February 26, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

It certainly was quite a week. It started with the tragic news of Mickey Renaud’s death in Windsor. It captured the hearts and attention of pretty much everyone involved in hockey. By all reports he was quite the young man both on and off the ice; a credit to his family, his team and his town. An impressive impact in 19 short years.

The Ottawa 67s were on the road for one of those hard 3-in-two-and-a-half day swings through the Western Conference. Not quite the results they had hoped for (again). I didn’t listen or watch any of the games so can’t offer any summaries. They lost 4-1 in Guelph on Friday, won 5-4 in a shoot out on Saturday in Erie and got blown out of the water on Sunday in Brampton 6 – 1. That can’t feel good.

As they do on Team1200 every Monday during the hockey season, Buzz and the Kulkster chat with Coach Brian Kilrea.

The team didn’t manage to put together a 60-minute performance at any of the games this weekend. Actually, from all descriptions it sounds like they barely put together a total of 60 minutes in three games together and they were lucky to get the two points that they did against a team that is in last place in the league. Killer said it wasn’t any one or two particular players who underperformed but rather the entire team more or less (although he had some good things to say about Chris Perugini – more on that later). There were too many mistakes and too many of the same mistakes (it’s OK to make mistakes – just make new ones I guess). He thought that the defensive corps did pretty well considering the amount of pressure they had to deal with all weekend; the forwards were not putting any pressure on the other teams. Killer made a comment that caught my attention when talking about how the younger players are working so hard because they think they’re not good enough. He mentioned that some of the older players think they are better than the really are. The heads of too many players are not in the game and he wonders what these guys think will happen come draft day (my interpretation: one or more of the draft eligible players are pretty high on themselves and may not be focusing on the tasks at hand. If continued, they may be in for a nasty crash to earth in June).

Killer thought that Chris Perugini played well, particularly coming in cold on Sunday in Brampton. Chris could feel pretty good about himself even though the team results are lousy. He’s working hard and pushing Adam. Goalies need competition to stay sharp and it’s to the point where Killer thinks he has a 1 and 1A situation in goal. Chris certainly appears to be earning his keep and I would not be a bit surprised to see him get more time as the season winds down and the playoffs start.

The upcoming weekend has the Petes coming to town on Friday and the 67s on the road to play Mississauga on Saturday and Oshawa on Sunday which could be preview of the playoff bracket.

In case you missed it, Jason Bailey is done for the season. He has what is called a "sports hernia" and requires surgery. And so ends his Major Junior hockey career. That's a tough loss for the team and for him.

Since the 67s were on the road on Friday, we took a trip across the river to see the Olympique play last place Drummondville. We were hoping to see Claude Giroux but he had just returned from his brief call-up to the Flyers. Well, it can happen to any team and on Friday it happened to Gatineau. Having beaten the Volts the previous Sunday 9 – 2, they lost in overtime on Friday. The arena staff was very helpful in finding me a good spot to take pictures and I was right beside the Drummondville bench. They were some excited about gutting out a win against one of the top teams in the league. One of 10 wins this entire season for Drummondville. The Bob is one of those great character arenas and it’s fun to catch a game or two each year. Before the game started, they observed a moment of silence in memory of Mickey Renaud.

Sorry this is late and kind of rough – I wasted over $200 and four hours of my life at Scotia Bank Place last night instead of doing productive stuff like writing this blog. That was pathetic.

So, let the people you love know it ‘cause you never know….and let’s all look forward to better efforts all around. With luck, the success will follow.

Go 67s Go!

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