Sports certainly took a tragic back seat last week with the absolutely devastating news of the horrible bus crash that killed 15 players and personnel of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. This terrible accident has the whole hockey community across this great nation in a state of shock! Nothing, no words or actions, no matter how hard you try, can truly adequately describe what the parents, players, team and community of 6,000 people must be going through in this, their darkest hour as they try and cope with this indescribable tragedy. Nothing can prepare anyone when something like this strikes this deep into one's heart. Time, family and friends will certainly help with the healing process but the sorrow that will be felt deep down inside by all those affected will never, ever completely disappear.
The MJ final between the Pistons and our Oil Caps that was postponed due to the Humboldt Bronco tragedy, is back on track and game two was played last night, let's hope we're up 2-zip. Game three, away, goes tomorrow with game four back here at TOGP this Monday, and if a game six is needed, it's back here on Saturday, the 21st.
With the NHL regular season out of the way, we're now heavy into the playoffs that just might be one of the most equitable match-ups in a long time. Any of the 16 teams that have qualified most certainly do have the talent to take it to the "house", meaning that many series could/should go the max. In the West, if our Jets can stay out of the "sin bin" against the Wild, they will move on as should the Predators when they engage the Avalanche. The other two series are toss ups, so I'll take the Kings over Cinderella (Knights) because midnight is fast approaching and the Ducks over the Sharks only because Getzlaf and Perry are still breathing.
Over in the East it'll be the Capitals easily beating the Blue Jackets because no one has figured out a way to stop "Ovi" while the Lightning will have a devil of a time, pun intended, of beating the Devils. I think the Flyers will give the Penguins all they can handle but to no avail while the Leafs are going to shake off their negative "history" against the Bruins, come out of their fragile "cocoons" and come out as victors. If this does happen, "Teeth" (Dr. Whitby) will be so happy, smiling from ear to ear and giving out free cleanings for a year.
On a weekend so filled with promise that should have featured the anticipation and exhilaration of the gold medal game in the World Men’s Curling Championships and the Masters golf tournament, both events lost much of their lustre because of the tragedy in Saskatchewan. For the record, Brad Gushue and Team Canada ran into a "buzz saw" from Sweden named Niklas Edin who easily captured his third world title with a very impressive display curling supremacy. Team Canada, by the narrowest of margins, got behind the eight ball early and unfortunately, never stood a chance.
For the fourth year in a row, the Masters champion was a first-time major winner as Captain America, Patrick Reed, hung on to his 54 hole lead to ease out hard charging Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, who closed with a record tying 64. Besides all the perks of a major champion, Reed, a five-time PGA winner, increases his bank account to the tune of $1.98 million, not bad for whacking a little white ball around on the green grass. Sergio had a lot of fun on #15 in round two, didn't he?! Did you happen to notice that even when he was 18 strokes behind the leader, the TV cameras still followed Tiger's round, a testament to his drawing power.
Remember that young Japanese baseball star, Shohei Ohtani, signed by the L.A. Angels to become the next Babe Ruth because he could not only pitch every fifth game, he could actually play (DH) all the other games because he could hit with power unlike any other player or prospect. Well ladies and gentlemen, he just might live up to all the hype surrounding him. He's homered in his first three home games, plus he won his last game on the hill striking out 12, often hitting 100 mph on his fastball. Now that's a debut worth taking note of.
Until next time....