Saturday, March 8, 2014




The Vancouver Canucks have gone from Roberto Luongo and Corey Schneider as their goaltending tandem to Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, and you may want to think about how that happened. . . . You also may want to ponder what sank quicker, the Canucks or the Titanic. . . . Is it just me, or have the Sedin twins all but lost their games in less than a year? Did they grow old in hockey years before we knew it? Does head coach John Tortorella’s shot-blocking, grinding style disagree with them that much? . . . BTW, the Canucks owe each of the Sedin boys four more seasons at $7 million per. . . .

“Kazakhstan finished last in the medal count with one bronze at Sochi,” writes Richmond blogger TC Chong. “Richard Petty said they would have won it all if no one else showed up.” . . . Shades of O.J.: In South Africa, a 24-hour TV channel dedicated to Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial went on the air last Sunday. . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “My feeling on LeBron’s mask: Hey, aren’t Marvel superheroes supposed to LOOK like Marvel superheroes?” . . .

Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Word around the Olympics was that Rogers is targeting CBC star George Stroumboulopoulos to host its NHL broadcasts next season after it couldn’t secure James Duthie. And it’s all but been confirmed that Paul Romanuk will be Rogers’ second play-by-play man, after Jim Hughson in the No. 1 chair.” . . . Romanuk, a former TSN hockey play-by-play voice, has been in London, England, for the past few years. . . . I haven’t got my hands on a copy yet, but you can bet that I’ll read His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir, from the legendary Dan Jenkins. The book hit the shelves on Tuesday. . . .

“Don't really understand the mass appeal of outdoor hockey games,” tweeted Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as the Penguins and Blackhawks played in a Chicago snowstorm last weekend, “but assume it has nothing to do with the exceptional quality of play.” . . . Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register chimed in with: “Good job, Bettman. Let's don't have Olympic hockey. Let's have fiasco hockey in a snowstorm instead.” . . . I really need someone to explain to me just how it is that Toronto’s mayor is still in office. . . . And while they’re at it, they can explain to me how Russia rattles sabres in Ukraine and the price of gas in Kamloops jumps from $1.20.9 to $1.33.9. . . .

Here’s Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post, writing about Tiger Woods before the final round of last week’s Honda Classic: “Now, however, the familiar refrain for Woods is one of a player grasping at straws, one of a player who is reluctant to accept his new reality. Woods, in bad times and in good, now sounds a lot more like the masses of weekend amateurs who are in constant search of their elusive game, never knowing what’s coming with the next swing.” . . . Former San Francisco outfielder Barry Bonds is working with the Giants as a hitting coach during spring training. “Let’s just hope all of that attention and power doesn’t give Barry a big head,” offered comedy writer Alex Kaseberg. . . .

During the recent NFL Combine, Auburn defensive end Dee Ford, speaking on Sirius XM radio, took a shot at South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. “People are just looking at the fact that he is a physical specimen,” Ford said. “Honestly, if you watch the film, he plays like a blind dog in a meat market, basically.” . . . How did Clowney react to that? “I just feel like he’s trying to build his stock up or something,” Clowney told the NFL Network. “It doesn’t bother me, but I told him, ‘I’m still better than you.’ ” . . . Hey, Capital One, it’s time to retire that commercial with Martin Short in it. Please! . . .

So . . . Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote about 10 days ago that the Rangers had attempted to get forward Martin St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for their captain, Ryan Callahan. . . . That prompted this response from Phil Esposito, a Lightning broadcaster, who was appearing on The Next Sports Star: "Some (bleep) in New York that writes for the New York Post, and we all know who he is, decided, 'Let me put something out there so maybe we can start some controversy.' It's a bunch of (bleep). It's been going on for as long as I've been in the game of hockey . . . Don't give me this (crap) you're going to trade Marty St. Louis, who has a no-movement clause, he doesn't want to leave, for Callahan, who's a kid, I like him, he's a heart-and-souler, but he couldn't score more than 25 or 30 goals in his (bleeping) lifetime, and he doesn't play all the time because he gets hurt, because he plays like he's 6-foot-5." . . . Of course, Brooks fired back: “If Phil Esposito feels obligated to talk about me on the radio, perhaps he would like to tell the story about the time he spent an elevator ride in the Garden kicking me in the back of the legs because he was upset with something I had written the previous day. At least that would be accurate.” . . . And then, come Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline, guess what happened? Yes, St. Louis ended up with the Rangers, with Callahan going the other way. . . . Atta boy, Espo! . . .

“Men’s curling in Saskatchewan is at an all-time low. Again,” writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express. “Pat Simmons, our best curler, plays in Alberta. And two Albertans have twice come to our province to cherry pick a pass to the Brier. It worked once. A handful of provinces are sending pros and we are sending the equivalent of good club teams. We’ve won seven Briers in 75 years. Not good enough. Maybe the Richardsons will consider a comeback.” . . . The Los Angeles Dodgers will have Larry King (yes, that Larry King) playing host to a show on their 24/7 TV network. The show will be called Larry King At Bat. “Presumably,” notes Janice Hough (aka the Left Coast Sports Babe), “Larry hopes to get as a regular guest that nice young man Vin Scully.” . . .

When the Canucks dealt goaltender Roberto Luongo to Florida on Wednesday, it looked for a while as though Luongo and protagonist Tim Thomas would be the Panthers’ goaltenders. Asked how the two of them would get along, Luongo responded: “I always get along with my backups.” . . . Thomas was later dealt to the Dallas Stars. . . . “Just woke up in a cold sweat from the ultimate Sochi nightmare,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “As in, tennis scream queen Maria Sharapova decided to take up curling.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)

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