Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Marj Watch

As previously mentioned local media guy Bob Marjanovich has taken to publishing his SportsAction picks in The Province. We're keeping an eye on things.

Through Sunday May 28th

2 for 9 .

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A New Standard for Leaf Mocking

As a Leafs fan I am constantly mocked about the fact that our last Cup win was in 1967. While this is all well and good it should be noted that two of the more vocal mockers in my life are fans of the Boston Bruins (last win 1972) and Philadelphia Flyers (last win 1975).

So I have adopted a new standard for Leaf mocking. Currently Chris Chelios and Steve Yzerman are the NHL's longest tenured veterans, both having entered the league in the 1983-84 season. The new standard shall be that unless your team has won the Cup while any player still playing was active you may not mock the Leafs "lack of Cup", there are still lots of Leaf mocking possibilities but if you haven't won the cup since 1984 I will not tolerate any '67 mocking.

So Flyers, Bruins and Islanders fans I'm sorry your "Cup mockings" have no merit.

As for Senators (1923) and Vancouver (Millionaires 1915) fans - please forgive me but piss off, if you haven't won the Cup since before the introduction of "talkies" I have no time for your pitiful bleatings.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Random Thoughts

Montenegro has voted to exercise its' independence from Serbia - so how will this affect their World Cup entry ?
Perhaps they could work out something with Trinidad and Tobago, maybe"Trinidad and Montenegro" and "Serbia and Tobago".
Weren't "Trinidad and Montenegro" a salsa act in the early '70's ?

Based on my superb record in the Stanley Cup playoffs I may not make my World Cup predictions until after the games are played. I don't like Scotland's chances any less this year than in the years in which they actually qualify.

Local media expert Bob Marjanovich (shouldn't he be "the Marj" not "the Moj") has taken the brave route of publishing his daily SportsAction picks in "The Province" - yesterday he was 0-3, I'll keep you updated.

Scientists have confirmed that HIV started with wild chimpanzees in a remote corner of Cameroon, which brings back Frank Zappa's immortal quote "Who plooked the green monkey ?".

I hate to say anything nice about the BC Liquor Distribution branch but they have a pretty cool online service which lets you find out what stores in your area carry products you are looking for. Just go to and click on "search for products by store", type in the 6 digit CPU in the box top right and it will tell you which stores carry the product and how much they have on hand. Excellent for tracking down the Bonarda.

BrokeBack Mounties.

There's a nice BBQ red on sale, until Sunday, at the BCLDB this month - Redbank Long Paddock Shiraz/Cabernet, CSPC#556811, $12.99 (regularly $14.99). The wine has a better acid backbone than most Aussies of the same price point and is a good compliment to red meats off the grill. Check out the supply at your local at

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oops - 0 for 4

OK I took the collar - three out of the four I could rationally see happening but I wouldn't have given Carolina any hope at all over "Joisey".

I'm not going to try and call the semis but I gotta believe somewhere in the NHL head office there are virgins being lined up to sacrifice to prevent a Buffalo-Edmonton Final. What a blockbuster that would be for the media.

On a couple of side notes - I will be pulling for Edmonton to try and bring the cup North of the 49th. Had the Senators been the only Canadian team left I would have been the biggest Carolina fan in Canada - OK the only Carolina fan in Canada.

Oh and hey "how 'bout them Sens" - once again the paper tigers are bounced by a "lesser" team, and boy did Daniel Alfredsson look great as a pylon while the legendary Jason Pominville went around him to score the series winner. Hey Alfie - those 2 goals were the same number as that renowned leader Petr Nedved notched in this year's playoffs. At least Sen's management is vowing not to make any major changes so we have another spirited playoff from the nation's capital to look forward to next year.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda

That's right - Bonarda.

On Sunday night to accompany wife's requested Mother's Day Cheeseburgers (God I love that woman) we had a bottle of unoaked/unfiltered Bonarda from Argentina. The wine was just what I thought it would be: ripe, juicy with black fruit, cassis but a little less spice than I'd hoped for. The wine was perfect with the beefy burgers and would, and maybe will, go nicely with lamb sausage on the grill.

But what is Bonarda you ask ? Well it got me to thinking, and googling. My initial thought was partially correct as I remembered Bonarda being used in Eastern Spain and Italy - which it is, or is it ? Further research revealed that the Bonarda used in Piedmont may, in fact, be misnamed Croatina and that the Bonarda in Argentina is thought by many experts to actually be Charbono.

So is this really Bonarda I drank ? Who knows, but it is a fruity well balanced glass of fun AND the #1 grape grown in Argentina - whatever it is.

Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda 2005 CSPC#369066 $12.95 - medium bodied with lots of ripe, but not over ripe, blackberry and cassis, a bit of chocolate, a bit of spice kinda like California Zinfandel used to be. Not great value for the price but worth a buy for a weekend BBQ just to be able to say "Yeah, I brought the Bonarda". Oh yeah and Colonia Las Liebres means colony of hares so that's why there are cartoon rabbits on the label.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hearts Win

It wasn't easy, it never is with this team, but on Saturday Hearts of Midlothian prevailed over Gretna to win the Scottish Cup for the seventh time.

The game went a full 120 minutes before Hearts were able to prevail 4-2 on penalty kicks and put an exclamation mark on a strange and wonderful season. Under the new ownership of Lithuanian gazillionaire Vladimar Romanow Hearts not only won the Scottish Cup but qualified for next year's Champions League. Romanow also fired 2 or 3 head coaches (it's tough to keep track), is being sued by the agent of one of his better players, alienated the team's top scorer and claims that it was a "conspiracy of the parasites in the game" that denied Hearts 1st place in the SPL.

Should be an interesting upcoming year.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Fearless Playoff Predictions - Round 2

Western Conference

San Jose vs. Edmonton

I would much rather have seen "The Battle of Alberta" but this should be a great series regardless. I think the goaltending is about even but San Jose has a lot of firepower and Marleau seems to be on a mission.
Sharks in 6.

Anaheim vs. Colorado

Anaheim looked very solid in round 1 and I didn't see one minute of the Colorado-Dallas series BUT I clearly remember what happened the last time Colorado acquired an unhappy Hab goalie late in the season.
Avalanche in 7

Eastern Conference

Ottawa vs. Buffalo

Have I mentioned that I hate the Senators ? Start at the Fairgrounds and end up at the National Art Centre ? I hope not, but I don't like Buff's chances against a clearly better team. I'm holding my nose.
Senators in 6

Carolina vs. New Jersey

Yeah I know they've gotta lose sometime, and they won't sweep, but Marty's on a mission and the Boys from the Swamp look like world beaters.
Devils in 6.

That would set up Joe Sr. vs. Joe Jr. on one side and Marty vs. a bunch of "snivelling haven't won anythings" on the other side, I think you know which way I'd be leaning in the East.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

5 out of 8, but really 5 1/2 out of 7

OK so I'm not Kreskin but I did call the Oilers upset of Detroit.

As for the title of this post, well I was shaky on Calgary so I'm giving myself a half point there. Also had I really known just how shitty the Flyers were I never would have picked them to beat anyone, even whiny Lindy, so I'm taking a Mulligan there.

I'm going to spend at least 3 minutes analyzing the second round matchups before making any predictions - but I can already tell you I love Jersey.


I have served thousands of people over the years, and handled my fair share of celebs (Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford and of course Vanessa Williams spring to mind), but last night I was in the presence of true greatness.


Yes "The Killer" sat and dined in my section last night and I was as giddy as a wee girl. Putting things in perspective I am a lifetime Leafs fan and Doug Gilmour led the Leafs during their last true run (back to back Conference Finals in '93 & '94). During those two seasons Gilmour may well have been the best player in hockey, amassing 238 points over the combined regular seasons and a mindboggling 63 points in 39 playoff games, but "Killer" was more than the numbers.

Gilmour led by example, and often it appeared that he willed his team to win, veteran Leaf Ken Ellett once said about Gilmour that "he played so hard it made you embarrassed not to play harder". Sadly Ellett's skate was the object Wayne banked his game winning goal off of in game 6 of the '93 Conference final - a game he shouldn't have been in after cutting Dougie in the chin on Kerry Fraser's worst day ever, but that's another story.

Killer took the tough face-offs, killed penalties and often appeared to log 30 minutes a night, but that's unlikely - Hell he was named the league's best "defensive" player in a season in which he amasses 127 points. So how can you score 127 points, be the league's best defensive player and not win the MVP you ask? That too is another story.
Gilmour wore the C after the trade of Wendell Clark in '94 and it was a sad day for me, and all Leafdom, when he was traded (ironically along with Ellett) to New Jersey after the '96-'97 campaign.

Irony continued when Gilmour suited up for Chicago, and scored, in the last game ever played at Maple Leaf Gardens and then there was the bittersweet trade day reacquisition of a 39 year old Killer in 2003, only to have him blow out his knee in his first game back - at least he retired as a Leaf.

I don't know about heros but if I could've sat down for beers with any 2 sports figures of my generation it would have been the late Thurman Munson and Doug Gilmour - and last night was probably the closest I'll ever come.

As he was leaving Killer stopped to thank me for the evening and I replied "thanks for '93 - it made it okay to keep being a Leafs fan".