Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
At a time of year when a good many of us are waiting for the days until Riders training camp begins. the Regina Pats are ready to do something many haven't seen. They will see the Queen City Kids play for the WHL championship for the first time since 1984 while perhaps winning it for the first time since 1980. Games 6 and 7 if they are needed will be played at the Brandt Centre. I think those games will be needed, and I am guessing not one fan will leave the place if Adam Brooks is presented with the Ed Chynoweth Cup. It won't be the celebration that happened on a warm November Sunday in 2013 at the old Mosaic Stadium, but there will be a celebration.
I am shocked at how many people believe the T-Birds will win this series and win it with ease. Take nothing away from this Seattle team who are very good, but they are taking the number 1 team in Canada. The pressure remains squarely on Regina. They have met every challenge they have faced this year. Why shouldn't they win this series.
Is the "Seattle will win" talk motivating the Pats? You bet it is. As Adam Brooks told me on Thursday at the rink, whatever team wants it more will win the series. Experience means very little now. Regina gets a huge advantage in Game 1 as the leading playoff scorer Keegan Kolesar is out due to a one game suspension and Ethan Bear remains a question mark. Bear won't be 100 percent in this series due to a broken hand. That is a distinct negative for the T-Birds as the Oilers prospect and Ochapowace First Nation product is the WHL blueliner of the year,
It should be a fantastic best-of-seven series. Get your popcorn ready!
--If I look at Saskjobs.ca, will I find an ad to apply for CFL commissioner? I realize the Stanley Cup playoffs are taking priority, but no one, and I mean NO ONE seems to care who is going to replace Jeffrey Orridge. If Roger Goodell stepped down as NFL boss tomorrow, the networks in the states would be filing story after story and compiling list after list. The same thing would happen in Canada if Gary Bettman stepped down as the NHL's head honcho. Broadcasters Duane Forde and Glen Suitor have indicated a desire for the top job. The league could do better, the league could do worse, Both are worthy of an interview. I am guessing both have a vision for the league and they know the league inside and out along with the various teams and those who run them.
I wonder if the league would consider that as a negative or a positive.
--The CFL draft is Sunday! Did you know that? The league is guilty of not promoting it very well, but TSN has been downright awful. Yes, I have been watching a lot of Sportsnet because of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but I have not seen one ad promoting the draft on the 3 letter nor one feature. With all the prospects here for the combine, I am hoping TSN had sit-downs with the likes of a Dariusz Bladek, a Mason Woods, a Mitch Picton, a Nate Behar and others. These guys are the future of the league. Let's create some excitement and get to know these guys,
The league is also taking heat for having the draft on the same night that the Oilers and Ducks will play Game 6. Yes, the CFL suits knew that when they were setting a date. That is taking a needless potshot at the league. However, some are also wondering why the league moves the draft around. First, it was on a weekday afternoon, then it was on a weekday night, now it is on a Sunday evening. The league needs to come out and set a date and not stray from it. If they want it to be the first Sunday of May, leave it there and don't change it or the time,
-- As the Edmonton Oilers move forward in the Stanley Cup playoffs, this guy is getting a lot of heat.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you Jordan Eberle hasn't been bad in these playoffs because he has been. After the way he ended the season, I thought he would light it up in the playoffs. That hasn't happened for whatever reason. He's not alone. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been just as atrocious as Eberle in this blogger's mind. The talk has started about trading #14. Really? A few weeks ago, he was being praised for becoming a solid two-way player, and now he is worthless. Some have suggested he could be left unprotected for Vegas to grab.
Doing that would be a huge mistake for the Oilers. If you are going to trade him, what do you get in return? Is there another second-line winger that can get you 20-25 goals out there? This year was not, and has not been a good season for Eberle. I still think he is a 60 point man in this league although admittedly his best days may be behind him. If you don't get a 2nd line winger in return, are you moving Zack Kassian up, are you dropping Leon Draisiatl down from what is a great combination with Connor McDavid. Are you putting Jesse Puljujarvi in that spot and hoping he blossoms in what will be his second year? I'm not suggesting he shouldn't be dealt, but I'm not suggesting he should be given up on either. It won't surprise me if he scores a big goal for this team before the playoffs are over. I'm stickin' by him!
--The Boston Red Sox should be embarassed of themselves. It's bad enough some of their fans have the IQ of a sloth with their racial taunts of Adam Jones, but their "desire" to plunk Manny Machado have gone too far.
The Red Sox are mad because of a slide that injured 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia earlier this year. It wasn't that bad of a slide. Jose Bautista's slide on Rougned Odor that landed Jose a punch in the mouth was much worse.
The Red Sox had a chance to exact "the code" on Machado, but pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez failed to hit him on three occasions when he had the chance. That's it. Strike 3. Move on! Oh no. Chris Sale, arguably the game's best pitcher, then throws a 96 mile per hour heater behind his head the next night, Yeah, tell me that was accidental. Sale wasn't kicked out because he wasn't given a warning. Why are pitchers given a warning anyhow. In football, d-backs don't get a warning for pass interference, You don't get a warning if you cross-check a guy from behind into the boards in hockey. When a pitcher throws at someone, he should be tossed and he should be suspended and suspended heavily.
It usually ends up being 4 or 5 games which means a start. Oh boy! Machado said the other night if he goes out there with a bat and swings it at someone, he probably gets suspended for a year, Is there a difference? A 96 mile an hour fastball can also do significant damage,
Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated Thursday night the series is only half over between these teams. Is he suggesting more fireworks are coming? If he is, he is as big a clown as the fans who thought it was cool to deliver some racial taunts to Jones.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend! I'm sure I'll see many of you at the Brandt Centre. GO PATS!!