Monday, December 22, 2008

Flyers @ Falher Sat. Dec 20th

Don't know anything about the game except the score and the identity of the goal scorers. The final score was 8 -3 marking the 14th straight victory for the Flyers. Jeff Shipton lead the way with another hat trick plus 2 helpers. I think we decided this must have been Shipton's 3 or 4th hatty of the season. The guy has phenomenal hands and has been fitting in really well in his first year as a Flyer. I didn't get to see it but I can only imagine how much this guy dominated the NWJHL last year playing for the Huskies. Luke Middleton scored a couple and Kip Noble had 3 assists. I can't wait for the New Year as the Flyers gear up for a run at the Allan Cup.

Huskies vs. Sexsmith Sat. Dec 20th

So I was at my staff Christmas party on Saturday and didn't get a chance to watch the Huskies game. Coach Bob Kalb had called the game a must win when he spoke with Jon Zacks earlier in the week. According to the league website (and I say this because that website is notorious for being wrong) the Huskies won 9 - 3. A good example of the league website being shoddy to say the least, Van Der Merwe let in 2 goals and only played 54 minutes. Who played the other 6? As far as I was aware Zach Blain had already left town to head home for the holidays. And who let in the other goal?

Anyway, that is a good win for the Huskies who sometimes struggle to play to their own level rather than down to the level of their opponent. Cody Kalb and Kole Norris each had 2 goals and an assist. Steve Fast also had a 3 point game with 1 goal and 2 assists. Paydon Wongstedt had a goal and racked up 17 minutes in penalties. Not a surprise as Paydon sometimes losses his composure and gets in trouble with the officials for running his mouth. Good player though so the Huskies need to find ways to keep him on the ice as much as possible. The other thing I noticed when looking at the league website was that Brennan Billey was listed as having played in the game. I will try to confirm that and then tell you what I think about it later on.


Ok so it has been confirmed that Brennan Billey was in the lineup on Saturday and that he has sorted out his work situation which will enable him to play this season. I had thought that the Brennan Billey ship had sailed but apparently we were premature in that judgement. Good player that will most likely skate on the top line. It depends what coach Kalb wants to do but he could make himself one hell of a checking line with MacKinnon and Hildebrand and maybe Pappin. I am not sure what the lines will look like at this point but the Huskies are a better team now than they were on Friday. You just feel they still need a D man or two for some depth. I really cannot wait for the Huskies to take on Whitecourt here in FSJ if they can have a full lineup. I think it would be a game. If the Huskies sort out their troubles on the road and find a way to compete harder every night than they are an elite team in this league.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Flyers vs GP Athletics Dec 19th

Not much to report from last nights "game" between the Flyres and the Atheltics. Grand Prairie only showed up with 8 skaters and one goalie. The Flyers were a little short benched as well but the still had 3 full forward lines and 2 D pairs. Luke Middleton spent some time playing as a forward and didn't look that out of place. Luke has some pretty good puck handling skills and dangled a couple guys last night. He usually gets in one or two dangles per game. Ian Munro should have scored 5 or 6 and Dustin Kersey did pop in at least 3 maybe more. To be honest the game became secondary to the argument I was having with Jon Zacks. I am not saying that the NHL HAS to change anything but the second assist is kind of a ridiculous stat. And the glowing puck wasn't as bad an idea as people make it out to be and I love the camera angle that TSN uses that is behind the net looking sort of over the goalies shoulder when a team is on the PP. It's a damn good camera angle. Now if only the NHL could get on board with the cable cam. If I was running things...

Anyway, GP's goalie stood on his head and made 7 or 8 spectacular saves. If they could get out a full team it would be a good game with FSJ. It really is too bad when teams show up with short benches, I mean people did pay to watch that. The league needs to do something. I have read that GP is having a hard time right now and that after Christmas they will have more players. Hopefully that is true. For the most part it seems as though most teams are just afraid to play against the Flyers. You would think guys would want a crack at the best team in the league and would want to test themselves against the best. Flyers are taking on Falher and the Huskies are at home tonight against Sexsmith. I will be drinking at my staff Christmas party and hopefully not doing anything that might jeopardize my place at Moose FM.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sundin signs

So first of all well done to the Canucks on last nights ceremony. Class all the way around which is what you expect from the Canucks and Linden. It was good to see all the old timers out there as well. I wonder how much Geoff Courtnall spends on fake tanning products? Looks like Sundin has decided to sign in Vancouver. I heard the news from a reliable source about 10 minutes ago but didn't get a chance to blog about it in time to have the scoop. Maybe next time. I will write a little later on about what I think about this signing.


I can't really understand what some Canuck fans seem to have against the Sundin signing. The Nucks are tied for first in their division despite the best goalie in the league missing the last 3 or 4 weeks with a groin problem. They are scoring better than expected but the power play is struggling a little bit. Sundin is a 6'5" 250 pound center who scores a tonne of point on the PP. The Canucks have not had a big physically dominant center in recent memory and Sundin can match up against guys like Joe Thornton. There is still cap room available for GM Mike Gillis to play with (some reports suggesting Vancouver still has as much as 3 million in cap space left) and Sundin has been assured he won't be the last piece added. I know it's a long shot because they play in our division but Gaborik might be available at the trade deadline. Also, with Sundin signing a one year deal the Canucks still have lots of flexibility come the off-season to try and resign some of their own players or go after free agents. (possibly Gaborik)

Are the Canucks a legitimate Stanley Cup contender? If they aren't then only Detroit and SJ are and if they add another top 6 forward then VERY few teams would have a better goalie, better D corp top to bottom and better forwards. I think that Kesler, Burrows and Hansen (or whoever is gets on that other wing from time to time) is the best 3rd line in hockey. The Canucks are now the best team in their division and should make some noise before the deadline to make themselves a legitimate Stanley Cup threat.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CP Athlete of the Year

So for the first time in my life I said, "I am going to blog about this later." And here I am.

Moose FM sports director Jon Zacks has a vote for male and female athlete of the year that is given out by the CP. I have decided that since not very many people get the honour of participating in this vote that I want to be a part of it. He is going to narrow it down to 5 or 6 people and we will have a lively debate about who he should vote for. The female one should be a little more Olympics heavy simply because we don't get to see these athletes on TV very often unless it is an Olympic year. While the same can be said about Olympic male athletes you do have to consider the Morneau's and Nash's and of course Crosby's of the world.

Special consideration to Adam Van Koeverden for being on TV after choking in the K-1 1000m race and apologizing to the Canadian public for letting us down. He then went out and won a silver in the K-1 500m. He also recently donated 8 Lenovo computers to a youth program that focuses on improving computer literacy amongst youth. That's a quality human being and someone all Canadians should be proud of.

The newest hockey celebration?

I just stumbled across this article and I realize it is now a couple of months old but I was unsure if everyone had seen it.

I won't spoil it with too much info about what it is but the fact that it says Swedish Ice Hockey Game Delayed by Sex Toys in the link should really whet your appetite. Let's just say it take throwing octopus's or rats onto the ice to a whole new level.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Huskies versus Dawson Creek Saturday Dec 15th

Won't be posting much about the game as I was in Spirit River so obviously I didn't get a chance to see the game. Would have liked to have been able to do both the Huckies and Flyers games that weekend but the schedule makers weren't putting me first this time. Sounds like the Huskies outshot the Canucks but that doesn't amount to a hill of beans. The important thing is the scoreboard. The Huskies haven't played well on the road all season. They have also struggled at times in their own zone and have struggled at times to score goals.

It is a big if but one of these days if they could put together a 60 minute effort with all of their top guys in the lineup then maybe we would see how good they really are. It is giong to be a struggle now to claim second in the NWJHL which is where you want to finish to try to avoid Whitecourt as long as possible in the playoffs. Hopefully the new year brings a more consistent effort out of the Huskies game in and game out.

Flyers at Spirit River Saturday 13th

The second half of a home and home between the two best teams in the NPHL and once again it was the Rangers getting off to the better start. The game wasn't as physical as we were expecting and it was the Rangers who were the more intense of the two teams. Another big second period for the Flyers set up the victory and it was Dustin Kersey with an absolute beauty beating the defence to the red line before cutting to the front of the net and roofing a shot under the bar. To be honest the Flyers played a fairly lackluster game and were outshot for maybe the first time all season. Vizutti was strong in net and two more goals, one into an empty net, for Ryan Carter sealed the victory. I am not going to go into too much detail here since you can listen to a highlights package of the game over at

No fights in the game which I think both Jon and I found very surprising especially given some of the stick work the Rangers call "hockey." I speak in particular of a cross check to the mouth that Dustin Kersey received while trying to cross the blue line. That's not hockey at any level and you hate to see it in a work man's league like the NPHL and against Kersey who is a good player and a good guy as well.

The Rangers barn is not the nicest I have been to but the broadcast location that we were able to use was fabulous. Directly about the benches and within ear shot of the players. Only once did we have to try to ignore some verbals from Lefley (Mike I think) who, safe to say, doesn't like Bryan Lewis. I am sure the folks at home heard the language which is unfortunate but I love being that close and getting an even better idea of what was going on in the game.

As usual the bus ride home with the Flyers was fun. Not profitable but fun.

I am going to give three stars to the Kersey, Wiens, and Carter line. They played well in both games and were the best forwards for the Flyers over the course of the two games. Wiens even had a nice fat upper lip to show for his efforts courtesy of some more Rangers stick work.

Flyers vs Rangers Thursday Dec 11th

The Flyers had a big weekend taking on the top team, at least in the standings, in the NPHL. The Spirit River Rangers were in town on Thursday at the NPA for what was a highly anticipated tilt. I have to admit that I missed the first ten minutes of the game and was very worried that I would have missed my chance to throw my teddy bear on the ice. I made it in time though, as when I arrived, the score was 1 zip for the Rangers. Craig Venhola had opened the scoring before I managed to reach the rink. From what I saw, and from what Jon Zacks told me once I arrived, Spirit River was the better team and were talking it to the Flyers early on. It was Ryan Carter who got the Flyers back in the game late in the first. With Chad Wilchynski in the box for an interfernce call Kip Noble fed a beauty of a cross ice pass from the right hand point to the top of the left hand face off circle. Carter one timed a rocket up under the bar for a power play marker and the teddy bears flooded the ice.

The second period was when the game turned. Some suspect calls by the referee and some overzealous , and frankly embarrassing complaining from the Spirit River bench (including captain Faron Duthie getting tossed for beaking the ref which was also a little embarrassing) coupled with some strong play from the Flyers combined to find the Rangers down 5 to 1 after 2 periods of play. The Rangers scored twice to start the third and make a game of it but that's when the captain popped one home followed by 2 goals on the PP and Flyers ended up taking an 8 to 3 victory in a game in which they quite frankly didn't play that well. Late fight for Tyler Loney against Trevor Mazurek while I was in the restroom. Jon Zacks gave the split decision to Loney.