Sunday, 16 February 2020

The Rundown - Quarterfinals

It's finally here. Playoff hockey got underway this weekend in Canada West women's hockey, and there were two pretty entertaining series to be watched as the four teams in action looked to take one step closer to the U SPORTS National Championship in Charlottetown, PEI. As we discussed on The Hockey Show earlier this week, the statistics pointed to two teams that should advance if the trends all continue in the same direction, but the reason they play the games is because anything can happen in the playoffs, specifically in Canada West hockey where these teams are very familiar with one another. Let's see whose seasons ended and whose will continue on this week's edition of The Rundown!

The fifth-seeded Regina Cougars traveled to Calgary to meet the fourth-seeded Mount Royal Cougars in the all-Cougars series as Mount Royal hosted their first-ever Canada West playoff series in school history. Regina has been one of the better teams in the second-half of the season, but enter the series on a 1-3-1-1 record in their last six games. Mount Royal comes in with a 3-2-1-0 record in their last six games, but they've been very good at home this season and finished the campaign with three-straight wins at Flames Community Arena.

All three games in this series would take place at 2:30pm MT, so the time change might affect both teams in terms of getting quick starts. There were no surprises in the choices made for goaltending in this game as Jane Kish started the game for Regina while Mount Royal opted to start their statistically-superior rookie netminder in Kaitlyn Ross.

The start of this game on Canada West TV was delayed thanks to some technical issues being experienced by the Yare TV crew at Flames Community Arena, but luckily there were no goals scored during the blackout. In fact, there were no goals scored once they got the video feed back up and running as the two netminders and the two teams were very stingy in their own zones when it came to shooting lanes and potential second chances on rebounds. I'll spare you paragraphs on the stalemate, but through 60 minutes of hockey, the teams remained tied at 0-0 with Regina leading 20-17 in shots. How about some free hockey to start the playoffs in the very first women's hockey playoff game at Flames Community Arena?

Overtime saw the two teams trade a few chances, but, as expected from the previous three periods of play, the defensive zones were locked down tightly as both teams knew that the next goal - the first goal - would put one team up in the series and the other into a hole out of which they'd have to dig. The good news? Neither team could find the back of the net. The bad news? We'd get set for another 20 minutes of overtime as this game had a feeling of perhaps creeping into the start of the Mount Royal men's hockey game at 7pm.

The second overtime period started, and Anna Purschke forced a turnover in the Regina zone before reversing it to Nicolette Seper. Seper sent the pass back to Daria O'Neill who one-time the puck towards the net where Jayden Thorpe got a stick on the puck, redirecting it past Kish just 24 seconds into the frame, and the Mount Royal Cougars claimed their second playoff win ever and their first on home ice ever with the 1-0 double-overtime win! Kaitlyn Ross made 22 saves for the Cougars' first playoff shutout in Canada West play while Jane Kish stopped 22 shots before the deflection got by her.

Mount Royal leads the best-of-three series 1-0!

Highlights of this game are below!

Pretty simple storylines in today's game: Mount Royal wins and they advance for the first-time ever in Canada West play to the semifinals while Regina had to win to force a Game Three to keep their season going. Jane Kish was back in the net for Regina after surrendering just one goal the night prior while Kaitlyn Ross was sent back out to the Mount Royal net after pitching the shutout one night before.

The game started like the game went yesterday - tight-checking and very few chances. The period rolled on through the opening eight minutes like this before Tatum Amy's point shot seem to hit someone in front of Jane Kish and deflect past the netminder at 8:13 to put Mount Royal up 1-0! The rest of the period felt like the same hockey as before Amy's goal, and we'd close out the first frame with the Cougars-in-white up over the Cougars-in-green 1-0 despite Regina holding the 7-6 edge in shots.

The teams opened the game up a little more in the second period as the long change led to a handful of chances at either end, but Ross and Kish were going save-for-save in this period. There was very little to report on the one Regina power-play opportunity and on the two Mount Royal power-play chances as the horn sounded with MRU still leading 1-0 and the teams tied 16-16 in shots.

Would you be surprised if I told you the third period looked a lot like any of the five periods played before it? Nursing that 1-0 lead, Mount Royal was far more aware in their defensive zone to prevent good scoring chances by Regina while Regina was certainly transitioning quick out of thei zone to push the play back up the ice to the MRU zone. Kish and Ross were outstanding once again, but Regina was forced to pull Kish for the extra attacker at the 17:03 mark as they needed the goal to keep their season alive. That hope would be smashed 25 seconds later when Morgan Ramsey fired the puck from just outside the Regina blue line into the yawning cage, and Mount Royal advances to the Canada West semifinal round with a 2-0 victory! Kaitlyn Ross made 24 saves to shutout the Cougars in this game and 46 saves in the series to help MRU advance while Jane Kish and her Cougars squad will head home and regroup after the senior netminder stopped 21 of 22 shots she faced.

Mount Royal wins the best-of-three series 2-0!

Highlights of this game are below!

The sixth-seeded UBC Thunderbirds traveled to Saskatoon for their series against the third-seeded Saskatchewan Huskies. UBC struggled down the stretch, going 1-4-0-1 including losing both games against Mount Royal to end the season. Saskatchewan was rolling along before hitting the final few weeks of the season where they gave up a three-goal lead to Manitoba in a loss and traded extra-time wins against Regina, giving them a 3-1-1-1 in the six games leading into the playoffs. Saskatchewan has been good at home while UBC has been dreadful on the road, so the statistics seemed to favour the team in green-and-white as this series opened.

All three games in this series were scheduled for 7:00pm ST, so there should be no weird time issues to deal with in this series. There was zero chance that either team would start a back-up netminder as a "1A" option as UBC had Tory Micklash in their crease while the Huskies went with their ace in Jessica Vance.

Saskatchewan leaned heavily on what they're known for - stout defensive hockey - in the first period as they denied chances in their zone by UBC at all points. UBC, for their part, worked to prevent the speedy Saskatchewan forwards from getting good looks on Micklash. However, Saskatchewan would crack the UBC defence open six minutes in when Holly Angus' shot from the top of the circle was stopped, but Abby Shirley was in the right spot to pot the rebound inside the left post before Micklash could recover to put the Huskies up 1-0 at 6:03! The remainder of the period? Yeah, defensive hockey as Saskatchewan and UBC combined for just six shots over the 14 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes, the 1-0 score would hold with Saskatchewan leading 7-3 in shots.

The second period was all about the power-play as the teams used their respective power-plays to find the back of the net. Saskatchewan would use good puck movement to get Larissa Bohlken an open shot from the high slot, and she ripped the puck high glove-side with the wrist shot past Micklash at 7:40 for the power-play goal and the 2-0 Huskies lead! It seemed the Huskies were in complete control until a late penalty was called on them, sending the T-Birds to the power-play. Mathea Fischer did a great job in controlling the puck before sending a puck through the slot to a wide-open Tiffany Chiu who went shelf in a hurry on Vance for the UBC power-play marker at 17:50 to make it a 2-1 game! After 40 minutes, Saskatchewan's one-goal lead was still holding with the Huskies up 13-11 in shots.

Saskatchewan went into full lock-down mode in the third period, sacrificing offensive chances in order to protect their lead. Unfortunately, Brooklyn Haubrich would be whistled for tripping, and the UBC power-play came back out on the ice looking for the equalizer. It would be the Norwegian playmaker once more as Fischer skated the puck down below the goal line before centering a pass to Hannah Koroll who pinched in off the point and one-timed the pass past Vance into the net at 11:39 to tie the game at 2-2! The "prevent" defence that Saskatchewan played continued through the remaining eight minutes, so we'd need some extra hockey to find a winner in this one! The game moved to sudden-death overtime with the teams tied 2-2 and UBC leading 18-17 in shots.

The teams would trade power-plays early in the overtime period, but it was clear that UBC was feeding off their momentum from the third period as they had better chances than Saskatchewan did. Neither side would find the net on those advantages, but, 1:02 after the Saskatchewan power-play expired, Hannah Clayton-Carroll's shot from the right side was blockered away by Vance only to have Mathea Fischer would bat it out of midair by Fischer on the left side into the back of the net at 9:44 to give the T-Birds the 3-2 overtime victory! I don't know if baseball is big in Norway, but the officials conferred and concluded that Fischer's stick was below the shoulder and crossbar, so UBC wins Game One over the Huskies! Tory Micklash looked solid in her 16-save performance while Jessica Vance stopped 19 shots in a losing effort.

UBC leads the best-of-three series 1-0!

Highlights are below!

There was a pretty elementary understanding of what had to happen in today's game. If UBC won, they'd advance to the Canada West semifinals. If Saskatchewan won, they'd live to play another day as they'd host Game Three. Tory Micklash was back in the net after her win the night before while Jessica Vance was looking to avenge the loss in overtime.

I'm not sure how the highlight package below is as long as it is, but I'm pretty sure it helps when you include 1:03 of routine saves and blocked shots as the Huskies' highlight team put into the video. There were chances, including UBC's lone power-play opportunity, in the first period, but the netminders were content with not allowing pucks to get behind them. After one period, the score remained 0-0 with Saskatchewan up 6-4 in shots.

The second period saw Saskatchewan pepper the UBC net with shots as they came out focused, used two power-play opportunities to get good looks, and their team speed to generate chances. Unfortunately, they didn't generate goals, but they were also good at preventing goals as UBC's late power-play chance in the period saw it go unfulfilled. With two periods in the books, the 0-0 stalemate stood with the Huskies leading 19-11 in shots.

The third period felt like two boxers taking knockout swings at one another as the pace was torrid up and down the ice with pucks hitting their targets, but the goalies were exceptional in denying all chances. With neither side giving an inch and neither willing to concede a goal, we'd head to overtime for the second-straight night as this game would remain 0-0 through 60 minutes of play with the Huskies up 32-21 in the shot department.

Saskatchewan was the more aggressive team in the overtime period as they had a couple of good looks off the stick of Bailee Bourassa, but the Huskies sniper could not find the back of the net. Micklash stood her ground once again in the UBC net just as Jessica Vance did, and we'd find no winner through the first overtime frame. We'd move to a second period with the 0-0 score holding firm as Saskatchewan increased their margin in shots to 37-22.

Thanks to a power-play in the second overtime period, UBC began to build all sorts of offensive momentum as they found ways to get pucks to the net, but they couldn't put a puck past Vance. However, a shot by Mathea Fischer just before the midpoint of the period was deflected by Hannah Clayton-Carroll in front of the net past Vance, and the Thunderbirds would claim the 1-0 double-overtime victory over the Huskies! Tory Micklash was fantastic in her crease, stopping all 38 shots that the Huskies sent her way for the shutout while Jessica Vance suffered her second-straight overtime loss after stopping 28 of 29 shots.

UBC sweeps the series by a 2-0 count!

Highlights of this game are below!

While they technically aren't standings, here are how the semifinals will play out between the final four teams.

The Last Word

After UBC's shocking two-game sweep of the Huskies, there are a few things we do know regarding Canada West. It should be noted, before moving on, that overtime is the great equalizer in all series as stats go out the window. As we saw, pucks on net helped both Mount Royal and UBC find victories in the playoffs!

First off, there will definitely be a Calgary-based team going to PEI for Nationals as one of the Dinos or Cougars will emerge as a Canada West finalist this season. The steps that Mount Royal have taken in recent years has been remarkable, from making the playoffs for the first-time ever against Manitoba to winning their first playoff game last season against Saskatchewan to hosting and winning a playoff series this year. As Mount Royal continues to write their impressive history game by game, it's hard not to cheer for the Cougars in what seems like a story that has all the makings for a fairy-tale ending if they can get by the Dinos. Could they win their first-ever Canada West Championship? We'll find out if the hockey gods are with them next weekend!

The Dinos, meanwhile, find themselves in an unusual, yet well-earned, position this season after missing the playoffs for a number of years. Their second-seeding gave them a week to prepare and heal up some bumps and bruises for whomever would be their semifinals opponent, but I'm not certain they were expecting the Cougars. Nonetheless, the all-Calgary semifinal will be exciting and fun to watch with the Dinos holding a 3-0-1 record against the Cougars this season, and we might see the Dinos back at Nationals for the first time since 2015-16 when they hosted the championship. Of course, earning their way would be better considering that when they did go deservingly, they won a silver medal at the U SPORTS National Championship back in 2012-13 following a gold-medal performance at the 2011-12 National Championship. If the Dinos do win the Canada West title, it would be just their second CanWest championship in school history - hard to believe considering the talent they've had!

In the other series, it seems like the Pandas are always there, but they have a chance to win their 14th Canada West title if they can advance past UBC. After finishing a disappointing fourth-place at last year's U SPORTS National Championship, the Pandas have a chance to return to the scene of the crime and finish off some unfinished business they have in PEI. Alberta won their eighth U SPORTS Championship back in 2016-17, and have played in two of the last three National Championships. They're accustomed to winning, and I imagine that the senior players on the Pandas will want to end their careers in Canada West, if not in U SPORTS, on a winning note. They're the team to beat as the top-seeded team in Canada West, so expect the three remaining teams to vie for a shot at knocking them off the top of the mountain.

Standing in Alberta's way are the UBC Thunderbirds who, unfortunately, haven't been much of a roadblock as they'd like. In the four games against Alberta this season, the T-Birds have been shutout three times and have scored just one goal - that happened back on October 4, 2019 in the first game of the season. That being said, the Thunderbirds looked like a much better defensive squad against the Huskies, so this series might raise eyebrows if UBC can find some offence while minding their own zone. UBC is seeking their fourth Canada West title in school history, and are looking for their first berth at Nationals since 2016-17 where they finished with the bronze medal following a silver-medal finish in 2015-16. It should be noted that a sixth-seeded team has never advanced to the National Championship from Canada West without being the host team, so UBC has a chance to write a little history if they can get by the Pandas.

All of the action in the semifinals starts Friday, and you can catch the games on Canada West TV. Four teams remain. Two will move forward and qualify as the Canada West representatives at the U SPORTS National Championship with one of the Calgary-based teams being one of those two teams. We'll see how everything plays out next week on The Rundown!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Coda To The Semifinals

For those who are musically-inclined, a coda is an important passage of music that generally brings a musical piece or composition to an end. Codas are still used in music today, and often are used as vitally-important pieces of the music such as one hears at the conclusion of Hey Jude by The Beatles - yes, the "Na-na-na-na hey Jude" ending of the song. Tonight in Calgary, there was an ending written as Coda Gordon powered by Calgary Dinos over the Manitoba Bisons in both quarterfinal games to end the Bisons' season while moving the Dinos into the semifinals against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

Friday night's game saw the Dinos jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first period en route to a 6-2 victory as Gordon had assists on the first, fourth, and fifth goals that the Dinos scored. Allowing four goals in the first period is a tough hole for any team to dig out of in most cases, and the Bisons put themselves in a 1-0 series hole by allowing the Dinos - powered by Gordon's three-point night - to run roughshod all over them.

Entering Saturday's game, it was expected that the Bisons would watch some video and correct their mistakes, but Gordon's magical weekend continued as he intercepted a pass in the offensive zone while shorthanded and ripped a shot past Bisons netminder Riley Lamb. Honestly, the Bisons didn't need to gift-wrap a goal like they did for Gordon, but credit Gordon with finding twine after the Bisons' defender went tape-to-tape with Gordon on a pass that no defenceman should ever make.

Gordon would strike again in the second period with the game tied at 1-1 when he found some room in a goalmouth scramble to fly in on the right side and bat the puck out of midair past a sprawled Lamb off a great initial shot by Dallas Hines, putting the Dinos up 2-1. Again, Gordon deserves credit for not hanging back and playing conservatively as his crashing the net resulted in a goal. Going to the net is never the wrong choice, and Gordon picked up his second goal of the night to put the Dinos ahead once more.

While he didn't know it at the time, that goal would ultimately be the game-winning goal as the Dinos closed out this game with some solid defending in the third period to go along with a couple of timely saves from Matt Greenfield to give the Dinos the win as they took the series by a 2-0 count, moving them into the semifinals against the Saskatchewan Huskies.

For those that aren't aware, Coda Gordon was drafted by the Calgary Flames back in 2012 as the 165th-overall pick. After five solid seasons with the WHL's Swift Current Broncos where he posted three seasons of 25-or-more goals and 59-or-more points, the Flames used their sixth-round pick on Gordon as they appeared to like his size - 6'2" and 200 pounds - and skill.

Gordon, however, didn't fit into their immediate plans as they failed to sign the Cochrane, Alberta native, and he re-entered the NHL Entry Draft in 2014 as a 19 year-old player. The one knock on Gordon was his lack of speed and acceleration from a stop, and it was something he worked on diligently while with the Broncos. Unfortunately for Coda Gordon, the Flames made changes, opted not to sign him, and he went back into the draft where he was not selected, making him a free agent.

In 2015, Gordon opted to take the WHL Scholarship opportunity and enrolled at the University of Calgary where he joined the Dinos men's hockey team. While has hasn't been a dominant scorer at the Canada West level, it seems that he saves his best for last - like a musical coda - while playing hockey. In 2016, he scored a pair of goals against the Regina Cougars to help the Dinos sweep the Cougars, he had a goal in Game Two and an assist on the Game Three game-winning goal as the Dinos rallied to beat the Thunderbirds in 2018, and he had five points against the Bisons in two games this season. Clearly, the former Flames prospect knows when to step up his game.

Thanks to Coda Gordon's play this weekend, the Bisons will regroup and retool for next season as their season comes to a close. The Dinos will enter next weekend's semifinal as an underdog against the Huskies after they put together another incredible season, but I expect the Dinos not to quietly into the night. I don't know if Coda Gordon will have the same impact against the Huskies as he did against the Bisons, but I do expect him to have a role in those games.

If this series is going to be his swan song in Canada West hockey, Coda Gordon has composed a very impressive university hockey career.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 14 February 2020

Not Enough

I already had little respect for Zack Kassian, but his effort to change his game from thug to legitimate hockey player had him moving in the right direction on my respect scale. As the old saying goes, "A leopard cannot change its spots," and it seems that it holds true for Kassian as he committed one of the worst infractions one can undertake when he kicked Tampa Bay's Erik Cernak in the chest with his skate last night! I have no idea what would possess Kassian to even have the thought of doing this to another player, but he would have a rendez-vous with the Department of Player Safety today.

First, let's look at what Kassian did in case you haven't seen his idiocy.
Kassian's use of his skate to push Cernak off Josh Archibald is dangerous due to those metal blades on the bottom of the skate. Again, it's hard to believe that Kassian would even consider this option to move Cernak, but apparently the synapses in his brain must fire differently than mine because I'm pretty sure it was ingrained in me at a very young age one never uses one's skates on an opponent for any reason due to the potential danger of the blades.

The NHL offered Kassian an in-person meeting today to discuss the incident, but Kassian waived that option and took the phone call instead. After some back and forth between the two sides, the ruling was handed down with Kassian getting a seven-game suspension for his stupidity in using his skate to clear Cernak off Archibald. In my view, this is not enough of a suspension for what Kassian did.
We've seen some rather horrific moments in the NHL when it comes to skates making contact where they shouldn't: Clint Malarchuk, Richard Zednik, Ilya Mikheyev earlier this season, and Erik Karlsson's Achilles tendon. Skate blades are dangerous at most times, but NHL players normally want their blades razor-sharp for game action which is why Zack Kassian's move last night was so incredibly stupid. The fact that the skate blade came as close as it did to bare skin on Cernak is all the reason more for this suspension to be a double-digit break in games for the Oilers' forward.

Kassian told Mark Spector in the post-game scrum, "He was holding my leg, it was reactionary, I was just trying to get him off me, kick him off me," and that just illustrates the problem of the disconnect that Kassian when it comes to his actions and the consequences of those actions. Had his skate blade cut Cernak in any way, the suspension would have been much worse. Thankfully, that didn't happen and Cernak is no worse for wear, but the fact that Kassian's first reaction was to use his skate to push Cernak off his leg and Archibald is why he should have received a harsher sentence.

Some will say that seven games IS a harsh sentence, and you'd be right if this was Kassian's first brush with NHL law. Except it's not, and this is where the NHL needs to send a message in that the "reactionary" move that Kassian to having his leg allegedly held is not only wrong, but absolutely will never happen again so we never have another Malarchuk incident or Zednik incident where skate blades cut through flesh accidentally and inadvertently.

It was never Kassian's intent to injure Cernak, and that part is clear. However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this is one road that should never see any traffic on it because one's immediate reaction to having his leg held is to put a skate blade into the chest of an opponent and push him off. A long suspension would send the message to all players - Kassian included - that this type of dangerous behavior will not only be punished heavily for one's reckless reactionary choice, but will be the new standard for anyone who decides to use a skate blade towards an opponent for any reason.

Use your head, Kassian. Don't use your skates.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 13 February 2020

The Hockey Show - Episode 386

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is proud to join airwaves on World Radio Day! If you weren't aware, radio remains the most widely consumed medium across the planet, and we at UMFM are proud to be a highly-diverse, unique radio station that offers all sorts of high-quality programming morning, noon, and night! Tonight, on the program, we'll get into some great radio as we have all sorts of stuff to discuss from the hockey world as playoffs are about to start for six men's teams and six women's teams across western Canada! We'll dig into everything tonight on The Hockey Show!

Jason Pchajek and I will go through the Canada West playoff scenarios for both the men and women as the playoffs get started this weekend at three schools! We'll talk to a member of the Mount Royal Cougars women's hockey team as they made a little history in hosting their first-ever playoff series in Canada West as they'll play the Regina Cougars in their best-of-three series, and we'll hear about her amazing season, the team's success this year, and what this home playoff series means to her. We'll also talk about JR's dismissal, the incident surrounding Jay Bouwmeester, the trades made for both Jack Campbell (we missed it last week) and Jason Zucker, and the extension of Paul Maurice in Winnipeg. It's another busy show tonight, so make sure you join us at 5:30pm on 101.5 FM or on!

Where's the best place can you hear the show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Jason discuss Canada West quarterfinal series in both men's and women's hockey, firings, extensions, life-saving efforts, moving to new cities, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: February 13, 2020: Episode 386

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Point Of No Return

We've seen a number of hockey personalities held to better standards recently as previously-held views and poorly-chosen words by outspoken individuals have cost those individuals money and jobs. Recognition of these ill-informed statements and the subsequent apology for the words spoken is usually the right way to handle these situations, but occasionally we'll find someone who forgets to think before speaking and then doubles down on mistake by claiming innocence. Today, NBC corrected the statement made by NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick by dismissing Roenick from his position.

Back on December 23, 2019, I wrote about Roenick being suspended indefinitely by NBC after he made some rather crude remarks about his colleague, Kathryn Tappen. In that article, I stated,
"I don't know if Jeremy Roenick returns to his job working alongside Kathryn Tappen after objectifying her in the way he did. And while NBC has done the right thing in keeping Roenick away from the NBC Sports studios, it might be time to send a clear message to the rest of the on-air and off-air employees that this sort of garbage won't be tolerated. It might be time to fire Jeremy Roenick."
It seems that NBC made the decision today to hold Roenick accountable for his words, and they fired him from the network.

Roenick took to social media to express his dissatisfaction with the dismissal, stating in a video posted to Twitter, "I'm very disappointed and angry today. I will not be returning to NBC. Though disappointed, I'm also grateful that I've had the opportunity to share my love, passion, my knowledge of the game with millions of people, millions of fans. And for that, I thank you."

People can point to NBC's reaction over all of this and claim that they're participating in "cancel culture," but Hemal Jhaveri is entirely right in her article on USA Today's For The Win where she writes,
"NBC severing ties with Roenick isn't about 'cancel culture' coming after a tv personality, but rather about holding someone to a minimum professional standard. If there's a baseline for workplace conduct, it should be that you can't sexually harass your co-workers. Even among friends, there are lines that shouldn't be crossed."
With the way that society swings to extremes, Miss Jhaveri's comments are the sobering reality that comes with being a professional. If I were to talk like that about my co-workers at my day job or colleagues when working for the Bisons, I would face some serious repercussions for my remarks. There are no exceptions to this - words have meaning, and actions have consequences. If I fail to use my brain before speaking, I'm liable for the consequences those words bring.

I've seen some cite that Roenick's freedom of speech was being violated, but the freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from consequences. Yousef Munayyer worked to define this in The New York Times on January 10, 2015 when he wrote,
"Should writers and artists be able to express themselves in any way they choose even if it is provocative and offensive? Sure, but they should also expect that provocative expressions will provoke and what exactly it provokes is impossible to know."
The problem is that Jeremy Roenick had to have known that his story was provocative, if not shocking, for most people, and he was seeking a reaction. While NBC's and Kathryn Tappen's respective reactions were likely not what he was seeking in telling his story publicly, they provoked a response from each of them nonetheless. Just because it wasn't Roenick's desired response doesn't make those response invalid or wrong.

With Roenick not recognizing that what he said was wrong in the eyes of both NBC and Tappen, his failure to apologize for telling the story on the Spittin' Chiclets podcast left NBC with very few options, and the option to fire him from the network is a consequence for him choosing not to apologize and make amends for his poor choice of stories to tell.

If Jeremy Roenick wants to be "disappointed and angry," he only has one person to be disappointed with and angry with, and it's the guy who stares back at him when facing a mirror. At the end of the day, his poor choices from the moment he told the story to his failure to recognize the humiliation that Tappen may have felt to failing to apologize for his humiliating his colleague and friend left NBC with the choice they made today.

You can be unhappy that Jeremy Roenick won't be analyzing games for NBC any longer. If you found him entertaining and informative, there's nothing wrong with that side of Jeremy Roenick. However, we shouldn't let anyone get away with humiliating someone publicly for the sake of entertainment as Roenick did.

Welcome to the real world, JR.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!