Top Ten Tuesday: It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year:

A football appetizer is on the menu for fans in Saskatoon this week. Throw in the NHL play-offs, MLB baseball and some basketball and we’ve got it all in this week’s musings. In no particular order here’s what’s on my mind:

10 – The NHL play-offs are into round two. I believe that my actual viewing time has increased to two periods. However, the NHL is doing itself no favors. I have no idea why the league would schedule game one of round-two on the same night as a first-round game seven. Yes building availability was one of the reasons for the scheduling conflict with that being said there had to be an alternative. Why anyone would take away from the drama of a game seven is beyond me. More from hockey in a moment.

9 – With that being said I think I watched a complete basketball game, from tip-off to the final horn, for the first time since Jordan and Pippin were winning with the Bulls on Sunday night. The Raptors escaped another first round flame-out by holding on to beat Indianapolis at Air Canada Centre. The wins is, of course, huge for the franchise but isn’t an NBA title which some analysts and fans may lead you to believe.

8 – More hockey and Toronto’s over-celebration started on Saturday when the Leafs won the Draft Lottery. Amazing to me that no one pointed out the last time the Leaf’s drafted first overall they picked Wendel Clark. Instead, the talking heads focused on players like Vincent Damphousse and other centres drafted by the Leafs.

7 – I love what TSN did when the results of the Draft Lottery were revealed. They rolled cameras on the panel and the raw emotion/celebration of panelist Jeff O’Neill was captured and replayed. It was cool to see that type of emotion from a former player from Toronto. With that being said the network and O’Neill are being roasted on social media for being bias. Honestly, if this is the first time that you think TSN has a bias towards Toronto teams you either haven’t been tuning in or paying attention.

6 – AND speaking of preferential treatment that was on Washington Head Coach Barry Trotz’s mind. He insinuated that Pittsburgh was given just that when his defenseman Brooks Orpik was suspended for three games. He called the ban, ‘a result of who we are playing.’ It will be interesting to see the ramifications of the statement. That being said there obviously is some bias in the NHL as the league has vested interests in a number of markets and ensuring those franchises in non-obvious ways has happened for years. Unfortunately, none of those markets, in my opinion, are outside the United States.

5 – This week is one of my favorite of the year as both the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and Saskatoon Hilltops will host their spring camps. Being out on the field watching the athletes is fascinating not just physically but also mentally.

4 – More football and I love what Canada West and their football coaches did releasing a pre-draft rating of the athletes in the conference. Firstly it is a great way to promote their athletes. Next it’s a great way to keep their product at the fore-front heading into spring camp season. Lastly, it gives fans an opportunity to follow along with the draft and find players that they may have watched the previous fall.

3 – One more on football and what a coup for Saskatoon Minor Football Field to secure the stands from Mosaic Stadium to continue to upgrade the facility. The same tip of the cap goes to the Roughriders for the legacy project.

2 – On a different field how long will the Toronto Blue Jays be allowed to wallow? Last night’s game came down to two brutal mistakes (Michael Saunders not tagging on a fly and Ryan Goins not laying down a bunt) in a 2-1 loss to Texas. This team is underachieving terribly and I’m not sure that being a .500 team at the end of July, like last year, will get them into the post season.

1 – One more on baseball and something has to be done with the replay system to speed things up. The Simplest solution may be to eliminate the communication between the dugout and the video room. Doing so forces the manager to make a split decision on a play, just like the umpire is being asked to do.