Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Big Day

What a day for hockey fans in this province.

The Canucks and Blackhawks in a game seven showdown and there's no shortage of Canuck fans in these parts. Radio NL is carrying the game, pre-game show at 6:30pm.

Safe to say confidence isn't a strong suit amongst the group, both as a team and a fanbase. I said going into the series it wasn't going to be easy for the Canucks to pull this off. Talent aside, mental obstacles are tough to overcome.

Perhaps that's the reason I loaded up on Hawks in my playoff pool this year.

The Canucks have all the tools but maybe lack the toolbox. At times I watched them play this season and thought that's a championship calibre team. I think if they can overcome the mental challenge of the Hawks, they will win the Stanley Cup.

This might as well be game seven of the Stanley Cup final tonight.


Kudos to former WHL'er Andy Schneider (Seattle, Swift Current 1988-93) who played his final game of pro hockey recently as he finished up the season with Schwenningen ERC of the German Elite league.

Schneider, who just turned 39 will finish his pro career with 1044 games played. His 17 year pro career featured only 10 games in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators in 1993-94 season.

He was a player about 15 years before his time. A smaller, skilled player, Schneider would have excelled in today's pro game if you could rewind the clock.

Conditioning is and was always big with Andy. He'll return back to is home in Swift Current and will continue to train hockey players.


The WHL Conference finals continue tonight in Cranbrook when the Kootenay Ice host the Medicine Hat Tigers in game three. Spokane and Portland get back at it tomorrow night in Spokane.

My prediction going into the playoffs was a Medicine Hat vs Spokane final which I made on CKNW's Sports Talk with Dan Russell on the eve of the WHL playoffs.

Spokane was a unanimous pick amongst the BC division's five broadcasters. The Eastern Conference wasn't as clear with three of the guys picking Saskatoon and and another Red Deer if I recall.

My sentimental choice is the Kootenay Ice based on Cody Eakin and the Chynoweth family. The big trade the Ice and the Broncos pulled off at the deadline is paying dividends. Eakin has been money in the playoffs and picked up the WHL Player of the Week award for his pair of game winners vs the Tigers in the opening two games of the series.


Are you on twitter? If so, look me up @JonKeenNLSports.


The WHL is coming off it's 6th annual U.S. Prospects camp in Anaheim. Some of the bloodlines in this year's camp included Teemu Selanne's son Eemil and Tyson McLellan, the son of Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan

According to some who were there, Taylor Vickerman of the Spokane Jr. Chiefs was very impressive. We will see how many Americans are selected in next Thursday's bantam draft set for Calgary.

In Kamloops, the U-16 BC Cup begins Thursday as the top 15 year-olds come in to show their skills. Amongst the group will be F Jake Virtanen of Abbotsford. He could be the #1 pick in next week's bantam draft if Calgary is looking at a forward. Scouts say he is likely the best forward available in the draft.


Blazer F JT Barnett was involved in a minor car accident near his home in Scottsdale, AZ last week. The collision was enough to apparently total off his car. Barnett wasn't injured. the collision apparently was under low speeds and in a gated residential area.


Blazer F Jordan DePape is going on tour with country music star George Canyon. Yes, it's true....but probably not what you're thinking.

It's part of a diabetes awareness tour and it lands in Halifax a week from today. For more, check this out.



Oh-Vee said...

I am so nervous I could not eat breakfast. It will be a long summer if they loose, but if they win it could be a great spring.

Jon Keen said...

I feel for you...tonight is huge.