Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Playoff bound!

The Edmonton Oil Kings are in their second season as the modern incarnation of a storied franchise from the past, but they’re quickly learning how things are done at Rexall Place.

Just like their older brother, the Oil Kings had their playoff fortunes decided at the last possible minute, beating the Prince Albert Raiders in a tiebreaker game for the final postseason berth in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

Not only did it come down to a tiebreaker, but they won 2-1 in overtime!

For their part, the Oilers are locked into what will probably be a down-to-the-last-day battle for playoff position in the NHL’s Western Conference.

I’m so pumped for the Oil Kings! If they’re going to go the distance though, they’ve got to play the role of giant killers right away. Up first are the Calgary Hitmen, who boast a 57-9-3-1 regular season record and are ranked number two in the country.

Thankfully, the regular season is over and none of that matters anymore. If you get a chance, get out there and see a game!

Callin’ it a season?

I've been meaning to bring this up ever since I started hearing it around the trade deadline -- reporters accusing the Toronto Maple Leafs of callin' it a season early, in the hopes of landing Johnny T.

Now, John Tavares is probably worth all the hassle, but even if you finish low in the standings you’re not guaranteed to get first pick. Tavares finished his last OHL season with 58 goals and 104 points in just 56 games. Wow.

On TSN during the trade deadline coverage they were implying that the Leafs put Vesa Toskala on the shelf and brought in Marty Gerber to give the team even less of a chance of making the playoffs. (When you think about it, Toskala played the night before the deadline, practiced the morning of the deadline...but then was put on the IR...which is a little bit fishy).

Things sort of came to a head last Tuesday when Ron Wilson got into it with a reporter after Toronto's 3-2 overtime win over the NY Islanders...

Wilson was asked why he waited until March 9th to do something like call for a measurement on Sens centre Jason Spezza's stick, instead of doing it earlier in the season when the points "meant something.”

In reality, it might have been Gerber's expertise as a former Senator on that one...

“That's questioning my integrity as a coach in this league,” Wilson charged. “I've coached almost 1,200 games and have 500-and-something wins and you're telling me that I'm not trying to win.”

Is the Toronto media out of their minds? Would a coach in any other market face accusations like that, ever? I really don’t think so.

And that, my friends, is why most non-Torontonians really dislike the Maple Laughs!

Kellogg dumps Phelps, really!

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the pre-made championship hats and shirts that say the losing team’s name on them?

Lets just say that Arizona Cardinals fans in Africa are a happy, but misinformed bunch thanks to organizations like World Vision.

But what happens to all those boxes of Kellogg cereal that had Olympic hero Michael Phelps on the front, now that he’s got himself into a bit of trouble?

According to a San Francisco food bank, Kellogg donated thousands of the boxes last week.

Kellogg says they routinely donate food that’s nearing the end of its shelf life; but I’m pretty sure the Phelps boxes weren’t on any shelves.

They could probably make some money by selling a few boxes on Ebay!

Marty B makes history

And congratulations have to go out to Martin Brodeur, who passed Patrick Roy on the all-time wins list with his 552nd career victory on Tuesday night.

The fact that he missed about four months of action this year, but still has a 14-3-0 record speaks volumes about what an outstanding goalie he is.

Also, it was great that he tied the record in his hometown and beat the record in the place he’s called home for his entire NHL career. It couldn’t be any more perfect!

Up next for Brodeur is the record that I grew up thinking no one would ever touch – Terry Sawchuk’s 103 career shutouts. Brodeur is at 100.

The scary part is, he’s only 36!

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