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Chad Rubel
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The Stanley Cup playoffs prove that goals are important but when those goals come are crucial. Through the first 3 games, Winnipeg and Minnesota had the same numbers of goals, though the Jets had a 2-1 edge. The Wild scored 6 goals in Game 3 but not enough goals to make up the difference in the first 2 games. The Jets outscored the Wild 7-0 in the final 2 games to win the series. This was the first Winnipeg playoff series win since April 16, 1987. The Jets beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 before losing 4-0 to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers. The Winnipeg Jets will face Nashville in the second round to determine the "Norris" winner. The Jets concede home ice to Nashville. Patrik Laine wasn't much of an offensive force in the first round. Minnesota focused on Laine opening up room for other Winnipeg players. That offense versatility will help the Jets in the playoffs. Connor Hellebuyck has been very strong in goal, especially with back-to-back shutouts. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Canadian Crossing
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Everyone seems to want an instant breakfast. Carnation had an item called Instant Breakfast. After I tried it, my thought was that breakfast didn't need to be that instant. Just Crack an Egg wants your breakfast to be an instant breakfast in about 2 minutes. Ore-Ida supplies potatoes, cheese, breakfast meats, and vegetables combined with an egg (egg not included). In the regular world, you would crack an egg or two with leftover cut up potatoes, small amounts of meat, cheese, mushrooms, and peppers to make an omelet. The commercial sells you on the story of an egg, a very boring and lonely egg. The woman stares at the egg waiting for a magic show. The egg does nothing and stays in the refrigerator. Just Crack an Egg can solve all your breakfast problems, provided that you have an egg. The product combines these secondary ingredients into a breakfast bowl completed with a microwaved scrambled egg. In about 2 minutes, you have an instant breakfast. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Balance of Food
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This should be the last 4/20 Day where marijuana is not legal in Canada. There have been some bumps and bruises along the way with the unelected Canadian Senate to passing C-45, the marijuana legalization bill. The final vote is scheduled in the Canadian Senate on or before June 7. Given the tone and pace of the Senate, you can count on June 7 being the date. A passed bill does not mean instant legal marijuana. Governor General Julie Payette has to sign the bill by royal assent to make the law legal. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said there will be a transition of 8-12 weeks after royal assent to get the retail system going. The bill will likely stipulate that the law needs a fixed date to come into force. So that date will be sometime in summer 2018 but no specifics yet. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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Canada Screens. Netflix. Hulu. Kanopy. And yes, sometimes YouTube. Finding a Canadian film to watch isn't that difficult. You can celebrate that fact today on the 5th annual National Canadian Film Day. Encore +, one of the sponsors of National Canadian Film Day, has an outlet for older classic Canadian films. Getting more classic Canadian content online Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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After Jesus of Montréal but before The Barbarian Invasions, Denys Arcand went through a time experimenting with English-language films. Stardom was the second of those films. The film focuses on Tina Menzhal (Jessica Paré), a female hockey player from Cornwall, Ontario turned model. The film is shot in a documentary style as part of an ongoing film about Menzahl. Often, Menzahl talks to the camera, which is good for the audience but also good for her, because her character gets ignored or cut off when trying to communicate. Arcand's last film An Eye for Beauty shows the director is still curious about the perspective of beauty. Menzhal is more capable of speaking but gets ignored because she is so beautiful. Dan Aykroyd plays a Montréal restauranteur who is smitten with Menzhal, follows her to New York City, and goes completely overboard. Aykroyd is clearly more than just a comedian and shows a vulnerable man in midlife crisis with striking accuracy. Frank Langella plays an UN ambassador smitten with Menzhal who ultimately wants to model her to the image he needs. Most of the people in Tina's world come across as wanting to attach their tentacles to her beauty and ride her successful coattails. The father figure issues are amplified since we find out Menzhal's father had run away 7 years before she was discovered. The tension of a reunion on a talk show feels very painful. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Canadian Crossing
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The joy that has been downtown Winnipeg has been the best thing about the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs so far. Streets closed down. Fans jumping and screaming when Winnipeg scores a goal at home. Gord Miller has called the only NBCSN regular season game in Winnipeg back in the first season. So Miller spent some time pointing out that Bell MTS Place is the smallest NHL arena but also the loudest. Darren Pang actually calls more games in Winnipeg each year. Pang used to be part of the national crew with ABC and ESPN but limits himself mostly to St. Louis Blues games. Pang is one of the best in the United States and worked well with Miller. Unlike the Maple Leafs series last spring, NBCU had some nice shots of the fans watching outdoors in Winnipeg. Kudos to showing the anthem in Game 1. The crowd performed in True North spirit and added a cheer when they showed a picture of Len Kropioski, better known as Kroppy. The World War II vet, who passed away in 2016 at age 98, was famous for his salute during O Canada at Jets home games. Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
2018 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference (1) Toronto vs. (8) Washington Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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The regular-season accolades for the 2017-2018 Toronto Raptors are tremendous. Top seed in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division. A franchise record for wins at 59-23. A 34-7 home record. "Journey's not over. Next question," Kyle Lowry on those accomplishments. "It's gratification but you're not satisfied, that's the way I like to put it," Toronto Coach Dwane Casey said. "We haven't got to where our ultimate goal is." Good. The Raptors got to the second round last year, the conference finals in 2016. Yes, this is the 5th straight trip to the playoffs. But the Raptors have loftier goals, especially getting past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This year, the playoffs start with the Washington Wizards. The team is led by the guard tandem of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan along with Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka. Fred VanVleet has been a standout off the bench in only his second year. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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The Rick Mercer Report ended its 15-year run on the CBC Tuesday night, bringing his brand of comedy, political satire, and escapades into Canadian small towns. Casual fans might know Mercer from his rants in Graffiti Alley in Toronto. Rick Mercer has been a satire force in Canada since 1993. Mercer, along with Cathy Jones, Greg Thomey, and Mary Walsh started This Hour Has 22 Minutes in 1993. Mercer also was in the sitcom Made in Canada (1998-2003). He left This Hour Has 22 Minutes in 2001. After the end of Made in Canada, Mercer started a new show called the Monday Report, which after moving to Tuesdays, became the Rick Mercer Report. Mercer talked about the show being a "celebration of Canada, celebration of small towns, the people that you find in those small towns" to Tom Power on Q earlier this week. Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, NHL Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs are less crowded for Canadian teams than in 2017. 4 of the 7 teams felt out of the playoff chase since the NHL 100 Classic in Ottawa. The Calgary Flames ran hot and cold but still lasted longer than 4 of the 7 Canadian teams. Canadian fans can pick a team in the West (Winnipeg) and East (Toronto). In relatively modern times, the 2 teams have combined for 5 playoff wins in 3 playoff series. Expectations are higher in 2018. The Winnipeg Jets have been fun to watch. Showing a surprising depth amid significant injuries with outstanding goaltending, primarily from Connor Hellebuyck, and no sophomore slump from Patrick Laine. Paul Stastny has fit in well in a trade deadline acquisition with St. Louis. Winnipeg had the best NHL home record at 32-7-2. Connor Hellebuyck had 44 wins, the most by a U.S.-born goalie in a season. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been almost as exciting. Frederick Andersen has been wonderful in goal for the Maple Leafs and knows that his teammates can score on a whim. Auston Matthews gets the headlines but Mitch Marner and William Nylander are a strong part of that core. If the Leafs can get decent treatments from the referees, the team power play can be dynamic this spring. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, NHL Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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Like 4 other Canadian NHL teams, the Vancouver Canucks won't be in the Stanley Cup playoffs. This means the end of the careers of Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. The final game in Edmonton was a bit anti-climatic compared to the Thursday night heroics in Vancouver. The Canucks game in Edmonton was filled with flashbacks and memories of the twins from draft day until the final game. Special thanks to Rogers for putting the final Vancouver home game on Rogers Sportsnet 360. And thanks to NHL Center Ice for putting the game in the primary HD channel. They showed quite a bit of the postgame celebration after Daniel Sedin shot the game-winning goal in overtime with an assist from his brother, Henrik Sedin. A fitting end to their last game in Vancouver. We normally don't endorse a local announcer calling a late game on CBC but we make an obvious exception for John Shorthouse to call the last Sedins game. Since Louie DeBrusk is a studio analyst for the Edmonton Oilers during the week, there was balance. The Sedin twins were champions in their 17-year career. They didn't win a Stanley Cup in great part due to a huge referee bias toward Boston in 2011. As the stories go, no matter the situation, Daniel and Henrik Sedin were accountable every time, all the time. Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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The NHL Network had a better year in 2017-2018 by our count, but that is truly saying very little. There is still a reluctance to carry Hometown Hockey on a substantial basis. The Edmonton Oilers got some love from NBCSN but not love during the telecasts. Winnipeg Jets had a successful exciting team but NBCSN was very scared to carry the team. NBCSN still hasn't seen Winnipeg outside the first year when the Jets returned to the NHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs, ignored for huge lengths of time last season, got a more respectable schedule by the NHL Network this season Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Separating Monsanto and glyphosate from the overall concept of genetic engineering, the fear against those GMOs has a lot to do with mistrust of the food system. The FDA standard of GRAS — generally regarded as safe — makes a lot of people feel unsafe. Cargill ground beef packaging saying to cook the beef to at least 160°F. UHT pasteurization of milk, leaving us wondering how much nutrition remains in milk. And still a lot unknown about Monsanto and glyphosate 22 years into the process. Some people have certainly taken advantage of people's fears to make money and to spread more fear. The forum that followed the Food Evolution film didn't really talk much about the film. The primary connection with the film focused on condescending views about economic incentives driving people to speak poorly about GMOs i.e., glyphosate. This ignores that Monsanto does the same thing. Food Evolution has very little to justify the use of glyphosate. The forum wasn't that much better. They said that scientists spoke up initially about the positive nature of GMOs. I tend to believe them but those voices were pretty soft and didn't address Monsanto or glyphosate. When I asked at the forum about the advantages of Monsanto and glyphosate to the average consumer, the primary answer was the environmental impact of no-till agriculture. Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Balance of Food
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Every Canadian team is in play Saturday night for the final games of the regular season. The CBC starts with the classic Montréal-Toronto battle from downtown Toronto. The all-Canadian matchup of the Vancouver Canucks in Edmonton will be the CBC nightcap. City TV finishes its NHL season with the Ottawa Senators in Boston. Rogers Sportsnet has a pure doubleheader starting with a Norris Division tug of war as Chicago goes northwest to Jonathan Toews' hometown of Winnipeg early and the newest desert team finishing up in Calgary. The NHL Network was scheduled to carry the Montréal-Toronto battle but dropped the coverage at the last minute, but you can see the game on the NHL Center Ice free preview. Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Whether the concept is "See the North" or "Canada Now 2018" — we celebrate bringing Canadian films to American audiences in theatres. Our primary concern is expanding the exercise beyond New York City and Los Angeles. Yes, See the North did come to New Orleans in 2016. The IFC Center in New York City hosted 8 films last month and the "tour" comes to American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre in Los Angeles April 12-15. The 8 Canadian films featured in New York City were Hochelaga, Land of Souls; Venus; Cardinals; Unarmed Verses; Meditation Park; Black Cop; All You Can Eat Buddha; and Mary Goes Round. Hochelaga, Land of Souls was Canada's entry into the Best Foreign Language Film this film season. Your humble narrator has only seen 2 of these films: Meditation Park and Black Cop. Hochelaga, Land of Souls and Mary Goes Round have been on my list for months. Cardinals is a film I have become aware lately and Venus is completely brand new to me. The idea behind the festival is to get audiences to see Canadian films who otherwise might not be aware much less go see them. The underlying theme helps American audiences identify films that might not seem Canadian at first glance. Americans should learn what is a Canadian film, even the idea that Canadian films are all not about moose eating poutine. Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
Northern Ireland and Ireland will need a new border setup once (if?) Brexit happens. Somehow the Detroit/Windsor border crossing got in the middle of this fight and is either an ideal example of how a border should work or not even close to being ideal. Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar made a visit to the Detroit-Windsor border last year. Varadkar considered that border to be a hard border and has said no to hard borders. "I was with the Taoiseach when he went to the border," Michael Hurley, Ireland's deputy head of mission in Canada, told the CBC. "The U.S.-Canadian border is a hard border, and not one we want to emulate." UK Brexit minister David Davies floated the idea of Canada's border as a model for a post-Brexit border after a visit last fall. "There are many examples of different arrangements for customs around the rest of the world," said British prime minister Theresa May, "and indeed we are looking at those, including, for example, the border between the U.S. and Canada." Labour Party Brexit critic Jenny Chapman was appalled at the idea. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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In their modesty, Canadians are often reluctant to tell their own stories. Look at Argo for a great example. So we should be thankful to hear about the story of Maud Lewis as portrayed in Maudie. Maud Lewis was a Canadian folk artist in Nova Scotia whose story is as impressive as her art. Lewis suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Her medical condition lent itself to working on smaller pieces. The love story where there isn't much love is covered in the film. Everett Lewis put up an ad in a local store looking for a live-in woman as a housekeeper. The house they had was quite small. She lives with a brother who outsources care for Maud and an aunt who wants to be in her business. He grew up in an orphanage looking for love but not always sure how to get love. Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
The NHL Network goes with the Rogers Sportsnet feed once again for Hockey Night in Canada with the Montréal Canadiens in Pittsburgh. CBC starts with the revenge game of Opening Night with the Winnipeg Jets in Toronto. The Battle of Alberta from Calgary is the CBC nightcap. City TV will show the same game as the CBC in the early slot. As noted, Rogers Sportsnet runs the Habs in Pittsburgh Saturday night. Hometown Hockey is no April Fool from Montréal with New Jersey in town. Rogers Sportsnet One gets its share of the Ottawa Senators with a Saturday matinee in the Motor City and barely in the U.S. in Buffalo on Wednesday Night Hockey. The channel also handles the newest desert team in Edmonton on Thursday. NHL Network viewers in Pittsburgh will get the CBC feed with the Jets and the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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The outfield on either side of Kevin Pillar feels different. Up the middle in the infield feels very new but hoping for more appearances from "old" players. The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays are strong at catcher, 1st base, 3rd base, and centre field. Short of brilliance elsewhere, the potential for the 2018 season is cautious. Starting pitching, what every team wants, is an ace for the Blue Jays with potential for the bullpen. Curtis Granderson is new. Teoscar Hernandez is basically new. Randal Grichuk is new. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is not quite ready. Steve Pearce is still here. Ezequiel Carrera is gone. Troy Tulowitzki will start the season on the shelf. Devon Travis will hopefully be healthy at 2nd base. Yangervis Solarte, Danny Espinosa, and Aledmys Diaz are new and will help. They essentially replace Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney. Pillar in centre, Russell Martin behind the plate, Josh Donaldson at 3rd base, Justin Smoak at 1st with Kendry Morales as DH is a pretty good core. But they need a lot of help. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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Montréal native Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got 2 standing ovations Monday night and the final standing ovation Tuesday night with a walkoff home run. The Toronto Blue Jays split the 2018 series at Olympic Stadium with the St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis posted a 5-3 win Monday night. Guerrero Jr. got a surprise when he was given his father's #27 to wear in the 2-game series in La Belle Province. Despite a hot spring, Guerrero Jr. will not start with the Blue Jays, likely to start in AA. Hometown guy Russell Martin, the Blue Jays starting catcher, also received a warm reception during the series. Teoscar Hernandez went 2-for-2 with a RBI triple and scored in the 7th and a RBI single in the 8th inning Monday night. The Blue Jays had 3 hits on Tuesday, including the Guerrero Jr. walkoff home run. Marcus Stroman had a solid start Monday night though he gave up 2 runs toward the end of his start. Joe Biagini threw 5 scoreless innings in the combined shutout. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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If I had a million dollars, I could spend that money on reuniting the Barenaked Ladies with Steven Page. The induction of the Barenaked Ladies into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame did bring back Page and the band for one night for the 2018 Junos Sunday night in Vancouver. Steven Page left the band in 2009 in what were uncertain circumstances. While the Barenaked Ladies continue to produce music and Page has a solo career, both elements have not had the success that existed when they were together. The Barenaked Ladies are celebrating 30 years, but in the lead up to Sunday, the focus was on the first 20 years. As the band members have said, the performing part hasn't been the issue. Everyone looked comfortable playing One Week and If I Had $1000000. Both of those songs played well off the banter between Page and Ed Robertson, who have known each other since Page was in Grade 5 and Robertson in Grade 4. Yet until the induction, they hadn't spoken in 9 years. Geddy Lee of Rush helped to induct the band into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in a wonderful tribute. Page and Robertson were joined on stage by band members Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, and Tyler Stewart. Andy Creeggan, brother of Jim, was the other former member who were there at the 2018 Junos but didn't join the band on stage. Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
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If the Montréal experiment ever suffers a setback, 2018 may be that year. The games are on a Monday and Tuesday of Easter week instead of a Friday and Saturday. The St. Louis Cardinals, the Toronto Blue Jays 2018 opponent, don't have a significant connection to the Montréal Expos. Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at Canadian Crossing
The NHL Network goes with a curveball taking the Rogers Sportsnet feed as Alex Ovechkin and his Capitals are in La Belle Province to battle the Habs. The CBC starts out Saturday with the Original 6 game featuring the Detroit Red Wings at the Air Canada Centre. The Los Angeles Kings are in Edmonton in the nightcap. City TV gets its own game with the Ottawa Senators hosting Carolina. Rogers Sportsnet carries Alex Ovechkin and his Capitals visit the Habs in Montréal. Hometown Hockey is from Bathurst, NB and has a pair of simultaneous games with Vancouver at Dallas on SNP and Nashville at Winnipeg on Rogers Sportsnet 360 as well as SNE, SNO, and SNW. Wednesday Night Hockey has the Sunrise team in Toronto. Rogers Sportsnet One has a pair of games with Anaheim in Edmonton late on Sunday and an all-Canadian matchup where the Edmonton Oilers are in Vancouver on Thursday. NHL Network viewers in the U.S. capital will get the CBC feed with the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. The NHL Center Ice free preview (hopefully) starts on Thursday since the 2018 MLB season starts early. Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at Canadian Crossing