Thursday Thoughts: Canada blanked, Philly tanked, and Spectrum internet stanked

Welcome to the second edition of “Thursday Thoughts” here on 210Sports, and hopefully the first thing people will notice is the new logo. I’m still not completely satisfied with it but it’s better than the first one, so we’ll go with this one until I decide to make another attempt.

Another thing I’m not completely satisfied with is Spectrum and their crappy internet here in Worcester. On a good day, it’s terrible, but on Monday the internet was out for a huge chunk of the city and many surrounding towns for most of the day. Now if this was a column dedicated to something other than sports I’d have a nice long entry about the crappy service Charter/Spectrum has consistently provided the city, and how I can’t believe that we’re stuck with them because of the exclusive contract those thieves negotiated with Worcester. I’d also mention that if I had the time I’d run for City Council just on the platform of throwing that garbage company out because based on people’s opinion of those crooks I’d get a ton of votes just for that.

But this site is about sports, so I won’t.

And speaking of sports, the NHL opened their training camps this week, with several Worcester hockey alumni talking part. The list includes:
Justin Braun: Flyers
Ryan Carpenter: Blackhawks
Logan Couture: Sharks
Aaron Dell: Maple Leafs
Dylan DeMelo: Jets
Jason Demers: Coyotes
Taylor Fedun: Stars
Barclay Goodrow: Lightning
Yanni Gourde: Lightning
Thomas Greiss: Red Wings
Troy Grosenick: Kings
Micheal Haley: Senators
Tomas Hertl: Sharks
Carter Hutton: Sabres
Matt Irwin: Sabres
Matt Nieto: Sharks
Joe Pavelski: Stars
Joakim Ryan: Hurricanes
Jakub Skarek: Islanders
Alex Stalock: Wild (injured)
Matt Tennyson: Devils
Chris Tierney: Senators
Marc-Edouard Vlasic: Sharks

And in more sports, Team USA beat Canada 2-0 Tuesday night to win the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship. The win was Team USA’s fourth victory in a row over Canada in an IIHF World Junior Championship final, having also earned wins in 2004, 2010, and 2017. Playing in the AHL the IceCats and WorSharks had several players on their rosters that took part in the World Junior Championship, but it’s unlikely that the Worcester Railers will have many as most will not be headed for the AA-level of hockey. The New York Islanders, the Railers current and future presumptive NHL affiliate did have a couple draft picks take part this year, with defenseman Matias Rajaniemi (Finland) and forward Simon Holmstrom (Sweden) both seeing action. For the Boston Bruins fans, defenseman Roman Bychkov (Russia) and forward Matias Mantykivi (Finland) were participants.

According to ESPN, Team USA video coach Theresa Feaster became the first woman to serve as an assistant coach for a gold medal-winning team at the tournament. Feaster has been on head coach Nate Leaman’s staff at Providence College for the past seven seasons, including the past four as coordinator of men’s hockey operations, breaking down video and statistics for the coaching staff.

Local Collegiate Results
On Friday the Holy Cross Women’s hockey team went to Vermont for the first of a pair against the Catamounts, and despite the Crusaders winning record last season against their Hockey East rivals, this is a different season as Holy Cross dropped a 4-0 contest in the opener. Junior netminder Jada Brenon was the lone star for the Crusaders, turning aside 33 Vermont shots, including 15 in the first period. Here’s the boxscore for those interested. On Saturday it wasn’t much better as the Catamounts crushed Holy Cross 6-1. Brenon was once again one of the stars for the Crusaders, making 24 saves before being lifted in the third period. Sophomore Sofia Smithson had the lone Crusaders’ goal. That boxscore is right here.

On Monday in Men’s basketball Holy Cross senior guard Austin Butler totaled 24 points, eight rebounds, and four steals, but the Crusaders were defeated by Boston University 83-76 at the Hart Center in the Patriot League opener for both clubs. Looking at the boxscore we see Holy Cross couldn’t hold on to a five point halftime lead. Hopefully, that doesn’t turn into a trend. The Women’s team didn’t fare much better in their battle with the Terriers, dropping a 76-54 contest at Case Gym on the BU campus. The boxscore shows Holy Cross didn’t miss a free throw in the game.

Tuesday saw the same match-ups as Monday, only the locations were reversed. The Women’s team had their home opener, but the Hart Center didn’t bring them any luck in a 72-56 loss. No reason to click it, but the boxscore anyway. The Men’s team headed to Case Gymnasium on the campus of Boston University and came away 68-66 winners when BU missed a three-point attempt as time expired. You can check out the boxscore right here.

Worcester Hockey Alumni in ECHL
A few former Worcester Railers players had some highlights posted to Twitter:
Thursday Nic Pierog goal (Willie Raskob assist)

Thursday Willie Raskob shot/assist

Thursday Lane Scheidl goal (Brodie Ried assist)

Friday Mitch Gillam save

Saturday Nic Pierog goal

Saturday Brodie Reid goal (Lane Scheidl assist)

Playoff whinings
Sometimes finding something to write about is tough, and sometimes there’s so much going on that you have to decide what to add and what to leave out. But if anyone thinks there was even a slight possibility of me not making fun of the New York Giants and their fans, they are sadly mistaken. First off, just to make things clear, I absolutely detest the Giants. So yes, there is some bias here as I take advantage of their crying. But as a whole, you can apply anything I say to the Giants and their fans to any fan base in any sport.

There’s probably no need for a set up here, but on the off chance someone wasn’t paying attention, the Philadelphia Eagles played the Washington Football Team (henceforth referred to as WFT) on Sunday night. If the WFT won, they’d win the NFC East with an absolutely pathetic 7-9 record. If the Eagles won, the Giants would win with an even more pathetic record of 6-10. Washington prevailed 20-14, with what appears to be Philadelphia maybe not trying their hardest in the fourth quarter.

In the latter stages of the game, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson decided to go for it instead of kicking a tying field goal, and pulled starting quarterback Jalen Hurts and out third-stringer Nate Sudfeld into the game. As soon as Hurts was out of the game many Giants players took to social media to whine point out that Philly might be tanking on purpose.

Monday morning Giants head coach Joe Judge also had some things to say about Philly’s effort. “There’s a number of sacrifices that have been made by all the players and coaches in this league,” Judge said, as quoted on “There’s a number of sacrifices that come along, as well, with the family members and the people connected to them. To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success for the NFL, to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win. We will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the New York Giants.”

When asked by ESPN about benching Hurst and inserting Sudfeld, Pederson replied, “Nate has been here for four years, and I felt he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps.” Now that’s a pretty good answer, but you know it didn’t appease the whiny New York fans Giants faithful. But in all honesty, and all jokes aside, I think Giants and their fans have really missed the most important fact in this entire situation…

…they only won six games this season.

I don’t even care if the Eagles, or maybe more correctly, Doug Pederson, decided to intentionally lose so the Giants wouldn’t make the playoffs. Hell, no one in that division deserves to be in the playoffs to begin with. Lots of teams go through the motions in a game that doesn’t matter, and while many Eagles players aren’t too happy with Pederson’s shenanigans, it’s not like the Giants didn’t have chances to not be in the position of needing a Philly win to make the playoffs. They lost four games by four or fewer points.

They had fourth-quarter leads over Dallas, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and lost all three of those games. That’s three chances to not need help from any team and three failures. So, yeah, maybe the Giants got the short end of the stick in week 17. But they had three chances to get more of that stick during the regular season and didn’t. Wins at the beginning of the season count exactly the same as wins at the end, and no matter how you slice it the New York Giants didn’t have enough of them to make the playoffs.

The rest is just whining.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
My 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame vote, if I had one
2020 NFL Wild Card Weekend Schedule, TV, Announcers

Not so big finish
Got something you loved (or hated) about the post? Or for an idea for a future column? Head on over to the 210Sports Facebook page and leave a comment. You could comment on this post too, but fair warning, the spam filter catches lots of stuff it shouldn’t and it might be weeks before I see your comment. While you’re there, give the page a like if you could.


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