Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reality Sucks

Sometimes when you are feeling sorry for yourself, life likes to come along and kick you in the rear to remind you that some things in life are easy compare to reality.

To write this on a daily basis, I have to do a lot of reading when I do not see the games in person (even when I attend the game I still want to see if I missed something). And I mean a lot of reading as to get the most objective game report I can then I try to read at least 2 different versions from those who are at the game.

One of those people that I read is a guy named Steve Ewen who with Marc Weber writes the Dub Hub which covers WHL teams in the Vancouver area like the Vancouver Giants (Randy McNaught NYR 2010 7th) or the Chilliwack Bruins (you know who).

Never met the guy but think he does a great job in bringing the people side of hockey to the readers and I learn a lot about the game reading his stuff. He is 1 of 3 guys who I make a point of trying to read every day; Gregg Drinnan (Taking Note), Victor Fernandes (Shootout) and Ewen because they are just as much hockey fans as they are writers.

Unlike way several mainstream hockey writers who go out of their way to trash those who blog, these are guys who love hockey and love to talk hockey. It is a shame that these guys (and Neate Sager who is Yahoo's best hockey writer) fly under the radar to the hockey fans.

With Randy McNaught out of the Vancouver lineup for another month, I had not really noticed that Ewen was not writing so it was a jolt to read this. Ewen is younger than me by 11 years and while I was whining to myself about things boy did I feel really small.

When you turn 50 the doctors, the people who care about you and even strangers warn you about all the increased risks for cancer. Some of the preventive measures that you are asked to do when you get my age are really uncool and totally frustrating but worth going through when you get that clean bill of health.

The image at the top of this page is for Movember which is the new annual way to raise awareness to fight cancer in Men. To be honest given how I have either a mustache or at this time of the year my goatee then I had paid a whole of attention to it since I can not remember the last time I was clean shaven.

That was selfish of me and I apologize for being so selfish as I have been checked for prostrate cancer and have that ever so lucky clean bill of health. That will not be the case in the future as I am tired of seeing really awesome people having to fight a disease that really needs a cure.

Please learn from my mistake and get checked or help find a cure for all cancer male or female

Tuesday night prospect hockey highlighted 3 of our favorite prospects to watch as Nino Niederreiter ( NYI 2010 1st) stand his Portland Winterhawks started on a 3000 mile road trip while Roman Horak (NYR 2009 5th) and Brandon Manning (2010 TC) tried to help get their Chilliwack Bruins back on the winning track.

Now on the surface a 4-2 Portland Winterhawk win over the Swift Current Broncos looks nice. Since it was Portland's 9th straight win then you figure it was just a hot team remaining hot.

Not tonight as to be honest, the Broncos were so shorthanded that they only had 19 dressed for this game including a 15 year old as they were missing 7 regulars including their captain. Sorry Winterhawk fans but Swift Current fought the Winterhawks for everything tonight and if not for some bad luck (like a broke stick on a 5 on 3) the Hawks could no should have lost this game.

The Hawks were entered the 3rd trailing 2-1 as Nino set up Ryan Johansen for the game tying goal at 36 seconds of the 3rd period on the power play. It was Nino's 3rd assist since returning to the Winterhawks and 4th overall point in the 5 games.

Nino had several chances to score in this one (Andy Kemper said close to 10 shots for Nino)  but we think right now he is just still a little out of sync with his teammates having to slow his game down. Nino we think is just trying too hard to show that he can play but going from the NHL to the WHL is a lot harder than we think he realizes and when he just relaxes all will be fine.

On the other hand Roman Horak, Brandon Manning and their Chilliwack Bruins are struggling as even their coach Marc Habschied thinks his team does not know how to handle winning. After watching the Bruins drop a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings, we think the coach is right.

Yes Horak scored his 11th goal of the season to join Ethan Werek and Christian Thomas for most goals by a Ranger prospects (and increase his prospect leading point total to 24) as well as extend his scoring streak to 9 games.  But he also very out of character for him lost his composure in the 3rd period.

Horak took a cross checking call late in the 3rd and while it did not cost the Bruins, it did take Horak off his game and he was not much of a factor the rest of the period or in the overtime. Brandon Manning was quiet and failed to register a point for just the 2nd time this season ending a 5 game scoring streak for him.

More importantly for the Bruins was that they have now dropped 2 in a row at home after a 3-1 road trip. The Bruins are a much better team than their 9-7-1-0 record shows but the team seems to be the ones who do not seem to know it.

(Images: Movember/, Nino/Portland Winterhawks)

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