The Moose Jaw Warriors may have snuffed out Regina's chances of making the WHL playoffs Tuesday night as they beat the Pats 4-3. The win means Regina is seven back of Swift Current and Moose Jaw who hold down the 8th and final playoff spot with nine games left. This game will be remembered for one play in particular---one that might very well symbolize Regina's season.
With the game tied at 2 in the 3rd period, Moose Jaw was about to take a penalty. With the ref's arm in the air and Damien Ketlo on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, the puck hopped over Colten Teubert's stick and rolled agonizingly down the ice towards the empty goal. Matt Strueby tried in vain to knock the puck away but he could not giving Moose Jaw the ultimate in gift goals. Teubert scored to tie it a few seconds later, but Quinton Howden gave the Warriors the two points when he scored late in the 3rd. What happens if that puck never goes into the empty net. We will never know. What we do know is losing this one means that most likely this team will not be going to the playoffs.
Why is that? Yes, many of you want to blame GM Brent Parker and I can't blame you for that, but does Parker lace up the skates and go out there night after night after night. Nope! Is it coach Curtis Hunt? Curtis is someone who has won gold medals as an assistant coach with the world junior program and he is someone who has had an opportunity behind an NHL bench. He was a good coach when he left for better things. He didn't become a bad coach overnight. This team has three first round NHL draft picks(Eberle, Teubert, Ashton)---one of them is the best junior hockey player in Canada. They have a guy who will be a late first round, early second round pick in this year's NHL draft(Weal). They have two young studs on the blueline that will be stars in the future (Bell, Davidson)They have one of the top ranked power-plays in the league. They also have some guys that would be better off playing university or senior hockey because they are simply not contributing. I don't have to identify those guys because those of you that read this go to games and see it as well. There are three guys on that squad who are basically useless and it shows shift after shift after shift in which they play like shift without the f. It should be an honour for the young men who wear the Pats crest to play in what is the world's best developmental hockey league. Instead, some treat it as a privilege. They believe they are entitled to something they are not. Some are skating their bags off and giving it everything they can while others could simply care less. Its unacceptable! Yeah you can blame Brent Parker all you want, but the problem lies much deeper than Parker alone.
I feel bad for both the Pats and Warriors because I wonder what type of crowd if any they will have later tonight. With Regina home to Vancouver and Moose Jaw entertaining Saskatoon, Canada will be playing Russia in a quarter-final game at the Olympics. HMMMMMM...I wonder what to watch! I fear the two teams could be playing in close to an empty barn. Canada seemed to get over their early struggles with a convincing 8-2 win over Germany. It would seem as if Canada has gotten over its problems---however, it was just one game. The eternal optimist will tell you the road to gold has gotten a lot smoother, the pessimist will tell you it was only Germany. Regardless of what you think, the game that many thought would be for gold will go tomorrow with the loser going home without a medal. Its Sid vs Alex, its Canada versus Russia. It should be a ring a ding dong dandy. As Kelly Remple told me last night, sit there and complain all you want if you're Canada about having to face Russia in the quarters, but how do you think the Russians feel knowing they have to beat Canada in order to have a chance at a medal.
Tell me you aren't cheering hard for Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette. Tell me you couldn't care less about what she does in Vancouver. Whatever! The emotional story of these games is Rochette whose mother died shortly after arriving in Vancouver to see her daughter skate in the biggest competition of her life. With a heavy heart and a nation behind her, Rochette went out and was simply marvellous in her short program. She is in 3rd. She has a chance at a medal and that medal could be gold. To win gold would be the coup de grace of these games. It would be the memory that would last with many of us forever. I'm guessing many of us will be watching her compete in the free skate on Thursday night, and I'm guessing many will hope she can be on the podium somewhere. Keep it up Joannie!
Canada hasn't won the amount of medals that the Canadian Olympic Association would have liked, but believe it or not, there is a good chance that Canada could win the gold medal battle. Ashleigh McIvor's gold on Cypress mountain yesterday gives us 6. Norway and Switzerland also have 6. That's only one behind the U-S and Germany. There is a possible gold in womens hockey, two possible golds in curling, possible gold in bobsled and mens aerials and maybe a gold in mens hockey. It hasn't been that bad even though some of our athletes who were medal favourites have failed.
To one of my former co-workers. I got your e-mail and does it really surprise you? It shouldn't. What's funny is I had the exact same conversation with someone on Monday.
I've had many a person tell me over the last few days that I should get on Twitter. Tell me, who really wants to follow me. Who? There isn't a degenerate out there that would want to do that and if there is...why?
Thanks for checking in. As you go to your Wednesday, I leave you with this....
Who coined the phrase, 'coined the phrase?'