1) When you see anti-poverty groups out protesting, have you ever wondered who it might be that is actually in favour of poverty?
2) It’s very difficult to get a handle on the results of coach’s challenges in the NHL. I’ve read about a dozen articles on the subject and each reported different statistics. Some quoted only offside challenges, some quoted only goalie interference challenges, and others quoted results for all challenges, and the quoted percentages of goals overturned and upheld are all different. Of course, some of the discrepancies, perhaps all, can be attributed to the articles being written at different times; but what is clear from the stats is that the number of disallowed goals based on coach’s challenges is almost thirty percent. That’s a staggering figure. The NHL is now considering installing blue line cameras to facilitate offside decisions. I’d rather the NHL deal with the cause of the problem. Considering there are four on-ice officials, being wrong almost thirty percent of the time suggests that they are either incredibly incompetent or that their instructions regarding positioning and focus are out of whack. It’s certainly not a stat of which the NHL should be proud. Also, allowing an offside challenge after a goal seems to be overkill. Whatever happened took place sixty feet away and a lot went on in the interim. Just because the technology is available doesn’t mean it has to be used. At the very least the review should, like all others, take place at the NHL’s war room in Toronto with its myriad large screen TVs, not on a little tablet at the penalty bench by a on-ice officials whose calls are being questioned in the first place.
3) I don’t understand why so many people, including professional broadcasters, are beginning sentences with the phrase “I mean.” It’s become almost as redundantly ubiquitous as “you know.”
4) After losing the Florida primary last Tuesday night, Marco Rubio withdrew from the US presidential race. But Tuesday wasn’t really the night he lost any chance of winning the Republican nomination; that actually happened on February 28th during a speech he gave in Salem, Virginia. That was when Rubio decided to get down in the gutter with Donald Trump and made his suggestive, juvenile schoolyard comment about the size of Trump’s hands.
5) Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has once again attempted to twist the English language to suit her political purposes. Her first major effort was when she began relabeling taxes as “revenue tools.” Then, when asked about her broken campaign promise to lower auto insurance rates by fifteen percent, she said it wasn’t really a promise, it was a “stretch goal.” A couple of weeks ago, with much ballyhoo, she announced a major program featuring free tuition for Ontario university and college students. Then, when pressed on the details earlier this week, she had the audacity to say that “free” doesn’t mean at no cost. Really?
6) My guess is that the most popular contract among most U.S. bridge players these days is “no Trump.”
7) At our weekly Thursday hockey luncheon this week, Pete Conacher asked if we had ever heard of Kenny Smith. I vaguely remembered him as a Boston Bruin in the late 40s and early 50s. Pete asked if I was aware of his 1943-44 season with the Memorial Cup winning Oshawa Generals (Pete’s father, the legendary Charlie Conacher, was their coach). I wasn’t. Pete then told us that Smith had 26 goals and 53 assists for 79 points in 26 games (seasons were a lot shorter back then). That’s 3.04 points per game, which got me wondering if that was the record for average points per game over a full season in Ontario major junior hockey. It isn’t. And it’s not Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, or Connor McDavid who holds the record. The record is held by another Smith. Bobby Smith, playing for the Ottawa 67s in 1977-78 had 69 goals and 123 assists for 192 points in 61 games, which works out to 3.14 points per game. In case you’re wondering, Mario Lemieux had 133 goals and 149 assists in 70 games with Laval in 1983-84, his final year in the Quebec major junior hockey. That’s an incredible 4.03 points per game.