Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Fat Lady Is Rehearsing

The road to the playoffs for the Regina Pats may be too steep after losing in a shootout to the Red Deer Rebels Tuesday night in front of 41 hundred fans at the Brandt Centre. While the Pats do get a point from the loss, they are simply spinning their wheels. They are six points back of 8th place Prince Albert with both teams having 18 games to go.
The Pats looked tired last nite and I thought at times they looked disinterested. They were fortunate to get a point as it looked like they wouldn't until Matt Strueby tied it with just 11 seconds to go.
Yes, they still have a chance at catching the Raiders, but I think with 4 games against Brandon, three against Saskatoon and one each against Calgary and Vancouver that their fate might be sealed. The Raiders and Broncos will have to hit the skids in this final quarter while Regina will have to come up with huge efforts against the league's top teams.
Of the 41-hundred that were there, many were grumbling at night's end. I can't blame them. Regina put in two snoozers against the Ice and Rebels. It will be tougher against the East leading Blades and a return matchup against Kootenay on Friday and Saturday.
The biggest circus in sports happened Tuesday. That is media day at the Super Bowl. I can only imagine what types of headaches a day like this would be for Rider communications man extraordinaire Ryan Whippler. The players all sit at tables and get grilled by media--not just sports media, but media in general. All types of questions are asked---few of them relate to football. Its a gong show. Its one of the big differences between the NFL and the CFL. Today is really the only day you get a chance to generate stories from the players who will play a role in the Super Bowl. Media availability is not great. Usually its outside, but rain forced both teams inside meaning reporters will get another chance to grill the teams at their respective hotels today.
As you may or may not know, reporters have the lay of the land during Grey Cup week as they can talk to any player just about anytime after practice. They can walk right out on the field and do that. Not so in the NFL. CFL teams have one closed practice, and a meal with the media. That is actually the best time to get players for feature interviews as they are not worried about geting back inside to the locker-room and missing a meeting.
I would love to see the look of some American reporters if they got to see how easy Canadian reporters have it at the Grey Cup compared to what they have to deal with. I'm guessing those representing Canadian media in Miami realize if they don't already how much easier it is covering the CFL championship than it is the NFL championship. As big as an NFL fan as I am, I don't think I would want to get into that circus whatsoever. Who's kidding who, if I ever got the chance, my tape machine would probably malfunction on me.
Are they planning the parade in Toronto after Giguere blanks the Devils in his Toronto debut?
Attention Cliff Mapes: Just a reminder about your marketing slogan that we came up with last night after the game. The Regina Pats---they will drive you batshit crazy!
Congratulations to Don Narcisse on his CFL hall of fame induction that will happen this year. Its something that I think is overdue. Narco is one of the greatest to wear a Riders uniform and its great that his accomplishments will forever be remembered.
One has to think Amber Holland can't afford any more losses at the Scotties after she lost 8-7 to New Brunswick Tuesday night. Amber and her Saskatchewan foursome are now 3-4. A 5th loss may be and likely will be too much. Ontario leads the way at 6-1 and Krista McCarville's rink is looking great. One would have to say right now she would carry Canadian colours into the Worlds at Swift Current. Jennifer Jones may have something to say about that before all is said and done. It would seem the talk of the event though might be the Prince Edward Island rink--and its not for their curling ability. The rink is getting compliments for being "Scotties Hotties" on the TSN message board. I must admit I haven't taken a good look at the team, but I'm sure that they will be on TV before the week is over seeing they are sitting near the top of the standings.
By the way, its great to watch Vic Rauter, Linda Moore and Ray Turnbull do their thing. Turnbull is hanging up the microphone at the end of this season meaning Russ Howard will likely take over. Nothing against Russ, but it won't be the same. The impact on curling in this country that those three have had thanks to the coverage TSN brings us is second to none.
As you begin your Wednesday, ask yourself this.....

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?



Anonymous said...

Don't give up on the Pats yet Mitch. The Raiders have a brutal sked to finish things off. If Regina can sneak a win or two here along with beating the Raiders in their barn, they could get in there. It might mean getting wiped off the map in 4 or 5 by Calgary or Brandon but they will have gotten there.

My thoughts on last night

Eberle looks tired
Leffler is god awful (again)
Ketlo is getting better and better
Davidson is our best defenceman
Strueby is Strueby

I was not one of the 41 hundred grumbling at night's end, but I do understand the frustration. All we have to do is make up 3 wins on PA and we're in. Once you reset to zero, you just never know.

Always the optimist


Anonymous said...

There are a lot of cute curlers at the Scotties this year! The PEI skip might be the cutest though.

Mike from Vita, MB said...

Does Amber Holland lead the Scotties in points stolen against? The team is so hot and cold; this is why Saskie fans go snake when our team loses games that shouldn't be close.

patsprincess said...

I agree with Kevin. It's too soon to give up now. While it seems like we are back in a slump, things could turn around. The Pats just need to focus on playing hockey because they love it, not playing because they are afraid to lose. I think that is the difference between winning and lossing for them now. They can play excellently when they get their mind set, but when they are scared (tired and tentative looking), they don't place with that same tenacity that they have.
Last night I was pleasantly suprised by Strueby who had a phenomenal game despite his team, but also with Ketlo, who is showing some really promise again.
With all of the shoot outs as of late, I think the Pats need to put in a few hours practicing their shoot outs. Both Eberle and Weal tried the same shot (and have previous nights) and both didn't score. In my opinion they tried to get too fancy.
(By the way, I really enjoy reading your blogs. They have a great and fresh perspective).

Anonymous said...

Where's the apology to Saskatoon hockey fans? I'm not seeing it!

Mitchell Blair said...

And you won't be either!

Anonymous said...

They'll drive you batshit crazy. LOVE THAT!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that Regina hockey fans put 4100 people in the rink on a Tuesday, when that's all Saskatoon hockey fans can do on a FRIDAY. Happy?

Anonymous said...

God, I wish people would learn the difference between a blog and a post! Thanks, that feels much better. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.