Monday, May 15, 2017

Something To "Mitch" About

A "TRUE" HEARTBREAKER -  So much for a Game 7 at the Brandt Centre.  With 7 minutes left, it looked as if the Regina Pats were going to send the WHL Final to a deciding game, but as they have so many times in this final, the Seattle Thunderbirds showed they wanted it more and as a result, they are headed to the MasterCard Memorial Cup in Windsor starting Friday.

The difference in this series was the fact the T-Birds simply never ever stopped. In Game 5, the Pats were up 2-0, but Seattle roared back to tie it at 2.  That to me was the turning point of this series.

With 6:48 to go and needing a win to send it to Game 7, the Pats just weren't strong enough to stem the tide and when Seattle tied it at 17:06 I had a bad feeling.  It set the stage for Alexander True to win it for the T-Birds in OT crushing the Pats dream.  They just seemed hungrier. Whether or not it was the fact they lost the final last year or something else, the T-Birds just seemingly wanted it more.

It's a tough lesson for John Paddock's crew to take, but perhaps they will have an opportunity to take that lesson into next year and use it to their advantage when they host the Memorial Cup next year.  Of course they will do it without Adam Brooks, Dawson Leedahl and Chase Harrison, but this team will be good next year.  They may not be 52 wins good, but there is no reason to think John Paddock and crew will have this team back in the hunt again.

This one stings, but in the end Regina, you have a hockey team you have been dreaming to see for a long time and they aren't going away.

CITY OF CHAMPIONS -  Do the fine people in Ottawa need to steal that moniker from Edmonton.  The REDBLACKS are Grey Cup champs, the Senators are trying to get to the Stanley Cup championship, Rachel Homan's curling rink are Canadian and world champs, and Carleton seemingly wins the USports Canada men's basketball championship every year.   Do you think the NHL wants to see Ottawa in the final when it comes to TV numbers in the states. Having Anaheim oppose them as they did a decade ago would at least have a large market in the final, but I would think an Ottawa-Nashville final wouldn't draw many to their TV's south of the border.  In Canada, we will watch no matter who is in the final, but we all know the U-S is a different story.

By the way, do Leafs fans care considering the rise they took this year that Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf are opposing one another in this series. I wouldn't think so.

GIVE NOAH A CHANCE -  Message to all 9 CFL teams.  Someone draft Noah Picton in the 2018 CFL Draft and give him a meaningful chance to be a member of your team moving forward.  Yes, I know that is a tall task to ask since CFL teams don't look at the talent at the game's most important position but rather the birth certificate instead.  The 2016 Canadian University football MVP went out Saturday and won the MVP honours at the East-West bowl where players for the 2018 draft will be eligible.

At the combine, Picton was making all the throws that had to be made. He has shown what he can do at the University level and will likely have another fine season in front of him as the Rams look to finish first in Canada West for a second straight season.

He deserves the opportunity. Do I realistically think he will get it? NOPE!  I've said it once, and I'll say it again. If Picton and other Canadian QB's  past and present went to school in the U-S, they would be looked at seriously. If Brandon Bridge had gone to school in Canada, he wouldn't be in the CFL right now.

I know its far down the  list on priorities for the league, but they must find a way to get the "Canadian" quarterback into the "Canadian" Football League.

SALUTING THE CAPTAIN -- Derek Jeter will never go down as one of the best players in the history of baseball, but he does go down as one of the greatest New York Yankees to have ever played the game.  The long-time shortstop of the Yankees who did many great things including 5 World Series titles in a 20 year career got his due Sunday as the team retired number 2.  All that is left now is a trip to Cooperstown.

Image result for derek jeter retirement

In a city that has swallowed up numerous athletes, Jeter did it right.  The guy is pure class. Those who aren't Yankee fans had to respect what Number 2 meant not only to the Bronx Bombers but baseball as a whole.  He had a flair for the dramatich which was stamped in his final at-bat which was a game-winning hit.

He penned his own thank you to New York, and in only the way Jeter can, he hit a homer with it.

By the way, it was somewhat ironic that the Yankees had the retirement ceremony in between games of a doubleheader needed because of a rainout Saturday.  I guess the baseball gods wanted the Yankees to play "2" on Sunday.

WHAT NOW -  The Thunderbirds win was also the last WHL game on SHAW.  Thanks to some extremely short-sighted decisions by suits, it has been decided that coverage of the WHL along with Canada West Football is no more.

The big loser in that are both the WHL and Canada West Football along with you the fan. You got to see other players and other teams that you don't see thanks to the hard-work of the people at SHAW.

 You can't tell me that Canada West Football didn't see a record amount of players drafted because scouts had more of an opportunity to watch games along with film. You also can't tell me that more people became invested in the WHL because of what SHAW has done over the last many years bringing us games we would otherwise not see.  Both need someone to step up and pick up the ball.  Fingers are crossed, but once again there is the stark reality that sports fans in Western Canada have perhaps seen the end of the road of two properties that deserve the coverage they have received and more.

With 5 TSN's and numerous SNET's, it baffles me as to why Canada can't have a sports channel to showcase its amateur athletes and leagues,   It's something we could ask decades down the road as well, as we all know that sadly won't happen.

That's all I got, Have a great week and thank you to the Regina Pats for once again giving the Queen City a team we can be proud of moving forward.


Anonymous said...

You're right about the T-Birds wanting it more. The series was lost when Brooks got hurt in the first game. They were too thin in the middle and too small. They played well in the early part of the season but they played all skill and no grit. They played cute but small. Seattle was big like they usually are but Paddock allowed the Pats to get under sized. before the second Seattle goal was scored Sloboshan , DeWitt and Holmes couldn't get the puck out of their own end, and it lead to the goal. Sloboshan helped the Pats somewhat but he is small, inconsistent, and not good defensively. DeWitt played poorly since arriving here. Neither are what we need going forward. Paddock has done a reasonable job BUT he still hasn't delivered a Championship and his three project fizzled out last night. He in no small way has to take responsibility for not ensuring he had had more depth, size and experience. He went far too young and failed to ensure there were more older experienced players for the run. Much is on him. Host teams rarely win the Memorial Cup so next season doesn't look that good either.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy, I am not going to argue with you about who wanted it more, because Seattle clearly did.

However, someone needs to explain how Seattle can get away with slewfooting a defenceman in the neutral zone leading directly to their first goal with no penalty being called.

The call to Harrison setting up the tying goal was also BS.

WHL fans deserve better from the stripes, and if these were the best guys working in the final, it says something for the state of the officiating in WHL.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Adam Brooks, thank you Dawson Leedahl, thank you Chase Harrison.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Pats for a great season!

Anonymous said...

SHAW's cuts go much deeper than just the WHL and CW Football. I find it somewhat surprising they can't find a way to keep the entire operation going, but what do I know.

What I do know is that the CRTC should mandate SNET or TSN to have a channel devoted to amateur sports. Do we really need Sportsnet World? How about Sportsnet Canada?


Anonymous said...

Another thing going against Noah Picton is his size. I'm not saying that's right, but I think we can all admit he is no Flutie, and that is the only small QB that has had success in the modern-day CFL.

Anonymous said...

Seattle's D was just too much for Regina. Not having Brooks and not havving Wagner at 100 percent didn't help either. I am guessing Wag's shoulder is just f#####ed, which shows you his toughness.

Congrats to Seattle and all the Saskie kids on that club. Go win the MC

Anonymous said...


How long till Bear is in the Oilers lineup? Gotta think it will be by 2020. Anyone thinking Hobbs should have been d-man of year got schooled by watching these two play and Bear wasn;t even 100 percent. Makes you wonder why he didn't get an invite to WJ camp.

Anonymous said...

TSN has five channels but it's amazing how often there's nothing of interest on any of them. The West needs a channel.

Red Neckerson

Ron said...

Agree with most of it Scruff-dog...but on the Picton thing having an undersized QB probably trumps everything. Buckley in Calgary is getting a good shot at backup this year with Gale and who knows how Brandon Bridge will do this year...hopefully he shows some jam and can step up to the plate when the whistle blows. Congrats to the Pats on a great season and a big thumbs-down to ALL the trolls who are dumping on them. I had the pleasure of thoroughly enjoying the Mem Cup Pats of '72-73 and that was a run for the ages too. One last shot...why do media types always say the "amount" of players"? If you can count's the "number" of players. Amount is a measure of something like amount of water in your basement or the amount of alcohol in your system. That being said I have had a "number" of beers listening to the Sports Cage! Sorry Scruff...great job as usual!