Hello. Betcher wondering where I've been, eh? Just a long weekend with nothing major to say. Hope everybody eligible to went out and voted to make our country better. I do want to say one thing on this topic. One of our three-way races here locally involved a Republican who got national attention- not wanted attention- during a debate when the discussion of abortion and rape came up. He tried to explain that even though God and man sees rape as a reprehensible act, that if a baby is created thereby, it is God's will that that baby enjoy life. Because, as Christians, we believe God takes the bad things of this life and uses them for good for those who believe. The liberal press took the ambiguity of the statement to twist it and claim he was saying that rape is God's will, and his democrat challenger jumped right on the bandwagon. However, the Libertarian challenger wrote a lengthy statement defending the Republican, explaining that A) whether or not he agreed with his intention, he realized that a debate is a highly charged, stressful atmosphere in which to express complex beliefs on a stopwatch, and B) as it turns out, he did agree with the statement. Where the Democrat kept basically silent and let the national press attempt to destroy his opponant with innuendo, the Libertarian showed integrity, ethics and guts. That is why, despite the Republican being my favored candidate in all areas, I voted for the Libertarian for having the courage that I doubt either of the others would have had in a similar circumstance.
Anyway, onto my sports report. We had three big throwdowns this week in the NHFFL. The KCAs put up 57 points, with Doug Martin scoring 30 all by himself- but it was not enough to top the red-hot Fiery Beagles. Aaron Rodgers, Brandon Marshall, and Robbie Gould all hit double figures in a 67-57 win that kept them tied atop the leaderboard and gave them 6 straight wins after an 0-3 start.
In the second big game, the Aguas kept their share of the Purple Div. lead, and their tiebreaker advantage, with a 46-39 over an ever-more-desperate Rangers squad. The Bears' D did the heavy lifting for the Aguas, putting up 21 points against woebegone Tennessee.
The third big contest pitted the Porkchops against Gold second-place B2s. In a tight contest, it was Reggie Bush's TD that gave Porkchop a 38-31 win and the league's best record at 7-2.
This made the other two Gold games that much more important, as the Elks walloped the Ducks 64-25 behind the NY Giants' D scoring 19 and backup QB Carson Palmer posting 14. Also, Buzz took advantage to move into second with a 52-30 pasting of the Clock BBQs. The WR corps put up 30, with newcomer Randall Cobb and Eric Decker each scoring twice.And even the Greenwoods moved back into contention in the Purple with a 31-20 win over the Angels who, in a week where defences averaged 8.5 points with 4 teams topping 10, the Angels got 1 from Miami.
With the playoffs just three weeks away now, the Rangers, Clock BBQs, and Elks really need to step it up- and so far, only the Elks are managing it. Next week is the second cross-division week, and we lead off with the biggest game so far this season- the Beagles vs the Porkchops! The B2s fight for their playoff lives against the Aguas; The Elks and Rangers face off in a pivotal game for both sides; also, it's KCAs/Clock BBQs, Buzz/Angels, Greenwoods vs Ducks.
As for Lokomotiv, Friday was another OT affair. In fact, our boys have played 15 games out of 23 as 1-goal matches and seven have gone OT, six of those to the shootout. We are now 7-0 in OT after Friday's game in Ufa that matched us against Salavat Yulaev. They took a quick 1-0 lead but stellar denfeseman Staffan Kronwall tied it at 6:50 of the first with his 5th goal. My boy Emil Galimov put us up 2-1 with his second goal in regulation this year (he had two shootout goals coming into this one. That came late in the second and set up a fairly wild third period. Tomas Rolinek, a Czech in his first year with Salavat after spending the last four with Magnitogorsk, got his first of the season to tie things at 2-2 at 9:44 of the final stanza. Artyom Anisimov, a lockout player from Columbus, part of the big Rick Nash trade this spring, put us back on top with his second goal at 15:57, but Rolinek struck again with less than 2 minutes left to send us into OT, and then the shootout.
Curtis Sanford, making his second start, held off both Salavat shooters- including Rolinek- while Galimov collected his third SO goal and NHL vet Viktor Kozlov put it away with his score for a 4-3 win.
Our record (combining all the OT categories into one for W-L-O) is now 11-5-7, and puts us into a three-way tie for the league's second best in points (47) with Traktor (14-4-4) and Magnitogorsk (14-3-5), behind league leader Dynamo Moscow (14-4-5, 51 points). Speaking of Dynamos, Dinamo Riga becomes the sixth team this season to fire their coach. Pekka Rautakallio joins the coaches of Spartak, Avtomobilst, Dinamo Minsk, Lev, and Atlant on the unemployment line.
The league took three days off to help Swiss club Ambri-Piotta celebrate their 75th anniversary this week. A group of Russian vets played the club to a 6-6 tie in an exhibition match, taking some of the sting off a season that sees Ambri-Piotta mired in 11th place (of 12) in the Swiss NLA, 5-12-3 and 27 points behind leader Geneva Servette. As a result, Lokomotiv's next game is tommorow against Slovan at home.
And speaking of the Euro leagues, here's a quick look at the leaders around the continent.
Asia: Oji's Eagles are 12-0-1, leading by 7.
Austria: The Vienna Caps (12-3-4) have a narrow 31-29 lead over VSV and Zagreb.
Czech: Plsen (11-2-6) has a five-point lead in the Extraliga.
Denmark: SonderjyskE (10-2-0) are off to their usual lead.
Finland: The top 8 are within 6 points of each other, with JYP Jyvaskyla (11-6-4) and Saipa (10-6-5) at the top.
France: Undefeated Angers (7-0-1) leads Briancon by a point; traditional power Rouen (4-4-0) is in a group tied for 7th.
Germany: Kolner (10-5-3) has a 4-point lead in the DEL. My Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg team is mired in last at 4-10-3.
Italy: Val Pusteria (14-2-0) is running away in Serie A with a 10-point lead.
Norway: Valerenga (11-1-4) has a five point advantage over Stavenger.
Poland: Sanok (16-2-3) has run off to a 16 point lead. In fact, one team (Torun, 1-12-1) has already folded.
Slovakia: Zvolen (15-11-3) has run off to a 12 point lead, with the traditional powers Kosice and Banska Bystrika well back in the pack.
Sweden, another tight race sees the top 6 within 7 points of each other, with HV71 (11-4-4) currently on top.
Switzerland: As I mentioned, Geneva Servette (14-2-4) are out in front, up 9 points.
UK: a three-way tie at the top between Nottingham (8-3-4), Belfast (9-2-4), and Sheffield (6-5-6).
And there you have it! Pray for our nation today, that we may be granted a government blessed by God rather than the one we deserve.