I haven’t done this one now for a few weeks, which is a shame I’ve been too busy to do it because DAMN do I have some shit to talk about! So I won’t waste time with a terrible opening.
I can’t not talk about my Friday night at the Grant Fuhr arena in Spruce Grove. Now before I start, it’s a bit of a long story, and full disclosure I’m putting it in here because I’m still a little hot about it all and need to get it off my chest. Now, I try to tell the truth as much as I possibly can not just on here, but in life. We all lie in one form or another, but I’m not looking to be viewed as a hypocrite. So I have to be honest about shit because A) I’ve got too guilty of a conscience, and B) because I always feel like when people exaggerate their stories they sound a bit ridiculous. Now, one thing my therapist has told me (yes, I see a therapist) is that I’m one of the most self aware people he’s met. I always tried to be that way, so it’s reassuring when you’re told that without broaching the subject. I got confidence in my ability to tell the truth and my goal today is to tell this story truthfully and objectively.
Anyway, Friday night I go to check out game one of the AJHL North final, but much more so just to see my nephew play which as I’ve mentioned a bunch on here this season he plays for the Whitecourt Wolverines (two of them do actually, but Easton has had to miss most of the season with a broken ankle). So there was one Spruce Grove “fan” at the game. About 45-50 years old, wearing a jersey, blowing a horn, I’m pretty certain he wasn’t a billet or a parent, looked like he had his kid at the game (there was a kid sitting next to him around eight or nine years old and he had no seat on the other side) and really the only way to describe how he was acting was like a child. Imagine an 11 year old kid who is a die hard fan of a hockey team, and going ape shit for everything. That was this guy. And hey, as much as I roll my eyes and think “how embarrassing”, it’s fine. If you want to be like that, if you want to act like that in front of your kid, I’ll laugh at you, but it just is what it is and I don’t have a problem with it. But this guy started inching towards the line. I noticed when the Wolverines came out for the third period he had got up and tried to blow his little horn as much as he could into the Wolverines bench. Ok, little obnoxious, but it’s not hurting anyone. But then he stepped over the line. The game is 2-2, just past the midway point of the third period, and Chase ended up taking a head shot. How it wasn’t a five, I’m not sure because he was wearing the evidence of it being a head shot after the game. He was clearly shaken up (didn’t stay down though), but when he went off the ice the trainer took him right to the room to check him out. And the tunnel to go to the room is right beside the Wolverines bench. In my mind I’m thinking “he’s without a doubt got a concussion and is going to be done for the series”. This PIECE OF HUMAN SHIT got up out of his seat, ran over to the tunnel, started blowing his horn at Chase and then says “take a hit you pussy!!”. I did NOT for one second hesitate to go over. I kind of had a feeling when Chase was trying to skate it off he was going to go to the room, and I had a feeling this guy was dumb enough to do something along those lines so I was ready. I got right into his face and told him “that’s my 17 year old nephew (he just turned 18 so I guess I lied there…) and you’re a 50 year old guy wearing a jersey at a jr. A hockey game calling a kid a pussy? Call me a pussy, see what happens. SIT. THE FUCK. DOWN.” And to be honest he said something back but I was so focused on being ready to go someone I don’t recall anything he said, I think it was something like “no I’m not going anywhere”, and I could see this guy was shitting himself pretty good, so all I did was give him a little shove with my finger in the nose to kind of show him up and prove he wouldn’t even touch me. And as I predicted, I gave him a chance to respond, he didn’t say or do anything else (though he tried to chirp at us once I sat down), and so I walked back to my seat. Karma really is such a bitch, because that little push of the nose (and I swear that’s all it was) got him leaking really good! Before I move on, I’m not a cocaine expert….but acting like an extremely hyper child with no supervision all game combined with a nose that bled so easily….is it possible he was coked out of his mind? With his kid at the game?
But I’m not telling this story to make me sound tough. I do love how it played out obviously. But “security guard” got pretty rattled about it once he heard, came up near my seat and basically singled me out and yelled at me even though he missed what had happened with me and the guy. And I was getting a lot of looks from him the rest of the game, so after the game because I try to be a good person and have a guilty conscience, I go up to the security guard and apologize for it. I wasn’t sorry for what I did as I know I was 100% in the right (and in a lot of ways did the guys job for him because where he was located he was supposed to make sure fans didn’t get involved with the players), but I didn’t mean to make that guys night eventful and cause him problems. This is what still has me rattled because I very much so regret having done that now. Did he accept the apology? Not really. He tried to make me out to be the asshole, tried to lecture me, and caused more of a problem. I barked back, trying to stay calm and respectful thinking “what is wrong with this guy?!” I bring up what the guy was being like and that I’ve never done this at a game before and I’m guessing that guy acts like that often. That REALLY struck a nerve with the old guy and his other security guard buddy who was standing with him. The old guy was trying to claim he didn’t see what the jack ass fan had done to provoke it and tried to turn it into me saying he was bad at his job. It’s funny, at one point he said “do lawyers and police officers see everything that goes on?” I’m not sure what that had to do with anything, he was getting pretty worked up and desperate to defend the job he’d done. But frankly, nothing he said really made sense from the get go. I can literally show him or anyone else video of where he was standing and how he without a doubt would have seen what the asshole did. His buddy, was trying to make the claim of it being an eye for an eye because “I’ve been to YOUR arena and the fans don’t act too classy there either”. That’s funny, because I’ve never been to Whitecourt’s arena and have no idea what he’s talking about. He also went onto say that what the jack ass fan was doing was “just chirping”. No, it wasn’t you fuckin moron, he had to get out of his seat and run over to the tunnel to do that, to a kid who at the time looked like had a concussion. Do your FUCKING jobs and sit the guy down. They didn’t, so I did. But these are your justifications as to why you guys are going to let that idiot continue acting that way?!? And all you have to do is move him to a different spot! Put him literally anywhere else in the arena (maybe minus behind the Whitecourt penalty box). That’s it!!! Just move him! Don’t need to kick him out. I couldn’t stand the guy, but I would have been cool with them just simply moving him. Just move him so he can’t cause issues like that! Trust me, I wasn’t the only person in the crowd that night who had a major issue with the guy, I just happened to be the only one who had a reason to go over to him. And that’s all I was trying to tell the mall cops but they were literally more interested in “getting” Whitecourt fans (in their minds) then actually looking after the problem.
It was well beyond embarrassing the way these three grown ass men acted. And hey, I’m well aware this isn’t an original story from a junior hockey game. This kind of horse shit/petty behaviour goes on everywhere. And I’m really not trying or intending to make myself out to be the victim here because in the end I humiliated the guy and nothing happened to me for doing it (other than some good bonding with my new friends from Whitecourt). I’ll stand by what I did all day long, I was 100% in the right. That jack ass deserved to be knocked out, and it took everything for me to not do that. What is going to happen if that kind of “security” keeps up is there is going to be a brawl, which will lead to law suits, which will lead to those mall cops having the finger pointed at them for doing nothing, and finally will lead to Ryan Smyth having to hire actual security for Saints games, costing the team a shit ton of money and likely talent. It was very obvious before any of the shit with Chase went down. Just pathetic, lazy and flat out stupid as can be. And if I’m right in thinking that guy was coked out of his mind at the game and his kid with him….that’s pretty damn low for both the jack ass fan and the mall cops for looking the other way.
Ok, deep breathe, I don’t like it when I want to fight people and know I better not because of how it will play out. Onto some other hockey talk…
Such as the Flyers Ethnic Club, who had their season ending tournament in Viking nine days ago. A bitter sweet ending to the Flyers season, as a couple of one goal loses relegated them to the B final where they were able to pull off a dramatic come from behind win to capture the B. The turning point of the game occurred during the first intermission of the B final when the drunken ref (wish I was making any of this part up) tried to fight Flyers affiliate Jordy Dougan, getting himself ejected from the game (walk it off Marty….you get that joke hey Lowrie? Nobody else will, but you do). In all, good weekend ferda boys. Enjoyed a lovely overnight stay at the luxurious Caledonia motor inn, had a lot of laughs, found out my 2016 haircut wasn’t as deadly as I had thought, enjoyed a couple dozen fog cutters with Jim and Giselle in the thriving city of Kinsella before retiring to our homes, and with absolutely ZERO chance of being invited back for next season because MOTHER F***ER did everyone hate us! Oh, and you guessed it, I sniped the tournament winning goal…
— Flyers Athletic Club (@FlyersHockey1) March 25, 2018
I’m clearly not going to make it to CHL playoff talk, and need to hit on a few NHL items so perhaps I’ll do that now.
Start off with the Pens. And really, there is nothing to talk about here, but something I got thinking about yesterday was that I truly believe they can three pea….win three in a row (I’m not paying Pat Riley royalties). I didn’t think it was possible in the slightest when the season started, and it is a long shot, but I do think they can now. So why could they win three straight after nobody went back to back in damn near 20 years? The big reason I think it can happen now is because of how the game is changing. I don’t have the numbers on this, but back to backs haven’t felt like anywhere near the challenge this season that they’ve been in the past. And of course the reason is that the physicality is really disappearing from the game. Physical/stay at home D-men are being replaced by undersized/puck movers, third lines that used to be checking lines are now scoring lines, and fourth lines that used to be purely fighters and grinders now have some finesse on them, and pretty much no fighters at all. Hardly any team in the league anymore is built to wear you down, and I’m not sure that there is one of them left in the Eastern conference. Think about the Pens last two runs. Who did they really go to war with? They’ve played 13 games against Washington, but the Caps don’t use their size and look to wear teams down. Seven with Tampa and seven with Ottawa, both skilled teams. They’ve maybe had one series (last year’s final vs Nashville) where they played someone six or seven games who could wear them down. And really, the Preds didn’t play them physical at all. Compare this run to the Hawks from 2013-2015 where they were literally an Alec Martinez fluke bounce away from winning three straight. The Hawks played the Sutter Kings twice, the Chiarelli Bruins who were built to grind it out, the Hitchcock Blues, the Preds, the Ducks, these teams all looked to beat on you. The Pens started their run just the next season, and haven’t faced any of that. And because of that, they should be fine physically to make another deep run.
The Pens loss last night to Washington clinched another division title for those failures who’ll without a doubt be dusted by the time we reach the conference finals, and going into the final week of the season there isn’t much drama left in the standings. Seeding is still up in the air, but it’s starting to become clear. If I had my way, Boston would play Columbus, Washington would play Jersey (I’m pulling for Taylor Hall and feel the Devils can take the Caps), Pittsburgh playing Philly would be fun again (tough to believe we haven’t seen it in the playoffs since that shit show in 2012), and of course Tampa vs Toronto which I believe the Leafs would have a great chance to win seeing Tampa has got progressively worse as the seasons wore on. In the West, I really would love to see Vegas get one of Anaheim or L.A. I want to see if they can actually hold their own in a series against one of them. San Jose will get the other and frankly either of those teams vs the Sharks should be damn good. I would love to see the Avs get in, but let’s be honest they’re going to be dusted pretty quickly no matter who they get. It’ll be Winnipeg and Minny, but as much as that’s maybe a rivalry due to proximity, with the Wild losing Ryan Suter I can’t see it being much of a series. I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t have much Canadian content, no Hawks, or what. But I’m worried these playoffs aren’t going to be all that great. I mean, it’s the playoffs, so a shitty playoffs is still fantastic, but there is nothing I’m really amped up to see aside from the Jets making a deep run.
You know, they’ve lost three straight (last two to the Canucks and Flames which is extra humiliating), but I actually believe the Oilers will be back big next season. 31st PP should get drastically improved (especially if Bear can have a good summer and make the team right out of camp). 31st PK should drastically improve too no matter who the coach is (and I’ve said in the past I believe this problem is very much so mental considering it’s been the top PK unit on the road). I really believe Cam Talbot will be much better next season. And the blueline needs to be worked over, but the good news in that is they have D-men with value. So you can look for a team whom may have a few too many puck movers and need a guy who is a little more of a stay at home type. The only thing that worries me is if the current idiot making the trades is still making the trades, then who will he move? Let’s not forget, they’re still looking at a pick in the 6-10 range. Even though I’m not as high on him in my draft rankings, for the Oilers in particular I’d LOVE a kid like Quinn Hughes. He’s exactly the type of player they lack on the blueline. But the issue which would arise is that Hughes is capable of stepping in next season. He’s playing at Michigan now, he’ll be 19 shortly after the season begins, it’s not like they’d HAVE to sign him and get him in the lineup, but I think they’d want him in there given the lack of speed and skill on the blueline. Hughes is a LHD, so someone would simply have to go. Nurse, Klefbom, Sekera, Russell, and then Hughes, not to mention Caleb Jones is going to be knocking at the door soon. So while on one hand I am terrified by the thought of Klefbom going, I totally understand why Chiarelli might look at it. If it’s me, Klefbom stays barring a big upgrade (Ekman-Larsson for example), Nurse stays and gets a long term extension. Sekera is the type of guy they want more of, and it’s likely he just won’t have any trade value. Kris Russell HAS to go and I don’t trust Chiarelli to move him. I wouldn’t be afraid to deal Matt Benning, and it’s nothing to do with disliking Benning, but you can only have so many guys like him. None of him, Klefbom, Nurse or Larsson are bad defencemen at all. But having four of them just doesn’t work anymore. Part of the Oilers speed problems this season weren’t slow forwards, it was defencemen not being able to transition the puck. I have no doubt that next season we’ll see a much better Klefbom, Sekera, and Larsson, but the league will be faster than it was this season, and this season it was much faster than last, meaning the Oilers need to be a whole lot faster as a team than they were in 2017.
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