Don Landry

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Don Landry is a blogger for Yahoo Canada Sports.

  • Grand Slam of Curling: King Niklas wins again, Sweeting scrambles back

    Niklas Edin celebrates his win during the semifinal of the Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, BC. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)Niklas Edin celebrates his win during the semifinal of the Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, BC. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)
    It's Niklas Edin's world. All other stone throwers merely live in it. Or, perhaps more accurately, all sweepers.

    The Swedish skip credited a tightening on broom regulations for being at least part of the reason why he and his teammates are on top of the heap in men's curling this season, when he spoke after a 7-3, seven-end triumph at the Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, British Columbia.

    It was a fairly comfortable victory for Edin and his team as they cruised over a young squad skipped by Kyle Smith, breaking things open with three in the fifth end, after keeping the Scottish team under pressure up to - and after - that point.

    It's Edin's second straight Grand Slam Championship, having taken The Masters two weeks ago, and his third win in Canada this season (among a total of five tournament victories in eight events).

    When asked by Sportsnet's Joan McCusker about the key to his team's mastery this autumn, Edin revisited last year's season of tumult, when everyone was talking about broom

    Read More »from Grand Slam of Curling: King Niklas wins again, Sweeting scrambles back
  • Brad Gushue's injury rehab may sideline him until the new year

    Ottawa, Ont. Mar. 11, 2016. Tim Hortons Brier. N.L. skip Brad Gushue. (Curling Canada/ Michael Burns photo)Ottawa, Ont. Mar. 11, 2016. Tim Hortons Brier. N.L. skip Brad Gushue. (Curling Canada/ Michael Burns photo)
    Brad Gushue's road back to competition has already been a longer one than he would have liked. Now, it seems possible the skip of the world's No. 1-ranked men's curling team could be sidelined until January as he continues to rehab a tricky set of muscles in his left hip and groin area.

    “I’m feeling better about my situation," says Gushue, with guarded optimism. "Better than I was last week, anyway.”

    While his teammates take on the field at this week's Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in Cranbrook, B.C., Gushue will remain on the east coast continuing his dry-land rehab program, with an eye to maybe getting on the ice this weekend for a few practice slides.

    Those practice slides were supposed to come last weekend, but Gushue postponed them another week, not wanting to chance a slip-up that might set him back. Things just were not quite right yet.

    “Structurally, everything’s good," he says of the complicated mass of muscle, bone and cartilage that's been bedevilling him for some

    Read More »from Brad Gushue's injury rehab may sideline him until the new year
  • Team Flaxey with their trophy at the WFG Masters in Okotoks, Alta. L to R: Morgan Court, Lynn Kreviazuk, Clancy Grandy, Allison Flaxey.(Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)Team Flaxey with their trophy at the WFG Masters in Okotoks, Alta. L to R: Morgan Court, Lynn Kreviazuk, Clancy Grandy, Allison Flaxey.(Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)
    I guess that's what you'd call announcing your presence on the scene with authority. Winning the first Grand Slam event of the season, in your first ever Grand Slam finals appearance.

    Not that skip Allison Flaxey was an unknown in curling circles. But casual fans - those who would, despite not following the game closely, know the name Rachel Homan - might not have known just who Flaxey was before the 2016 Masters, in Okotoks, Alberta.

    Flaxey and her team - third Clancy Grandy, second Lynn Kreviazuk and lead Morgan Court are now really, really on the scene after beating Team Homan, the top-ranked women's rink in the world, 6-3, in Sunday's final.

    It's true that Homan's team wasn't exactly on fire for most of this one - a sizzling, tight port shot by third Emma Miskew was the foursome's big highlight of the final and that came in the first end - but you have to take advantage of your opportunities and that's exactly what Flaxey's team did. They did it as they stole one in the first,

    Read More »from Grand Slam of Curling: First-time champions Flaxey, Edin take The Masters
  • Steve Bartman deflects a foul ball during the 2003 NLCS, in Chicago. (Associated Press)Steve Bartman deflects a foul ball during the 2003 NLCS, in Chicago. (Associated Press)
    There's a chance for some healing here. A chance for closure. But for whom, really?

    There's been a movement afoot to have Steve Bartman throw out a first pitch at a Cubs' home game during the World Series but the man who has not ever sought some kind of cosmic payback - or a real one despite the offers - for the completely unacceptable wrath he endured in the wake of his infamous moment thirteen years ago is about as likely to accept an invitation as Donald Trump is to gracefully accept defeat at the polls.

    For that, I say good on Bartman and I don't see how anyone couldn't understand. He won't do it and neither would I. A Steve Bartman appearance might ramp up the goodwill, but if he throws out a first pitch and the Cubs lose that night? Yikes.

    Still, I can't help but fantasize about what a perfect Bartman pregame ceremony would look like.

    It entails a helicopter landing in centre field with him emerging from it along with Eddie Vedder, Bill Murray, Bob Newhart, John Cusack, Barack

    Read More »from Monday Musings: Should Bartman throw out the first pitch? Hell no. Unless...
  • Monday Musings: Who can possibly root against Bill Murray?

    (Getty Images)(Getty Images)
    Looking ahead, it's possible that the more casual Toronto Blue Jays fans could be a little conflicted during the 2016 World Series.

    The rabid ones aren't going to care about what I write here. Nor will the Blue Jay haters; They've also already made up their minds.

    But for those of a certain age and whose support of the scrappy, sometimes loveable, sometimes annoying, centre of the universe, telecom giant subsidiary is a little more flexible, a possible series match-up against the Chicago Cubs could be cause for some mixed emotions.

    What about Bill?

    Bill Murray, that rascally charmer, beloved purveyor of the absurd, is rooting for the Chicago Cubs, his lifelong sporting crush. He's been in the stands at Wrigley, whooping it up over the first two games of the Cubs series against San Francisco, basking in Chicago's first two triumphs like a little boy at his first ever ball game.

    Who doesn't love Bill Murray?

    Sure, the Blue Jays are Canada's team and all, with their blue as prevalent

    Read More »from Monday Musings: Who can possibly root against Bill Murray?
  • Monday Musings: Down the Ryder Cup rabbit hole

    Fans cheer during a four-balls match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Fans cheer during a four-balls match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
    The Ryder Cup. That biennial trip down golf's rabbit hole. Weird and wonderful and getting weirder all the time, to the point that one of these years, they'll forego actually holding it on a golf course and just let Tim Burton direct it in front of a green screen.

    The game of golf has its soul splayed out on the table at this thing and never more has there been a pitched fight for that soul than this year, at Hazeltine, in Minnesota. Dour, hushed and quite proper? Or cheery, bellowing and braying?

    The latter won out this time around and it did so with mixed results.

    That there was an actual windmill in plain view behind one of the holes carried more than a little symbolism for me and had me thinking that maybe some of the gallery members had been bussed in from the snack bars of every mini-putt within driving distance.

    Tricked up, trumped up, amped up golf, both on the links and in the galleries. The competition and shotmaking were sensational. The atmosphere was positively crackling,

    Read More »from Monday Musings: Down the Ryder Cup rabbit hole
  • Come on, Pete. Give it a little oomph. (AP)Come on, Pete. Give it a little oomph. (AP)
    Now, maybe it's not up to me to decide. However, I've rarely let that stop me before.

    We need a change to the way football coaches offer challenges.

    Challenge flags in the game of football have become mundane. Do you recall the early days? The excitement surrounding the occasion of a coach tossing that challenge flag out to right an injustice brought down by uncaring zebras? Oh, those were the days, when he'd pull that flag out of his pocket, like he was unsheathing a sword, wind up and hurl that hanky, overhand, as far as he could out onto the field. "Challenge!!", I always imagined him bellowing, with the audacious righteousness of a fierce knight. "Get thee to a replay booth!"

    Now, coaches just casually grab that handkerchief from their back pocket as they wait for word from their spotters upstairs on whether the challenge ought to be issued. Once they get that, the referee is already standing near them and the coach basically just drops the thing on the ground, almost immediately

    Read More »from Monday Musings: Is this a flagger I see before me? Boosting football's challenge flag excitement
  • The World Curling Federation has adopted new regulations governing equipment. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)The World Curling Federation has adopted new regulations governing equipment. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)
    Just about a year from the beginning of a tumultuous chapter in curling's history, that tumult ends.

    The World Curling Federation (WCF) has now formally adopted new rules to govern broom heads at all of its competitions, beginning immediately. Broom head materials will be governed strictly, as will the use of brooms at any competition sanctioned by the WCF. And, thankfully, they've backed the new regs with stiff penalties.

    The new rules mean elite teams will all be playing with the same fabric and weave design on their brush heads, no matter what manufacturer is supplying them. This should do away with any kind of advantage being taken by one foursome or another due to the particular materials on their own brooms, after a season of experimentation led to an arms race of a sort - and some hard feelings -  where new fabrics were constantly being introduced in order to scratch the ice on the playing surface and allow players to back up, over-curl and even slow down a stone if they

    Read More »from Curling's broom drama formally ends: World Curling Federation adopts new rules
  • Monday Musings: The Why Cup of Hockey is here

    (Canadian Press)(Canadian Press)
    Training camps have begun for the World Cup of Hockey. So many questions.

    Right off the top, there is "why are we playing this?"

    Is it to stem the galaxy-wide divide between the presenting of the Stanley Cup and the opening of NHL training camps? You know, the one that stretches for an interminable twelve weeks? If that's the case, please just get to the point where the Stanley Cup Final is being played while all the other teams that didn't get there begin their training camps. So that hockey season never ends and The Cup is being handed out every nine months. Just keep 'er rollin'.

    There are other "whys," too. The jerseys to be worn by most every team are a bit of a "why?" My personal belief is that organizers wanted uniforms so unflattering that fans would actually demand that corporate branding be added to them to make them more attractive. "Please! Cover it with muffler shop logos!" Genius plan, Gary. Genius plan.

    The trophy to be awarded is its own special version of "why?"

    Read More »from Monday Musings: The Why Cup of Hockey is here
  • Monday Musings: I'm keeping my hat, thanks

    (Josh Donaldson Twitter photo)(Josh Donaldson Twitter photo)
    I don't get it.

    I mean, I get it... but I just don't get it. The long held tradition of the hat trick - a hockey staple for decades and decades and decades, has made its way into the world of baseball. And that's not the part I don't get either, because it happens in Toronto, where every sporting event can somehow be related to the Leafs or the sport of hockey in one way or another. Hockey traditions are so embedded, they're bound to cross over. So, when Blue Jays' third baseman Josh Donaldson hit not one, not two, but three home runs in Sunday's sweep win over the Minnesota Twins, the hats came flying out of the stands.

    That's the part I don't get and never really have. I mean, whenever I've gone to a game, I've never once worn a hat I didn't like. Didn't want. Didn't care for. A hat that I'd gladly discard. Chances are, whenever I go anywhere - to a ball game, hockey game, wedding or public shaming - I'm wearing a hat because, you know, I like that hat. I don't say "hey, I'm going

    Read More »from Monday Musings: I'm keeping my hat, thanks

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