orange County Register. “When you’re sore after bowling, something’s wrong. I was in the high 200s of course. But I woke up at midnight and I thought I needed a hip replacement and I couldn’t understand what was going on.” . . . Kevin Paul Dupont, in the Boston Globe: “(Minnesota) Wild defenceman Justin Falk was born in Snowflake, Man., just over the U.S. border, a town where no two people look alike.” . . .

Jennifer Hedger of TSN nailed it when she tweeted: “Steven Tyler looks like someone’s old, eccentric great aunt.” . . . Tyler butchered The Star Spangled Banner prior to Sunday’s NFC championship game. But, as the Left Coast Sports Babe put it: “It could have been MUCH more painful to watch — Tyler could have had a wardrobe malfunction.” . . . “Just because you’re losing,” offered Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld the other day, “you’re not a loser.” Moments earlier, Grunfeld had announced the firing of head coach Flip Saunders. . . . The Wizards were 2-15. . . . A headline at washingtonpost.com read: Wizards coach Flip Saunders fired; Ernie Grunfeld needs to go next. . . .

Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “(I) had a feeling that Tiger Woods wasn’t going to pre-order Hank Haney’s book on Amazon like he would, say, a new Harry Potter. Or one of those books about how to pick up girls. Not that he seems to need any kind of primer in that area.” . . . “Because of (Alexander) Ovechkin’s decision, I will continue not to watch the NHL all-star game,” tweets Ray Ratto of Comcast SportsNet in San Francisco. . . . Sounds like a plan.

(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, gdrinnan.blogspot.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.)


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