Saturday, February 18, 2012

Handicapping the field at the Scotties

As the Scotties Tournament of Hearts gets underway in Red Deer, home of Billy Bob’s and the Screaming Russ shooter, the pundits have put in their picks as to who they think will be holding the trophy at week’s end.
Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press chose Jennifer Jones.

Jim Bender of the Winnipeg Sun selected Jennifer Jones.

Al Cameron of the Calgary Herald selected Jennifer Jones.

Murray McCormick of the Regina Leader-Post picks Jennifer Jones (over Amber Holland, just to avoid the ugly mob protests outside L-P offices).

In a Tweet, Guy Hemmings said that Marie-France Larouche would make the playoffs.

For what it’s worth, here are my picks:

The Favourite
  • Jennifer Jones, MAN. Too much experience, too much talent for this field. Wonder if she’ll finally make it easy on herself this time and avoid the tiebreakers. Doubt it. 

Fighting for the Playoffs
  • Heather Nedohin, ALTA. I think some have underestimated this team and the fact the skip has been away for a while. They’re good, very good.
  • Kelly Scott, BC. May not be at it as hard as she once was but she can still make some shots. Look out if she gets on a roll and likes the ice.
  • Heather Smith-Dacey, NS. They will have to fire on all cylinders as they did last year but they are more than capable.
Outside Looking In
  • Amber Holland, CAN. Hasn’t had a very good year and I’m not sure they’ll be able to get the wheels turning in time. Still my favourite skip to interview and always the nicest player on the ice.
  • Michelle Englot, SASK. A good team but not enough fuel in the engine for this one, I don’t think.
Dark Horses
  • Tracy Horgan, ONT. Not only did she hold off Rachel Homan to win Ontario, but also Sherry Middaugh, the top team in the land heading into the playdowns. Still they have such little experience at this level, it would be surprise to see them in the playoffs.
  • Marie-France Larouche, QUE. A very good team that will surprise a few.
PEI, TERR, NB, N&L. I always hope for a good story from one of these types of teams, such as the PEI women of a couple of years ago. Here’s hoping. 

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