Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:52

Being a Bronco fan of any type is a wild ride

Written by  Brad Brown, A Bard’s Eye View
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It was a tough Saturday to be a Bronco.


In Denver, there were never-ending questions about their quarterback’s legacy — questions that made about as much sense as Wayne’s World 2, but questions nonetheless.
In Swift Current, they were losing their third straight game and fifth in their last seven, dropping from second to seventh in the WHL’s Eastern Conference in a span of barely 24 hours.
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It was a good Sunday to be a Bronco.
In Denver, Peyton Manning steered his team to the seventh Super Bowl in franchise history witha 26-16 win over the New England Patriots.
In Swift Current, the fans celebrated in their homes as Eetu Laurikainen stopped 35 shots for his third shutout of the season in a 7-0 road win over the Prince Albert Raiders.
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And it was arguably an even better Monday to be a Bronco.
In Denver, the team could have celebrated by going all Vancouver on downtown and no one would have even noticed because the country was too busy pretending to be furious that a guy from Seattle ran his mouth after making the game-winning play in the other conference championship.
In Swift Current, word came down that Finnish rookie superstar defenceman/surefire first-round NHL draft pick/human highlight reel/de facto mayor of Swift Current Julius Honka was fine and would dress in last Wednesday’s game against the Brandon Wheat Kings after being knocked out of Sunday’s game following a hit from the Raiders’ Josh Morrissey.
(Also, there was no bag skate.)
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I’m not in any way opposed to (Swift Current) Broncos coach Mark Lamb’s use of the bag skate as a motivational tactic following that debacle against Red Deer a couple weeks back.
It’s funny though how many people openly praised the “old school” approach as just the tough love the kids needed, and then went strangely quiet when the Broncos dropped their next two games after that.
Maybe they were blaming the refs.
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Sadly, no, the referees don’t hate your Broncos.
Officiating always seems to be a hot topic when it comes to the Broncos, even more so than in other markets.
“They’re out to get us,” the people say. (Not the people who are employed by the team, just to be clear.)
The fire was probably fueled in part by the 2012-13 campaign when the Broncos played shorthanded 28 more times than with the man advantage, and stoked into a full-blown inferno after what was effectively the season-ending Hand Pass Seen ‘Round The World Except By The Guy Whose Job It Was To Call It.
The people probably felt further validated after 60 minutes of weak calls and non-calls by all four officials in Saturday’s loss to Kootenay and Sunday’s game where Prince Albert had seven power plays to Swift Current’s one.
Yet, strangely enough, the Broncos have actually only played short two more times than with the man advantage this year. They were practically even as well in 2011-12 and actually held a plus-21 advantage in that area the year before.
So please put the conspiracy theories back in the junk drawer where they belong.
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Unless of course your conspiracy theory suggests that Coda Gordon is actually a Gretzky by birth. (Hey, even Brent and Keith lit it up in junior.)
He really has been making it look that easy since he came back from injury.
Gordon had 10 points in seven games since returning to the Broncos’ lineup then added two goals and two assists in Sunday’s win over P.A. for his 14th multi-point game of the season.
Despite missing 13 games, he remains on pace for career highs in goals and points and could very easily finish the season as the Broncos’ second-leading scorer.
Follow Brad Brown on Twitter @saskawhat.

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