Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Winning Streaks and Barbecues and Comebacks, Oh My!

Going streaking: The Portland Winterhawks extend their winning streak to 10 games behind game tying and a game winning OT goal from Brad Ross. They also scored the first and second goals of the 5-4 game against the Regina Pats.

It's easy to see how they bred Jordan Eberle and Carter Ashton: The Regina Pats must eat a completely different brand of Wheaties than everyone else. Because I must admit, they do kick ass.

You can read all about it here: And have a giggle at my expense: last night as of 10 pm or so, the OT goal on was credited to Ryan Johansen. Nice...ah well, I knew it would happen sooner or later.

Maybe the Pens can borrow Guy Boucher and his sports psychology master's degree for a few games: Boston Bruins 7, Pittsburgh Penguins 4. Five of Boston's goals were scored in the third period. If I hadn't been listening to the Hawks extend their winning streak to 10 games, I would have had to turn the NHL game off. Because it truly was physically painful. I love the Pens and I will never officially give up on them. Ever. But dudes, could you pace yourselves on the losing games? I'm already trying to keep the gray hair and wrinkles and other signs of aging at bay.

Now, normally I'd be like what the heck?: But since they are the future home of Portland Winterhawk and Number 4 overall draft pick Ryan Johansen, kudos to Columbus for barbecuing St. Louis 8 - 1. On the the other hand, the Blues are the future home of Winterhawk Captain Brett Ponich, so if this happens in future, it will be a major dilemma pour moi.

NHL Draftee to watch: Riley Boychuk, drafted 208th in the 2010 Entry Draft after missing last year's draft due to injury and subsequent surgery. He's on the upswing with a capital U, he scored the game tying goal against Regina tonight and I do believe he meets the Buffalo Sabres' minimum height requirement (which is what, like, 8 feet tall in skates?). Ok, he's really 6'5", and also...when he's not scoring, nobody gets in your face like Riley. I don't know why opponents even bother. He could eat you for breakfast. Don't even try it.

Morals of the story:

A year ago, the Portland Winterhawks were just another losing team on the comeback trail. This year, we are #1 in the WHL, #1 in our Division, #2 in the CHL and the winning streak continues as the boys hit the road tonight for Saskatoon. Nino is back. Ryan is back. Fans are starting to come back. It's a good time to be a hockey fan in Portland. Meanwhile the team that may one day employ prospect and Winterhawk Taylor Peters is out there somewhere, not sleeping, not happy and not winning. Evgeni Malkin alone is his own hard act to follow. Throw a flu bug and Jordan Staal's injury in there, and there goes the comeback neighborhood. But here's the deal, and I know 'cause I've done it myself: 1) The one advantage of losing is there's nowhere to go but up. 2) Losing in the NHL isn't totally losing. Of the 210 players drafted each year, only a portion are fortunate enough to go on to major league careers. 3) The only way to learn how to rally is to live through it and to do it.

So here's my evil plan for a Pittsburgh Penguins comeback. And I didn't even have to earn a master's degree in sports psychology and get a bad ass scar on my face: pond hockey. Forget about rankings and cliches and off-day press scrums. I say freeze over Mario Lemieux's pool, slap on some mismatched gear and get out there. If possible, get your moms to come over and drag you out of bed and drive you there. Anything that reminds you of why you did this in the first place and why you love it. What do you have to lose? Oh right. Nothing.

Next up: Checking to see if my evil plan worked and the next section of Article 12, Salary Arbitration.

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