While watching an NFL game on CTV on Sunday afternoon, the realization struck me — it isn’t the NFL on CTV; rather, it’s a series of NFL commercials aired between CTV promos.
After Tiger Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving the other day, RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com noted: “His short game hasn’t been much, either.”
TV options on Sunday included taped telecasts on Sportsnet channels of three NHL games that were played on Saturday night. At the same time, the game between the host Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings was not available in my area “due to regional restrictions.” . . . So it was another day of watching NFL games.
Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “The chartered plane carrying the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday landed in Chicago with its nose cone completely caved in — the result of an apparent collision with a bird. Here’s guessing it was a blocking fowl.”
Here’s Perry, again: “The New Jersey Devils boast the world’s largest high-def scoreboard/video screen — the equivalent of 1,300 50-inch TVs. It’s so immense, fans say, that on replays you can almost see the puck.”
A tip of the hat to the WHL and its decision to take five days off while many of its top players take part in the CIBC Canada-Russia series, and a number of its best young players are at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John B.C.
That’s right. The next scheduled WHL games are to be played on Friday.
Bill Wilms, a veteran WHL observer and broadcaster, took time out from his duties as the analyst on Vancouver Giants’ broadcasts to visit with me and to proffer an idea on Saturday night. It is time, he suggested, to take some of the hitting out of hockey. As he pointed out, those big open-ice hits, especially where a defender steps up into the neutral zone and unloads on an unsuspecting opponent, don’t accomplish much of anything, other than to oftentimes injure the opponent and result in a suspension to the hitter. . . . It’s hard to argue with that line of thinking, especially because intimidation really isn’t a factor in this day and age, and when so many of the changes in today’s game are aimed at improving player safety. Of course, if it really was about player safety, especially at the WHL level, those in power would act to get fighting out of the game, wouldn’t they?
Still, one look at the WHL’s weekly roster report and the names of all the injured players is enough to have me agreeing with Wilms. The talent pool isn’t deep enough to withstand the number of injuries in the game today, and any move to lessen those should be looked at in all seriousness.
Headline at SportsPickle.com: John Calipari lands Amazon headquarters.
ICYMI, the New York Islanders beat the visiting Colorado Avalanche, 6-4, on Sunday, with F Mathew Barzal earning five assists, two of them on the PP. And a whole lot of Seattle Thunderbirds nodded and said: “I’ve seen that show before.”
Kamloops Blazers 1-7 start at home might have caused this?? pic.twitter.com/Akypezyag0
— Bill Wilms (@BillFairway) November 5, 2017
Yes, this has turned into a frustrating season for the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, who have but five victories to show for their first 17 games.
And, yes, they are 1-7-0 at home following a 5-4 setback at the hands of the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night.
But here’s a word of warning to the Blazers’ opponents: Beware of No. 32.
Jermaine Loewen, 19, is into his fourth season in Kamloops and perhaps it all has come together for him, allowing him to become a real power forward.
Loewen went into this season with 32 points, 14 of them goals, in 171 regular-season games. He began this season by going pointless in three games, and then sat out six games with an undisclosed injury.
After enjoying back-to-back two-goal games against the Giants on the weekend, he now has six goals and four assists in 11 games this season.
Until recent times, Loewen, who is listed as 6-foot-2 and 221 pounds, played in the Blazers’ bottom six forwards. Of late, though, he has been patrolling the left side with the team’s most-gifted offensive forward — veteran Garrett Pilon, 19.
In the past, you never could question Loewen’s desire, his fearlessness or his emotional investment in games. However, he sometimes let that emotion get the better of him, something that often resulted in undisciplined play and bad penalties.
Of course, you also have to remember that Loewen, a formidably strong skater who often doesn’t realize his own strength, was late to the game, having been adopted by Tara and Stan Loewen out of an orphanage in May Pen, Jamaica, and taken to Arborg, Man., where he was introduced to hockey at the age of 10. (If you aren’t familiar with Jermaine’s story, check out this story right here. It was written by Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week.)
Of late, it looks as though Loewen is putting it all together — kind of like the Rubik’s Cube has fallen into place. He was the Blazers’ best player on Saturday; in fact, you could make a case for his having been the most dominant player on the ice. He has a wicked snap shot and loves to use it off the rush. He knows the importance of getting to the net and causing mayhem. He loves to retrieve a loose puck deep in the offensive zone and drive to the net. All of that, and more, was on display Saturday, especially in the third period when he scored twice to get Kamloops back into the game.
Now it’s only a matter of Loewen getting consistent, of his being able to dominate every shift of every game. If/when that happens, NHL scouts will be marking Blazers’ games on their calendars.
and for the record… your pic last nite wasn't my booth!
— Jon Keen (@JonKeenNLSports) November 5, 2017
The Everett Silvertips’ roster is down two forwards.
F Mark Liwiski has been suspended indefinitely, while F Ethan Browne has left the team and returned home.
Liwiski was suspended after being in violation of an unspecified team rule or rules.
After a 3-1 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, Everett head coach Dennis Williams told Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald:
“It’s something that again in probably a week’s time we’ll sit down as a staff, with (general manager) Garry (Davidson) being on the road, and discuss what are the next steps we’re going to take with everything.”
Davidson, like a lot of WHL general managers and scouts, is watching the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C.
Liwiski, 16, was a third-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He was pointless in 10 games with Everett.
Meanwhile, Browne, a first-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, is at home in Sherwood Park, Alta. According to Williams, Browne told him on Friday “that he wanted to take some time and so we’ve granted that. He wanted to go back home, so that was something he wanted to do. That came (as) kind of a surprise on Friday, but there’s nothing we can do. He wanted to go home and clear his mind, and try to get refocused.”
Browne has one assist in eight games with the Silvertips.
You may recall reading here recently that a number of rings that belonged to the late Ed Chynoweth, the longtime WHL and Edmonton/Kootenay Ice executive, are up for auction at Classic Auctions.
As of Sunday afternoon, there had been a goodly amount of action on all 13 of the rings that were made available by the Chynoweth family, with bids running from $440 to $977.
If you have been wondering why these items have been made available to fans and collectors, it turns out that it was Ed’s wish.
Dean Chynoweth, now the associate coach with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, told me Saturday night that his father had told his family not to hang on to things just because they had been his. They have there memories and that’s enough.
There aren’t any collectors in the family, and it turns out that there is a lot of memorabilia. Thus the decision was made to get involved with Classic Auctions, a move that will take a lot of interesting memorabilia out of closets and into the hockey community.
In the near future, there will be more from the Chynoweth collection, including sweaters and photos, made available.
If you’re interested, you can check out the rings right here.
A source told Taking Note recently that the WHL is exploring the possibility of holding a pair of outdoor games early in 2019 at Safeco Field, the home of baseball’s Seattle Mariners. . . . Russ Farwell, the general manager of the Seattle Thunderbirds, has told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that there was some preliminary work done on such a project more than three years ago. “It wasn’t out of the question, (the Mariners) would do it if you could pay the freight,” Farwell told Baker. “We just weren’t able to take it on at that time. But it’s something we’ll look at, and I think we’ll explore again.” . . . Baker’s story is right here.
A tip of the cap to the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers, who had Zach Roe, sons Lennon and Louis, and a few other family members on hand for a presentation prior to a Saturday night game. Tara Roe, Zach’s wife, was among the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. Zach played in the WHL with the Regina Pats. . . . There is a photo and more right here.
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— Nathan Liewicki (@liewicks) November 6, 2017
Paul McLean has taken over as the head coach of the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines. McLean, who had been the assistant general manager/assistant coach, replaces Arnie Caplan, who had been in his first season as the general manager and head coach. . . . The Wolverines were 1-16-1 when the move was made on Friday. . . . In McLean’s first two games as head coach, the Wolverines lost 9-1 and 6-0 to the visiting Steinbach Pistons on Saturday and Sunday. . . . Caplan was hired in May, taking over from Barry Butler after a 14-42-4 season. . . . The franchise is into its 19th season but has only had a winning season on two occasions.
No Games Scheduled.
MONDAY (all times local):
Russia vs. Team WHL, Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
TUESDAY (all times local):
Russia vs. Team WHL, Swift Current, 7 p.m.
No Games Scheduled.
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