The Canadian juniors took to the Brandt Centre ice Monday night for their second of two scrimmages against one another. With all apologies to the Regina Pats, it was a better game than most of what we have seen this winter. While it may have been advertised as a scrimmage, this wasn't one. It was good hockey. No, it was great hockey. Up and down the ice, great chances at each end, precision passes, great shots, outstanding saves. It had it all. The cost for this treat----$10.
The seats were mainly empty and that's too bad, because many missed out on a pretty good two hours of hockey. Oh yeah, the puck dropped just after 7 and ended at 9. Granted, there wasn't a break at the 10 minute mark for girls to come clean the ice and there were no promotions in the intermission, but still.
Perhaps the best thing of all for this traditionalist was the fact when you walk into the Brandt Centre and look at the ice, it is pristine. Logos do not cover seemingly every inch of the ice. Its a white sheet of ice and it looks outstanding. I understand the need to put logos on the ice, but I hate it. If having logos on the ice means the players don't have to wear jerseys like they have in Europe where ads adorn them then I'm O-K with it, but for at least a couple of weeks its nice to see a white sheet of ice.
The best players in last nite's game---a 6-4 win for Team White over Team Red were Brandon McMillan of Kelowna, St. Louis draft pick Alex Pietrangelo and Windsor forward Taylor Hall. Hall is in a battle with another Canadian junior hopeful, Tyler Seguin, to be the number one draft pick overall.
The Canadian unit will group as one tonight and play a team of U of R Cougars and U of S Huskies in what should be a thrill for the University players. It starts at 7. The price again is 10 dollars so its a great chance to see the Canadian squad in what should be an intense game do its thing. It would be nice to see a lot of people in the building.
Those watching Team Canada should know of one thing. Brandon Gormley is not related to former workmate and talk show host extraordinaire John Gormley. I could certainly understand people thinking the two might be related, but Brandon is a defenceman. If he was a right-winger, I could see you making the connection. Moving on................
The Pats play Game 3 of their nine game road trip in Red Deer tonight. That game is on Access. Saying you are staying away from the Brandt Centre so you can watch the Pats game is not a viable excuse tonight. Tape the game if you must.
Is it just me or are the Jays not getting enough back for Roy Halladay? As it stands right now, I see the Jays firmly occupying the A-L East basement and I wonder if they might lose 100 games next season. Who is the ace of the pitching staff going to be.......Ricky Romero?
The Arizona Cardinals come out and soil the linen on Monday night football as they turn the ball over 8 times in a loss to San Francisco. The inability of Larry Fitzgerald to get his game going also means fantasy football is done for me this season. Two fantasy teams both make the playoffs and then its one and done.
The rumour mill is starting in Toronto about what happens to the Argos now that Bart Andrus has gone. One suggestion is the Argos won't do a thing until the Eric Tillman court case is over and that Tillman could end up working with the Argos. I can see that scenario painting itself out. Maybe Tillman is what the floundering Argos need. Personally, I hope everything works out for Eric and he can continue doing what he has been since he arrived in Regina, but perhaps the anonymity of Toronto is what he needs. I still haven't given my thoughts on what can be done to make the Argos competitive and I am going to do that now that Andrus has been fired. What I have to say will make sense, but I just can't see it going down. I'll relay that theory soon.
Just one more day of this bone-chilling weather and then we are supposedly supposed to get a break. The Weather Network says it should be around minus 8 for Christmas Day. I'll take that!
Who's the best team in the NHL right now? Chicago, Pittsburgh, Colorado, San Jose? Where is Detroit? What has happened to Anaheim? What's this, the Leafs are two points out of a playoff spot in the East. How good has Toronto been after that terrible start. I don't want to know!
What I do know is I hope to see many of you at the rink tonight for the Canada game. Maybe we can all get together and do that Pepsi-Canada chant (A-O Canada GO). Yeah, lets just skip that idea.