Saturday, April 30, 2016

WHL Final

It’s the WHL Final as the Eastern Conference Champion Brandon Wheat Kings meet the West Conference Champion Seattle Thunderbirds.

Both teams are on a roll as the Thunderbirds have a record of 12-1 in this years’ playoffs while Brandon is 12-2 since losing the first 2 games of their 1st round series.
The clubs’ met once during the regular season and that was over 6 months ago. On October 27th in Seattle the Thunderbirds won 7-2.
This will be the first ever playoffs meeting between the organizations.

Seattle has only made it to the WHL one previous time when in 1997 Patrick Marleau and the Thunderbirds lost in 4 straight to Chris Phillips and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
This is the 7th time that Brandon is in the League Final. The Wheat Kings won in 1979 against Portland and 1996 versus Spokane. Last year the Wheat Kings lost in the WHL Final to Kelowna.

Experience could be the difference in this series. The Wheat Kings have 16 players who played in the League Final last year and they have 10 players who are 19 or 20 years’ old.
The Thunderbirds have 10 players who are 18-years-old who should make them one of the teams to beat next year.
But this year is the year for the Wheat Kings.
In September I picked Brandon to beat Seattle in the WHL Final and I will stay with that pick. So far in playoffs I am 13-1.
Prediction – Wheat Kings in 5.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Islander Over Panthers

The time is now for the Islanders and the time is coming for the Panthers.
Florida reminds me of the Islanders from a few years ago.
After not making the playoffs for many years and getting some high draft picks the Islanders made the 2013 playoffs.
They met the Penguins in a series that went 6 games but New York just didn’t have enough experience, didn’t have the star quality to match Sidney Crosby and didn’t have what it took to make a big play at the right time. Even though the Islanders seem to outplay Pittsburgh it was only a matter of time until the Penguins would win the series.
The Islanders missed the 2014 post season when Tavares got injured in the Olympics and then last year lost in the 1st round to Washington. The series went 7 games and the Islanders failed to score a powerplay goal in the entire series.
In 2016 the Islanders looked better prepared, Tavares has the star power and they won a playoff series for the first time since 1993.
The Panthers showed they will soon be a team that can not only make the post season but will find a way to get past the 1st round.

Friday, April 22, 2016

WHL Playoffs Round 3

It’s the WHL’s final 4 as the East Conference Final has Brandon and against Red Deer and the West Conference Final is Kelowna versus Seattle.

During the regular season the Wheat Kings and Rebels split their 4 head-to-head meetings.
November 11 in Brandon – Rebels 4-0
January 2nd in Red Deer – Rebels 10-0
January 15th in Red Deer – Wheat Kings 4-0
January 30th in Brandon – Wheat Kings 2-1
This will be the 5th time they will meet in the playoffs and the 3rd time they face-off in the East Final.
2003 – East Final Rebels win 4-1
2002 – East Final Rebels win 4-3
1999 – 1st round Rebels won 4-1
1996 – 2nd round Wheat Kings won 4-0

During the regular season the Rockets and Thunderbirds split their 4 head-to-head meetings.
November 25th in Kelowna – Rockets 5-2
January 31st in Seattle – Thunderbirds 2-0
February 8th in Kelowna – Rockets 7-4
February 9th in Seattle – Thunderbirds 6-0
This will be the 7th time they will meet in the playoffs and the 2nd time they will battle in the West Final.
2014 – 2nd round Rockets win 4-0
2013 - 1st round Rockets win 4-3 (Thunderbirds led the series 3-0)
2008 – 1st round Thunderbirds win 4-3
2005 – 2nd round Rockets win 4-3
2003 – West Final Rockets win 4-1
2001 – 1st round Thunderbirds win 4-2

Back in September I picked a Brandon-Seattle WHL Final so I have to stick with those teams. So far in the playoffs I’m 11-1.
Predictions – Wheat Kings in 5, Thunderbirds in 6

Thursday, April 21, 2016

CFL Drug Testing

The CFL and Players’ Association have agreed on expanding testing for performance enhancing drugs.
They should be applauded for increasing the number of testing from 35% of the players to 100%.
It includes recognizing sanctions from CIS, NCAA, NFL and other Wada tested sports. If you cheated before it will be held against you.
The problem is that a 1st time violation is a 2-game suspension, 2nd time is 9 games, 3rd time is a 1 year penalty and a 4th time violation is a lifetime ban.
If you really want to stop players from using illegal performance enhancing drugs shouldn’t the penalty be lifetime for the first time?
Why give players a chance to try and beat the system with a minor suspension?
What are they saying when you can break the rules 4 times before the CFL says that’s enough?
I’m sure it’s something the players’ association bargained for but who are they trying to protect and why do they want to give them 4 strikes before they are out?
These rules hurt only one type of player and that’s the athletes who don’t cheat.


2016 has been a horrible year for music will the loss of David Bowie, Glenn Frey and now Prince.
I was never a super big fan of Prince but when I was a Music Director at a radio station all of his songs were an instant add to the rotation.
His music was unique and his songs have stood the test of time.
My favorite story of how big of an icon he was came from earlier this year after the SNL 40th Anniversary show. At the after party with the likes of Paul McCartney, Beyonce and Taylor Swift in attendance it was Prince that got everyone’s attention. The whole room of celebrities stopped to look and listen. It was everyone’s favorite part of the night. In says a lot that famous celebrities were in awe in his presence.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


It’s been a rough first round of the playoffs for the NHL.
Along with the officiating being the center of attention we have seen everything from dangerous hits, fans throwing things on the ice, inappropriate slurs, players being suspended and replay reviews on almost every goal.
Most fans are frustrated on goals being taking away after a coach’s review that a play was offside.
The main focus of the NHL is to have the right call to be made.
To me it doesn’t matter if it takes 30 seconds or 3 minutes to make the decision.
Get it right.
It doesn’t matter if the play is 1 inch offside.
Get it right.
It doesn’t matter if the flow of the game is slowed down.
Get it right.
If you disagree with any of these thoughts then just imagine if your favorite team lost a game where the winning goal shouldn’t have counted because the replay showed it was offside.
Now do you care how long the review would take, how close the play was or if the game is delayed?
I’m not sure if like offsides being reviewed but since the rule in being used by the NHL, do what it takes to get it right.
The one change that has to be made is have all replays reviewed by the Head Office who have access to watching on 50 inch monitors and not by the on-ice officials looking at a mobile device.
By the time the officials ask for a review, the head honchos in Toronto would already have the final decision.
Get it right by doing it right.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NHL Draft Lottery

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The NHL Entry Draft was created decades ago to help the weaker NHL teams get better quicker.
It worked.
Then in 1995 the lottery was introduced in which the lottery winner could move a maximum of 4 spots.
A few years ago the rule where changed again to where any of the lottery picks could win the 1st overall pick.
On April 30th the NHL will do the lottery for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall selections.
Why the changes? To prevent tanking.
The feeling is that if you aren’t guaranteed the 1st overall pick it will prevent teams from losing on purpose. This idea was good in theory but history show teams would rather have a 20% chance of being 1st overall than a 3% chance. It’s simple math. The only way to prevent tanking is to give every non-playoff team an equal chance at every pick.
Fans and hockey people were also tired of the Oilers always getting the 1st overall pick. They were in that spot in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Last year, without the lottery, Edmonton would have picked 3rd. The lottery changes actually helped the Oilers.
The only time I would like the lottery system is for the years where there is a once in a decade type player like Connor McDavid, Sydney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. Most years the best player could come from anywhere in the draft.
Having a higher pick doesn’t guarantee getting the best player.
Having a higher pick doesn’t guarantee your scouting staff will make the right decision.
Having a higher pick doesn’t guarantee your team will develop the player into being a star.
The only good thing about the lottery draft is that it’s must see TV.
The old method worked and there was no reason to change it.