Is this the night the Regina Pats start playing the hockey we thought they would be playing throughout the 2008-2009 season. The floundering Pats are home to Swift Current in a 7 o'clock start at the Dome(Brandt Centre). They are 12 back of the Broncos in the standings but more importantly they are two behind Prince Albert and Edmonton who are tied for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
With a team having guys like Jordan Eberle, Colton Teubert, Jordan Weal, Brett Leffler, Matt Delahey and Linden Rowat, this team should be much better than their record indicates and they should be scoring goals but that just hasn't happened since the team headed off on its West Coast road trip in December. I like you don't know the reason for that and either does the braintrust of coach Dale Derkatch and GM Brent Parker. Both are taking a lot of heat for what is going on but both are admirably taking every shot thrown their way. There are 15 games left in the regular season for this club---a club that I still think can make the playoffs. Does this team have any confidence right now----NO!!! Would a good old fashioned blowout help take the pressure off---YES!!! Do they have the heart to compete to their abilities over these final 15 games---the only guys that can answer that are the ones wearing the "Pats" logo on their chest. Game time is 7. Its on Access meaning if you can't get down to the rink, watch it on TV but really being at the rink is the better option. If you are listening on the radio, you won't hear the dulcet tones of Rod Pedersen. He is on a much deserved vacation in some warm weather climate so CTV's Lee Jones fills in on 620 CKRM--Saskatchewan's Sports Leader. If the Pats win the three games they play while RP is away including a Saturday tilt against Calgary, we may discover Regina's main blogger and "Canada's Joe Buck" as I like to call him is a curse. Nonetheless, hope you haven't gotten a sunburn Roddie and we don't need pictures of you in that Borat suit.
A big 3rd period propelled the Sharks to a 5-2 win over Boston in a battle of NHL conference leaders. San Jose scoring four times in the 3rd to post the win. Meanwhile in Florida, Richard Zednik's goal in overtime gave the Panthers a win over the Leafs. Zednik was also making headlines one year ago today but not for scoring. It was one year ago last night that Zednik suffered a severe neck injury when a skate blade cut his throat causing him to lose a tremendous amount of blood. Speaking of which, why is it the hue and cry over everyone wearing neck guards has died down. Is it because everyone has now realized what happened to Zednik was a freak accident. Just wondering. Getting back to the Boston-San Jose game, I noticed that was on the front page of ESPN.com last night. That has to be a good sign for the NHL. Could ESPN actually be interested in getting some NHL back on their network. HMMMMM!!!!
There's a rumour making its way around that Jaromir Jagr could be headed back to the NHL and wearing the colours of -----------the Edmonton Oilers. I can't see that happening and as an Oiler fan I don't really want to see it happen.
The Lions have one of their "hated" offensive linemen back in the fold. Jason Jimenez has signed a new deal with the team. Rob Murphy becomes a free agent February 15. I would love to see him wearing Rider colours in 2009 but I don't think there is a lot of interest for Murphy in Riderville. It would be very interesting to gauge the reaction of the Rider Nation if Murphy--perhaps trailing only Henry Burris in "popularity" ended up wearing green.
That's it for now. I have a busy day ahead of me so I better get at it. Talk to you later. It looks like many of you are checking this out on a day to day basis and I thank you for that and then ask "Have you nothing better to do??!!". Just kidding!