Nothing really stood out in terms of dominant story. As a sports and law enthusiast, I could go on and on bout the Oscar Pistorius case and another hero fallen. This will turn out to be South Africa's OJ Case because of the media circus that will likely surround it, though the reach of Pistorius and how he is revered in South Africa is far greater than the faux-actor/football hero that OJ was.
ITEM 1: ZAMBONI DRIVER GATE..
A brief furor ensued when it was discovered that one of the IceDogs Zamboni drivers proudly sported the Knights colours when tending to his intermission duties. When I read about it, I was amused, and had a chuckle. Bill Burke did not share in the laughter, and according to the St Catharine's Standard, was less than enamoured with the situation. He's the one who pays the bills, not me, so I can understand that he was chagrined. Why the guy did it? I don't know. Maybe he got dared by one of his co-workers. Who knows? It made for a bit of a story though!
ITEM 2: ARENA ISSUES
While I'm at it, a trivial point. It's not a blog if there are not some trivial points by the way! I do not know what the rules are around other OHL arenas, but whomever runs the Jack Gatecliffe arena has a habit of open skates and rentals on game days and the ice is not cleared until 1 1/2 hours before game time. How much of an effect it has on the ice remains to be seen, but to me, it remains in the best interest of the arena to have the ice as pristine as possible for your anchor tenants. Players would be the best ones to ask this, but towards the end of a period the ice can be quite chippy, and can take some odd bounces. The players are so highly skilled that you do not notice the difference for the most part.
ITEM 3: DID DOMI GIVE AN INAPPROPRIATE GESTURE?
When you have the last name Domi, it tends to carry around something of a stigma or a target on your back. Max Domi's fluid skating style, creativity and toughness likely exceeds the talent level of this famous father who parlayed his skills into an 1000+ NHL games. I got a request from someone to check the London/Niagara game film to see if Domi gave a "throat slash" gesture towards agitating forward Mac Lemmon. The exchange between the two was quite heated, and more verbal than physical in nature. Whatever Lemon said to Domi enraged the fiery winger and he tried desperately to get at Lemmon. Whether or not there was a "throat slash" gesture can be questioned. I did not see it, but I was also not specifically paying attention to the exchange. Also, I do not see it as a really big deal. I mean, the Undertaker does it. Is Dave Branch going to levy a suspension to the dark and brooding WWE superstar? Time to move on from this one.
ITEM 4: WHERE ARE THE ICEDOGS GOING TO FINISH?
Man, this team is tough to figure out sometimes. Brilliant at times, lost at others, the IceDogs sure epitomize the agonies of youth. There is a noticeable drop off after Strome, Shipley and Ritchie but that is not meant as an insult as those are elite and veteran OHL players. Also the defense is hardworking, but looks a little worn out with all the minutes that they are logging. Aaron Haydon's broken jaw, a potential season ender has not helped. More often than not the goaltending of Chris Festarini and Brent Moran has been solid and support scorers like Brendan Perlini and Carter Verhaeghe have been stepping up. Time will tell, but the IceDogs are in a stretch of games that will see them play 8 of 10 at home, and that will go a long way in determining playoff seeding.
ITEM FIVE: RAPTOR ANNOUNCER MATT DEVLIN CALLS OUT A RAPPER
Apparantly there is some guy named Wale who raps, and has a Twitter following in the millions. I've never heard of him, but I'm trapped in the 90's so much of today's music is unfamiliar. Wale and Rudy Gay of the Raptors, had a running dialogue during last nights Wizards/Raptors game, and play by play man Matt Devlin made the comment that Wale was no Drake, who is Toronto born and bred. Somehow it got back to Wale, who then confronted Devlin during the game, and also tweeted that Devlin should "shut his mouth" I think the whole thing was likely in gest, and made for some good fun. After all the Wizards are dreadful this year. Inspired by this and with Kingston in town, I am going to comment that The Tragically Hip is no Walk off the Earth (or a band from St Catharines) and then sit and wait for Gord Downie. There is no fence around me!
Till next time