Sunday, March 15, 2009

Brier: Sorry, Jeff

by Dalene Heck

CALGARY – Game time, and time for my final pre-game blogpost of the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier.

Jim Brown of the Calgary Eyeopener asked me on Friday morning if I thought it was possible for any team to knock Alberta off of their record setting performance. At the time, even when there were still four other exceptional teams in the mix, I confidently answered in the negative. Kevin + John + Marc + Benny = Unbelievably Unbeatable.

My tune has not changed. Martin has won his last six matchups against Stoughton, and that winning streak isn’t going to end here either.

Since my interview on Friday, Alberta squeaked out another one from Ontario, placing them directly in the final. While they only won the 1 vs 2 game by an inch on Kevin’s final draw, I truly believe that in today's final, they will find a way to again be on the right side of that inch. They will continue doing what they have done for the past 25 games – they will always find a way to win.

This is unfortunate for Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton, who has hit his stride in the last three games. After running the house on Quebec in the tiebreaker, Stoughton continued his own winning streak with wins over Newfoundland and then Ontario to place the Bisons in today’s final.

While these games were largely won on the strength of Stoughton’s red hot shooting (three missed semifinal draws aside!) he was also afforded many an opportunity by his opponents. Brad Gushue’s Newfoundland foursome took too long to get their heads in the game and Glenn Howard curled his worst game of the tournament.

These sorts of opportunities will not be loosely offered up by team Alberta, if at all. Where Stoughton and third Kevin Park have been streaky in their game performances, Alberta has been extremely consistent with nary a blemish to their record. If the Martin foursome let the Brier Tankard slip out of their hands due to a less than stellar performance, it will be nothing short of a catastrophic upset.

Jeff, thanks for making the playoffs exciting after a relatively dull week of curling. Sorry that you won’t be able to see it through.

1 comment:

Timothy said...

Message for Kevin.

Remember the Ferbey Four?

After time, people got sick of seeing them time-after-time?

Remember the term: "familiarity breeds contempt"?

Nuff said....