CHbLog – Inside Edge

Conference Finals Playoff Notes

Tonight begins the series between Laredo and Arizona. Note to Sundogs: Coach Rosko and CHL MVP Jeff Bes were spotted at the Arizona vs. New Mexico game taking notes. I’m pretty much assuming Laredo will win the series, though head-to-head in the regular season, Arizona and Laredo are tight. Might save myself some potential embarrassment by presuming Laredo will win….

Doesn’t it seem like playoff beards are less of a norm these days? Maybe with expansion teams and entire leagues located in hot and humid cities, they just aren’t as practical this time of year as, say, cutting off some hair.

Well, it’s been disclosed – what i’ve known for a couple weeks now: Scorps blueliner and CHL Defenseman of the Year, Vladimir Hartinger, has lingering bronchial issues. He missed the two weekend home games against Arizona, including that messy, messy one. (He did make the haul to AZ for the deciding Game 6.) Not sure if he’ll want to do an interview now that the Scorpions are out of the playoffs, but if he does, i’ll be sure to ask him the good stuff – entertaining any time of year. Otherwise, here’s hoping he gets well soon. The weather’s just too good to be feeling bad!

Fans wanna know – what do players (and fans alike) do for fun the weekend following playoff elimination? Catch a Triple-A baseball game! Scorpions Aaron MacInnis and Craig Macdonald were spotted Sunday, along with head coach Randy Murphy, at the Albuquerque Isotopes day game. My unoriginal guess was they’d be golfing, but there are those pesky spring winds and 30pmh gusts in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. Saw at least six or seven other familiar, hockey faces there.

Anyone but me hoping to see Texas emerge out of the North – just for something different? Of course, it’s gonna take some fast fixin’ in the least, but they’re not in Colorado for the next couple games. Game 3 on Wednesday is a biggie.

Hello… is this thing on?

Nothing can injure a column/blog like waiting over a month to post something new, eh? I swear I’ve been plotting and scheming to get an interview with Mr. Outstanding Defenseman. Even have good pics to go with it. Let’s just say the man has a lot on his plate – like the playoffs now – but he swears we’ll chat in the next week or two. Once we do, I’ll post as soon as a perfectionist can post.

In the meantime, how frustrating must it be for the the Northwest Division this season, with only one of five teams making the playoffs (Eagles) while all four teams in the Northeast made it to Round One?

If you get a chance to see the Scorpions in a playoff game, keep your eye out for #20, rookie Mitch Stephens. No offense, but early in the season, the 6’2″ Center looked a bit like he was just growing into his lanky form. Now that he’s adjusted, he’s looking like he’s been krafty Konrad lurks taking tips from the krafty Konrad Reeder, or maybe Datsyuk. At the conclusion of the season and into the playoffs, Stephens has been experimenting with a few dipsy-doodle, finesse stickhandling moves while still successfully contributing offense. He just might emerge as a real show-stealer next season….

And I meant to keep track of which teams play to the wildly popular “Kiss Cam” arena entertainment. Sure it’s silly, but the fans love it and I’m wondering if it’s indicative of which teams have a general sense of humor and which teams tend to take themselves too seriously – like Arizona, for example (by the way, that was six T-words in a row). On that note, props to Amarillo for humoring the fans, and for keeping it real in its re-growth period following the departures of Derek Hahn, Mark DeSantis, Shawn Degagne and Joe Ferras (look for Ferras in Rapid City come the 2008-09 season). Hopefully Rookie of the Year David Nimmo will return to the Gorillas, as well as All-Rookie Team member and defenseman Shaun Arvai.

Say – it really happens! A CHL presser on 2/29 announced that,

A couple of former CHL players have made their NHL debuts this season with goaltender Tyler Wieman (Colorado) playing 15 minutes in a game for the Colorado Avalanche earlier this season and former San Angelo Saint forward Chris Minard playing four games with the Pittsburgh Penguins recording his first NHL assist on February 26th.”

How cool is that? I’m guessing that as a matter of numbers, it’s most difficult for an offenseman to get a shot at moving up, and most likely for a goaltender – though how terrifying must that be for a goalie? Exciting of course, but intimidating I’m sure.

Happy Birthday (April 2) to Shaun Peet.

Guess that’s all for today, folks. Thanks for playing.