--Welcome to Friday! Here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order!
How about your Regina Pats!!!
Photo: Courtesy Keith Hershmiller Photo
Yes, the Red Deer Rebels made Game 4 interesting at the end with their play in the 3rd period, but John Paddock's proteges A) schooled the Rebels on the Brandt Centre ice and B) gave the Regina hockey community a chance to see what they can expect next season. Win or lose tonight, how much fun will Sunday afternoon be at what has been an electric Brandt Centre. If the Pats are in position to win, that place will be an absolute zoo! Let's hope we get a chance to experience it. I can't say enough about how well this team played from top to bottom in the two games at home. I joked with Phil Andrews on the Cage Wednesday that the only guy who hasn't chipped in is backup goalie Jordan Hollett because he hasn't played. It has been a complete effort from top to bottom and it has been entertaining.
--Does the WHL keep stats on goalposts hit. If there were one, I am guessing Cole Sanford would be leading the league by a wide category in these playoffs. I think he hit 4 in the two games in Regina alone and Phil told me he rang a few off the pipe in Red Deer.
--A tip of the hat to both the Moose Jaw Warriors and Regina Pats for their well-wishes to Peter Loubardias on Tuesday night with the Pats going one step further and holding a Chuck-A-Puck promotion with funds raised going to help Peter out as he battles some health problems that have baffled doctors. I have known Peter for a long time, and he is in my inner circle of friends. The two of us could share a lot of stories over the years. You will not find a more down to earth individual and a guy who is more liked in the hockey community than Lou. Seeing how the hockey community has rallied for him as he looks to get back to doing what he does best which is living at the rink has been amazing to see. While it is amazing, it isn't really that surprising because when the chips are down for someone who is as well respected and liked as Peter, you know the hockey community will do what it can.
--By the way, you might want to spend your Sunday watching hockey at Evraz Place as the Keystone Cup (Western Canadian Junior B championship) will wrap up at the Co-Operators Centre with the bronze medal game at 10 followed by the gold medal game at 1 and then the Pats game. Hockeypalooza!
--I saw a feature on the son of former Colorado defenceman Adam Foote who is now a defenceman with the Kelowna Rockets. I knew the Rockets had put some good blueliners into the NHL, but how good is this group---Tyson Barrie, Josh Gorges, Scott Hannan, Duncan Keith, Tyler Myers, Luke Schenn and Shea Weber. That's unbelievable!! I'll admit I had forgotten Schenn and Barrie had played for Kelowna. Talk about some talent on the back-end!
--I'm not a Kobe Bryant fan, but man did he go out with a bang! That was something to see. Who had the better career--Kobe or Derek Jeter. I'll go with Jeets on that one. Did you know he was almost traded to the Montreal Expos, but GM Brian Cashman said he couldn't pull the trigger on that one. It would have sent Jeter to Montreal for Vladimir Guerrero and Pedro Martinez. How baseball history would have been different had that happened.
--It would be just my luck to take the Rangers as my Eastern Conference rep in the Stanley Cup finals and then see Henrik Lundqvist take a stick to the eye forcing him out of Game 1 against Pittsburgh. This just in.....the Rangers aren't as solid between the pipes with Antti Raanta guarding the goal. SIGHHHH!! This should also mean the predictions of a Nashville upset over Anaheim will come true as I have the Ducks winning the Cup.
--How many Canadian teams do you see making the playoffs next season and who? I don't think you can put Toronto and Vancouver in the mix, but could Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal get there. I think the Habs have the best shot with a healthy Carey Price, but for the Flames, Oilers and Jets, whose spot do they take in what is a highly competitive Western Conference.
--The Blue Jays haven't set the American League on fire and we are two weeks into the season. This just in. Toronto still has about 150 games to go in the season. As we saw last year, it isn't how you start, it is how you finish.
--Is Yankees pitcher Johnny Barbato a gangster? What a great name!
--The Green Bay Packers are said to have the easiest schedule in the NFL this year. That is with the exception of their December 11th game! The teams with the toughest sked are the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers. Of course, Cleveland has already been eliminated and they are looking for their next starting quarterback.
--Kent Austin is not working in the NFL, yet Danny Barrett is. Ponder that one for a second.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend everyone!