CHbLog – Inside Edge

H-O-hockey stick-idays

Before December 6, when the New Mexico Scorpions lost 6-3 to Amarillo,  I was going to say something about how the Scorps had miraculously yanked that renegade bus back onto the freeway, evidenced by their 8-2 whuppin’ of the Gorillas the previous night.

Sure, Amarillo is squatting in last place in the Central Hockey League, but the win was significant because it occurred on New Mexico home ice, giving its fans a droplet of hope that perhaps the team was recovering from what i’m calling the “home sickness” that has stumped them to lose all but three home games. (Two were against Amarillo – the third against Arizona.)

Before the 6-3 embarrassment served by the Gorillas, the Scorps blanked the OKC Blazers on November 29 giving their goaltender, Doug Groenestege, his first season loss. Hence, my original point about the yanking.

But before that, i was thinking New Mexico is skidding towards the winter holiday in a wheelless team bus with no brakes and a narrow bridge up ahead. It’s time for some fierce mojo, a grande sage burning, maybe even a deal with the Prince of Darkness.

And that’s where we are today.Lyon Messier

Who ya gonna call?

We’ll see if the latest boost to New Mexico’s defensive lineup makes a consistent difference. Michael Beynon is back after missing a few games, adding significant size on the blue line. But consistency still seems to be the issue front to back.

Otherwise, toss into the mix another (in addition to MacInnis) new D-man with crazy-famous lineage, in Messier. Not that Messier, silly (who sees the resemblance?). Mark’s son, Lyon is giving the CHL a try. Amarillo didn’t score either of its two goals in the aforementioned whupping until Messier had to leave the ice late in the 3rd period, after a fight that left him with a small cut and a beauty of a shiner.

John Mazzei with the hat trickIn the same game, John Mazzei (pronounced MAY-zee) got a hat trick but way cooler is his name ’cause it’s forever. You see, he was born with a last name that doesn’t require adding “zee” or “er” to the end  to become a bonafide hockey name. Suweet!

Leaf Blowers

Let’s toss around theories of why New Mexico is struggling. Here’s mine:

Scorpions head coach Randy Murphy’s favorite NHL team is the Leafs; he grew up just outside Toronto. I don’t keep too close an eye on the Leafs but for several years since former coach Quinn whined about everything (mostly officiating), when i do hear of them, the news is bad. This season is no exception. What’s eerie, though, is this November excerpt from the Toronto Star:

Equally glaring, though, is the mixed effort the Leafs seem to produce too often.

On the one hand, Toronto continues to show a tremendous will to rally in games in which they have fallen behind.

On the other hand, there are those deficits, which begs the question: Why does it take a period or more for the team to play the way it did in the third period last night?

The Leafs have now fallen behind two goals or more in nine of their 19 games, and comebacks are much harder to come by now that teams are hitting mid-season form.

Chris Robertson does the pornstache When i first read that, it sounded like something New Mexico radio announcer Adam Minnick might say about the Scorps. I’m saying if the recent roster moves and/or the team’s rash of pornstaches don’t help, perhaps Murph should consider a new NHL favorite (traitor!).Tyler Fuller does the pornstache

Jacks update

As my pick to win it all this season (presuming the unlikelihood that New Mexico will streak to the finish after the new year), i thought i’d point out that the Jacks suffer from home sickness as well, having just one more home win than the Scorpions. On the other hand, Odessa’s road record is nothing but skillz to hold them in a 3-way tie for second best in the League as of December 8.


The New York Times had this amusing treatment about Reggie Dunlop’s passing (aka Paul Newman).

The chase for CHL Rookie of the Year should be fun to track.  As of December 8, Laredo’s Darryl Smith has hurdled to the top, nearly doubling the next in goals with 16. Second in total points is New Mexico’s Torren Delforte. With 25 (8g 17a), he’s ranked in the league’s top 20 overall.

Did any of y’all catch the Phoenix vs. Columbus game on Nov. 26? Former Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock, coaching the Blue Jackets these days, was quoted as saying about American (as opposed to Canadian) Thanksgiving:

There’s too much drama… but i like the turkey.

Amen, brother. Gotta love a guy with a self-deprecating sense of humor. Seems to have put on more weight – and knows it.

Self-loathing at its finest

Cycling Notes

Sadly, the Tour de Georgia is taking a hiatus.

Yippie! Lance has confirmed his participation in the 2009 Tour de France. (Note the teensy bit of sarcasm.)

Well frick. I wanted to link to information about the 2008 Tour du Faso in western Africa back in October or November, but i’m not finding anything worth linking. Definitely a good one to watch on Versus for the sake of variety. The road conditions were insane, unless you get your kicks harassing your mechanic as he changes the ninth flat tire of the day. Pretty exotic scenery and overall conditions. Aside from the winner in time, it proved who had the mental and physical fortitude to persist in the face of complete unpredictability…. Wait! Found this.