I'll admit, I'm a mess today
I think by talking about this might help me a bit.
I grew up playing hockey, I played hockey up to my accident a few years ago. Anyone, hockey or any sport, dreams of continuing to play to the upper levels of their sport and possibly up to and into the professional leagues.
Hockey, maybe different than other sports, has many ways to go onto the professional leagues. Kids start hockey young in Canada and I'm sure in many other countries too. As you progress though age groups, you then make it to Bantam where the best of the best move into what are tiered leagues, AA, AAA and then that is where scouts start to watch. Some go onto Junior A teams that spot across Canada sea to sea. Not just local kids but ones that have come from far and wide.
Parents in the local communities open their houses up and billet 1 or 2 kids for up to 6 years I believe where they grow and become young men playing for their towns hockey team and are a major part of their communities.
What comes with junior hockey is travel, and not the travel of having a plane ride or big money sponsorship and boosters making it easier. To make it fair, all teams must travel by the team bus. To keep expenses in check, teams will have a athletic therapist or a manager or someone who does something on the team and also drives the bus.
Last evening, 29 members of the Humboldt Junior A Broncos were heading north on a 2 lane primary highway to Nipawin for game 3 of the 5 game playoff series they were in. At an intersection of a secondary highway, a tractor trailer unit slammed into the bus with players, coaches and other team staff, ripping apart the bus. 14 died on scene, another one died today. The other 14 are in hospital, some in critical condition, some having parents rushing from all across the prairies with notice of their kids not being able to feel their limbs.
So much tragedy in mere seconds.
This isn't the first tragic accident in sports, but maybe one of the largest.
I can't turn off the TV, and I have been sobbing at different times. I don't know why in particular this opposed to other mass deaths. Could it be the fact that my connection and Canada's connection to hockey. Watching grown men and women who aren't connected to Humboldt, Saskatchewan or Canada shedding tears and feeling the pain is sometimes too moving.
Thoughts and prayers are coming in from around the world, from world leaders like Donald Trump and Theresa May have echoed those of the thousands of other people reaching out to the players, the families, the team members, the town of Humboldt, the first responders and all those touched by this tragedy. Donations too, in under 14 hours, over 1 million has been raised by a GoFundMe page. The NHL (National Hockey League) has a full line up of games tonight and each game will pay tribute to the tragedy and moments of silence.
Here is an article that sums up the story
Lol, I snuck in a tag for the Calgary Flames on this topic Even though I know they don't have a hope in hell against the Ducks
So every few years I have a hockey pool for the NHL Playoffs. This is totally for fun!! It costs nothing and even the non-hockey watcher can win! Previous winners have had not the first idea of hockey, the cities or the teams, but they entered just for the fun. This year I will be offering up a 6-month Premium Membership for you, or you can donate to a person on the site you want to give it too.
So here is it works....the playoffs start tomorrow night, all teams will have at least 3 games under their belts before the cut off of Easter Monday, April 17, 2017, at 11:59 PM MST. Once everyone has their picks in, it is time to sit back and hurl insults at each other Hopefully there are no Edmonton fans in here.
It is pretty simple, here are the brackets for this year:
Seem intimidating, it isn't .
All I'm looking for is who is going to win each match up. Then who will win the next and then make it to the Stanley cup finals and finally the winners. Each series is the best of 7 games. Please add a guess on how many games you think the winning team will win in, just in case of a tie (which we have never had before I think )
So example is:
WEST Conference Round 1
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators - Chicago in 4
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues -
EAST Conference Round 1
Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs - Washington in 4
Ottawa Senators vs Boston Bruins -
WEST Conference Round 2
Winner of the West Semifinal 1 against the West Semifinal 2 in how many games
Now that seems like a lot of typing, so copy and paste this in for your entry. Just fill in the ?:
WEST Conference Round 1
1. Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators - ??? in ? games
2. Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues - ??? in ? games
3. Anaheim Ducks vs Calgary Flames - ??? in ? games
4. Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks - ??? in ? games
EAST Conference Round 1
5. Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers - ??? in ? games
6. Ottawa Senators vs Boston Bruins - ??? in ? games
7. Washington Capitals vs Toronto Maple Leafs - ??? in ? games
8. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - ??? in ? games
WEST Conference Round 2
1. Winner of 1 vs Winner of 2 - ??? in ? games
2. Winner of 3 vs Winner of 4 - ??? in ? games
EAST Conference Round 2
3. Winner of 5 vs Winner of 6 - ??? in ? games
4. Winner of 7 vs Winner of 8 - ??? in ? games
1. Winner of 1 vs Winner of 2- ??? in ? games
2 Winner of 3 vs Winner of 4 - ??? in ? games
STANLEY CUP FINALS
Winner of 1 vs Winner of 2 - ??? in ? games
Points are awarded for guessing the winner of each series, correct guesses are awarded 5 points each. Only in case of a tie at the very end will I go back and look at the winner in how many games for each series.
Once again, this is for FUN!!! The more people who join, the more the fun! Sign up yourself and talk to your friends and get them to sign up too!
Picking is now open
Okay! I keep seeing all the coverage of the San Jose Sharks/Pittsburg Pirates Penguins (I said I wasn't a sports fan!) Stanley Cup finals. It seems like a badge of courage for hockey players to appear at press conferences with a single tooth showing when they speak.
Don't they have mouthguards effective enough to prevent tooth loss among hockey players?
During those same sports reports, they always show Stefan Curry chewing on his mouthguard. So I know at least some athletes wear them.
Is it just a macho thing? Or do French-Canadians just like wearing dentures? ;-)
Since it's Easter and I just blasphemously posted a new chapter containing the smuttiest writing I've ever attempted, I thought I'd start a topic!
Henrik is the NHL's first openly gay player, a celebrated hockey captain, and a private but very driven man. Ezra is a free-spirited aspiring artist facing a personal crossroads after being let go from his job. Both men only have 24 hours to get to know each other. Romance blossoms, but is Ezra's aversion to long distance relationships and fear of being hurt too much of an obstacle? Is Henrik's athletic career too high-pressured to accomodate a romance, and is he ready for his love life to be put under the media spotlight?
Oh, the conflict, the drama, the Swedish accents...
Let me know what you think of the story so far.