2017 is underway! It may be a few hours late, but here is the first "STMA" of the New Year and it comes just before another marathon of football. YAYYYYY!!! Hey, just like you, I'm taking advantage of the holiday before the Monday-Friday routine begins again,. It is only a four-day work week though which is fine and it's a four-day work week before I take a week off so that's OK too. Without further adieu, here we go.
CANADA NEEDS CONNOR - No, not that Connor! The Canadian junior team needs Connor Hobbs. I was somewhat flabbergasted over the fact the Pats d-man didn't get an invite to the Canadian junior team as were many others. The Washington Capitals pick is NHL ready now. Watching the game against the Americans made me see how much Canada could have used him. You can get away with some things when you are playing the likes of Slovakia and Latvia, but in a game where it was real competition, Canada's defence let Connor Ingram down several times as the U-S won the pool and deservedly so.
Hobbs provides a physical presence, and a hard shot from the point that Canada seemed to be lacking against the U-S. I expect Canada to win their quarter-final game today, but then it's a coin-toss because there are some very good teams in this event. Like I have said before, just showing up no longer guarantees gold at this event.
72 SHOTS?! - Would one have blamed Prince Albert Raiders goalie Nick Sanders if he curled up into the fetal position on the bus ride home from Regina Monday afternoon and asked to be left alone. It certainly sounds as if he was when on the ice. Part of me wanted to take in the New Year's Day Pats game against the Raiders, but after seeing Regina hang an 8-0 beating on the Raiders Friday and knowing the Pats had blasted the Raiders 12-2 in their last visit to the Brandt Centre, I said no. Upon seeing the final, I wasn't surprised, but then I saw the shots on goal. 72.....72!!!! JEEBUS! Were they playing NHL17? Tell me the next few months at the Brandt Centre won't be fun!
(Courtesy Keith Hershmiller Photo)
By the way, are the Pats now wearing white for the remainder of the season at home. I noticed they wore white against Brandon the other night too. I'm all in favour of it if the answer is yes. I like both unis, but the white one stands out for me.
While the Pats are playing well, I have to wonder if some guys are on pins and needles wondering if they will be around for the playoff run and the possible gold at the end of the rainbow. With the trade deadline in just over a week I am guessing one or two moves will be made by Regina. I still wonder if Moose Jaw thinks they have a chance and if they will add a blueliner to try and slow down that group of talented Pats forwards. That being said, what will Medicine Hat do?
WELL DONE SWIFT CURRENT - December 30, 1986 was a day no one in this province will forget. Dare I say, no one in the Canadian hockey community will forget. It was on that day that four members of the Swift Current Broncos died in a bus crash while on their way to play the Pats. I was going to school in Lethbridge at the time and was relishing a chance to see some WHL action seeing the Broncos had moved from Lethbridge to Swift Current. Some friends that I went to school with were from Swift Current and we planned on going to the game. The horrible news came out late in the afternoon. I don't have to explain the rest. On the way back to Lethbridge, I went to the memorial service at the rink. As you can imagine, it was horrible. 30 years to the day at the spot of the tragic crash, a monument was unveiled.
It took a long time for something like this to be done, but it has been. The WHL has never forgotten Scott Kruger, Trent Kresse, Brent Ruff and Chris Mantyka and the people of Swift Current never will either. A tip of the hat to all involved in getting this accomplished.
SEE YA RONDA - I will be completely honest. I thought Ronda Rousey was going to step back in the octagon and destroy Amanda Nunes on Friday night. Uhhhhhhh No! It was Rousey who got her face caved in again as she didn't last a minute with the Brazilian. Like it was against Holly Holm when the aura that was Rousey was first shattered, she can't stand there and take punches. She took several punches to the face and that was it. I'm now surprised she hasn't announced her retirement. Has she been heard from since stumbling out of the cage. If she has, I haven't heard it.
MORE ALUMNI GAMES - I understand the allure of the outdoor games for the NHL, but this Canadian isn't sitting down to watch. I caught the end of the Centennial Classic as Auston Matthews made Gary Bettman and the league smile by delivering the game-winner in overtime to win the game against Detroit, but that was it. I was more interested in watching the alumni game Saturday and the alumni game between Chicago and St. Louis yesterday which precedes today's game. The same could be said with the outdoor game in Winnipeg earlier this year. Yes, its the old-timer in me, but I love watching the guys I grew up watching on a nightly basis get back out there. Yes, they are a step or two slower, but hey, so am I.
NAMING RIGHTS, SHNAMING RIGHTS - While driving to work last week, I was listening to Sirius/XM NHL Radio and they were promoting the Centennial Classic at Exhibition Stadium. ????? The game was being played at BMO Field, not Exhibition Stadium. Upon further review, it didn't take me long to see it was the "Scotiabank" Centennial Classic and obviously you couldn't have that at BMO Field.....or could you? What did BMO pay for naming rights? Should they not be allowed to have their name on the event? In this case, the answer was no!
THE FORGOTTEN FALCONS - The NFL regular season ended Sunday night with the Packers beating Detroit to win the NFC North. Green Bay ends the season on a six game win streak and a lot of people are now putting them in the Super Bowl discussion. That is understandable. Dallas is obviously in that conversation as well, and there are some who believe Seattle can shake off some late-season problems and make a run. It would seem though as if everyone is forgetting about the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan could very well be the MVP and the Falcons might be the best team in football right now outside of New England.
They have been unstoppable over the last few weeks. They will be a tough out. There isn't a lot wrong with that team. In a game between the Cowboys and Falcons right now, I would take Atlanta.
By the way, who has the money in Atlanta? The win over New Orleans yesterday was the last regular season game played at the Georgia Dome. The Georgia Dome opened in 1992 and it is now being taken down for a new facility after just 24 years. Meanwhile, the Braves are about to move into a new stadium as they get out of Turner Field which was built for the Atlanta Olympics. Yes, the Braves played a whole 18 seasons in that park. Those facilities are costing a lot more than what we have. I can only imagine what would be said in 2037 if someone said it was time to build a new football stadium in Regina. That's just disgusting as far as I'm concerned. As I said, where is the money coming from for these projects?
IS HE RELATED TO MARTY? - Its a college football marathon today as its one football game after another. I am obviously OK with that. If you are watching the Rose Bowl, pay attention to Penn State's quarterback Trace McSorley. He is on the Riders neg list. He may never ever be a Rider and he may not even know where Regina is, but he is Rider property if he ever decides to try his luck north of the border. He threw for 33 hundred yards and 25 TD's this season for a Nittany Lions team that comes into the game ranked #7.
YOU CAN'T HELP STUPID - I just had to pass this along because it one of those roll your eyes and shake your head moments. Late on the afternoon of New Year's Eve, I had to run to Wal-Mart to get something. I got to the store 15 minutes before it was closing and got what I needed as the calls came over the loudspeakers that the store was getting ready to shut its doors. I went to a till that looked to be open only to have the girl at the register say she was waiting for someone to return. There were three bottles of "Dove for Men" shampoo on the counter. The person came back with three more bottles of said shampoo and then gave the girl coupons. She then had to explain to the customer the 2 dollar off coupons weren't any good.
There's a reason for that. The coupons were for Pantene and not Dove for Men. The girl actually had to explain this to the customer who didn't like the fact his coupons weren't going to be accepted. He actually said "What's the difference, its shampoo?!" That had me and a woman standing behind me laughing which I don't think the guy liked. I felt bad for the person trying to explain this, but I was thankful for the clerk next to her saying he would take both myself and the woman behind me so we didn't have to wait. YEESH!!
That's all I got. Have a great week everyone! Happy New Year!