Monday, May 6, 2013
Lotsa Little Bits vol. 16
But Doc Bowen was more than just a hand that waved at a starstruck kid. He was a kind man, an excellent governor, a man who did wonderful things at Reagan's HHS. In my life, I have been fortunate enough to live under a President who was what a president SHOULD be, and under a governor who was what a Governor SHOULD be. (Hint: I'm not referring to Evan Bayh and Barack Obutthole). Doc Bowen passed this weekend at the age of 95. SAnd with him goes any hopes I had of ever seeing his like again. God bless you, sir.
ITEM: Well, it's Monday, and I have yet to receive my "media package" from the Aussie Hockey league. Not really surprised. Let me tell you about their webpage. There is a moving banner at the top with final scores and upcoming games, and I have usually used the links therein to access the box scores. This week, Saturday found only two of the three games played on the banner. If you were wondering about the Sydney Bears/Canberra game, you were SOL. By Sunday, the Sunday games had disappeared altogether, although the two Saturday matches were still posted. That situation remains today. Robert Bannerman, you really know how to cover yourself in glory.
ITEM: And as for the games themselves, let's go back to Saturday. Here we find a one-time Fort Wayne Komet by the name of Dominic Osman (he played for the cup-winners of 2008-9, but got traded before the playoffs) struck just 12 seconds into the game between his Newcastle team and Perth- and the Thunder were done already. Osman had 2 1st period goals and 2 3rd period assists; native Aussie Dave Upton chipped in a hat trick, and Jeff Maartens had a hat trick-in just the third period- and three assists as Newcastle hung a 13-2 on Perth, the most goals in a game since Adelaide beat the Sydney Bears 14-1 in 2010. Pier-Oliver Cotnoir added 2 second period goals to go with 3 assists, as Perth's lonely goalie Michael Smart was pulled in the second down 7-1. Seldom used backup Ayden Milward showed why he's seldom used by giving up 6 goals on just 13 third period Newcastle shots. Hardly a shock for Ayden; he's been in a part of 2 games in the previous two seasons, and compiled a goals-against average of around 15.
The Sydney Ice Dogs built up a 3-0 lead on Melbourne's Mustangs after two periods, but the 'Stangs roared back in the third to send the game to a shootout. Melbourne's Pat O'Kane got the only goal in the OT to give the 'Stangs a 4-3 win.
One of the things I learned this weekend is that the Sydney Bears' head coach and all-time leading scorer are one person- a Czech by the name of Vlad Rubes. He had 2 goals and countryman Tomas Landa added a goal and 2 assists as the foreign-flavored Bears (their goalie is Latvian Renars Kazanous) routed Canberra 6-1.
Sunday, coach Rubes showed the Bears how to do it once again, with the first goal of the game in the first, and another in the second. However, the rest of the team paid no mind as Smart and the Thunder came off their worst loss in history to get their first win of the year, a 5-2 score that found Perth native Jonathon Bremmer notching a hat trick.
In the other game, a 1-1 tie coming into the final period when Sydney's Ice Dogs scored 2 quick goals; however, Matt Armstrong and Joseph Hughes each scored for the Melbourne Ice to send it into the OT Shootout. Unlike the last OT game, seven goals were scored- the winner going to the Dogs' team captain Robert Malloy. The Connecticut Yankee beat Ice goalie Dahlen Phillips for a 4-3 win.
The OT loss is still a point, and it is the margin that the Ice lead Newcastle and the Ice Dogs in the standings. The Mustangs are a distant 4th, and everyone else has just one win for three points ( although each has a different amount of losses- Adelaide 1, Canberra 2, Perth 3, and the Bears 4).
ITEM: Just to break up the sports stuff, here's what Scrappy the toothless wonder dog and I saw Sunday:
ITEM: ESPN decided last year to go with a gambling site called Coolstandings.com to add to the baseball standings the odds of each team making the playoffs. So, let's see. My Reds, who struggled all weekend to beat a Cubs team struggling just as hard to beat themselves, are 18-14. That record, thanks to those 3 wins against the (barely) second worst team in their league, gives the Reds a 57.9 % chance at making the playoffs. My A's who just beat the Yankees (third best record in their league at the time) two out of three IN NEW YORK, have that same 18-14 record, and odds of the playoffs at 48.9%!!! Can I hear a WTH????
ITEM: Sorry to give you yet more sports, but this was so stupid I have to comment. Anybody out there wanna guess? That's right, the brawl in the 3rd period of the Montreal-Ottawa playoff game. Now, I can't say I know what exactly caused it, but A) it was a rough game from the start, with thirty minutes in penalties BEFORE the main event. B) this often indicates that the officials never took control of the game- that's how crap like this USUALLY gets started. C) As evidence of my theory, I give you Montreal's PK Subban- before the main event he had already been sent off the ice 3 times. He did miss the main event, but made up for it a minute and a half later by gathering a 5 for fighting, not one but two 2-minute instigator penalties, and what he apparently should have gotten a long time before- a 10-minute game. (For the non-hockey-ites, this means you are thrown out of the game, and someone gets to spend ten minutes in the box for you.)
The main event came after Ottawa scored to take a 4-1 lead. From what I saw it was mostly because Montreal goalie Carey Price was doing his best Ayden Milward impression. But nonetheless, the Habs decided to pick fights all over the ice at the next face off.
Let me just say that I was brought up on hockey by Bob Chase, and one of the biggest no-nos he taight me is NEVER fight in a playoff game- and certainly NEVER start a brawl. This seems to be lost on Canadiens coach Michel Therien, and I'll expound on that in a bit. But let me tell you what the results of the main event were:
For Ottawa, four guys got a fight and a ten-minute game, and one guy got a fight.
For Montreal, five guys got 5, ten, and game.
After this 152-minute penalty fest, there were another 30 minutes a mere 1:17 later ( the set-to that cost them Subban). Add on a double cross-check two minutes later, another fight 6 1/2 afterwards, and then with 16 seconds left in what passed for a game, Canadien Rene Bourque was nailed for a cross-check AND a slash. When Ottawa coach Paul MacLean called a time out to warn his guys away from responding, Therien accused MacLean of somehow "showing up" the Canadiens and calling him "classless". Moments later, the classy Therien had Josh Gorges (1/2 of the earlier double-cross-check) shoot the puck AT Ottawa's Kyle Turris when the final buzzer sounded.
The win gives Ottawa a 2-1 lead in the series. Montreal, once the class of the league, gives it a big black eye. This is what a no-talent team does to win regular-season games, not what a once-proud franchise does in the playoffs.