MIKE RICHARDS IN THE MORNING
Here in the mountains of British Columbia we live under the most intense snowfalls of any where in the planet resulting in a lot of local cabin fever. Without snowshoes, skiis and snowmobiles there aint a whole lot to do. There isn’t even pond hockey to be played, despite the fact that the lake has been frozen since late November the ice is insulated by the deepening snowpack which means it’s not good ice. For people in the geology business, like myself, there is no field work to be done so we sit in our offices working on projects preparing for the big thaw. There’s been one thing every day I can rely on to get me through the stuffiness of indoor living, that’s the Mike Richards show on TSN Radio out of Toronto.
Comedian Mike Richards runs a first rate sports show, it’s been recognized by the brass at TSN who have now put one hour of the show on TSN Television 2 everyday. Highlights of the Richards show include a gamut of hilarious impressions of sports figures like Teo Mato’s girlfriend, the evil Jerry Howarth and segments like Bob Cole’s Chicks I Like. When hockey analysts come on to the show we are treated to the most hilarious theme songs specific to each guest. If you are a Toronto sports fan head to tsn.ca and check out the Mike Richards podcasts, they are addictive!
If there’s a sports game televised somewhere in the world and you aren’t privvy to the broadcast you do have options. Streamhunter.eu broadcasts nearly every sport on the planet free of charge. Of course you do have to deal with a certain amount of pop ups and advertisements, but eventually you learn to accept that this is how we are able to watch these games for free. It costs money to run websites and have access to televised games, so learn to love the pop ups. If there’s a game that you want to watch all you need to do is let the moderators know which it is, they’ll get it up for you. It’s an invaluable resource for sports fans who have no access to television. There is no cable up here where I live, I am lucky to have spotty internet and even luckier to have dedicated associates streaming every hockey game I could dream to watch!
We had a low snow year coming into February, only 8 feet had fallen. By far not enough for us snowmobile enthusiasts. However this month it’s absolutely been puking and once again you can walk on to the roof of my house, there’s that much snow. What do you do when you get on that roof…well…you jump off into the deep powder below. It’s softer than water!
As the snow piles up I would like to remind all sledders and back country skiiers to check the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s reports on line before heading out, make sure you have your beacons and are paying attention to the warning signs of a slide. The CAC reports that with the pineapple express weather forecasted that avalanche risks in BC are rated as extreme for the first time this year through most of the province. There’s nothing more radical than riding your Arctic Cat straight up to the top of a mountain, but be aware where you are climbing and what you are doing. I personally love risking my life, but in some cases the risk aint worth the reward. Maybe it’s for the best that I still have repairs to do my 700 Ski Doo!
EI CUTS AN ATTACK ON WORKERS?
Here’s some reading to consider. At one time the government thought it was cool to attack those on welfare, then went after those on disability…but for the last year the Federal Tories have set their sights on Employment Insurance. I can’t fathom how a government agency that operates on a surplus, which I pay into, would consider it right to visit peoples homes and threaten their income. I live in a town of 200 people approximately 80km from the nearest communities. A lot of people here rely on EI to get through the winters as there is always work in the summer but things quiet down.
So essentially if I lost my job EI might expect me to not only accept a much lower paying job but also require me to drive 160km every day down snowy twisting mountain highways to the nearest available jobs. I would be expected to risk my life in order to provide less for my family. Accepting the first job available to me regardless of what it pays would likely mean that I might miss an opportunity in my field. Taking my time to find the right job is why I have paid into EI for 15 years despite the fact that I have only collected THREE cheques to subsidize my family in that time.
If there was one issue that all the working people in Canada should grab on to and use to defeat the Tory government it ought to be this. You would never see Stephen Harper accept a $12/hr job a week after he finaly gets booted out of parliament. This undo stress that is put on families likely results in more instability and stress in the home, which does nothing good for our children.
I can’t even describe how hard the last two games against NY Islanders and MTL Canadiens were to watch. The Leafs looked flat in both games despite Kadri’s hat trick and an over time win in New York. I just hope that on Monday when I tune into streamhunter.eu to watch the Leafs take on the Devils that the four days of rest will result in more jump to the Leafs game. Specifically what drives me crazy is that the Leafs appear to revert back to habits they had last year when they finished with a dismal record.
The key is skating, forechecking, aggression and not giving the puck away while trying to make pretty plays. These are the aspects the Leafs have had when being successful this year…and are the things that drive me crazy to watch when the get away from it. There was no emotion or energy to the Leafs game against the Islanders, not even one penalty. The hitting wasn’t all that great and the pace of the game was slow. If you can’t take it to the Islanders and hammer them there will be problems, after all the Islanders team doctors mostly specialize in treating depression! The Islanders are a pretty soft team. Let’s just hope the next few days allows the team to recouperate a little.
REFEREES FROM ANOTHER PLANET
That Montreal game needs a columb of its own, the Leafs were lucky to be tied 2-2 after two periods despite only registering 8 shots on goal by that point. I think the game would have gone really different if the refs hadn’t made such an awful call on the Mike Brown hit on Josh Georges where they assessed a 5min major and a game misconduct. The hit wasn’t from behind and clearly Georges turned to face the boards with the hope of drawing the penalty. That put the Leafs down a skater and set them into defensive mode to start the 2nd period. If that call wasn’t upsetting the poor drop of the puck that allowed the Canadians to score the game winning goal ought to have driven you to hysterics.
I don’t know what’s up with these refs. So far this year I’ve seen them call back several Toronto goals that should have counted including one that would have tied the game with Boston and another that would have tied us with Carolina. I’ve seen ejections, poor calls, missed off sides, icings that weren’t called and more. The level of entertainment in hockey suffers when the refs just aren’t being the all-wise all-knowing types they are supposed to be. That’s where the idea of the coaches challenge comes in which would allow a coach the chance to have 1 or 2 plays reviewed in a game. This could be the best rule change in the NHL’s history of irrelevant rule changes and I hope it happens sooner than later.
After all the game is much faster now than it ever was. If it is too fast for the refs to call it properly then maybe the NHL should allow more clutching, grabbing and holding and reinsert the dreaded red line. At least the game might be a little slower and easier to call, and there would certainly be a percentage fewer concussions.