Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Where Do I Start??

The Stanley Cup playoffs, the WHL, the Anavet Cup, some UFC, another blown save by BJ Ryan. I've got a lot to talk about but first off I found this story to be verrrry interesting out of Ottawa. Perhaps its the reason why Pats GM Brent Parker hasn't determined the status of coach Dale Derkatch for next year.

As the Binghamton Senators wait to hear if their coach will return next season, Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray is beginning to ponder personnel changes that will help the American Hockey League team to its first playoff berth in five seasons.
Murray said on Tuesday that Binghamton coach Curtis Hunt hasn't yet decided whether he will return to the team next season. That decision should be coming in the next week or so.
Hunt took over the baby Sens on Feb. 4, two days after he and Craig Hartsburg were ousted as assistant coach and head coach, respectively, in Ottawa, and then-Binghamton coach Cory Clouston was promoted to Ottawa.
Hunt compiled a respectable 16-14-2-1 record in a situation that was far from ideal. He lost Brian Elliott, Brendan Bell, Brian Lee and Ryan Shannon to Ottawa. Then, down the stretch, there were injuries to Denis Hamel, Danny Bois, Matt Carkner, Peter Regin and Josh Hennessy.
Though they led the fifth-place Philadelphia Phantoms by 12 points in the East Division of the Eastern Conference on March 13, the Senators were bounced from the playoff race after a 6-1 loss to Norfolk in their penultimate game of the season.
The Phantoms went 11-3-0-3 over their last 17 games to claim the division's final playoff spot. The Senators went 5-7-0-1 while averaging just 2.23 goals over their final 13 games. Binghamton finished the season with a 41-30-5-4 record.
When the season ended, the Senators told Hunt, who has two years left on his contract, they wanted him back, but they gave him time to decide if he wanted to make a permanent move to Binghamton.
"We've left it up to him to decide if he wants to move his family there," said Murray, who oversees the Binghamton team. He was disappointed Binghamton didn't make the playoffs, but couldn't point fingers. If the parent club hadn't had such a bad year and taken Clouston, Bell, Lee and Shannon in an effort to right the ship, Binghamton would have made the playoffs.

If Curtis says he doesn't want to come back does it mean he is coming back to Regina. Is Parker waiting for Curtis to make his answer before he makes his answer regarding Derkatch? As I've stated before, I have nothing against Hunt but if the NHL came calling once, what's to say it doesn't come calling again and he bolts. Yes, Parker could get rid of Derkatch and bring in a Marc Habscheid who could leave for the NHL as well but even though Hunt is a quality coach it could just be a short-term solution. It begs the question would Derkatch return if offered an assistant coach position. That begs the question could an offensive minded person like Derkatch mesh with the defensive style Hunt preaches.


Lets go to the battle for Hockey's Holy Grail and it was drama abound on Wednesday night. I've heard a lot of people say the Carolina-New Jersey series has been the first round matchup because two of the four games went to O-T with a third one being . 2 seconds away from O-T, but that series doesn't compare to what is happening with the Flames and Hawks. What an entertaining Game 4 that was with the Flames winning 6-4 after blowing a 4-1 lead. Who's kidding who I thought Calgary was going to deliver a good old stomping to the Hawks, I went upstairs after Olli Jokinen scored to make it 4-1 midway through the 2nd and was shocked when I came back downstairs to watch the 3rd and see the game tied. Eric Nystrom sure reminds of you of his dad doesn't he. Not only does he look like Bob Nystrom but he scores big goals for his team just like his old man did with the Islanders. Nystrom getting the winner late in the 3rd---but it shouldn't have counted because of a hand pass in the Chicago end moments before the goal. This series has it all and I'm expecting two if not three more dandys before all is said and done.

The Montreal Canadiens 100th anniversary season ends with a whimper as the Habs lose 4-1 to Boston meaning a Bruins sweep. Carey Price did his best Patrick Roy imitation in this game as he gave the fans a salute after they got on his case when he made a routine save. Montreal fans want this kid to be the next Ken Dryden but if the organization isn't careful he will become the next Jose Theodore. I mentioned this earlier this week but it would behoove this team who has what looks to be a big rebuilding job to rid themselves of Price and give the starters job to Jaroslav Halak. Price would help the Habs get Vinnie Lecavalier as it would give Tampa the goalie they so desperately haven't had and a change of scenery may be something that gets Price back on top of his game. There are many teams that would love to have Price in their lineup. I'm guessing Bob Gainey will get his fair share of criticism over the next little bit. I don't know if he is to blame for this team falling apart but he has to take a major piece of the blame. Getting rid of Guy Carbonneau blew up in his face, not landing Lecavalier or any other big name at the trade deadline didn't help and now he must try and convince many free agents to return. Some of those free agents include Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Mike Komisarek and Alex Tanguay. The window may have closed on this team for the foreseeable future.
Here's a question for you. Who has played better in this first round when it comes to goalies...Luongo or Lundqvist?? Yes Luongo has gotten his team into the 2nd round already but Lundqvist has been lights out for the Rangers. He was outstanding again in Game 4 as the Blueshirts come within one game of the 2nd round with a 2-1 win meaning they can wrap it up in DC on Friday. Say what you will about Luongo but I think Lundqvist has been the best player out of anyone in the first round and if you were to give a Conn Smythe trophy out at this point, it in my mind would go to the Ranger tender.
The Calgary Hitmen are now 12-0 in the WHL playoffs. They tied the record for a playoff win streak by winning the East with a 6-4 win over Brandon. The Hitmen getting goals from six different guys. That's what makes this team so good, they can get goals from anyone at anytime. It can be the first line or the fourth line, they seemingly can't be stopped and likely won't be until they are hoisting the Memorial Cup.
The Portage Terriers are one win away from going to the RBC Cup. The Manitoba Junior champs beating Humboldt for the second straight night at the Elgar Petersen arena as they take Game 4 4-1 and a 3-1 series lead. When is the last time a Manitoba team won the Anavet Cup??? It seems as if the SJHL team always wins the series between the two leagues to move on to the RBC.
How much longer can Jays manager Cito Gaston stick with BJ Ryan as his closer. Ryan blows another save last night as he gives up three in the 9th to the Texas Rangers but Toronto ends up getting the win as they win the game 8-7 in 11. Ryan has now blown two saves in four appearances. That simply is unacceptable and can't be tolerated---especially if those blown saves end up as losses to teams like the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.
What the h-e double hockey sticks was happening in Regina yesterday. I look at the L-P website and see there were three incidents in which vehicles ran into buildings. One was at the Victoria East funeral home, one was at Queen City Glass and the other happened at Suds Car Wash. Did the 2o above weather send some into a state of delirium as they got behind the wheel. Speaking of which, you knew it was too good to last as the temperature will dip back into single digit highs for a few days now. Why?? What did we do to anger you Mother Nature???
Georges St. Pierre needs your help. The UFC welterweight champion from Montreal is looking for a logo.
To that end, the mixed martial arts star is asking fans to come up with a design that captures the 170-pound champion. The winning graphic will be displayed on his shorts and a banner at UFC 100 in July, be incorporated into his website and a new line of merchandise to debut in conjunction with the July fight against Thiago Alves.
St. Pierre plans to choose 10 designs and then have fans vote on which is the best.
For more information, go to
Why do I get the feeling that two readers of this blog may be submitting an entry. Am I right Tyler??? Am I right Cory???
Word has it the Tor Hill is opening for the year Friday morning and the Murray on Saturday. Word is Deer Valley will open May 1. What about Emerald Park or Aspen Links now I guess? How bout Flowing Springs??? I golfed Flowing Springs last season for the first time in a long time and that course simply killed me. I will get my revenge out there this year. In fact, I had just finished my round and was putting the clubs in the trunk ready to go for a cold one when my cellphone rang informing me Michael Bishop had been traded meaning yet another weekend was going up in smoke. Little did I know at that time that my weekend wasn't the only thing going up in smoke if you know what I mean.
I guess I should have warned you to have that cup of coffee ready to go before reading this this morning because there was a lot to get out there. I'll leave you with this. Who would win a catfight between Peggy Hill, Lois Griffin, Francine Smith and Marge Simpson? I'm leaning towards Francine because of the training that hubby Stan can give her.


Portuguese Sensation said...

Lois cuz she's vicious.

And Tampa already has a good goalie in Mike Smith. That kid is gonna shine.

Anonymous said...

When Curtis was here the team won. With many guys back from that team, they were crap! If that isn't a condemnation of Derkatch I don't know what is. I would applaud the return of Curtis to Regina and if he leaves again next year or in two years so be it.


Anonymous said...


Craig Stein said...

Selkirk beat Humboldt two years ago, but the SJ is I believe 7-3 in the last 10 years, and 27-11 overall. Portage also went to the RBC in '05 in Weyburn when they beat Yorkton in the Anavet.

Anonymous said...

I would be shocked if Curtis Hunt came back to coach the Pats. His first year in the bigs didn't go the way he planned but being a head coach in the A is better than being head coach in the Dub.


Anonymous said...

Where does Terry Perkins fit in to this equation of the Pats ugly season?If Dale is to go than so should Perkins.If Perkins is to stand at the dome after the first period and tell the fans what is wrong in his interview with Plaster he must be failing as an assistant coach as well or is he not telling his players what he is telling the fans.

Anonymous said...

That was an outstanding assessment, and one nobody has even considered. The more one thinks about it, the more that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

In his 8 years as a head coach in the Dub with Moose Jaw/Regina Hunt has never won 2 rounds of playoffs. Ya just what we really need. Habscheid has actually won a thing called the Memorial Cup. Nope we don't want him.

Anonymous said...

Curtis' departure at such a late juncture hurt the Pats because Dale or whoever took over didn't get a full grasp of what they had to deal with. If Curtis does come back, he will still have many of the guys that were here when he left. This is an interesting situation indeed. Good work Mitch!!!

Anonymous said...

Lois would kick the ass of all three of those. In a related match, you could have Peter, Joe, Cleveland and Quagmire against Hank, Boomhower, Bill and Dale. The Quahog gang would give them a good fight but Joe's wheelchair would eventually do them in. Maybe we would see a run-in from Homer, Barney, Mo and Apu.

Anonymous said...

This is why you need to get back on radio Mitch. You and RP would make CJME look so inconsequential when it comes to sports. Then again, CJME is inconsequential now and has been since you left when it comes to sports. I'm sure Remen(DUH) will want to talk about how his Sharks will even things up and yada yada yada. I won't be listening and either will many others.


Kelly Markwart said...

Aspen Links opens its Driving Range on Friday, course hopefully by Monday. Stop by and have some suds. That's the 8th green in my photo background.

Big T. said...

Marc Habscheid wants to coach the Pats but only if he's also the GM. Unless Parker is stepping down you won't see him here.

Hunt was a good coach but as a previous poster mentioned he was incapable of taking this team to the next level in the playoffs.

We need to look elsewhere for a coach because Derkatch quite clearly isn't the solution.

Anonymous said...

If Portage holds on to win this series, that will mean that the MJHL has won 4 of the last 8 Anavet Cups.

JT Burns said...

I would love to see Habscheid here as coach and gm. Parker could still work behind the scenes and Derkatch and Perkins can find something else to do. Parker has been great at keeping the team competive but it is time for a change at the top as the early playoff exits have become too much. I think if Habscheid was the coach this year the Pats would have won 40 plus games. I thought Dale was a great hire at the time but now I think that it didn't work and probably won't work in the future either. Good teams recognize their mistakes, make the neccesary changes and carry on. I am confident that the Pats can be a great team next year if properly instructed and motivated.

Big T. said...

JT While I would also like to see Habscheid here as coach and GM it ain't gonna happen.

There is no way Parker will work behind the scenes, it's not his character.

Mike from Vita said...

The last time the MJ beat the SJ in the Anavet Cup was 2005, as Portage beat Yorkton...the battle of the Terriers.

Price would be a good fit in Tampa, but after Gainey's press conference yesterday, I can't see him speaking to Tampa regarding ANY deals, in the foreseeable future

Anonymous said...

If it is not in Parker's character to work behind the scenes while an elite person gets his team to a winning position, then it is not in his character to win. Habscheid was overlooked once when it was inexplicable to do so. If he did it once, he will do it again. As for Hunt, my question is what has he ever won?

Big T. said...

My point is that until Parker completely removes himself from the team he will always want to be in control. The reason that Habscheid is not here today is not because we didn't want him as a coach, but because he wanted the dual role of coach and GM and Brent wasn't prepared to move on.

Anonymous said...

How do you know Habscheid wanted a dual role? My understanding is that he wanted control over his hockey team. Not an unusual demand for an elite coach. Everyone makes Habscheid out to be some power monger. Maybe he figured out that the formula that works best is when the best person does the job. I am sure all the guy wants to do is win.