Apparently the "randoms" are the most popular on this blog....so here goes a Friday edition...
The Chilliwack Bruins kick-off their east-division swing tonight in Swift Current by taking on the Broncos. The Bruins have been in the city since Wednesday. I heard they went for a skate in Wymark yesterday. It's the town most recognized as the hometown of Bruins Head Coach / GM Marc Habscheid.
I was told the Bruins were busy making their rounds across the city yesterday. Should be an interesting one tonight.
The Bruins have never scored on the Broncos in their short-history. The Broncos haven't allowed a goal in nine periods. Call this a jinx if you want, I said the same thing last year before the game in the 'Whack. G Mark Guggenberger made all 30 saves in the Broncos crease.
Face-off at 7:30pm
The injury bug is starting to hamper the team. Already without F Matt Tassone for the next two weeks, D Reece Scarlett has suffered a wrist injury and will be lost for about three weeks.
Sure Scarlett is 16 years-old, but he's a top-four defenseman who plays a ton.
D Joel Rogers remains out with a concussion. The timetable for his return isn't known.
Former Bronco Head Coach Randy Smith is in the city this weekend. He's the head coach of the Saskatoon Blazers of the Sask "AAA" midget hockey league. The Blazers play the Legionnaires in a two-game set. For the Legionnaires it will be their final action of the year.
Is Randy still a bit bitter by his end-of-season departure after the 03/04 season? There was no doubt some hard feelings after "Black Monday" when the Broncos Board of Directors made wholesale changes at the top.
I hope to catch up with him sometimes this weekend.
It was a fun night at the i-plex as the Broncos hosted their skills challenge. Like in previous years the guys didn't take it all that serious.
F Cody Eakin, the favorite going into the fastest skater event, blew a tire on the 2nd turn and went down. It opened the door for Taylor Vause to edge Brad Hoban for the title. Just for fun, Eakin took a lap after the fact and posted the fastest time...
16 year-old rookie D Graeme Craig won the hardest shot competition in a tie-breaker. Both Craig and Eakin posted shots of 88 mph in the first round. Craig one-upped the Broncos star in the tie-breaker.
Later, Craiger told me he could have broke 90. Just wait till he's 19.
F Stepan Novotny scored the nicest goal in the breakaway challenge. He skated in, dropped to his knees, stick-handled, got back up on his skates and then finished low blocker.
Novotny turned the tables on me after the event. Our Shaw TV crew took in the skills challenge to tape an episode of the "Inside Edge". Novo took his turn interviewing me about the crushing Team Jon defeat in the Breakfast Boys Challenge. He did a good job... we will have to see how it turns out
Some people are questioning Team Canada Head Coach Mike Babcock's decision to have Sidney Crosby shoot twice in last night's 3-2 SO win over Switzerland. To this I say are you kidding me??
How can you 2nd guess a winning move? I think it took a lot of guts to send Crosby right back out there with all the talented players on the Canadian bench. I say great move by Babcock.
I think I miss Steve Armitage.
The veteran CBC commentator is the usual voice for speed skating at the Olympic Winter Games. But, with CBC on the sidelines for the 2010 Vancouver games we are hearing a lot of new voices this time around.
Rod Smith is handling the speed skating. It's just not the same.
It would also be nice to have a little Bob Cole of Jim Hughson call some of the hockey but that won't happen. For me, Chris Cuthbert is still king. He's handling Men's Hockey along with Gord
Who gets the gold medal game? For those not in the media field it may not really matter. If you're in the business, you know that's major assignment. A chance to call history and maybe even leave a legacy. It will be interesting to see who it is....
Olympic day-time host James Duthie is slick. He's the new Ron Maclean.
Ron is a legend. I swear he had a god-like glow to him when he hosted Hockey Day in Canada from Shaunavon a few years back. There was just this aura emanating from him. It was impressive.
Here's how it's NOT done. Check out this major mistake by NBC covering the games.
Random observation: When it comes to hockey, there may not be a better feeling than winning on the road.
After going 0-8-0-2 on the road to start the season, the Broncos have seemingly figured it out. They are 15-7-0-2 since.
I'm quite sure nothing beats it in the hockey world.
The folks in Lethbridge are sure getting excited with the prospects of WHL playoff hockey in their city. There's a chance the Broncos could use the Enmax Center for home playoff games if they can get to the post-season and the situation fits.
It has the media talking anyways. I think Lethbridge fans would adopt the Broncos as the "home team" if the situation was right. Especially if the Broncos end up playing Medicine Hat or Calgary in the opening round.
If there is someone more excited about the Olympics than Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler I haven't met him.
T.K. has taken a bit of an ownership with the games seeing they are in his hometown.
Speaking of Tim, he's in training for a marathon which he'll run this summer. Between all his duties with the team, he's still finding time to pound out the miles.
I thought I would join him for his "Up-tempo" run this week in Cranbrook. I knew I was in trouble early when his starting pace resembled my"last 100 metre everything you have left in the tank" pace.
We rolled together for maybe 800 meters before gearing down to my pace...after that, he was gone. I met him back in the hotel about a half hour later.
I should have known better. After all he's built like an athlete and I'm built...well, like a radio guy I suppose.
Two more Bronco broadcasts for me this weekend and then Ken Audette slides into the play-by-play chair for a three-game home stretch.
I haven't missed a Bronco game/broadcast in last seven years. It's kind of my personal claim to fame. I may have mentioned that to a few friends over the years.
Hopefully the warm Punta Cana, Dominican sun will take away this sense that I'm leaving the team. It does help they've played well the last couple weeks and have earned a five-point playoff cushion after being three points out of the mix in January.
I've been blessed with good health...I haven't missed a day of work in 10 years. But it's time.
I told egendary broadcaster of the Tigers Bob Ridley about my trip last weekend. If he has any regrets over the years it's that he didn't take enough time for himself.
Rids has been going at it for 40 years...driving the bus too. He's missed one game.
By the way, he's writing a book of his experiences. I can't wait to read it.
Have a great weekend,