Tag Archives: Alaska Aces

Hockey? I’m Not Ready Yet

I woke this morning to the news – that NHL brains have made a sharp u-turn and hockey will begin again, maybe on January 15, maybe on January 19. (Details can be found on 8,537 news and sports sites).

I’m not ready for this. I’m not finished talking about Gary Bettman and rich hockey players yet. It’s too soon. It’s only January and it’s cold. Hockey should be played where it’s hot, like in Phoenix and South Florida. And how am I supposed to blog about actual hockey games forty-eight or fifty times in the next while when I’m out of shape? Players need training camp? So do I.

I just hope Bruins fans and others don’t keep bringing up the shortened season after Montreal wins it all. It’s going to be a nice, handy excuse for them – that they were just getting going and if it was any longer, they would’ve made the Habs look like the German junior team. This is what we’re up against. It’s gonna suck but we have to be ready for it.

I really was in a no-NHL-state of mind. I’d learned to occupy myself other ways on nights when hockey wasn’t being played. Like watching Sportsnet and TSN go on and on and on about hockey not being played. Good, quality entertainment.

I’m worried for some. Scott Gomez was on a roll with his Alaska Aces, notching six goals and seven assists in just eleven games. Now what? Now he has to stop scoring again. You have to feel for the guy. And Brad Marchand is only halfway through his grade seven course and will have to either stop completely or do homework on planes.

Maybe I can help Marchand, with this advice that comes via Eddie Shack. When Shack was playing, one of his teammates in the dressing room asked him how far he got in school, and Eddie said grade eight. When the other player asked how he managed to get so far, Eddie said it was easy, he’d lend the teacher his car.

It’s not just Gomez or Marchand. They all have to go back to work now. I know this feeling. A nice two or three week holiday and then I’m back in the thick of things and it’s hard. The players have been laying around and golfing and traveling to New York for six months now. Imagine what they’re going through. Hopefully they were able to keep busy. David Booth probably had a nice time blowing bears’ brains out, and Evander Kane had a nice picture taken of himself in Las Vegas holding a couple of three inch wads of bills and pretending the money was a phone. Now that’s fine humour. That’s how you keep busy.

I feel for the owners. Now they have to act like nice people when they show up at their private boxes, and that means they’ll have to tip the $9 an hour person who brings them their 20-year old scotch. Hollywood people can act like they’re nice and normal because they’re actors. Owners don’t have this luxury. They have every other luxury, just not this one.

What about Russian fans who’ve been flocking to KHL games this year? My stepson Denis in St. Petersburg says hockey in Russia has never been so exciting and invigorating to fans there. Now these players who took jobs have to come back to North America and not take anybody’s job and fans in the old country will be left with the team that once was. It’ll take some getting used to. And it’ll be nice for the captain of St. Petersburg SKA to get his “C” back now that Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be needing it anymore.

Can Montreal do well this year? It’ll be a sprint instead of a marathon, and who knows? It depends on how many games before Andre Markov gets hurt, and whether the power play can score sometimes. Maybe Alex Galchenyuk will be in the lineup! Let’s just embrace what we’ll have – a short race to the finish line. It’ll be over before we know it. Then we can get back to what we’re used to – no hockey.

 

 

 

Boy Genius

Let’s see, let me check;

Still no hockey — check
NHLPA and NHL will meet again soon — check
It’s now 800 news clips, or maybe 8000, of NHLPA and NHL brass walking into a hotel and out again — check
Gomez has 4 goals and 6 assists in 8 games with the Alaska Aces — check
Galchenyuk has 22 goals and 30 assists in 31 games with Sarnia Sting — check
I’m about to post again as I do every day — check
It’s not about hockey, as I sometimes do — check

I’m sure there’s been times in your life when you’ve thought about someone you haven’t seen in ages and soon after this person shows up in one way or another. Why is that?

Just recently I was thinking about this ten-year old kid I’d read about in a 1965 Life magazine, back when the article first came out. From the beginning it had really intrigued me, the idea that such a young kid would be enrolled in university, in this case Michigan State, and off and on over years I’d think about the little bugger. I don’t know why. Maybe because I was the complete opposite as a student.

Today, in looking through a trunk of old Life magazines, there it was, the story of Michael Grost. I didn’t even know I still had this.

While every other ten-year old kid in the world was adding 25 plus 25 and learning how to spell Mississippi, Michael was in university, studying whatever it is they study. I’ll bet the other students, especially the females, loved him.

Below is Michael now, and this is his website – Mike Grost.com
He’s doing all kinds of neat things.

In a 2002 interview with The State News, the now gown-up Grost described his life in college as similar to having “40,000 brothers and sisters.”

Grost held his first job on campus working with computers his freshman year, which propelled him into
software design after his 13-year college career – five of which were spent at MSU. He also attended
Yale University and U-M, earning a doctorate degree in mathematics at age 23. Grost currently is a
system architect at a computer company in Detroit.

“I really owe (MSU) a lot for the huge chance they took on me as a kid,” Grost said in the 2002
interview.

(thanks to Weird Universe/Child Prodigies)

Gomer Update

It seems there’s only one thing to say – Scott Gomez belongs only several notches down from the NHL.

Gomer scored a goal and added an assist in helping his Alaska Aces beat the Utah Grizzlies 4-2 in Anchorage, thus giving the Mexican/American 3 goals and 4 assists in six games. Of course he could slump and never score again, but for now things are fine except for that recent bout of food poisoning in California.

And incredibly, it’s possible that only one of his three goals bounced in off his ass, and maybe the other two were normal types. It’s just difficult for me to imagine that Gomer would fire in three good goals. Don’t forget – those ECHL goalies are tough. Usually only a couple of notches down from the NHL.

 

Big Numbers, Huge Numbers

Alex Galchenyuk scored again on Sunday as his Sarnia Sting edged the Oshawa Generals 3-2, this coming a night after his three-goal showing in Peterborough, and so while I should have been working, instead I used the boss’s computer and calculator and came up this: (with the help of Miss Vicki, who seemed to know what she was doing).

Galchenyuk has 20 goals and 49 points in 28 games, which, if Miss Vicki is correct, means that he’s on track for a 48-goal season, 119 points in total. That’s fine work for a guy who only played two games last year because of a knee injury. And who knows, maybe he’s just getting revved up and could finish with much more.

I gotta tell you. Keeping a watch on Galchenyuk is much more fun than my Gomez watch.

And before I continue down the junior path, it seems that ECHL players, which Gomez is one of right now, earn an average of $500 a week. With Gomez, that’s more like it.

A 130-point season for Galchenyuk would be great. I think we’d all be happy with that. But have a gander at these numbers:

Bobby Smith holds the OHL record for 192 points during the 1977-78 season, and Ernie Godden, playing for the Windsor Spitfires in 1980-81, scored a total of 87 goals! Godden would be chosen 55th overall by the Leafs, but only played five games with Toronto and that was it for the NHL. Maybe because he was small at 5’8 and 160 pounds, that his career screeched to a sudden halt.

In the WHL, Ray Ferraro holds the record for goals with 108, while Rob Brown (remember him?) had 212 points during the 86-87 season with the Kamloops Blazers.

And of course I save the best for last.

In 1983-84, Mario Lemieux managed 133 goals and a total of 282 friggin points.

Bonus stats!

In the 1971-71 season, Guy Lafleur scored just three less than Mario’s record, nailing 130 goals while with the Quebec Remparts. And Sidney Crosby’s best year with Rimouski saw him net 66 goals and 102 assists for 168 points.

 

Gomer-Watch #3 – Bakersfield Blues

Gomer didn’t play in Bakersfield. Apparently he got food poisoning.

Tonight (Sat.), the Alaska Aces are in Ontario, a city just outside of L.A., and there’s no guarantee Gomer will suit up. Thousands upon thousands may be disappointed. Ontario is birthplace of overweight Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder. Fielder doesn’t even come close to looking like an athlete. He looks more like the guy who guards the front door at a Hell’s Angel clubhouse.

But I’m getting off the subject. Gomer is ill and didn’t dress for the Bakersfield game. At least he says he was ill.

Gomer-Watch #2

Yes, I know. You’re waiting impatiently. Sorry but I had to sleep. And then there was that 40 minutes on the toilet.

It was a rainy and sort of mild 12 celsius (53 F)  in Stockton during Gomer and his Alaska Aces’ big visit to Northern California on Wednesday night, and the good news for Aces fans was a solid 6-2 win over the hometown Thunder.

But alas, it’s not good news for the 14 Habs fans in the world who love Mr. Gomez. I must break the news here and now that he had no goals, no assists, no shots, 4 penalty minutes, and was minus 1.

What can I say? He couldn’t get it done on this night, even falling short during the Aces’ three power play chances. But I’ll bet he tried hard. In Gomezian fashion.

I’m just so sorry for this bad news.

Gomer and the gang make their way south to Bakersfield, birthplace of Merle Haggard and boxer Jerry Quarry, for a clash with the Condors on Friday night (game time 6 pm), and hopefully better news is on the horizon. Is he in a slump? I hope not. He’s not used to that.

Random Notes:

I’ve been to Bakersfield and I can tell you that there’s quite a lot of oil pumps working hard in the area. Maybe Gomer, if he has a few hours to kill in the afternoon, can buy an oil well when he’s there!

 

Gomer-Watch

I know you’re itching to find out how Scott Gomez is doing with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. Going crazy wondering. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. You’ve started to bite your fingernails again. You’re a wreck.

He and his team are doing this:

The Aces sit in first place in the Western Conference with 26 points, and play in places like San Francisco and Las Vegas, so it seems like a pretty good gig. They’re a healthy 13 wins and 5 losses, have played 18 games, but Mr. Gomez has only been there for four.

But in four games, our man has two goals and three assists, although his first goal was a puck that bounced in off his rear end. I don’t know how his second went in but I’ll bet it was a beauty.

Gomer also has four penalty minutes, eleven shots on goal, and is plus one. He wears number 23, which coincidentally is the number Bob Gainey wore back in the good old days. Maybe it’s Scott’s way of saying thank you to the guy who agreed to take over his massive contract and bring him to Montreal. Grrrrr.

The Aces next game is Wednesday in Stockton, California to meet the Thunder, and I’m thinking Gomer’s going to bust out and get two on this night. All he has to do is make sure his rear end sticks out when he’s in deep.

Our man is doing so well and enjoying himself so much, heck, he just might want to stay there!