(Courtesy Moose Jaw Warriors)
--Should we be surprised to see the Moose Jaw Warriors and Swift Current Broncos going seven games in their WHL second-round series? Thanks to the fine folks at Access, hockey fans across Saskatchewan were treated to some good hockey games this weekend as we saw what we thought we would see from the two teams. Saturday's triple-overtime thriller was a game for the ages and one where the Broncos may have thought they were in complete control of after Tyler Steenburgen's goal made it 2-0. Swift Current's defence had found a way to shut down the potent Moose Jaw offence for over 160 minutes, but Moose Jaw found a way.
Both teams now go to their second straight Game 7. One would think the momentum is with the Warriors in this one, but who knows. All I do know is if you're not going to Mosaic Place tonight, Access 7 or Shaw will be the place to be as we see one heckuva series come to an end. It was asked on this blog last week if we will see the conference finals---in particularly the Western Conference final. I can't answer that question, but I am hoping we get a chance to see the Americans-Silvertips matchup as it should be great and will likely be the more marquee series than Swift Current/Moose Jaw vs Lethbridge as not many will give the Hurricanes a chance.
--Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds was on the Sportscage Friday to talk about a variety of topics including the team's committment to help Humboldt and the Broncos as they move forward. Reynolds knows what those people are feeling because he is a Saskatchewan boy like all of us. He says when everyone leaves and lets Humboldt be Humboldt, the Riders will be standing right there to help the process in so many different ways. One should not be surprised at this response from the football team. They have already done a lot of things that people may or may not know about and they will continue to do so.
Reynolds also said the excitement of the season is upon us as mini-camp goes in Florida next week which really is a precursor to the season. Reynolds said the excitement for him really started at the combine because you know its close. The mini-camp will lead to the draft which will lead to main camp. One wonders on a provincial basis if main camp will do a lot for the healing Saskatchewan is feeling. Rider talk whether it be good or bad is something we all engage in on a daily basis and soon it will be time to start being armchair GM's again whether the opinion be factual or far-fetched.
--Good on Drake and Brooke Henderson for saluting the Broncos this weekend. If you saw the Raptors game Saturday, you saw Drake donning a Broncos jersey that he had the entire Raptors team sign after while Henderson had a Broncos pin on her visor as she won an LPGA event in Hawaii. The question I ask is where did they get this stuff and how? You can't find a lot of Humboldt stuff or junior A stuff for that matter online. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter as them showing their support on an international stage was a great thing to see.
--If you are a Leafs fan, you can't like the way the first two games against Boston went. If you aren't a Leafs fan, you have to be loving it! The only way Toronto may be able to shut down the line of Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak is to not allow them into Air Canada Centre and I don't think that is going to happen. I'd be shocked to see that series end in four straight, but if Boston wins Game 3, it likely will.
--Bob Cole isn't doing Stanley Cup playoff games and Paul Romanuk is. SIGHHHH!!! At least Romanuk is doing the Winnipeg-Minnesota series as it allows me to check out TSN Winnipeg and listen to Dennis Beyak on the call. There aren't much better. If you listen to SIRIUS/XM Radio in the winter and hear the various play-by-play guys around the league, you'll find Beyak is one of the best at his craft in the NHL and there are many doing NHL games who make me wonder how they got their gig. As I have stated before, there are many in the WHL, AJHL, SJHL and those not doing games who would be far better and deserve the opportunity.
--As an Oilers fan, why am I scared about the future when it comes to what Peter Chiarelli will do with the hockey club to get them back to being a playoff team. As it was noted on NHL Radio this week, Chiarelli has traded Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Eberle and Blake Wheeler during his tenure as GM in Edmonton and Boston. I would think Edmonton fans would lose it a lot if someone like Draisaitl, Nurse or Puljujarvi were to be dealt in the off-season. I somehow think Chiarelli will do something highly unpopular again in the off-season. He did mention trading out of the number 9 spot which I would be OK with unless d-men Quinn Hughes or Ty Smith are still on the board. Smith might be, but I don't know about Hughes.
--Due to the major snow/icestorm that hit the midwestern US and southern Ontario, Gord Miller got to Excel Energy Center in St. Paul about 40 minutes before going to air with Game 3 of the Jets/Wild series on NBCSN. As a broadcaster, I want to be in the venue as early as possible for a variety of reasons. If I was not getting there until 40 minutes before the puck drop, the anxiety and panic going through me would be worse than it is trying to hook up equipment before Rams games on the road. Braden Konschuh and Addison Richards can vouch for this. Yeesh!
--Is Columbus the home of collectively what might be the worst sports nicknames going. "Blue Jackets", "Buckeyes" and their MLS team is named the Columbus Crew. May the NBA or NFL never end up in the Ohio city.
--When are the Vegas Knights going to start getting respect? Do they have to win the Cup to do it? No one gave them a chance at the start of the year. They had a great start and people said they would fizzle out. They didn't fizzle out and they won their division which led people to say the playoffs will be a different animal and now they're in complete control of their series against L-A. What more do they need to do? If they don't win the Cup, many will say they surprised everyone in their inaugural season and now teams will know how to play them. While it is great to see, I hope the NHL comes to their senses and changes the plan up for Seattle when they come in the league so that they aren't a contender immediately. Take nothing away from the Knights, but immediate success should not come to an expansion team when they are plucking the talent that they are allowed to take.
--If you're a baseball fan, you had to be cheering for Bartolo Colon to pitch a perfect game Sunday night against the Astros. What a story that could have been! A chubby Kevin Costner would have to had play Colon in the movie.
--That's all I got. Have a great week!