Sunday, November 18, 2007

If You Could Read My Mind

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“If you could read my mind,” as the Gordon Lightfoot song title goes…

…you could tell that Canada has been on my brain this week. I’ve been reading Vinyl Café Diaries by Stuart McLean, whom some might claim is the Canadian equivalent of Garrison Keillor. McLean accentuates his bust-a-gut funny stories about Dave, who owns and operates a record shop in Toronto, and his family, with references to hockey.

On Rink Two on Thursday morning, I was five feet in front of my goalie, Nova Scotia native Kenny “KISS Fan” Tarr (hello Lower Sackville readers) when Chris “Tower of” Power, from Toronto, wound up for a slap shot at the top of the circle to my right Get out of the way? Skate out to meet the Al Iafrate of the AMHL? I froze like Northern Saskatchewan in early January as the puck whistled past me and then past my screened goalie.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs were probably sound asleep in a Boston hotel, resting for Thursday night’s game against the Bruins. The Bs belted the Buds as the AMHL Photographer and I cheered from our TV room.

The high-def TVs at the 99 Restaurant on Friday night offered customers sight but no sound. Bellied up to the bar and waiting for dinner, I watched ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption; toward the end of one segment, Tony Kornheiser waved a Canadian flag. Why? I knew that he isn’t Canadian, so I’d have to investigate this weekend.

On Saturday morning at Dunkin’ Donuts, while my wife read the sports section in The Boston Globe, I opened the paper’s “Sidekick” section to learn that Canada was assigned dishonorable mention in “Punch Lines” and that “This Day in History” indicated that Gordon Lightfoot, the iconoclastic singer whom the Maple Leafs named honorary captain in 1992, was born in 1938.

Back at home in Maynard, I hopped on the Internet to solve the mystery of Mr. Kornheiser’s gesticulation of the Maple Leaf. Pardon the Interruption is aptly named for Canadians: The show that airs on Canada’s TSN abruptly ends for viewers north of the 49th parallel—they’re transferred to TSN’s SportsCentre—while American viewers watch, if not hear, "The Big Finish" on ESPN.

Later on Saturday morning, I tuned in to ESPN 890 for the New England Hockey Journal Radio Show with Kevin Paul Dupont and Mick Colageo. After discussing Glen Murray’s goal- scoring drought, and then the induction of Mark Messier and Ron Francis to the Hall of Fame, Mick and Dupes bantered with the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox. What about the Leafs… How about Doug Armstrong losing his GM job in Dallas…What about the possibility of the Toronto Argonauts playing the New England Patriots?

“Woo!” I said when it was my turn to chime in. “That’s what I’ll say when Murray scores two goals in first period tonight.” I then told the guys they forgot to mention Al MacInnis in their Hall of Fame discussion. Murray and MacInnis, I said, are both from Nova Scotia. I signed off by telling them I’d call from Newfoundland next Saturday.

The AMHL Photographer and I leave on Thursday, so that doesn’t give me much time to update my iPod with a Gordon Lightfoot tune or two.
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