Thursday, December 24, 2015

Canada's World Junior Hockey Tradition

Canada's Boxing Day Tradition of the World Junior Hockey Championships will again be in full throttle on Boxing Day as 10 Junior Hockey countries will battle it out over a nine day stretch with a total of a possibility of 31 games to decide who will be crowned 2016 IIHF World Junior Hockey Champions. 
As always, TSN's family of channels will have wall to wall coverage of the World Juniors. It has became an annual event for Canadian hockey fans as they get to watch the best players who are Under 20 face off for glory. 
This shouldn't come as a surprise, in the past, what turned out to be players who went on to have Hall Of Fame Careers have played in this tournament. Sidney Crosby, Eric Lindros and Mario Lemieux lead a long  and star studded list of NHL greats that have played at the World Juniors. 
In a sense, it is Canada's version of March Madness that cultivates America for a two week span in March. For this Tournament, teams are divided into two groups of five and the groups are determined by last years results. 
From then, the top 4 teams will advance to the Quarterfinals and will be seeded to according to how they finished in the group. For the 5th place finishers, they will play a best out of three to determine who gets relegated for next year. In the rare case where next years host gets relegated, they will stay in the top division and the next worst team will get relegated. 
This format is a relatively new, they decided to increase the amount of Quarterfinal teams to 6 to 8 in a attempt to try to get more teams a chance in advancing to the Quarterfinals. The downside is the group stage is less important as their is less of an advantage to finishing first in the group as their is no first round bye. 
Some years are more memorable than other years. For instance, 2005 in Grand Forks North Dakota has a special spot in every Canadian Hockey fans heart. That year, because of the NHL lockout, Canada sent one of the most dominant teams to the World Junior history. In fact, to say that the team was an All-Star team and were way above the rest of the competition would be a complete understatement. 
Fast forward two years in  LeksandSweden where Canada played one of the most intense games in World Junior history when they defeated USA in the Semi Finals 2-1 in a SO. As nerve-racking of a hockey game it was, the Shootout was even more breathtaking as Jonathan Towes scored three different times in the Shootout. Carey Price sealed the deal with a save to send Canada to the Gold Medal game. This was a moment in Canadian Hockey history where fans will always remember where they were when Canada won.
These are just a couple of many amazing moments for Canada in the past decade. The tournament got big for the Canadians in 1982 when they won the gold in Minnesota and the arena didn't have a CD of the Canadian National anthem. Since than Canada has thrived at the World Juniors by collecting a total of 15 Gold Medals. 
This year, Canada looks to defend their 2015 WJ Gold as Victoria Royals player Joe Hicketts, Vancouver Canucks Forward Jake Virtanen and Erie Otters superstar Dylan Strome lead the charge for the Canadians who bring a seven game winning streak as a team dating back to last year. While the team still has a way to go until they reach the level of the 45 game stretch that they had from 2005-2011 where they went a relentless 42-1-2. 
Here are this years Groups: 
Group A[edit]
Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Quarterfinals
2 Denmark 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Sweden 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 United States 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Relegation
Group B[edit]
Pos Team Pld W OTW OTL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Belarus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Quarterfinals
2 Czech Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Finland (H) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Russia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Relegation
To sum everything up, this tournament is one of the best holiday traditions and if you are want to see the stars of tomorrow, today I highly suggesting getting into this tournament.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Finally, this might just be Tottenham’s best shot at a Top 4 Finish

When it comes to the EPL, Tottenham Hotsphur have acquired the worst luck out of any of the top flight teams in England. After ending a 50 year UEFA Champions League drought in 2011, they have hit a skid of misfortune over the course of the past five seasons.
Back in 2012, when the Spurs finished in the Top 4 and were on pace to qualify for the Champions League, things suddenly fell apart when rival Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League. As a result, this therefore snubbed Tottenham due to Chelsea finishing 6th in the league. Ultimately any chance that Tottenham had of qualifying quickly became evoked in the worst possible manner.
Once 2013 began to develop, this in fact became a year involving much controversy. For the Spurs, it resulted in a successful 5th place finish, one that to the outsiders was viewed as a disappointment. In many reasons it pertained the under-development of Welsh rising star Gareth Bale. Weeks later, he demanded a transfer and was sent to the popular Real Madrid for close to $100 Million. This turned out to be a very contentious move as Bale had the potential to become the player Tottenham could build around. 
Regardless, the relentless upheavals continued in 2014, as it delivered the same results at White Hart Lane. Countless Europa League hangovers and forceful meltdowns against the Premier Leagues’ top teams proved to be the Spurs’ undoing. Also, the inability to improve on their prior setbacks resulted in a 6th place finish yet again.
Last year however, it appeared that Tottenham’s promising hopes were finally starting to become full-filled. Entering the year with a new coach, Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs’ supporters wondered where the goals were going to come from. Conclusively, those questions were abruptly answered when a home-grown player promulgated out of nowhere, his name was Harry Kane. Last year, which was his first season starting, Kane managed to score a team-leading 31 goals in all competitions. Unfortunately, brutal home defeats to teams that the Spurs should have conquered prevented them from finishing in the Top 4, as they finished just six points behind Manchester United.
The start of the 2016 season has been an optimistic one under Pochettino. Tottenham has collected points in 15 of their 17 matches and from the outset have looked to be much improved defensively, having only allowed 14 goals total.
With Chelsea perilously tail-spinning out of control and trying to stave off a relegation battle, this finally seems to be Tottonham’s best chance in decades to sneak into the Champions League. More importantly, the way that the media has described Manchester United’s struggles provides new hope for even more of a contingency to seek out something special.
Things are definitely looking up for the Spurs in North London. The three-headed attack of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are a spark on the offensive side of the ball that Tottenham hasn’t comprised since the Bale era. The new look, advanced Spurs should be poised, because everything is there to make an exciting dash for the top four in this highly unpredictable EPL season.
Although, justifying a top four spot this year is only possible if they are able to stop losing at home. Their past disappointing losses, mainly in the 2-1 defea at White Hart Lane, was a questionable one as it came to a team that’s fought for their lives at the bottom of the division. This inconceivable loss, marked the third consecutive year that they’ve fallen at home to lonely Newcastle. Saying that losing to bad teams at home is Tottenham’s achilles heel would be a vast understatement. Fortunately, the Spurs will have a chance to prove the nation wrong on Boxing Day, where they begin the unofficial start to the second half of the season as they try to march their way into at least a fourth place finish.
The future is finally holding optimism for Tottenham fans. With only two losses on the year, the only thing that fans have to complain about is the number of ties the Spurs have gathered through the first half of the season. The 21 remaining EPL games for Tottenham will tell us how things are going in North London. The idea of having visions of the exclusive Top 4 spot appeared to be a slight stretch at the start of the season considering who the team added over the summer transfer period, thus making Tottenham’s possible ride of glory even more extraordinary.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 21st, 2015

I had a really good day today. Yesterday I changed my profile picture and overnight it received 74 likes and a handful of comments. I know it isn't much but it does feel good to feel I am important.

Over the past few weeks, I have tried to figure out how to get more involved. Today, I filled out forms to be involved with the Abbotsford Youth Commission. Despite my diploma not being in a field that normally works with kids, I really enjoy working with them and seeing kids look up to me is very inspirational.

The EPL match that was on NBCSN today was the game between Arsenal and Manchester City. I'm not a big fan of Arsenal to be honest, but seeing them defeat City who were favored to win the League was pretty awesome! Arsenal won 2-1 but had control for most of the game before Man City got one late to make it interesting at the end.

With three days before Christmas, I still don't have all my Christmas shopping done. In fact, this is the first year in awhile that I have left it this late. I wasn't able to get much done after the game as I went to go visit my Grandpa this even. Therefore, I didn't watch any sports last night.

I'm really into the NBA right now because I'm really interested to see if anyone besides Golden State will win the NBA Finals. Only time will tell.

Moving forward in life is a really important to be successful though. I'm starting to really think about goals and things I can accomplish while unemployed. Unfortunately, whenever I get a good idea to do or research, I'm not near a computer and the thought vanishes as quick as I can blink.

I'm not going to get to worried about that. Ideas come and go and that's life. If it was a really good idea I guess. I'm going to put together a project to help people in the community. It's only a matter of time.

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 18th, 2015

It was a loaded night of sports that didn't live up to the hype it could have with the Thursday Night Football game not being as entertaining as it could have been. The Bucs are not quite eliminated just yet but mostly everything has to go their way for them to make the Playoffs.

In the NBA tonight. The shorthanded Cavs were able to get a come from behind win over the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 104-100 win. In the night cap on TNT the Rockets steamrolled the Lakers 107-87.

My Canucks continued their downfall last night in the city of Brotherly Love. They fell to the Flyers 2-0 and have now lost three in a row. Nothing much to get excited about this year. The season already feels dead and it is not even Christmas yet.

On a personal note, I had a really good day today. I was able to see my high schools basketball game and it was nice to see my old school get the win as they cruised past Pit Meadows with a 93-47 win. Today was the first time I got to see the Mouat Hawks in action this year.

Being that I am not in Kamloops this year, I'll hope to get to more games than I did last year. Despite being away from many close friends this year, it has been nice to be back in Abbotsford and being able to see people I haven't seen in awhile.

I still can't believe how much fun I had at the Northview Christmas Banquet on Wednesday night. I met and saw a lot of great people at the event. I look forward to be getting more involved in the church in 2016.

I am looking forward to Friday which means its just one more day until Saturday and the weekend. There's a lot of things that I want to accomplish in 2016 and I think its important that I write down a to do list and stick with it.

I really want to be doing this updates daily so I'll sign off for now and see what tomorrow has in store for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Week 15 in the NFL

Week 15, three weeks to go in the NFL season. One game tonight in St. Louis and Tampa Bay. The Bucs need a win to have a realistic playoff chance. On Saturday the Cowboys will host the Jets with both teams holding on to a chance at the playoffs.

For Sunday, the four games I'll be interested in are the Bills Redskins and Texans vs the Colts. In the late window, the lonely Browns will travel to Seattle to take on the two time defending NFC Champion Seahawks at 4:05 and the Broncos will go east to take on the Steelers.