Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hitchcock to Edmonton? . . . Wenatchee to BCHL? . . . We Not The North?

With apologies to Blackie Sherrod, we are scattershooting late on a Sunday night:
1. It has been a while since the Kelowna Rockets have faced a challenge. It will be interesting to see how they react now that they’re 1-1 with the Portland Winterhawks and headed to the Rose City for a doubleheader.
2. Perhaps when TSN has six or seven channels, they’ll be able to show all of Sunday Night Baseball, rather than joining it in progress.
3. Whenever I watch G Devan Dubnyk and consider his numbers with the Minnesota Wild, I wonder if goaltending really was an issue with the Edmonton Oilers. Maybe it’s all about defensive structure and commitment.
4. Gawd, I love that Molson commercial that opens with old friend Don Dietrich heading to the hockey game on the glacier. If you haven’t read his book — No Guarantees — give it a go. You won’t be disappointed.
5. The headshot by Calgary Hitmen F Jake Virtanen on F Tanner Kaspick of the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday is every disciplinarian’s worst nightmare. Virtanen is a star player whose team is down 2-0 in a conference final and that team plays in the city where the WHL office is located. Richard Doerksen, the next move belongs to you.
6. The final buzzer was still echoing Sunday and there was speculation that Ken Hitchcock had coached his last game with the St. Louis Blues. Well, his coaching career began in Edmonton, so why not?
7. Whenever talk to turns to potential homes for WHL franchises, someone invariably mentions Wenatchee, Wash., home of the 4,300-seat Town Toyota Centre. But you can end that talk because it now seems likely that the Wild, which has played in the NAHL, will be in the BCHL for 2015-16.
8. If you’re an NFL fan, you know the draft starts on Thursday. Which means you won’t want to miss Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, which is right here. (Question: If the NFL is moving the draft around — this year's is in Chicago, not New York — so why couldn't the WHL move its bantam draft around?)
9. Why does my TV remote always find the Jason Statham movies?
10. Does what happened to the Toronto Raptors mean We Not The North?


No Games Scheduled.


A look at the WHL’s 10 winningest head coaches in terms of playoff victories:
Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 103
Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland) 101
Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 87
Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat) 80
Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 67
Ken Hitchcock (Kamloops) 66
x-Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 66
x-Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 65
x-Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 62
Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 61
(x — active.)
The U.S. won the IIHF U-18 men’s world championship, beating Finland 2-1 in OT in Zug, Switzerland, on Sunday. F Colin White score the winner at 12:44 of extra time. . . . G Evan Sarthou of the Tri-City Americans made 19 stops for the victory. . . . It was the sixth time in seven years that the U.S. won the title. . . . Canada won the bronze medal, with a 5-2 victory over Switzerland. F Glenn Gawdin of the Swift Current Broncos scored twice for Canada.
In the OHL, F Connor McDavid scored two goals as the Erie Otters post a 4-2 victory over the visiting Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds last night. The Otters lead the Western Conference final, 2-1. . . . McDavid has 32 points, 18 of them goals, in 12 playoff games. . . . They’ll play in the Soo again on Tuesday. . . . Also last night, the host Oshawa Generals beat the North Bay Battalion 1-0 in OT. D Dakota Mermis got the winner at 1:00 of the first OT period. . . . That series is 1-1 as it shifts to North Bay for games Tuesday and Wednesday.
In the QMJHL, the Quebec Remparts have a 2-0 lead over the Moncton Wildcats with Games 3 and 4 scheduled for Quebec City tonight and Tuesday. . . . The Rimouski Oceanic leads the Val-d’Or Foreurs 2-0 in the other semifinal, with the series in Val-d’Or for games on Tuesday and Wednesday.


From a story by Dan Barry of The New York Times: “Examinations of the brain of Patrick Risha, 32, at the University of Pittsburgh and Boston University revealed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative disease caused by repeated blows to the head that has been found in the brains of dozens of former football players. C.T.E. has been linked to depression, impulsive actions and short-term memory loss, among other symptoms.” . . . You won’t be sorry for giving this right here a read.

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