If you were wondering why I call my blog Hermo Strong it has to do with a family member overcoming cancer. In late August my 24 year old nephew Troy Hermo was diagnosed with a rare form of adrenal cancer. After going through some tremendous struggles with most of that time at the hospital for the next month, he was able to make it through a difficult 9 hour surgery at OHSUin September. They actually removed a tumor the size of a grocery store ham. To support Troy our family came up with the theme #HermoStrong to give all the necessary support in such a difficult time. After a long recovery he is resuming his normal life activities and we are thankful for modern medicine and the wonderful doctors and nurses who provided his treatment.
And some thoughts on the NHL this week....
Two teams who are peaking at the right time are the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitols. The Pens have now won 6 of 7 and are only 4 points behind the Caps for the Eastern Division lead who have also won 8 of 9. The NY Islanders won't go away as well as they have won 4 of 5 and are only 2 points out. It could set up an unbelievable 1st round match up if the Pens play the Caps and another saga of Ovechkin vs. Crosby. I'm still expecting Washington to win the division but each team has a legit shot of winning the division.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the best team in the league illustrated by their two wins this week. They absolutely blitzed the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto Monday night getting out to a 4-0 lead and winning 6-2 and tonight behind 3-0 against Detroit scored 5 straight goals and held on for a 5-4 win.
If you are a Toronto Maple Leafs fan you have to hope this week is not an omen for the rest of the season. You can understand getting blitzed at home by the Tampa Bay Lightning but no excuse getting down to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0 at home. They did show fight coming back with 4 straight goals and coming very close to getting the game into OT. Second straight game that starting goalie Frederik Andersen has been yanked and the Leafs are blowing an opportunity to catch the Boston Bruins as they have finally slowed down losing 3 straight.
The Dallas Stars got another huge road win tonight winning at Minnesota 4-1 and are now tied for 3rd in the Central Division. Going into this game goalie Ben Bishop had posted 3 straight shutouts and had another shutout going tonight before leaving the game with a lower-body injury. Bishop was putting himself into Vezina consideration with his current hot streak so if you are Stars fan you are holding your breath that this is a minor injury.
Being an Edmonton Oilers fan these days feels like one big tease. Another disappointing season but it looked like they were turning it around for one final playoff push winning 5 of 6 and playing the lowly New Jersey Devils last night. The Devils had lost 7 straight and got absolutely hammered by the Calgary Flames 9-4 the previous night giving up 6 goals in the 3rd period. And so what do the Oilers do? Get blitzed 6-3 on home ice. If you want a good laugh just read the venom on the Oiler message boards.
And to end this NHL weeks notes as an LA Kings fan, just lose for Hughes........but at least the NHL teams out of the playoffs don't blatantly tank like the NBA.
Random thoughts on other subjects...
I have always loved the Oregon high school state basketball tournaments. I have been going to the tournaments since the mid-70's and was lucky enough to be on a broadcasting team covering the tournament the last 25+ years. However with all of the changes to the landscape of high school sports I've become a bit disillusioned and here the reasons why:
-The major re-classification that was instituted in 2006 has watered down and devalued a state championship and a league championship. I favor going back to 4 classifications or at worst 5.
-They should go back to having separate weeks for the boys and the girls.
-They should go back to the 16 team tournament field.
-It always felt special to play and watch tournament games in the Memorial Coliseum, Rose Garden, Mac Court, or Gill Coliseum. Does it really feel special to play a state tournament game in a high school gym?
And the saddest part of high school sports now is that the Oregonian at one time had 5 different writers covering high school sports. Today they do not have one full time writer covering the high school scene.
But we do now get coverage of 7 on 7 summer football camps an get those oh so important updates of little Johnny Jones star rating going from a 3 star to 3.5 star since he improved his out cuts and put on 5 pounds of muscle.
When your favorite baseball team lost 112 games the year before can you really be optimistic? The over/under that Las Vegas put out on my Baltimore Orioles was 57. That my friends is the lowest over/under win total ever posted. Welcome to Charm City Adley!!
Can anyone ever remember a worse February early March weather wise in Portland??
As a sports fan I highly recommend satellite radio. If you are a soccer fan and want an entertaining 3 hours of satellite radio listen to "The Grumpy Pundits" Tommy Smyth and Rodney Marsh on channel 157.
And when the NCAA tournament field is being announced on Sunday follow the twitter feed of Alan Boston (bostonred88), you will surely be entertained and love how he eviscerates the committee.