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Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day in Oshawa

Had a terrific New Year's Eve with close and very special friends in Toronto's Greektown-- had a delicious Greek cuisine dinner at Christina's (the saganaki and dolmades were fab-u-lous!) and then went to Dora-Keogh's Irish Pub on Danforth.

We rang in the new year with beer, shots of Jag and vintage cider plus a great live band/trio called the Mash-Men. They had the place rocking with an unbelievable rendition of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and the Tragically Hip's "Ahead By A Century." When the clock struck twelve, they brought 2011 in with U2's "New Year's Day" and the house down with it.

Today was a late-monring breakfast followed by the trip to Oshawa to see the Generals take on the Kitchener Rangers. The General Motors Center is a sparkling newer building with a terrific Hall of Fame exhibit that contains some unbelievable game-used equipment and memorabilia from great players in Oshawa Generals/area history including a game-used Bobby Orr Generals sweater. The building was nearly full (dwarfing some of the AHL crowds I've seen) and there was a festive atmosphere. Any true hockey fan should get to an OHL or CHL (any league) game at some point in their lives just for the experience.

The home team won 4-2, thanks to a very good game from Danish forward Nicklas Jensen, whose stock had taken a bit of a hit over the last month or so. But, he had a dominant day with 1G, 4 PTS and impressed me with his skill and effort levels. Boone Jenner had a good game as well, working hard and making things happen. Lucas Lessio was less impressive, with an uneven effort even with his very visible talent level on display.

On the Kitchener side, defenseman Ryan Murphy certainly showed his outstanding wheels, hands and offensive game even without much to show for it on the scoring ledger. But, I also saw the things NHL scouts have told me about in terms of his positioning and defensive awareness. He didn't do poorly per se, but that's what's keeping him from being a slam-dunk for the top-three picks in this draft.

One regret: that Gabriel Landeskog and Tobias Rieder weren't in the lineup today for the Rangers. Would have been great to see them with the Rangers, even though I saw WJC action from Rieder and had limited viewing of Landeskog before the injury vs. Norway.

I'll have more details on these guys tomorrow or Monday when I can break out the detailed game notes.

But I couldn't not post on New Year's right?

I hope everyone had a terrific year and that the next 365 is even better.

Oh, and how good does it feel to finally arrive in 2011? Draft day will be here before we know it.


  1. It certainly is a gorgeous arena. I'd have to put it right up there with the John Labatt Center in London.

    It was my first trip there at the new arena but i gotta say i miss the old Civic Arena in Oshawa. The old barn was a cold cold place but knowing guys like Bobby Orr and Eric Lindros skated on that ice made it feel special.

    Sitting up in the restaraunt to watch the game is probably the best view of any in the OHL though. If you are there early enough you'll get to mingle with coaches and players alike.

  2. Yeah, that restaurant does have a very nice view.

    But, sitting a few feet away from half the Boston scouting staff was pretty good, too. I figure I had a pretty good view if it worked for them at least.