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Non-Hockey Chatter / "Happy Thanksgiving Day!" 2014
« on: October 13, 2014, 07:35:25 AM »

                                      "Happy Thanksgiving Day!"


Here it is everyone, the new season of the Tmlfans Pick'em Challenge!

So, come on in and sharpen your prediction powers!  The more participants there will be, the more this will get.

All aboard!!  :) :)

I have chosen to post the games for Wednesday & Thursday (Oct. 8th & 9th respectively), continuuing the 'tradition' of opening night.  (However, most games are usually posted for weekend games (Saturday/Sunday).

Let the begin!  Good luck to all! :)

All times Eastern.  Deadline is 7PM puckdrop Wednesday.

Wed. October 8th
Montreal @ Toronto          - 7PM
Philadelphia @ Bosron       - 7PM
San Jose @ Los Angeles    -10PM

Thurs. October 9th
Anaheim @ Pittsburgh        - 7PM
NYRangers @ St.Louis        - 8PM
Ottawa @ Nashville            - 8PM

Non-Hockey Chatter / Lauren Becall 1924-2014
« on: August 13, 2014, 06:47:17 AM »
Hollywood legend --  actress, star, author, ex-Mrs.Bogart, sultry, tumultuous, charismatic, you name it -- that was Lauren Becall.

She starred in numerous movies and of course, she and Bogart --Humphrey Bogart, screen legend himself-- were a couple (and remained friends forever.

An incredible career nonetheless.

For more:

Non-Hockey Chatter / "Happy Canada Day!" 2014
« on: July 01, 2014, 07:09:25 AM »
To our majestic land...

                                 ....HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CANADA!!

....and Happy July 1st, all!!

General NHL News & Views / 2014-2015 NHL Thread
« on: June 24, 2014, 12:33:10 PM »
Here is the near-complete (more to come later)Rogers broadcast schedule for the upcoming 2014-2015 NHL season.  Here are some highlights:

- 350 national regular season games spread across nine networks -- Sportsnet (East/West/Pacific/Ontario), Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, CBC, City, and FX Canada.

- ScotiaBank Wednesday Night Hockey will include 35 games, nine Canadian team matchups, eight doubleheaders, as well as six Original Six matchups.

- (CBC) Hockey Night in Canada will be showcasing four (or more) games in it's traditional spot which is Saturday nights.  Altogether, a total of 150 games will be shown throughout the season.

- Sunday Night Hockey -- newest feature that will show 25 games year-round that will include a Canadian-based team in each game shown.  Each game shown will be broadcast from a community/hometown from across the country, and will include local stories, player profiles, etc.
There will also be five Original Six matchups.

Other -- 2014 Winter Classic, February 14th all-Canadian-based  teams tripleheader, Stanley Cup playoffs/Final, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Entry Draft & Draft Lottery, NHL Awards, etc., etc.

For more details, click here:

General NHL News & Views / 2014 Stanley Cup Final
« on: June 03, 2014, 11:29:19 AM »
Los Angeles Kings vs New York Rangers

If one were to ask someone to choose a winner, there is certain to be a slight hesitation.  How can one decide when one has two of the best teams in these playoffs going against each other in this year's Stanley Cup Final?

Well, for starters, the Los Angeles Kings have already made the NHL history books, as being the only team to have won 21 games (all three rounds and in come-from-behind fashion too).

The Kings disposed of the Sharks, the Ducks, and then the defending Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, with their usual array of scoring depth, sound goaltending (Jonathan Quick rose to the fore even after some shaky perfoemamces), plus the team's incredible resiliency.  No matter what the situation, even down 3 games to 1 (as was the case against San Jose in the first round), L.A. kept persevering and eventually prevailed.

Of course, some might say, when a team has enough deep depth and talent in all areas, as the Kings had, they can overcome anything.  Point well taken.

The Broadway Blueshirts as the New York Rangers are often referred to, had their own story to write, er, play, too.  They handily disposed of the Flyers, the Penguins (yes, those Penguins), and then battled the Montreal Canadiens to six games, winning it all with aplomb -- a series-winning OT goal by Domenic Moore -- ending Les Glorieux's glorious playoff run.

The goal by Moore demonstrated the role of the Rangers' depth with the offensive contributions from it's "lesser lights" -- guys like Pouliot and Moore -- who aren't exactly scoring powerhouses.  Of course, at one point, many of New York's star players, Nash, St.Louis, Zucarello, Kreider, Hamelin, etc., weren't setting the league on fire.  The Rangers powerplay was at one point a dismal 0 for 34 extending into these playoffs, until the offence finally got going and it was no looking back since.

Then there's the case of "King" Henrik Lundqvist, who backstopped the Blueshirts admirably.  Lundqvist is hardly one to have a bad game especially in these playoffs, perhaps slightly more consistent in that category than the Kings Quick, but then even when King Henrik did (as demonstrated in Game 5 against the Canadiens), he comes bouncing right back a la Conn Smythe Trophy style.

Between these two teams, it's too close to call. They both have assets -- depth both ways, top-notch netminders, excellent systems, great coaching, etc.,etc.   Some might say that the Kings survived the tougher opponents and that they have the capacity to win the Cup better than the Rangers.  Others may say that the Rangers took better care of their opponents while the Kings made it harder on themselves by having to always comeback.

Either way, no matter how one looks at it, this Stanley Cup Final has all the makings to be a classic.


Non-Hockey Chatter / "Happy Easter!" 2014
« on: April 20, 2014, 04:00:20 AM »

General NHL News & Views / NHL Stories
« on: April 07, 2014, 05:23:24 AM »
Let this three serve as the place for NHL stories... be it anything having to do with hockey stories befitting of history, players, tales, past, present, & even future, etc.

Below are links to two of them:

Up until the '80's, (and throughout it's history),  there were no players from Eastern Europe playing in the NHL.  Of  course. this was during the "Cold War" era, way before Glasnost and Perestroika ever came into being.  So, just what did the Vancouver Canucks and Canada  have to do with it?  In essence, they began the first trickle of any Eastern European player to cross the shores of the capitalist West.  The players?  Ivan Hlinka & Jiri Bubla of the then Czechoslovakia, who would eventually be followed by the likes of Soviets Igor Larionov, Vladimir Krutov, and Sergei Makharov.

A fascinating journey of cultoral exchanges, foreign surroundings, language barrier and a place in hockey (& perhaps sports history).

Trip by two Canucks lifted curtain to Russia


The next one showcases the human element and hockey players, in this case, T,J, Oshie of the St, Louis Blues, whose birth of his baby daughter was fraught with both joy and sadness, similar to what most parents go throngh with a child born with a defect.  Luckily, for a grateful Oshie & his wife, his infant daughter Lyla Grace survived all the surgeries required to reattach her internal organs (intestines & bowels) jnside her tiny body where they belonged.  Being the daughter at a hockey player, she certainly was strong!

T.J. Oshie of St. Louis Blues thankful for infant daughter's ...

Deadline is 7:00pm Saturday.  All times Eastern.

Saturday April 5th
Winnipeg at Toronto          7pm
Detroit at Montrēal            7pm
Dallas at Tampa Bay          7pm
Ottawa at NYRangers         7pm
Los Angeles at Vancouver   10pm
Nashville at San Jose         10:30pm

Non-Hockey Chatter / Three-building gas explosion in NYC
« on: March 13, 2014, 03:16:08 AM »
A building in East Harlem in Manhattan that was more than 90 years old exploded, bringing down and damaging others in the area.  The explosion was linked to a gas leak, as residents had previously smelled something that had been coming from outside the building.

The gas company, ConEdison was on it's way to the area, but it was too late, as the explosion shook the surroundings,  Many thought another 9/11 had occurred because of the force of the blast.

Approximately, at last count, over 60 people injured, and several unaccounted for or missing. 

Simply terrifying.  The perils of gas leaks and it's aftermath.
In the words of New York's newly-elected mayor, Bill de Blasio....

"This is a tragedy of the worst kind," de Blasio said. "There was no indication in time to save people."

For more:

All Sports But Hockey / Olympic Winter Games Officially Close
« on: February 23, 2014, 04:14:16 PM »
"Goodbye Sochi"....

                                      "....see you in PyeongChang in 2018"....

....and with those words ended a spectacular, if not extraordinary Winter Olympic Games, all having taken place in this beautiful mountainous coastal resort town against the backdrop of the Black Sea.

Amid the breathtaking venues and the fortress-like security that encapsulated the entire Olympic Park, these Games were a success not only for the host country Russia, in terms of most medals won, but for the.sheer vision of Russian President Vladimir Putin's of bringing the Olympic dream to his country.

Even though these were the most expensive Winter Games (at a cost of $51B and counting), no one could dispute what these Sochi Games brought to the athletes & their respective countries which they represented.  There were many moments of sheer jubilation, sheer disappointments, emotionally-charged moments, epic comebacks, in all thrills, chills, and spills.

Who can forget Canada's Alexandre Bilodeau after having won gold in the Men's Skiing Moguls, hugging his overjoyous developmentally-handicapped brother for what seemed like an eternity.  How about 18 year old American Mikaela Shiffrin who by winning the Women's Slalom in the Alpine Skiing event, became the youngest Olympian to win gold.  Or, Russian skier Maria Kommissarova who crashed during the Women's Snowboard SkiCross run, suffering a spinal injury but having underwent successful surgery thereafter.  What of the Canadian Women's "epic comeback" in the words of many, in Women's Ice Hockey, who, trailing 2-0 with just under two minutes before the final buzzer would sound, tied it all up then scored in overtime to defeat Team USA and capture their fourth consecutive Olympic gold (an Olympics record).  Oh those Dutch!  They nearly captured all of the medals in the Long-Track Speedskating in both the Men & Women's events leaving very little for everyone else.  And the Norwegian women & men who were simply dominant in most of the Cross-Country Skiing events, particularly the three Norwegian ladies who swept the podium in their event!  Whew!

On and on the stories go.  There were some poignant moments, such as honouring the late Nodar Kumatashvili, who died tragically in the Vancouver Winter Games of 2010, during a pre-Olympic luge training run.  Another was the remembrance of the late great Canadian halfpipe skiing pioneer Sarah Burke, whose ashes were spread near the halfpipe area, some in the mountain region.  A fitting final gesture to an otherwise fine athlete.

The closing ceremonies were just as enlightening as the opening were, complete with Viking ship sailing in middair, a grand piano on a piano-shaped stage surrounded by a handful of baby grands all twirling and being played in unison, 'winged' human 'doves' taking off from the stage flying away, etc.,etc.  One has to truly appreciate the choreography and all the special effects that went into these ceremonies, as colourful and inspiring as they were.

For our wonderful nation, Canada, our Olympians did us proud!  Canada officially finished third in the medal standings (by virtue of having had more golds and silvers than the fourth-place US).  (However, in total medals, we placed fourth). Canada's 25 medals did not exceed the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games total, but to place in the top 3 or 4, we held our own against the very best!

Russia's Olympic Winter Games record of 13 golds, fell short of the record set by  Canada of 14 golds at Vancouver 2010.  For the host country, the results were more than satisfying.

So now, onward the Olympic Winter Games will PyeongChang, South Korea...where the 23rd Winter Olympiad will 2018. 

General NHL News & Views / Women's Hockey
« on: February 08, 2014, 01:35:54 PM »
The Women's hockey began with wins today by Canada and USA.

Team Canada defeated Team Switzerland 5-0, outshooting the Swiss 69-19.  Swiss goaltender Florence Schelling, who plays in the Canadian Women's Hockey League with the Brampton Thunder and is a teammate of Team Canada members Gilliam Apps & Jayna Hefford, had more than her fair share of work cutout for her and was easily one of the game's standouts.

Poulin, Labonte, Watchon, Wickenheiser and Larocque were the Canadian scorers.

Shannon Szabados had the shutout.

Canada's next game is versus Finland Tuesday.

More here:

Elsewhere, Team USA beat Team Finland 3-1, on goals by Stack, Knight and Carpenter.  While the Finns kept pressing despite being down 1-0 at one point, Finnish goalkeeper Raty shut out the US shooters for all of 27 minutes before the Americans scored on an "ugly" goal, a.k.a. funny bounce and all.  In fact, two of the US goals were scored that way, at the expense of some Finnish mistakes.

Oh well, a win is a win no matter how it's done. 

Team USA's next game is Tuesday against Switzerland.

For more:

All Sports But Hockey / Olympic Winter Games Officially Open
« on: February 07, 2014, 02:49:11 PM »
"Пусть начнутся игры"

                          ....that's Russian for....

                                         "Let the Games begin!!!"

,.. amid continuing terror threats, ongoing state censonship of media (Russian journalists / reporters are threatened & harassed from time to time), social media censorship ( Canada's four-man bobsleigh member Jason Kripps " Team Kripps" found his website blocked.  No apparent reason given), and lastly, jailing of members of the gay / lesbian community in Russian society, in which Russian President Putin defends the move in saying that " It is necessary to protect our youth".

Even former leader Mikhail Gorbachev has decried Putin's governance of certain democratic principles.  While Russia has come a long way from those Glasnost & Perestroika days, there's still a ways to go before one can call Russian society truly democratic.  Harkening back to the dark days of tbe Soviet empire, there's no comparison now.  Still...

Anyways, speaking of the Sochi Games, they are by far the most expensive yet, and the venues quite modern.  A stretch of highway, ss an example, cost $200M (Cdn) per kilometre.  The construction of these Games has been fraught with corruption and fraud.  Nothing surprising for most familiar with Olympic Games building.
The displaced people, whose homes were demolished to make room for further construction, were housed in a neatly-built subdivision.  Many seem satisfied with their new dwellings.

Not all Russisns are happy with these Olympics, with many claiming the rising costs have added to just about everything including the price of public transportation, as many believe much of the cost overruns couid have been better spent roads & infrastructure maintensnce.

The opening ceremonies were lavish with plenty of Russian culture and classical music which is good.  Vladislav Tretiak, legendary goaltender, along with legendary skater Irina Rodrina, lit the Olympic cauldron.  The ceremonies were colourful, awash in plenty of fireworks, dancing, adornment of costumes, structures, symbols, etc.

For more on the Opening Ceremonies, click here:

All Sports But Hockey / The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Thread
« on: January 30, 2014, 01:35:49 PM »

From ESPN RumorCentral (MLB);

So far this offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays have done little by way of improving a pitching staff that finished 12th in the American League last season with a 4.26 ERA. However, if some of the free agent options out there start to get nervous and lower the asking price, there's a chance the Blue Jays might be interested.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos told the Canadian Press earlier this week that "from a free-agent standpoint, we have been given a price and we just don't necessarily see the value right now." However, that hasn't stopped the organization from doing their due diligence, just in case.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Toronto "might finally be preparing to pounce." Henotes that the Jays "have done extensive background work on right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, digging into his medical records, and also remain interested in righty Ervin Santana and other free agents."

Toronto is in a better position than most teams are to make a bid on those free agents who come with the albatross of a qualifying offer attached as the Blue Jays top two draft picks are both protected. If they sign either Jimenez or Santana, they would only lose the No. 49 overall pick.

If they didn't want to lose a pick at all, they could decide to make an offer to Bronson Arroyo, however, as's Jayson Stark reports, the pitcher says that a dozen teams have made contact with his agent but he has yet to come close to a deal with any of them. "I don't even have an offer to turn down," Arroyo said. "So I might still be sitting here on March 1. I have no idea."

All Sports But Hockey / Eugenie Bouchard makes Canadian tennis history
« on: January 21, 2014, 03:23:43 AM »
At the 2014 Australian Open, CanadIan Women's tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, who hails from La Belle Province (Montreal),  defeated  top-ranked Ana Ivanovic, thus becoming the first Canadian to reach a Semi-final in a major open in 30 years.

This isn't the first time that Bouohard beat Ivanovic.  Ivanovic lost to Bouchard also at last year's Wimbledon Championship
in the second round.

Carling Bassett was the last Canadian to reaoh a Grand Slam
Semi-Final at the U.S. Open in 1984.

For more on the story, go to:

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