Monday, May 5, 2014

Something to "Mitch" About

Another week has flown by and is it just me or is 2014 moving along. We are just about at the halfway point of the year and its been a busy one. At least it seems that way to me, I don't know about you.

Those of us that love our hockey in these parts are bemoaning the fact again this year the WHL playoffs were mainly void of Saskatchewan with the Pats and Broncos being eliminated in the first round with Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Saskatoon not getting in at all.  Perhaps we should put those complaints aside because what has already been a great year on the national stage for Sask Hockey is getting better. You had a solid Saskatchewan flavour on the Canadian team that won gold in Sochi, the Weyburn Gold Wings won the Esso Cup and the Prince Albert Mintos won the Telus Cup meaning our province rules in both mens and womens midget hockey. The Yorkton Terriers can now try and make it a triple crown. Trent Cassan and Don Chesney led their Terriers to a Western Canada Cup victory in Dauphin and they will now try to win the Junior A title in Vernon.  Cassan has to be high on the radar of some teams already when it comes to a WHL job and if he can take Yorkton to a national title, I would think he can write his own ticket as to where he wants to go.

Be listening to 620 CKRM at 3 o'clock today. Nooooo, Sportscage isn't starting early, but it might as well be. The new owners of the Regina Pats will officially introduce themselves at a press conference to be held at the Brandt Centre. 620 will have that event for you live. It would be great to be down there to meet Mr. Marquart and company in person, but I'm sure he will be no stranger to the 620 CKRM headquarters.

With the Donald Stirling situation still blazing in our minds, the Boston Bruins fan base is doing nothing to cool off the story. I'm not the biggest PK Subban fan in the world. In fact, I feel the guy is over-rated which is something that angers many Habs fans I know and who write into this blog. However, the racial taunts distributed on social media are just atrocious and once again shows the problem of racism isn't going away as much as we would like to think it is. Bruins president Cam Neely had a statement denouncing the behavior of the fan base, but what is sad is this is the 2nd time this has happened as Washington's Joel Ward had the same thing happen to him when his goal knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs a few years ago. Doing it once is bad enough, but twice? Is it time for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to step in, but if he does, what can he do? It is a fan base doing this and obviously the views of an ignorant fraction do not represent the entire group which is the case in any sport. However, this can't be tolerated and some kind of action should be taken. I don't know how you can penalize fans without penalizing a team that is innocent here though. Its a very delicate issue. I just wonder how Jarome Iginla felt after hearing about this and how about Subban's brother whose rights are owned by you guessed it-----the Boston Bruins.

Is it just me or does Patrick Kane take his game to another level when the competition means so much. He has been the top player of the playoffs for me so far.

There were many people who got mad again because the start of the Chicago-Minnesota game wasn't on TSN. Did everyone forget it was on NBC?

NHL fans were loving the fact that they had three Game 7's to finish off the first round of the playoffs. How about NBA fans? They had 5 over the weekend to digest and it capped off what might have been the best first round ever in the Association.  I watch enough NBA to keep informed on the matter, but I have sat down to watch games in these playoffs and they have been off the charts. I think if I were to cheer for an NBA team these days, I would go for Portland. They are fun to watch with some great players led by Damian Lillard who absolutely knifed the playoff dreams of the Houston Rockets with a buzzer-beater to eliminate them and send the Portland crowd into a frenzied state Friday night in what was an instant classic.

Here's another idea as my promotional mind begins spinning again. As I see the sight of Raptor fans outside Air Canada Centre watching their team which is something done in many places, I wonder if the Riders could capitalize on this. The city of Regina is always asking and finding ideas for people to come downtown.  They have a very successful movie promotion which I've been to a couple of times and its been well attended. Is it possible to put up a big screen in Victoria Park and watch the Rider game? You get the food trucks out there, you get a beer garden going, you get some entertainment and it would be great for road and home games wouldn't it? I would think the Regina chapter of the Rider Nation would head to the park to watch it with others in July, August and September. Would you go? They could do the same thing in Saskatoon and other places across this fine province too.

The Raptors deserved to win Game 7,but it seemed to me like the guys in the striped shirts had other ideas. There were some very questionable calls that went against Toronto in the final game, but in the end Paul Pierce killed him with his offense in Game 1 and he killed them with his defense in Game 7.

Is TSN and the CFL doing its top 50 players again? I hope so and when they do, I want to see where Darian Durant is. He has been number 21 the last two years and one would think he would crack the top 10 this year, but where would you put him. I don't think you can call him the number one player in the league, but he is certainly top 10 if not top 5.  Going a little further, Rod and I were talking about Geroy Simon's place in league history. He is certainly one of the top receivers if not the top one when you look at the record books and he is still going. Is he the best ever?  This league has seen great receivers go through it with names like Pitts, Stegall, Elgaard, Cahoon, Fernandez, Kelly, Coffey and Patterson just to name a few. That will be a great debate when Geroy hangs up the cleats for good.

The Toronto Blue Jays slogan should be "We're unbeatable until we go to the bullpen". What an atrocity that group is. How many games has that bullpen blown in the first month and a bit of the season.  I've never been a John Gibbons fan and I think he has to take a lot of the blame here, but so does pitching coach Pete Walker. Weren't Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar all-stars last year?  What has happened to them?  Sergio Santos started off well, but he can't get anyone out. The same goes for many guys right now. Casey Janssen isn't exactly considered a top-notch closer either. Oh for the days of Tom Henke!  Then again, Toronto still has a better record than the Cubs these days and it will likely be that way for a while longer.

I didn't see it, but reports have come in saying WWE Extreme Rules was better than WrestleMania and that the end of the Cena-Wyatt cage match and the entire Bryan-Kane match were spectacular. Were they?

That's all I got. Have a great week!


Anonymous said...

I'm no Gibbons fan neither but he might be off the hook over their pathetic bull pen. I think that is on the pitching coach for not bring out the good or the GM for not providing some talent.


Anonymous said...

Great idea for Rider games! I would be there in a heartbeat! Talk to Hoppy abot that one Scruffy!

You're not wrong on Patrick Kane.


Anonymous said...

BB is right. I would hang this on Pete Walker and not Gibbons. Although Gibbons shouldn't be buying any houses if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Go Terriers!

Anonymous said...

Bryan-Kane was unbelievable.

I love the downtown Regina-Rider game thought.

Anonymous said...

you forgot the raiders mitch. got beat by Edmonton in the first round.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Cassan hasn't moved on from Yorkton yet. Could he end up in Saskatoon? What about Prince Albert? There are some good coaches in the SJ as you know but why they haven't moved on does make me wonder exactly what the WHL teams are looking for.


Anonymous said...

GREAT IDEA FOR RIDER GAMES! Downtown would be hoppin!