Talking Points: UO-UW spread

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Is today the day some bite returns to the Washington-Oregon football rivalry?

The sports books don’t think so.

The Ducks are favored by more than two touchdowns. We certainly don’t offer betting advice, but with the Ducks’ explosive offense and habit of putting it on teams in the second half, we can understand that.

Still ... there are reasons — Chris Polk, Keith Price, the ghosts of Husky Stadium — to believe this might be one of the better UW-UO battles.

2

Congratulations to Ryan Johansen.

The former Portland Winterhawks center is sticking with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets as a 19-year-old rookie. He is one of the bright spots for a team that has won only twice in its first 13 games.

On Thursday, Johansen played in his 10th game — meaning his NHL contract kicks in and he is likely to play for the Columbus all year instead of returning to Portland. He scored his third goal of the season and was chosen No. 3 star in a loss to Toronto.

It’s too bad that Winterhawks fans won’t get to watch Johansen play for one more season. Without him, it will be tougher for Portland to win a championship. But there are still plenty of reasons to watch the Winterhawks, a young group of skilled players motivated to follow Johansen to the big time.

Johansen’s rise from seventh-round bantam draft pick at age 14 to first-round NHL draft pick at 18 and NHL player at 19 mirrors the resurrection of the Winterhawks franchise in recent years.