Sunday, February 22, 2015

No concussions from fighting. Really? . . . Oil Kings pounce on Tigers . . . Silvertips hold off 'Canes

I haven’t watched Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner in a number of years, simply because I grew tired of the inane comments. Judging by social media, there was more inanity on Saturday night.
Apparently, Cherry was opining on the fight earlier in the week that featured Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and Columbus Blue Jackets pest Brandon Dubinsky.
Did Cherry really say “never mind the concussions” in reference to Crosby’s past? Did Cherry really say "you don't see guys getting concussions from fighting.”?
He is quoted in various places on the Internet as having said same, so I’m assuming that is what came out of his mouth.
Well, I’m sorry, Mr. Cherry, but I have witnessed at least two WHL players get concussed in recent fights. Neither one was at all pretty and, at least from where I’m sitting, two is two too many.
Perhaps Mr. Cherry could take a few minutes and read this column right here. It’s by David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune and was written following the recent death of former NHLer Steve Montador.
“The brain of (Derek) Boogaard, who died of an accidental overdose in 2011 at 28,” Haugh writes, “was afflicted with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Montador also donated his brain to science for study and if CTE is found, how much more evidence does the NHL need to link fighting and concussions? Until then, the NHL preaching concussion prevention and allowing fights will be like the NFL promoting player safety but scheduling more Thursday night games.”
In the two recent incidents in which I witnessed WHL players getting concussed while fighting, one took a tremendous right hand directly to the face, while the other was struck four times straight in the head.
Like the NHL, the WHL can’t be seen as working to limit the number of concussions its players suffer while it allows them to punch each other in the head.
It just doesn’t compute, does it?


B.C. DIVISION: All five teams had the day off, allowing them to watch the Academy Awards as team-building exercises.
U.S. DIVISION: Everett won at home, stretching its lead atop the division to five points over idle Portland. Everett has 12 games remaining; Portland has 13.
EAST DIVISION: All six teams were given the day off, allowing them to watch the final game of the Canadian women’s curling championship as team-building exercises.
CENTRAL DIVISION: Edmonton beat visiting Medicine Hat and now holds the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot by seven points over idle Moose Jaw. Each team has 12 games left. . . . Medicine Hat is tied with idle Calgary for the division lead. Calgary has 13 games yet to play; Medicine Hat has 12. . . . Calgary is 9-1-0 in its last 10; Medicine Hat is 2-8-0.
In Edmonton, the Oil Kings scored the game’s first five goals as they beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 5-1. . . . The Oil Kings took control with two goals in the last two minutes of the first period. . . . F Brett Pollock scored his 26th goal, on a PP, at 18:00 and F Edgars Kulda got his eighth at 19:24. . . . Kulda and D Dysin Mayo each had a goal and an assist. Mayo has 12 goals. . . . Edmonton F Davis Koch drew two assists. . . . Tigers F Matt Bradley scored his 14th goal at 18:22 of the third, on a PP. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 30 shots and earned an assist as he put on quite a display of his puck-handling skills. . . . The Tigers played their third straight game without F Trevor Cox, who leads the WHL scoring race. He was serving a three-game WHL suspension. . . . The Oil Kings improved to 27-27-6, while the Tigers slipped to 37-20-3. . . . Brian Swane of the Edmonton Sun has a game story right here. . . .

In Everett, the Silvertips jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then withstood a furious Lethbridge comeback before beating the Hurricanes, 5-4. . . . F Graham Millar gave Everett a 4-0 lead with his 12th goal at 16:12 of the first period, on a PP. . . . Lethbridge began its comeback seven seconds later on F Jamal Watson’s 23rd goal. . . . F Giorgio Estephan made it 4-2 with his 18th goal, on a PP, at 5:22 of the second. . . . F Brayden Burke got his sixth goal, at 7:14, on another PP, and now it was 4-3. . . . Everett D Noah Juulsen relieved the pressure with his seventh goal at 6:44 of the third. . . . Juulsen had missed the previous two games with an undisclosed injury. . . . F Nikita Scherbak scored his 24th goal and added two assists for Everett, while F Patrick Bajkov got his 22nd goal and an assist, and F Kohl Bauml had two helpers. . . . Scherbak came up short on a penalty shot at 19:33 of the second period, with his side leading 4-3. . . . Watson also had an assist, while F Mike Winther, back after serving a one-game suspension, drew two assists. . . . Lethbridge G Stuart Skinner stopped 34 shots, 15 more than Everett’s Austin Lotz. . . . Everett was 2-for-5 on the PP; Lethbridge was 2-for-6. . . . The Silvertips (36-17-7) are 1-1-2 in their last four. They snapped the first three-game losing streak of their season with this victory. . . . Lethbridge (18-35-7) has lost four straight (0-3-1).


(all times local)
Regina at Saskatoon, 11:30 a.m. (Inaugural Team Up for Respect game)


(all times local)
Kootenay at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Portland vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Calgary vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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