Sunday, May 5, 2013






Remember back in the day when players with the Montreal Canadiens always raised themselves above the rabble? Not anymore. Not with forward Brandon Prust having characterized Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean as a “bug-eyed fat walrus.” . . . For just a moment there, Prust thought he was a trash-talking NBA player. . . . Ahh, there’s nothing like the signs of spring in Canada. NHL playoffs. Scrums. Injuries. Scrums. Injuries. Blaming the referees. . . .

“Vancouver police investigators have recommended that 34 new charges be filed against 10 more people who were involved in the 2011 Stanley Cup riot,” writes Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post. “For Crown prosecutors, that incident is like a gift that keeps on giving.” . . . One more from Hamilton: “Boxing legend Mike Tyson reported this week that one of his ex-girlfriends once cooked and ate one of his racing pigeons. Not surprisingly, the relationship ended in a domestic squab-ble.” . . . Close your eyes for one moment and try to imagine what would happen to our nation were the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs to meet in the Stanley Cup final. . . . Call it Apocalypse Then! . . .

Tyler Wilson, who played quarterback with the Arkansas Razorbacks, was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round of the NFL draft. No, he wasn’t in New York at the time. Rather, he was shopping. As he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: "Sure enough, the phone rings and you're high-fiving a bunch of strangers in Walmart." . . . If you happen to be in Portland and want to watch a game in the WHL’s championship final, a seat along the glass will set you back US$55. The cheapest adult ticket is $21.50 in the family zone. . . . In Edmonton, prices for tickets purchased on game day range from Cdn$26 (upper bowl) to $45 (club seats). Tickets bought in advance run from $20 (upper bowl) to $40 (club) . . . And remember that all the games are being televised by Shaw. . . .

Has anyone thought to introduce Reese (“Do you know my name?”) Witherspoon to former NHL goaltender Ed Belfour? Perhaps Belfour, who is alleged to have once offered a cop $1 billion to remove the cuffs and let him walk, could teach Witherspoon something about originality. . . . After NBAer Jason Collins revealed that he is gay, Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) tweeted: “Honestly I don't care if you are gay or straight as my teammate. As long as you don't listen to Nickelback. #courage” . . .

Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Department of despicable: Raising Leafs ticket prices by 70 per cent or more for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. After eight years out of the playoffs. After a locked-out half season. After serving up garbage with the highest prices in the NHL for most of that time. Whomever was part of making this call should be ashamed of themselves.” . . . But you know what? The suckers, er, fans will pay the prices. . . . “To date,” Simmons writes of the Toronto Blue Jays’ woes, “it’s not complicated. They can’t pitch, can’t hit, can’t field. And April can’t end soon enough for this battered bunch to try and make something of this season of grand expectations.” . . .

It’s been a while since the Leafs were in the playoff hunt. Vancouver writer Torben Rolfsen says he remembers “all the fun we had online the last time they were in the playoffs — the banter on Friendster, Prodigy and CompuServe.” . . . Here’s Richmond blogger TC Chong: “Red Sox Nation, Raiders Nation, Riders Nation — this terminology is very familiar. Now that the Leafs have made the playoffs, their fans are coming out of Hiber Nation.” . . . “If Kevin Garnett could look any older than he has during the Knicks-Celtics series,” writes Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News, “he’d be an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.” . . . Don’t know about you, but I’m sleeping better knowing that Selena Gomez is a Belieber again. . . .

After Luis Suarez, the Liverpool striker, was hit with a 10-game suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel pointed out: “It was the second time (Suarez) has been disciplined for biting a player. You know what they say: Soccer is an acquired taste.” . . . “Floyd Mayweather, who is engaged to Shantel Jackson, says having multiple girlfriends is as acceptable as owning several cars,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “You’d think a boxer would have more respect for the ring.” . . . One more from Currie: “A Huffington Post report claims May has long been the best time to get a new mattress. ‘New mattress?’ said Tiger Woods. ‘All this time I thought it was mistress.’ ” . . .

I’m sorry, but a 22-second shift shouldn’t be enough to keep an NHL ironman streak going, not when players like Garry Unger and Doug Jarvis are the guys at the top of the list. . . . This NHL season has given us that. As well, we’ve got the Leafs in the playoffs and we’ve got Roberto Luongo back in goal for your Vancouver Canucks. Oh, and let’s not forget that at the age of 37 Marty St. Louis is the oldest man ever to win the NHL scoring title. Hey, let’s just put an asterisk on everything that happened in this 48-game season. . . . “Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the United States, according to a study,” writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express. “In Canada, the worst traffic is in a Tim Hortons drive-thru.”

(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn’t.)

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