Tuesday, March 02, 2010



So Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Matt and I are taking off to Phoenix for 4 days & 4 nights.

Going to hit the beginning of spring training -- check out the Giants' place in Scottsdale, and maybe the new Indians/Royals place out in Surprise or the new Dodgers palace.

Have basketball tickets to UCLA at Arizona State. Somehow ASU is 2nd in the Pac-10, yet has to win out just to get on the March Madness bubble. When Sacamano and I used to fill in tourney brackets back in the day, we always picked the upset when the Pac-10 team was a higher seed, but I don't know the conference was ever in this bad a shape.

Might head out to the Greyhound Park, if not for the dog racing then the swap meet. Will hit some of the joints from Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.

Might, might go out to Glendale for hockey Thursday night. I know we can get tickets, and I know they're not expensive, but we have a lot planned, and as I understand the complaints, Jobing.com arena is about 2-1/2 hours from downtown Phoenix.

Observation #1: there's a hell of a lot more to do in Arizona in the winter than in Alberta.
Observation #2: the Flames have three games while I'm gone, and if they lose them all, they'll be just about effectively eliminated by the time I get home.

I said my piece about their chances just before the break (and still feel the same way), but the fact is, with where they are in the standings, and the number of teams right with them or right below them, even a 1-week losing streak puts them in a hell of a spot.

I'll be pleasantly surprised if Sutter manages to do anything else to improve the club tomorrow, but I think they have a good shot at surprising some people with the guys they have now. Go Flames.


You picked a damned good day to bugger off, Fenwick.

My only consolation is knowing that Sutter had a worse day than Tambellini.

Don't know if you're checking from the road Matt, but I'd *highly* recommend hitting a 'Yotes game if you can swing it.

I caught two over the holidays, and it wasn't at all what I expecting - reasonably solid turn-out, and fans who were genually excited to be out and supporting their team (although some were clearly not as hockey savvy as others).

Jobing.com arena itself is a weird blend of a new arena with a strange "small town hockey" feel (the collection of Hockey jerseys throughout Arizona history on the walls is fascinating)... plus the "entertainment district" the arena's in is actually not a bad way to kill a couple of hours pre-game. It's all pretty touristy shopping - but we found some deals, and at least one pubby place with with over 50 different US microbrews on tap - if that's anyone's thing.

The team itself plays a fast uptempo style that's exciting to watch, and was a refreshing change for a guy who cheers for the Flames and lives in Toronto... neither of whom you would recently characterize as "Firebrand hockey".

Absolutely worth the relatively modest price of admission - if your schedule can swing it... and the drive's not too bad - it's really only thirty minutes from the core unless you're driving at rush-hour - Both times we got back to Tucson in under two hours.


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Clovis Simard

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