Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pats Need New P x P Guy

The Regina Pats Hockey Club announced today, that Broadcasting and Communications coordinator Dan Plaster is leaving the organization, as of February 20th, 2012. Plaster has been with the Regina Pats since August 2008, originally as the Director of Communications, then moving into the broadcast booth at the start of the 2010 season.

Regina Pats President Brent Parker “We appreciate the time, effort and commitment that Dan has made to our organization and we wish him all the best in this new opportunity. It is flattering to us that the Roughriders have recognized the good work we have done in the community and chosen to recruit one of our employers to enhance that area of their operation. The timing for us is not the best by any stretch but this is a unique opportunity for Dan and we certainly did not want to stand in his way.”

Regina Pats Vice President of Business Operations Cliff Mapes “I am extremely happy for Dan and at the same time disappointed to see him leave us. Dan has been a committed, hard working, reliable employee and will be very difficult to replace. I want to thank Dan for the years he has given us and wish him all the best as he moves on to working in football.

Dan Plaster, “I would like to thank Brent, Cliff and the entire Regina Pats organization for allowing me the pleasure of working for one of the premier franchises in junior hockey. I'm grateful for the experience, but even more, I will cherish the people I have worked with and the life-long friendships I have forged in my time with the Regina Pats.”

Fantuz Or No Fantuz--I Don't Care

As the calendar dips into February, CFL free agency gets closer and closer. As it does so, Rider fans (at least some of them) are obsessed over whether or not Andy Fantuz comes back to Saskatchewan or if he will be catching passes elsewhere. Perhaps its been because this discussion has gone on for so long, but I couldn’t care less if he is here or not come training camp because I know that with or without Fantuz, the football team will be fine.

In this salary cap world that the CFL now lives in, teams have to take a good look at their money and where it is being spent. With Chris Getzlaf and Weston Dressler taking up the inside positions and a healthy Rob Bagg back outside with whoever whether it be Dallas Baker, Cary Koch or someone new, the team isn’t hurting at receiver. Yes, not having Fantuz would not be the best thing, but he alone does not the offence make and there is talent behind him.

Defensively, it is no secret that this team needs someone who can get to the quarterback. Justin Hickman is coming off a 13 sack season with Hamilton and he is a free agent---he is also someone who would know new coach Corey Chamblin quite well seeing Chamblin spent last season in Hamilton as the team’s defensive co-ordinator. With Barrin Simpson and Sean Lucas gone, there is a void at linebacker so perhaps someone like Edmonton’s Rod Davis or Toronto’s Jason Pottinger is a possibility.

Fantuz’s reluctance to sign a new contract with the football team is understandable. He wants to see what type of offers are out there. Sadly, Rider fans that likely means money that was earmarked for him a while ago is now being placed elsewhere and Andy probably isn’t plan A anymore.

I think this team needs to address its defiencies in free agency on the defensive side of the ball. I may be wrong in that philosophy and if I am, so be it. However, Andy’s desire to wait until February 15 or beyond to make a decision on his football future makes me think that with other talented players out there who will command a sizable chunk of coin that Fantuz will be hearing the jeers of Rider fans who used to adore him instead of the cheers that he’s been accustomed to.

Seinfeld's Super Bowl Ad

Jerry Seinfeld really wants to be the first person to own this new Acura.....

Max To Show Tankard Final and Semi-Final Live

SaskTel Max™ customers will have the exclusive opportunity to watch free live coverage of the SaskTel Men’s Tankard semifinal and final on Sunday, February 5. This is the first time since 2008 that live TV coverage of the Tankard finals will be available in Saskatchewan. It will also be the first live curling event ever broadcast by SaskTel Max.

Live coverage of the semifinal draw will begin at 9:15 a.m. Live coverage of the final will begin at 1:45 p.m. Both draws will be broadcast on channel 119, and will also be available on Max Local on Demand beginning February 6 on channel 48.

“We’re thrilled to offer SaskTel Max customers the opportunity to watch Saskatchewan’s top men’s curlers compete for the SaskTel Tankard provincial championship live as a free Max broadcast,” said Stacey Sandison, Chief Marketing Officer. “We would like to thank the Saskatchewan Curling Association for working with us to make this live broadcast possible.”

“We are very pleased that SaskTel has agreed to broadcast the SaskTel Tankard LIVE,” said Mike McClelland, SCA President. “The SaskTel Tankard brings the top Saskatchewan male curlers and curling fans together every year, and now thanks to SaskTel, fans can catch all the excitement LIVE in their own homes. It is great exposure for the sport of curling in our province.”

Riders Add Two, Release Two

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have signed a pair of import receivers to the roster – Jason Chery and Taj Smith. Financial details of the signings were not released. The Riders also announced they have released import receiver Freddie Barnes and non-import offensive lineman Alexandre Gauthier.

Chery (5’11 – 189 lbs) most recently spent time with the Hartford colonials of the UFL. Prior to that, the 26-year-old spent time with the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers who originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Chery played four years at Louisiana-Lafayette where he finished his college career with 106 catches for 1,379 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 46 carries for 521 yards and five touchdowns. Also had 80 kickoff returns for 1,607 yards and one touchdown.

Smith (6’1 – 198 lbs) was most recently a member of the Indianapolis Colts prior to be released in September, 2011. The 28-year-old was originally signed to the Colts’ practice roster in September, 2008. He appeared in five games for the Colts in 2010 where he played mostly on special teams and added four tackles, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt. His first taste of the NFL came when he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers in early 2008. He appeared in one preseason game where he caught two passes for 23 yards. Smith spent two seasons at Syracuse where he tallied 56 receptions for 1,049 yards and eight touchdowns. Also added ten carries for 84 yards and one touchdown.

Barnes signed as a free agent with the Riders in August, 2011 and appeared in one game for the team while spending the remainder of the season on the practice roster.

Gauthier signed as a free agent with the Riders in February, 2011. He started all 18 regular season games for the Riders at left tackle.

Monday, January 30, 2012

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and Ottawa Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson and have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Jan. 29.

Grabovski tallied a League-leading five points (one goal, four assists) in two games during a shortened week prior to the All-Star break as the Maple Leafs (25-19-5) recorded back-to-back victories and drew even in points with the #7 Florida Panthers and #8 New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Grabovski recorded one assist in a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders Jan. 23 and tallied a season-high four points (one goal, three assists) in a 4-3 overtime win on Long Island Jan. 24 that gave Toronto a sweep of the home-and-home series. Playing in his fourth season with the Maple Leafs, Grabovski increased his season scoring total to 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) in 43 games.


Rinne extended his winning streak to nine games by posting a 2-0-0 record, 1.00 goals-against average and .961 save percentage as the Predators (30-16-4) closed within three points of first place in the NHL overall standings at the All-Star break. Rinne made 25 saves in a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 23 and stopped 24 shots in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 24. Rinne improved his season record to 28-11-4 with a 2.36 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and four shutouts in 45 appearances. He has won each of his past nine starts, allowing two goals or fewer in every contest.


Alfredsson tallied goals in each of the Senators' two games leading into the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend and was a star attraction in front of a home crowd as Ottawa hosted the League's mid-season showcase. He tallied his team's lone goal in a 4-1 loss at Los Angeles Jan. 23 and notched the 406th goal of his NHL career in a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes Jan. 24. Serving as captain of Team Alfredsson in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game, the 39-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden native drew a standing ovation from the Scotiabank Place crowd with a pair of goals 1:31 apart in the second period that turned a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 lead over Team Zdeno Chara. Alfredsson also tallied an assist and recorded seven shots on goal, tied with Team Chara's Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks for the most among all players in the 12-9 loss to Team Chara.

McKenzie Stays In B-C

The B.C. Lions re-signed import linebacker Anton McKenzie on Monday.

McKenzie originally joined the club as free agent prior to the 2009 season after spending three years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

He has appeared in 52 of his 82 CFL games with B.C. during his six-year career. McKenzie was a standout for the club last season, ranking second in tackles with 79 while adding two sacks.

"Having Anton re-sign is another important step in keeping the core of our team intact moving forward,'' general manager and vice-president of football operations Wally Buono said in a statement. "This is great news for our fans and we'll continue the process of assembling the best possible club for 2012.''

The versatile McKenzie had an interception and added four tackles in B.C.'s Grey Cup win over Winnipeg in November.

`"`What makes Anton extremely valuable beyond his statistics is his ability to communicate with teammates and direct the defence on the fly,'' Lions head coach Mike Benevides said. "His willingness to do whatever it takes and his quiet leadership are a big part of our team concept.''

Mallett Is Now In The Hammer


The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced today that the team has signed import running back Martell Mallett.

Mallett, a 6-0, 195-pound native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, burst onto the CFL scene with the B.C. Lions in 2009, capturing the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award and a spot on the West Division All-Star team after rushing for 1,280 yards and six touchdowns. He also added 43 receptions for 342 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

After his incredible rookie campaign, Mallett signed with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and subsequently spent time with the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants.

“Martell’s combination of size, speed and strength makes him a force to be reckoned with. He’s a very physical runner and a great receiver out of the backfield. Martell will provide our offence with another potent weapon,” said vice president of football operations Bob O’Billovich.

Changes On The Good Ship Argo

Senator David Braley, owner of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club, announced today that Argonauts President and CEO Bob Nicholson has resigned to pursue other opportunities.

“Bob was one of the first people I turned to when I bought the Argonauts franchise. His experience and leadership have contributed significantly to building a foundation from which the franchise can continue to move forward. I would like to thank him for all of his efforts on behalf of the Club,” said Braley.

Effective immediately, Chris Rudge, Chairman, Toronto Argonauts, and Chair and CEO of the 100th Grey Cup Festival, will assume the position of Executive Chairman and CEO of the Argonauts. Chris Rudge joined the organization in June 2010 from his previous post as CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Own The Podium program, which he held through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games that saw Canada win 14 Gold medals, the most ever for any country in an Olympic Winter Games. As a member of the office of the CEO and President of Canadian and International Operations for Quebecor World Inc., Chris led over fifty companies with sales in excess of 3 billion dollars.

Braley continued, “Chris has an exceptional record of leadership in the corporate world and the sports community. I know he will continue to focus on the rebuilding of the Argos business and I look forward to the franchise returning to its rightful position as a leader within the range of sports and entertainment options available in Southern Ontario.”

Commented Rudge, “I am excited to continue to build the Argonauts brand, and cementing its place in the hearts and minds of Torontonians. We have already made great strides forward this off-season with our product on the field and look forward to growing attendance and continuing our already strong community efforts. The great response to the 100th Grey Cup demonstrates that the fanbase is here; we need to continue to find ways to reconnect it to the Double Blue. I am looking forward to this challenge.”


I would expect this from a Bruins fan, but I get this from the iconic Josh Shaw who is a Habs fan. Its outstanding!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back To The Scotties

(picture courtesy Saskatoon Star-Phoenix)

Congratulations to Michelle Englot and her rink from the Tartan. Michelle will be going back to the Scotties for the first time since the event was held in Regina in 2008 after defeating Stefanie Lawton to win the provincial title in Humboldt by a score of 9-7. With the win, the 48 year old (sorry Michelle) is now the first skip to win the Scotties in four different decades. She's just like fine wine, she's not getting older, she's getting better.

Englot's inclusion to the Scotties means curling fans in Red Deer can get ready for what should be a great week of curling. Michelle joins a field that will have defending champ Amber Holland, Jennifer Jones, Kelly Scott, Heather Nedohin, Marie France-Larouche and Heather Strong in it. Whoever wins will have definitely earned it.


Did you watch the NHL all-star game? I didn't. Did you watch the NFL Pro Bowl? I didn't.

I saw some highlights and I'm glad I didn't.


I laugh at how some people will criticize the writing on this and other blogs, yet they always come back to read the latest entry. Why is that?


Not a good weekend for the Pats as they lose to Swift Current at home on Friday and drop one in Saskatoon on Saturday. By reading Rod Pedersen's blog, it seems the haters are once again out as the harsh talk has continued. I'm sure Pat Conacher will get things straightened out very quickly. By the way, in reading Rod's blog, he says the team keeps losing every time he goes to a game. This makes me wonder if Evraz Place staff will be instructed to tell him his attendance isn't wanted by Brent Parker anytime soon. ITS A JOKE!!!!!


Speaking of the Pats, its my understanding that there is going to be a Canadian version of "The Bachelor". The wife believes the first bachelor will be some greasy rigger from Alberta, but I have to wonder if the show's producers have approached Dan Plaster. WHAT???? Again, ITS A JOKE!!!!!! or is it?


I find it extremely odd that team doctors couldn't find the neck injury that Sidney Crosby has supposedly had. This makes me wonder if the Penguins team doctor is Dr. Nick Riviera from Simpsons fame.


Is it safe to say that many people will be glued to their TVs in 2014 when Mark McMorris competes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Between McMorris and Graham DeLaet, Saskatchewan has two more athletes that we should be following closely.


Look, its High Impact Wrestler Rex Roberts once again staring at the ceiling counting the tiles at the Victoria Club during Friday's "monthly dose of culture". Rex and company will do their thing again February 22 at the Victoria Club and yes, the midgets will be there on that night to perform. Who doesn't love midget wrestling?!

I don't know how much money these guys get paid for doing what they do, but they really put it on the line Friday night with some dangerous and risky moves. It was an entertaining nite, but then again when you are in the company of Rob Vanstone and Tony Playter, how can it not be? If only Obama had been there! I'm guessing he will be on the 22nd.


High Impact Wrestling "performer" Crazy Horse would have been outstanding doing his thing in Stampede Wrestling or even the WWE when they had managers. He might be the best of the lot.


It hasn't been a good couple of weeks for WWE star Zack Ryder. If you watched the "Royal Rumble" last night and you've been watching RAW, you know what I mean.


Is it true that a book is being written or has been written on the 1986 bus crash involving the Swift Current Broncos and how the team rebounded to keep playing and go on to win a Memorial Cup. If this book is out, where is it and what's it called as I want a copy. If its being written, when will it be at my nearest bookstore?


Speaking of the Broncos, they had a meeting the other night to discuss "issues" with the fans. Is this the start of something bigger that could involve the team's finances. It can't be easy for teams like Swift Current and Prince Albert to operate and you have to wonder if a dire situation is happening there. Is this the reason they didn't trade any of their good players at the trade deadline so they could keep giving people a reason to come to the rink. I don't like it when I hear stories like that. I hope my thought process is wrong on this one.


I love the latest initiative from the WHL. They are asking fans to submit questions via Facebook and Twitter to Commissioner Ron Robison. The best of the bunch will be answered by Robison with the video going out on the league's website along with their Twitter and Facebook accounts. I should have thought of that with former SJ President Laury Ryan last year. Oh the questions I would have had to siphon through and the ones I would have given him for him to answer. Too late now!


I don't know why, but I get the feeling that some kind of big announcement will come from the Rider offices this week. Just call it a hunch.


If you are an MMA fan, do you love or hate Chael Sonnen? You gotta admit the guy is a little out there and his mike skills can't be beat.


I never thought I would be one of those people to get into eating healthy and working out everyday. I was correct.


Have a good Monday!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sid Has A Broken Neck?


The Sidney Crosby injury saga in Pittsburgh is taking another fascinating turn.

According to Sportsnet's Bob McCown, Crosby was concerned with the medical treatment he’s gotten from the Penguins staff and met with a specialist in Utah where it was discovered he has an abnormality in two of his vertebrae (C1 and C2 in the neck) on top of the concussion suffered in December. McCown says that doctors expect Crosby to heal fine and be ready for the playoffs.

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman confirmed the story with Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson who says the possibility he has two fractured vertebrae was raised last week and he’ll be meeting with a third doctor to determine the diagnosis.

If this report turns out to be true and Crosby does indeed have two fractured vertebrae, the questions surrounding the Penguins’ handling of Crosby’s injuries will only grow larger and more pointed. With how methodical they’ve been in handling Crosby’s concussion since seemingly mistreating him last season, missing out on a neck injury would be a glaring error.

Crosby just returned from California where he was meeting a neurological spine specialist and has already begun skating. Penguins GM Ray Shero sounded optimistic about Crosby’s progress earlier today, but with this latest revelation there will be a lot more questions in need of answers.

Winter X Games Gold For McMorris

I'm not really sure how Regina's Mark McMorris could practice the stuff that he does on a snowboard in Saskatchewan, but he certainly knows what he is doing. McMorris won gold at the Winter X Games in Colorado last night by doing this....

Congrats Mark and keep up the good work. Is an Olympic medal in his future? Perhaps!

Friday, January 27, 2012

NHL Thoughts At Midway Mark

With the unofficial first half of the season now done, its time to look at the first half of the NHL season and hand out the good and the bad.


There are many good teams out there including the two teams that battled it out for the Stanley Cup, but the best team right now has to be the Detroit Red Wings. This team continues to play at a high level of excellence when people wonder when age will start to catch up with them. They are unbeaten in 17 at home and Mike Babcock continues to get the best out of his squad.


If the St. Louis Blues had had Ken Hitchcock coaching them from the start of the year, they might be the best team in the NHL. Hitchcock has taken this team of no-names (can you name 8 Blues) and has them right in the thick of the race for the NHL's best team overall as he has gone 23-6-7 since taking over.


I am really tempted to say the Edmonton Oilers since they are once again floundering near the bottom of the NHL standings in a year where I thought (especially after their good start) that they would be a playoff team again. However, I am going to give the honour to the Buffalo Sabres. When you pick them to win the Cup at the start of the season (nice pick idiot), you have to go with them. Ryan Miller has been terrible and the rest of the team hasn't been that much better. I thought they were ready to take a run for the Cup. I was wrong! Right now, they are 26th in the league and have won just two of their last 10. There's no sign that this team is going to improve either. I would expect them to be trading a lot of assets before and at the trade deadline. Don't be surprised if Miller is one of them.


Hands down, my vote would go to Evgeni Malkin. Without Sidney Crosby in the lineup, the Penguins haven't suffered thanks to Malkin who leads the league with 58 points.


If its not Alexander Ovechkin who is it. As I said to Rod Pedersen on the Sportscage Tuesday, Ovie hasn't been himself since the Russians were clubbed by the Canadians at the Vancouver Olympics. His game has seemingly left him. The team got rid of Bruce Boudreau, but even that didn't bring his game back. What will?


This is tough because there are so many good ones out there, but Nick Lidstrom leads the way again. He just gets the job done night after night after night. Where does he fit in the equation of best defenceman ever? Its got to be top 5.


Once again, there are many strong candidates, but I would lean towards Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers. He's been one of the best for years, but he has elevated his game this year with a goals against average of 1.87 and a save percentage of .937to go along with five shutouts.


As an Oilers fan, I am tempted to take Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but his injury has allowed Adam Henrique of the Devils to take over. Henrique started the year in the minors for some reason, but he has come on to post 34 points in 43 games. RNH still might take this at season's end as he comes back from injury, but right now I lean towards Henrique.


Its hard to not take Hitchcock here, but he isn't a rookie behind the bench like Paul McLean is in Ottawa. The Senators go into the all-star break having lost their last three, but I don't think many thought Ottawa would have won 27 games going into the break. McLean has done a fabulous job in the nations capital.


For pure entertainment value, I would love to see another Boston-Vancouver because those two teams just hate one another. I don't know if either will get back though. There are so many things that have to go right just to have a shot at being in the final for so many teams. I'll spin the wheel though and say when it comes down to it at the end it will be Chicago and the Rangers in an original six showdown with both teams beating other original sixers--Detroit and Boston to get in.

Cruel, But Funny

I don't know how Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff feels about this, but I imagine Ravens fans and many others are getting a chuckle out of it. A Baltimore sporting goods store that sells Ravens memorabilia had this on their website earlier this week.

A Baltimore TV station found out about it and had some questions. Upon the Ravens request, the comment was removed.

The only thing I ask is who would pay 110 dollars American for a kids jersey of a player who is a kicker!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bruce Extends With BC

Arland Bruce is staying on the West Coast after re-signing with the Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions on Thursday.
The import receiver joined the Lions in August via trade with Hamilton. He finished the 2011 campaign with 58 receptions for 859 yards, highlighted by a career-high 100-yard TD reception versus Saskatchewan in September.

Bruce added four catches for 82 yards in B.C.'s West final win over Edmonton and had five more receptions for 73 yards and a TD in the club's 34-23 Grey Cup victory over Winnipeg.

"Arland's football resume speaks for itself," general manager and vice-president of football operations Wally Buono said in a statement. "He is an exciting player who helped make our offence even better in 2011. Having him sign an extension today helps us continue building a strong team for this season and beyond."

New head coach Mike Benevides is excited to have Bruce back in the fold.

"Arland was a fantastic addition last year and not only instantly gave our offence another dimension, but was also a catalyst in our coming together as a team," Benevides said. "Having him attend training camp in 2012 and fully immerse himself in Jacques Chapdelaine's system is going benefit him, Travis Lulay and our entire offence."

Bruce said joining the Lions gave him a new lease on his football life.

"I could not be happier to sign this extension," Bruce said. "I have fallen in love with football again since coming to the West Coast and I'm very honoured to know that I will be given an opportunity to try and win another championship for our fans."

Glenn Restructures

Calgary Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel is pleased to announce that import quarterback Kevin Glenn has signed a restructured contract with the club. As per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“I’m pleased to be able to restructure Kevin’s contract so that it will be a better fit with our salary cap,” said Hufnagel. “By accommodating us in this way, Kevin has demonstrated that he is anxious to be a member of the Calgary Stampeders in 2012 and beyond. This restructured deal gives Kevin an opportunity to finish his career here in Calgary.”

Glenn, 32, was acquired by Calgary along with offensive lineman Mark Dewit and a conditional draft pick in the Jan. 3 trade with the Tiger-Cats that sent Henry Burris to Hamilton. Glenn is entering his 12th season in the CFL, having played for Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and Hamilton. He has thrown for 32,446 yards, 179 touchdowns and 128 interceptions.

His finest season came with the Ticats in 2010, when he threw for 5,102 yards and 33 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 97.6. In 2007, Glenn was named the East Division’s nominee for Most Outstanding Player after throwing for 5,114 yards and 25 touchdowns with Winnipeg. He led the Blue Bombers to two playoff wins but couldn’t play in the Grey Cup due to injury.

“I’m excited to be a Stampeder and I look forward to this next chapter in my career,” said Glenn. “I can’t wait to get to work with my new teammates.”

Argos Release All-Star DB

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club announced today that import DB Lin-J Shell has been released.

Commented Argonauts’ General Manager Jim Barker, “Lin-J has been a great player for us but with a new defensive scheme and philosophy planned for this season, and operating within the salary management system, he is no longer a fit for our team. We would like to thank Lin-J for his contributions and wish him continued success.”

Shell joined the Argonauts in 2009 and started 53 regular season games and two playoff games over three seasons. In total, he made 222 defensive tackles, 7 interceptions, 14 passes knocked down, 4 quarterback sacks and 7 fumble recoveries. Shell was the Argos’ Outstanding Rookie in 2009 and was named an East All-Star in both 2010 and 2011.


Cougar Happenings

Home Events
Women's Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, Friday (6:15 p.m.) at CKHS
Women's Hockey – vs. Calgary, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men's Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, Friday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women's Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, Saturday (6:15 p.m.) at CKHS
Women's Hockey – vs. Calgary, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men's Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, Saturday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Events
Swimming – at Canada West Championships, Friday to Sunday in Edmonton, Alta.
Track & Field – at Sled Dog Meet, Friday and Saturday in Saskatoon, Sask.
Men's Hockey – at Calgary, Friday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Women's Volleyball – at UBC Okanagan, Friday (6:00 p.m. PST) in Kelowna, B.C.
Men's Volleyball – at UBC Okanagan, Friday (8:00 p.m. PST) in Kelowna, B.C.
Women's Wrestling – at Western Open, Saturday in London, Ont.
Men's Hockey – at Calgary, Saturday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Women's Volleyball – at UBC Okanagan, Saturday (6:00 p.m. PST) in Kelowna, B.C.
Men's Volleyball – at UBC Okanagan, Saturday (8:00 p.m. PST) in Kelowna, B.C.

Women's Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 1) – The Cougars are now off to their best start in program history, as their winning streak hit 13 after home wins over Fraser Valley and Trinity Western last weekend. The Cougars continue their six-game homestand this weekend with games against Winnipeg at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport on Friday and Saturday at 6:15 p.m.

Men's Basketball – The Cougars (3-10) lost twice at home last weekend, falling to Fraser Valley on Friday night and to Trinity Western on Saturday. Now 3½ games back of Lethbridge for the final playoff spot in Canada West's Prairie Division, the Cougars have a pair of must-win games against Winnipeg this weekend at the CKHS. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

Women's Hockey – After a week off, the Cougars (6-11-1) are back on the ice this weekend with a pair of home games against Calgary. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday at The Co-operators Centre. The Cougars have just four games left on the conference schedule after this weekend, including two on the road at Lethbridge (Feb. 3 and Feb. 4) and two at home against Alberta (Feb. 11 and Feb. 12).

Swimming – The University of Regina's swimming teams will both send four athletes to the conference championships this weekend in Edmonton. Jessica Winter, Kimberly McWhirter, Erika Brown, and Natalya Milner will represent the women's team, while the men's team will send Carlos Quiroz, Chris Myers, Hector Fukushi, and Craig Soutar. Live results will be available for the meet at

Men's Hockey – Three points back of Lethbridge for the sixth and final Canada West postseason berth but with two games in hand on the Pronghorns, the Cougars (4-14-2) hit the road this weekend for Friday and Saturday games against Calgary. The U of R will have six games remaining on the conference schedule after this weekend, five of which will be at home at The Co-operators Centre.

Men's Volleyball – The Cougars (4-12) return to the court this weekend for two big road matches at UBC Okanagan. Sitting two wins behind Winnipeg in the Canada West playoff race, the U of R will be approaching its first ever conference games against the Heat as must-win matches. Matches will start at 10:00 pm Saskatchewan time on both Friday and Saturday and will be webcast at

Women's Volleyball – The Cougars (2-12) head to Kelowna, B.C. this weekend to face UBC Okanagan for the first times in Canada West play. The teams – who have split two non-conference matches against each other this season – will meet on Friday night and Saturday night at 8:00 Saskatchewan time. Both matches will be webcast at

Track & Field (Men's CIS Ranking: No. 7) – Justin Baker (60-metre hurdles) and Ethan Gardner (300-metre dash) both scored first-place finishes for the men's team at the Golden Bear Open in Edmonton over the weekend. Ahmed Alkabary also had a sterling performance in the long jump, as his score of 7.03 metres stands as the top jump in the CIS this season. The men's and women's teams will be back in action this weekend at the Sled Dog Meet in Saskatoon.

Women's Wrestling (CIS Ranking: No. 8) – Three members of the Cougars competed at the Guelph Open over the weekend, with Jasmine Slinn (48 kg) and Lisa McKibben (67 kg) both registering fourth-place finishes. The Cougars head back to Ontario this weekend to wrestle in the Western Open, hosted by the University of Western Ontario in London.

Men's Wrestling (CIS Ranking: No. 1) – Marlin Legare (125 lbs.) and Gaelan Malloy (165 lbs.) both led the Cougars with fourth-place finishes at the Minot State Open on Saturday. The Cougars will have a couple of weekends off before preparing to defend their 2011 conference championship on their own soil, as the team hosts the Canada West meet on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11 at the CKHS.

This And That

--A lot is being made of Alexander Ovechkin skipping the all-star party this week. Yeah, he is being a baby about the whole thing, but its the all-star game so who cares? I hate all-star games because as I have documented before both on this blog and over the airwaves, its not a real game. I seriously don't know if I will watch a second of the all-star weekend and that includes the fantasy draft and the skills competition. I also won't watch any of the Pro Bowl because it will be worse.

--The Regina Pats are honoring Rick Rypien with a bobblehead night tomorrow against Swift Current. Good on the team for doing so, but why not take it one step further and retire his number. Those that watched Rypien in a Pats uniform know that he epitomized the bulldog on the crest and I think it would be a tremendous tribute to put number 11 up there with the likes of Wickenheiser, Derkatch and Hicke.

--Does the Western Major Baseball League need a communications person??? Does anyone for that matter?

--Speaking of the Western Major Baseball League, the champion Regina Red Sox have their rings.

--After stomping Detroit last night, are Habs fans planning the parade route?

--If I hadn't of let my passport expire, I'd have eaten a lot of wings and consumed a lot of Bud Light at the Press Box last night. I'm guessing the place was packed as the bar gave away an all expenses paid trip to Indy to watch the Giants-Patriots game.

--Saw a story out of Winnipeg where movie theatres are considering selling alcohol. With the price of popcorn and a coke at a movie, how much would a frickin beer cost at a movie. Thanks, but no thanks!

--Wayne Gretzky is 51 years old today. I feel old after typing that.

--Nothing against CTV's Lee Jones or Julie Stewart-Binks, but I love noon hour sportscasts with Don Hewitt. He's a beaut!!

--The Blue Jays signed 45 year old Omar Visquel this week. Was Tony Fernandez unavailable? Is Robbie Alomar coming out of retirement. I don't understand that one.

--There is no way Ales Hemsky can be on the Oilers by the trade deadline, but I am curious to see what Steve Tambellini can get for him. I will be shocked if he can get a first rounder like he got last year for Dustin Penner.

--Question from Rod Pedersen to Pat Fiacco on Wednesday's Sportscage---"How much money are you saving on snow removal this year?" No kidding! I'm not complaining either and I'm guessing either are you.

--The NFL Network will have its Super Bowl marathon starting Sunday. I have seen 44 of the 45 Super Bowl movies that NFL films have done. Those that know me likely know what one I haven't watched.

--MMA fighter Chael Sonnen is the most interesting interview I've ever seen. I'd love to know what colour the sky in this guy's world is. That being said, FOX can really hype this guy and the sport with its 2nd TV offering this Saturday night.

--So what is making these strange sounds across North America?

--I don't care how old you are, bubble wrap is always entertaining.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Provincial Scotties Begins In Humboldt

The rink that will represent Saskatchewan at the Scott Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer will be decided over the next few days in Humboldt as the provincial Scotties gets underway with the first draw this afternoon. Defending champ Amber Holland is not in the field seeing she will be at the Scotties already representing Team Canada after winning the title last year. Here are the rinks taking part.


Chantelle Eberle
Darlene Gillies
Jolene Campbell
Mandy Selzer
Robyn Silvernagle
Stefanie Lawton


Candace Chisholm
Jill Shumay
Michelle Englot
Rachel Fritzler
Sue Lang
Trish Paulsen

For results, go to

Marshall To Montreal

From Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette

The Alouettes are in the market for a defensive coordinator, and Greg Marshall might be the most qualified man for the job - should Canadian Football League experience be a prerequisite.

So it should come as no surprise the Als have been in contact with Marshall, the former head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, The Gazette has learned. But that, of course, doesn't necessarily mean he's about to be hired, unless head coach Marc Trestman believes there's a comfort level with Marshall and the two find they can coexist.

"Let's say I've heard from them," Marshall admitted during an interview with The Gazette while visiting family near Sacramento, Calif. "I don't know their process or their thoughts.

"The Alouettes are going to do what gives them the best chance to win a Grey Cup," he added. "I'm always thinking and believing I'm the best option. If I don't believe that, who's going to?"

Als management, led by Trestman and general manager Jim Popp, are in Mobile, Ala., this week, site of the Senior Bowl. Along with their scouting duties, they'll be conducting interviews with potential coaching candidates. Montreal has lost four assistants since the end of last season, including defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar, who just last week accepted a similar position at Purdue University.

Marshall initially refused comment when asked whether he would be interviewed this week. Later, he said there were no plans "at this time" for him to travel to Mobile.

In an email, Trestman said he wouldn't comment on potential interviews with coaching staff.

However, Popp also admitted discussions have occurred.

"He has to be considered," Popp said. "There are only so many experienced CFL guys out there."

While the final decision ultimately rests with Trestman, Marshall doesn't necessarily have to jump at the first offer coming his way. He has two years remaining on his Riders contract. While he's free to accept another CFL job, that would require him and Saskatchewan management reaching a financial settlement on what he's still owed.

"If someone's interested, I'll always listen. I'll make the best decision moving forward for me," Marshall said. "I would be interested in what (the Als) have to offer. At some point, I see myself back in coaching, although I don't know the time frame. I want to make sure the next move is the right move ... the best thing for my career ... the best move, moving forward.

"I enjoy coaching. I always have," Marshall added. "I see myself getting back in the right circumstances and equation. I miss it, and I've missed it from the day I walked out of the (Riders') office."

Marshall, along with Saskatchewan offensive coordinator Doug Berry, were fired Aug. 19, after the Riders started the season 1-7 and the day following a 24-18 loss at Toronto.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the amiable Marshall, who had waited nearly 20 years to get his first head-coaching position. Ironically, he was hand-picked for the job by Ken Miller, the team's former head coach and, at the time, vicepresident of football operations. The Riders reached the Grey Cup in 2009 and 2010, losing both times to Montreal, under Miller. Miller, now retired, replaced Marshall last season.

Marshall has been a defensive coordinator with Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Hamilton, dating back to 1996. Popp is familiar with him and his body of work. In 2008, Marshall interviewed for the job that eventually went to Trestman. Seven years earlier, Marshall also contacted the Als, but Rod Rust, the head coach at the time and himself a defensive genius, didn't want Marshall on his staff.

Marshall obviously remains disappointed over his departure from Saskatchewan, but can say only so much, given the fact he's still being compensated by the organization.

"I don't need to say anything," he said. "I'm disappointed how things worked out and am trying to move on."

Monday, January 23, 2012

No Problem With Tim Thomas

I thought the biggest non-story of the week involving something named Tim would have been the publicity being given to the fact that Tim Hortons has unveiled new sizes of cups. OMG!!!!  I was wrong! Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has gotten everyone into a lather over the fact that he made a political statement by not going to the White House with his teammates to have their Stanley Cup win celebrated by President Obama.

First off, let me say this. Should Thomas have gone with his teammates for the afternoon and the ceremony. Yes! Does he have every right not to do so? Absolutely! In this country and in the U-S, we can do whatever we want because we have the freedom and liberty to do so. If Thomas doesn't want to go, he has every right to stay away. Its just like you have every right to shop at Sobeys, but if you want to spend your grocery money at Safeway or Co-op, you can do it without repercussion. If you don't want to eat at Chili's, but you would rather frequent Applebees or Earls or Montana's or whatever, you have that choice. Why is this any different? Someone said to me on Monday night, he had to go because the Bruins own him. Really? Does that mean when I worked for RAWLCO that I had to frequent this business and that business and the same when I worked for the SJHL. No! I can do what I want, how I want and when I want. Yes, there are some things you don't do, but the bottom line is they can not tell you how to live your life.

That being said. There are some questions that Thomas does need to answer.

1) If you are going to make a statement of this kind, you can not just put it on Facebook and then say you will not answer questions about it anymore. That won't work Tim. You need to have a one time only media gathering to allow questions to be asked and answers to be given. Saying you won't say anything only means the pressure to comment will keep coming.

2)What does this decision, if anything, do to team unity? Thomas was the only member of the team that did not go which means he stands on an island. If the Bruins start to slide in the standings, the question will be asked if Thomas' stunt proved to be divisive amongst his teammates. You can't tell me that all of his teammates stood by the decision

3)Why do sports teams need to be lauded by the President? Its just a photo op and its a chance for the Prez to get a jersey. (What happens to those things anyhow?). Drew Remenda asks the question "Why should the national anthem be played before a sporting event?". At one point I disagreed with him saying its respect to the country in which you live to have the anthem played, but after seeing many like Steven Tyler butcher it, I am starting to wonder why there is the need for an anthem. All nationalities aren't represented (especially in hockey and baseball) so is it needed? Would not playing O'Canada or The Star Spangled Banner make us less patriotic. I doubt it. It would cure us of getting rid of these anthem singers that try to make a spectacle of themselves like the idiot in Boston and fat boy opera singer in Vancouver

I'm sure Tim Thomas will hear his fair share of boos as he goes into visiting rinks for the next couple of months, but with the reputation the Bruins are getting, he might have gotten that anyhow. I think he should have been with his teammates, but I fully respect his decision not to go. Its his right and its his belief and are we supposed to criticize that. We can debate it all we want, but to chastise Thomas for his actions is simply wrong.

NHL 3 Stars Of Week

A couple of white-hot goal scorers and one of the players paid to stop them make up the NHL's Three Stars for this past week.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, who leads the League's scoring race, is the First Star, while Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell is Second Star and New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov earns Third Star honors.

Malkin, who entered Monday's play with 58 points -- three more than the Flyers' Claude Giroux -- and is tied with teammate James Neal for third with 26 goals, has 9 goals during a six-game scoring streak. Seven of them have come in the third period or overtime.

Malkin scored the Penguins' only regulation goal and also scored in the shootout as the Penguins edged the Hurricanes last Tuesday. He scored a pair of insurance goals to turn a close 2-1 game into a 4-1 win against the Rangers on Thursday; had the game-tying goal and the decisive shootout goal the following night to defeat the Canadiens; and scored the overtime goal to go with a pair of assists in Sunday afternoon's 4-3 win against the Capitals before a national television audience.
"I have great confidence now, you know?" Malkin said. "You win six games (in a row), I think everyone has great confidence now. I just am enjoying the game, you know? And having fun."

Hartnell, whose career high in goals for a season is 30, now is fifth in the League with 25 goals after a huge weekend as the Flyers defeated the Devils on Saturday and lost to the Bruins in a shootout Sunday.
Hartnell scored a pair of power-play goals in their victory Saturday in New Jersey, including the goal that ended up as the game-winner. The next day, with the Flyers down a goal in the second period, Hartnell took over and recorded a natural hat trick, temporarily giving them the lead. Two of those goals also came with the man advantage, and Hartnell now leads the League with 13 power-play goals.

"He got the opportunity to play with Giroux and (Jaromir) Jagr, but at first everyone was using him to be a space-maker out there," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "I don't think that's the case anymore. I think he's a key contributor and a key factor as to why that line is successful. He's got a lot of confidence right now the way he's playing. Tonight his game was excellent; he was physical and obviously offensively he did what he needed to do. He was a competitive guy out there for us. His game has been really good for a long time."

Nabokov, who has taken a firm hold on the No. 1 goaltending position with the Islanders, is enjoying his best stretch since joining the club. He recently picked up his 300th NHL victory, and then extended his winning streak to four by allowing just two goals in three starts last week.

Nabokov had a relatively easy night Tuesday, needing to make only 17 saves against the Capitals to record his 51st career shutout and first with New York. He found himself much busier over the next two games, though, but remained in top form -- stopping 40 of 41 shots to defeat the Flyers on Thursday and 32 of 33 in a win against the Hurricanes on Saturday.

"Nabby was unbelievable, stood on his head," defenseman Mark Streit said after the Philadelphia game. "He made some key saves for us and that's what you need in order to win games -- especially this game. We haven't won here in a long time. It's great for our confidence. When you have a goalie back there like Nabby, it's way easier to play in front of him."

The Poor, Poor Bastard!!!!

All I have to say to this soccer player if this is true is enjoy it now big man, enjoy it now!

Eberle Going To All-Star Game

Oilers forward Jordan Eberle has been added to the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend.

Eberle was injured on January 7 and was not named to the NHL's original list of participants when they were initially announced on January 12. At the time of his injury, he was ranked seventh in the NHL among point-getters with 43 in 41 games. The winger returned to action on January 19 in St. Louis.

Overall, Eberle has played in 43 games and has 44 points, ranking in a tie for 18th in the NHL.

Stampeders Release Reynolds


Calgary Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel on Monday announced the release of running back Joffrey Reynolds.

“Despite our attempts to find Joffrey a new home, we were unable to complete a transaction,” said Hufnagel. “By releasing him now rather than waiting until later in the off-season, we wanted to make sure Joffrey had the best opportunity to sign with another team. We thank Joffrey for his years of excellent service to the Stampeders and wish him all the best.”

Reynolds, 32, played eight seasons with the Stampeders and became the franchise’s all-time leading rusher during the 2010 season. In 2011, he dressed for the first 11 games before West Division all-star Jon Cornish took over as the starting running back. Reynolds played two more games later in the season and finished the year with 477 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

For his career, Reynolds has 9,213 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns to go along with 226 catches for 2,036 yards and eight scores. He was a member of Calgary’s Grey Cup team in 2008.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

An Epic Day Of Football

The New England Patriots and New York Giants will meet for the Vince in two weeks time with the AFC Champs looking for a little bit of revenge from having their run at perfection end at the hands of the NFC Champs a few years ago. Both won in dramatic fashion on Sunday in what was a day to remember.

Just some thoughts

--Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff thought he might have been the goat of the day after missing a 32 yarder that would have sent the AFC Championship to overtime, but his failure doesn't even compare to that of Niners punt returner Kyle Williams. Williams, who is nothing but a mouthpiece who wants interference called on every ball thrown to him, let one punt bounce off his knee leading to the tying points and fumbled another one leading to the winning points. Who's the bigger goat? Without a doubt, its Williams. As former Regina Rams president Sheldon (don't call me Lionel Hutz) Stener tweeted to me, quarterbacks throw bad passes, receivers drop balls, defenders miss tackles and kickers will miss field goals, but returners can't be in a position to have the ball touch them when it is rolling on the ground. That is inexcusable!

--Classiness all around at the end of the Giants-Niners game. FOX's Terry Bradshaw gets chewed out by the owner of the team for saying earlier this year that the Giants were dead and then before the trophy presentation segment was over, Bradshaw had to take it again from some old bird that I believe was the owners wife. Is that really the time? Meanwhile, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh refused to do an interview after the game with FOX. Sorry Jim, you come off as a poor sport and its one reason why it doesn't sadden me to know you won't be part of the Super Bowl.

--Who had the worst anthem? Steven Tyler or Kristin Chenoweth? What was with Tyler? Dude looked like a lady!! Purple highlights in his hair. BRUTAL! Meanwhile, it took Chenoweth forever to belt out "The Star Spangled Banner".

--There is no better referee in sports today than Ed Hochuli. The ref in the Giants-Niners game explained every controversial play perfectly and his explanation of NFL overtime was outstanding. The CFL would be wise to get Hochuli to come north to teach a thing or two in a clinic to CFL officials. I'm not joking.

--Alex Smith finally showed us the Alex Smith we had been waiting to see. In the big game, he was terrible. Meanwhile, Eli Manning gets more and more credibility and just may be granted with the title of an "elite" NFL quarterback if he should be hoisting the Vince in two weeks.

--Joe Flacco outplayed Tom Brady. He didn't get the desired result, but the much-maligned quarterback certainly earned some credibility by having a better effort than the guy that some think is the best ever to play the game. (For what its worth, that honour in my mind goes to Joe Montana.)

--The best way for NFL overtime to end would be for Brett Favre to quarterback both teams because you know sooner or later he will throw an interception that will cost his team the championship game. (See 2007 and 2009)

--Its great that the FOX Seattle HD channel on Access shows the American ads thus preventing me from seeing the CTV schlock that is out there and that everyone apparently hates. Thank you Access! Speaking of Access, they hosted the Humane Society Telethon Sunday night and over 50-thousand was raised. Great job Regina!!! Memo to Access: While media personalities like Buzz Elliot, Brad Grass, Kelsey Morrison and JC Garden helped out, where were the two people that host "Locker Talk" on your channel every week. Then again, we have our own little animal in Carlo Palazzo that we have to  look after so perhaps that was the reason for the snub.

--Should the NFL have had a booth review on the Lee Evans play in the endzone just before Cundiff missed his field goal. It looked like he had it for two steps before having the ball knocked out of his hands. Some have said its like the Calvin Johnson play a couple of years ago where you have to maintain posession the whole way through so it would have been ruled an incompletion. In such a big game though, would a review not have been the right thing to do.

--I didn't think the CBS pre-game show could be any worse, but James Brown not only interviewed Jim Rome (yes, if you didn't know he is now with CBS) and then Brown spoke to the E-Trade baby. An obvious career highlight.

--Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco could be mistaken for Dodgeball's White Goodman. Look at the two of them and tell me I'm wrong.

--Eli will go for Super Bowl 2 on his big brother's track. I wonder how big brother feels about that.

--Get ready for two weeks of hype!

Weal Does It Again

I don't know how close the Regina Pats were to trading Jordan Weal at the WHL trade deadline, but I'm guessing they are breathing a sigh of relief that they didn't pull the trigger. The Pats and Warriors met for the first time since both teams made move at the deadline and in the end, Regina gets the two points with a 3-2 win over their main rivals in overtime with you guessed it---Jordan Weal getting the winner just 30 seconds in.  The two points leaves the Pats sitting 6th in the East --one back of Saskatoon and just four back of division leading Moose Jaw.

The Pats showed they can play with the Warriors and if these teams were to meet in the playoffs, it would be one helluva matchup. What scares me right now though is that if the season ended today, Regina would play the Kootenay Ice and after what I saw from Kootenay on Wednesday, I do not want to play them if I am Regina as they just smother you and stifle any offensive creativity. There is a long ways to go yet though, but Regina hockey fans should get ready for what I think will be a tremendous stretch run with every game being a big win as far as the standings go.
Its NFL Championship Sunday. The Ravens and Patriots will go at it first to see who the AFC representative is in the Vince while the nightcap will see the Giants and the 49ers going at it. I am taking the road teams. While San Fran deserves every accolade it received for putting 36 up on the Saints last weekend, the Giants have a much better defence and pass rush while the Ravens believe it or not are 6-0 against playoff teams this year. They come to play in the big game and I believe Ray Rice will have a huge game against the Patriots much like he did a couple of years ago when Baltimore ran roughshod over New England in Foxboro.
I had to watch the East-West Shrine Game yesterday to watch the performances of U of S Husky Ben Heenan and U of R defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Both did not disappoint. Heenan saw considerable action for his team and looked pretty good although there were a couple of times when he got bull-rushed pretty bad and ended up on his backside. As for Hicks, he also made some plays and got some love from the NFL Network's Mike Mayock. However, Mayock also had this to say about Hicks...."He has gotten over the stigma of being Canadian". What? Excuse me? The stigma of being Canadian? What exactly is that stigma Mike? Did Ben Heenan have that problem this week? Have other Canadians in the NFL had to battle that? Hicks isn't even a Canadian. I didn't understand that comment, but what I did understand is that Hicks may have cemented himself as an NFL draft pick and will for sure be going to an NFL training camp. By the way, it did look cool to see both the Rams and Huskies logo on the NFL Network.
I've said it once and I'll say it again. Tom Renney has to go as coach of the Edmonton Oilers. What a pathetic effort against the Flames. This team is sinking closer and closer to having the first overall pick again---in fact, they could get that because they have the 2nd worst record right now and could easily win the lottery. Trade Hemsky for whatever you can get---preferably a defenceman and ship Smyth out as well with one of those wink, wink deals that St. Louis was famous for doing with Keith Tkachuk as they would trade him at the deadline only to re-sign him in free agency.
A major plus of having Winnipeg back in the NHL was proven again last night. Most of the country got Montreal-Toronto on Hockey Night in Canada, but we got Florida versus the Jets. LOVE IT!!! By the way, if the season ended today, Toronto would not be in the playoffs. Perhaps Toronto would like Sam Gagner or Hemsky with Luke Schenn coming back seeing he seemingly doesn't fit in the Leafs plans anymore.
I don't know about you, but I think Sidney Crosby's days as an NHL'er are done.

I checked out Jack Keatons BBQ and grill up on Rochdale. I didn't have any complaints after chowing down on three good-sized beef ribs. I don't know if I would make a special trip to that end of the city to eat there when there are several good restaurants in my end of town, but if I was up in that part of town and was looking for a place to eat, it would be high on my list.
With all this talk of hospitals being overcrowded in Regina, one must explain again as to who thought it was feasible to close down the Plains Hospital? Regina does need a 3rd hospital if you ask me.
Why hasn't free agent first baseman Prince Fielder signed with anyone yet? I don't think the Blue Jays are in the mix and I know the Cubs aren't. However, the question has to be asked as to why Fielder still is a player without a home as spring training inches closer.
I never thought I would be one of those people to get into eating healthy and working out everyday. I was correct.
Enjoy NFL Championship Sunday!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

NFL Conference Championship Previews


Baltimore and New England will meet for the eighth time. The Patriots have won all six regular-season contests yet the Ravens won the only playoff meeting, winning 33-14 at New England in a 2009 Wild Card game. In that game, Baltimore running back RAY RICE rushed for a franchise playoff record 159 yards, including two touchdowns. Rice had an 83-yard TD run in that contest, the second-longest rushing touchdown in NFL postseason history.

Last week, Baltimore defeated Houston 20-13 as JOHN HARBAUGH became the first head coach in NFL history to win a postseason game in each of his first four seasons. Ravens quarterback JOE FLACCO threw two touchdown passes and has won five playoff games in his first four NFL seasons, tied with BEN ROETHLISBERGER and KURT WARNER for the second most postseason wins by a QB in his first four years. New England’s TOM BRADY won six playoff games in his first four NFL seasons.

“Joe has come in and led us to the playoffs in each of the last four years,” says linebacker RAY LEWIS, the last remaining member of the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV championship team in the 2000 season. “What matters is what we think inside of this building and what we feel about him and the confidence we have in him. Joe Flacco has done a heck of a job getting us into the position to win."

Defensively, the Ravens had three interceptions against the Texans, including two by cornerback LARDARIUS WEBB, tying the club’s single-game playoff record (ED REED, twice and DUANE STARKS). Reed recorded his eighth career postseason interception, tied for the fourth-most in NFL history.

The Patriots advanced to their ninth AFC Championship with a 45-10 win over Denver in the Divisional round. New England is 6-2 in AFC Championship Games, including 3-0 at home. With the victory, head coach BILL BELICHICK and quarterback Brady recorded their 15th postseason win together, the most by a head coach and starting quarterback tandem in NFL history, passing Pro Football Hall of Famers CHUCK NOLL and TERRY BRADSHAW (14).

“It’s all about winning,” says Brady, who passed for 363 yards and tied an NFL postseason record with six touchdown passes. “From this point on, everyone will be focused on what we need to do to be better next week and hopefully come out and play for another championship.”

In the Divisional round victory, New England scored 45 points, gained 509 yards and did not allow a sack. It marked the first time a team has had at least 40 points and 500 yards without allowing a sack in a postseason game since the 1990 Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game.

Brady became the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 350 yards and six touchdowns in a postseason game. He also is the first player in league annals to pass for at least six touchdowns in a game twice during the regular season and once in the postseason. His 15 career playoff wins as a starting quarterback rank second all-time behind Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA (16).

“Tom was on fire,” says Patriots tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI, who had three touchdown receptions, tied for the most in a postseason game in NFL history. “That’s just how he is, throwing the ball in the playoffs just like any other game.”

NEW YORK GIANTS (11-7) at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (14-3) (Sunday, FOX, 6:30 PM ET)

The NFC Championship Game marks the eighth postseason meeting between the Giants and 49ers, with San Francisco currently holding a 4-3 edge in the series. New York won the lone Conference Championship meeting between these two clubs, earning a 15-13 victory in San Francisco en route to a Super Bowl XXV title.

The game will feature a pair of former No. 1 overall NFL Draft picks, ELI MANNING (2004) and ALEX SMITH (2005), the second time in NFL playoff history two former No. 1 QBs will start against each other in a Conference Championship Game. The other occurrence pitted JOHN ELWAY’s Broncos against the Jets’ VINNY TESTAVERDE in the 1998 AFC title game.

The 49ers advanced to their 13th NFC Championship Game with a thrilling 36-32 victory over New Orleans last week. San Francisco’s 13 Championship Game appearances are the third-most in the NFL since the 1970 merger.

“I’m just really proud of our team,” says 49ers head coach JIM HARBAUGH. “You’re going to live or die in these games. We lived. We move on and we move on in spectacular fashion.”

Last week’s Divisional contest between the 49ers and Saints was the first game in NFL postseason history that had four go-ahead touchdowns within a span of four minutes of playing time. For San Francisco, quarterback ALEX SMITH had a 28-yard TD run with 2:11 remaining and threw the game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end VERNON DAVIS with nine seconds left in the contest. Smith became the first player in NFL history to score a go-ahead touchdown and throw a go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the same playoff game.

“That was about as good as it gets,” says Smith about the victory. “It feels great. We’re still playing. We’ve got another week of work and I don’t want this to end. Nobody in that locker room does because it’s been such a great year.”

Smith’s TD pass to Davis with nine seconds left was the fourth go-ahead and eventual game-winning touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter of a postseason game in 49ers history: JOE MONTANA’s six-yard TD pass to DWIGHT CLARK with 51 seconds left (1981 NFC Championship); Montana’s 10-yard TD pass to JOHN TAYLOR with 34 seconds remaining (Super Bowl XXIII); and STEVE YOUNG’s 25-yard TD pass to TERRELL OWENS with three seconds left (1998 Wild Card).

“This is huge for us,” says Davis, who set a postseason record for receiving yards by a tight end with 180, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer KELLEN WINSLOW (166). “It’s history, legendary, anything you can describe.”

The Giants, who are in the midst of their NFL-best 31st playoff appearance, avenged a 38-35 loss to Green Bay in Week 13. Manning passed for 330 yards and three touchdowns, including a 37-yarder to wide receiver HAKEEM NICKS on the last play of the first half.

“I was the jump man,” said Nicks, who became the third player in NFL history with two touchdown catches of at least 65 yards in the same postseason, joining TIM BROWN and ISAAC BRUCE. “I got down there and I didn’t even see who was around me. All I saw was the ball and once I saw the ball, I had to jump and get it. I don’t even know where I landed in the end zone. Once I went up and got it, I looked around and it was exciting.”

New York’s defense forced the Packers to commit four turnovers, their highest total of the season, including three fumbles and an interception by safety DEON GRANT. Linebacker MICHAEL BOLEY and defensive end OSI UMENYIORA also registered two sacks apiece for the Giants.

“We know we’re a good football team and we’re a great defense,” says Umenyiora, who has 12 sacks in 11 games played this season, including the playoffs. “This is the postseason and we’re playing the way we’re supposed to be playing right now.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Does The NFL Hate England?


In an unprecedented step that begins the next chapter of the NFL’s continued momentum of growing the international fan base, the St. Louis Rams have committed to becoming the first NFL team to play regular-season games abroad on an annual basis, the league announced today.

The Rams will play one regular-season home game in the U.K. in 2012, 2013 and 2014, beginning with a game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at London’s historic Wembley Stadium. The game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET (5:00 p.m. UK) and be televised live in the United States on CBS.

“The response to NFL games in the U.K. among our British fans has been exceptional,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “We are confident that having the Rams host one game in the U.K. in each of the next three seasons will allow us to better serve the growing popularity of our sport beyond the borders of the United States.”

Last October 11, NFL owners approved a resolution that authorized the league to schedule regular-season games in the U.K. in each of the next five years, including to determine the number of games per season, the venue and the competing teams. All clubs were permitted to volunteer to play at least one regular-season game per year as a home team in the U.K. on an annual basis for up to five years, and the Rams’ proposal was selected.

“This is a tremendous honor for our franchise, the city of St. Louis and our fans throughout the world,” said Rams owner E. STANLEY KROENKE. “We are excited about the opportunity to reach new audiences globally. This is a great platform to showcase the city of St. Louis to London and the UK.

We’ve seen first-hand the increased popularity of the NFL not only in London but throughout Europe. To play a role in that growth over the next three years will be incredible and is a testament to the many good things happening not only in the NFL but also in the St. Louis Rams organization.”

The international series of regular-season games to date has contributed to increased NFL fan interest in the U.K., with a current fan base of 11 million, including more than two million avid fans, a 32% increase in the past two years.

Television ratings have also shown tremendous growth – with Sunday viewership of NFL games up 154% and the Super Bowl audience increased 74% since 2006 – while the league has developed new and stronger business partnerships.

“When the initial resolution to play international regular-season games was approved in 2006, the thinking at the time was that we would have two new teams every year,” said NFL Vice President of International CHRIS PARSONS. “As the series evolved, we saw that having a team return to the U.K. on a regular basis would increase fan interest for that particular team, which in turn would drive fan growth for the entire league. We are incredibly excited to introduce a young, talented team like the Rams to our U.K. fans. And to do so against a team with the rich history and tradition of the Patriots makes it even more exciting.”

The game between the Rams and Patriots at Wembley Stadium will be the only NFL contest in the U.K. next season.

Cougar Action This Weekend

Home Events

Women's Basketball – vs. Fraser Valley, Friday (6:15 p.m.) at CKHS

Men's Basketball – vs. Fraser Valley, Friday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Women's Basketball – vs. Trinity Western, Saturday (6:15 p.m.) at CKHS

Men's Basketball – vs. Trinity Western, Saturday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Events

Men's and Women's Track & Field – at Golden Bear Open, Friday and Saturday in Edmonton, Alta.

Men's Wrestling – at Minot State Open, Saturday in Minot, N.D.

Women's Wrestling – at Guelph Open, Saturday in Guelph, Ont.

Women's Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 1) – The No.1-ranked Cougars are now 11-0 after defeating the Manitoba Bisons 84-60 on Friday and 105-52 on Saturday. They'll finally return home for the first time in over two months this weekend, as the Cougars host Fraser Valley (Friday) and Trinity Western (Saturday) at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. on both nights.

Men's Basketball – The Cougars (3-8) were defeated twice on the road by Manitoba last weekend, losing by scores of 116-87 and 94-83 to the Bisons. Though the Cougars enter the weekend in seventh place in the Prairie Division standings, they sit just 1½ games back of Brandon and Lethbridge, who are tied for the final playoff spot with identical 5-7 records. The Cougars face Fraser Valley (7-5) and Trinity Western (6-6) this weekend at the CKHS.

Men's Wrestling (CIS Ranking: No. 1) – The Cougars took first place in the overall standings last Saturday at the Cougar Open and boasted five individual champions, including Steven Schneider, Gilbert Musonza, Kirk Ackerman, Mark Ballon, and Connor Malloy. The team – which finished with a 16-point cushion over second-place Saskatchewan – will be back in action this Saturday at the Minot State Open.

Women's Wrestling (CIS Ranking: No. 8) – The U of R finished in second place in the overall standings at Saturday's Cougar Open, with Jasmine Slinn recording the Cougars' top finish of the day after going undefeated at 48 kilograms. Kristine Longeau and Lisa McKibben both placed second for the Cougars. Longeau, McKibben, Slinn, and Danielle Anderson will all represent the U of R at the Guelph Open this Saturday.

Track & Field (Men's CIS Ranking: No. 7) – After a weekend off, the Cougars are back at it this weekend in Edmonton. The men's and women's teams will take part in the Golden Bear Open, which will be hosted by the University of Alberta starting on Friday and running through to Saturday. The 4x200-metre relay team and four individual athletes – Tevaughn Campbell (60-metre dash), Tait Nystuen (300-metre dash), Chris Pickering (shot put), and Michael Barber (pentathlon) are ranked No. 1 in Canada West on the men's side, while Shalane Haselhan (long jump) and rookie Megan Rumpel (pentathlon) are the top-ranked athletes in the conference for the U of R's women's team.

Women's Hockey – The Cougars (6-11-1) got their offence clicking in a weekend home sweep over UBC, as they won 5-2 on Friday night and 5-1 on Saturday. Paige Wheeler had a pair of three-point games for Regina, getting a goal and a pair of assists on Friday and scoring twice and adding a helper on Saturday. The Cougars have a weekend off before returning to the ice on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 at home against Calgary.

Men's Hockey – The Cougars (4-14-2) were defeated twice by UBC over the weekend, dropping a 4-2 decision on Friday and surrendering a pair of late goals in a 4-0 loss on Saturday. Still just three points out of playoff position in the conference standings, the Cougars will have this weekend off and return to action on the road at Calgary on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28.

Men's Volleyball – The Cougars (4-10) were defeated twice last weekend by a tough No. 2-ranked Manitoba Bisons squad, losing 3-1 on Friday night and in straight sets on Saturday night. The U of R has a weekend off before returning to action on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 against UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, B.C.

Women's Volleyball – The Cougars (2-12) were swept by No. 6 Manitoba last weekend at the CKHS, losing in straight sets on both Friday and Saturday. The U of R will be back on the court on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28, when the Cougars will hit the road for their first ever Canada West matches against conference newcomer UBC Okanagan.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random Thoughts

--Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall is damn lucky that all he got from his freak accident Tuesday night is that grotesque looking scar. If you have seen video of the injury, you know it could have been a lot worse. That being said, I don't think hockey players need to wear helmets during warmup. It was something that has never happened before and likely won't  happen for a long time again. As soon as things like this happen, people start asking questions. They never bring it up at other times because they think it won't happen. Montreal's Trent McCleary took a puck in the throat and just about died, but the NHL doesn't make its players wear throat protectors and players aren't wearing them. The same can be said here.

--Thumbs up to Prince Albert Raider players Josh Morrisey, Shayne Danyluk and Carson Perreaux for rescuing a 6 month old puppy from certain death. One of the players while on an outing noticed a woman putting something into the cab of a pickup truck. The players went to investigate and found the puppy. He is now being taken care of at the Prince Albert Humane Society and has been given the name "Raider".

--Watching the CTV News Thursday night they had a story about Moose Jaw naming its citizen of the year. How can this award not be going to Kelly Remple? Perhaps if the honor was going to Rob Carnie, but how can it not be the unofficial mayor of Moose Jaw.

--The Seattle Seahawks did not play the New England Patriots this year and they did lose twice to San Francisco. However, they did beat Baltimore and the Giants. I'm just sayin'

--This cold weather has been nasty, but we knew it was coming. What is surprising is how many are so mad over what we have seen this week. I guess we got spoiled by that warm streak. As far as this winter goes, its basically over and as long as we don't have snow on the ground in May I think we've won this baby.

--Thumbs up to Mitch Gallant and the crew at Capital Ford Lincoln. The guys at one of my former workplaces decided to go out Thursday and give free boosts to those that needed it. Nicely done people!

--Is Cole Bergquist now the number two quarterback in Riderville or not? It didn't sound like it when Brendan Taman spoke to the media on Thursday. Who is out there? Jarious Jackson, Quinton Porter, free agent to be Joey Elliott. Who else?

--There is something wrong with you if you have the opportunity and don't watch Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole on the morning loop of Sportscentre. They are just as comical on radio as they have proven this week filling in for James Cybulski on TSN Radio.

--A conversation with local hockey scout and icon Graham Tuer is never, ever a bad thing. There aren't many individuals out there better than him.

--CBC's Elliotte Friedman has let it be known that Seattle might be interested in getting into the NHL. I just wonder why the NHL doesn't look south to Portland. It would seemingly have everything the league needs.

--Its less than a month until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

--I received an e-mail saying Tiger Woods 13 will be out for the PS3 in March--just in time for the Masters. Uh-oh!

--Can you still get the magazine "Pro Football Weekly" in Regina and if so, where?

--If job hunting was a drinking game, I'd be wayyyyyyyyyyyy over the limit.

U of R Ram D-Lineman Impressing US Scouts At Shrine Game

Jon Ryan may not be the only University of Regina Ram alumni in the NFL next year. Rams defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is turning a lot of heads at the East-West Shrine Game. Here's the latest glowing report on Hicks from CBS Sportsline.

CNN/Sports Illustrated also talks about Hicks here and Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford who is ranked 2nd by CFL scouting for the draft.

Taylor Hall-The Aftermath

Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall likely will not play tonight when his struggling team takes on the St. Louis Blues. As you know, Hall suffered a freak injury Monday night when he fell during the warmups and ended up being stepped on by a teammates skate causing a huge gash. Hall met the media this morning in St. Louis and as you can see and as you can expect, the reminder of what happened is highly evident. As I said on the Sportscage yesterday, the kids days of being a male model are over.

10 Years Ago

How might the landscape of the NFL had changed had it not been for one of its more infamous calls in recent memory. With all apologies to CJME's Jamie Nye (who got really, really mad on this night if I do recall) and Premier Brad Wall (both Raiders fans), I present to you what happened 10 years ago tonite in Foxboro.

Riders Sign Two, Release Dinwiddie

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have signed import offensive lineman Clint Oldenburg and import defensive lineman Boo Robinson to the roster. Financial details of the signings were not released. The team also announced they have released import quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie from the roster.

Oldenburg (6’5 – 300 lbs) was released by the Washington Redskins in September after signing to the team’s practice squad in 2009. The 28-year-old was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (171st overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. After being released from the Patriots’ practice roster, Oldenburg went on to sign and spend time with the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings until landing in Washington. Most recently the Colorado State product spent time with the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League.

Robinson (6’1 – 310lbs) most recently spent time with the Buffalo Bills before his contract expired in 2011. In 2010, the 24-year-old spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. Prior to that, Robinson played four seasons at Wake Forest at defensive tackle where he earned a starting spot after his freshman year. In his senior year, he played in 12 games registering 37 tackles, three quarterback hurries and 2.5 tackles for a loss.

Dinwiddie came to the Green and White prior to the 2010 CFL season when he signed as a free agent. In his two seasons with the Riders, the 31-year-old completed 62 of 123 pass attempts for 950 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. He also added 13 carries for 65 yards.

Conacher Blows Off Some Steam

It wasn't the most exciting of games at the Brandt Centre on Wednesday night as the Kootenay Ice smothered the Pats taking a 3-2 overtime win in what frankly was something I haven't seen at the BC in a while---that being a very lackadaiscal hockey game as it was tough to watch thanks to the defensive first style of the defending WHL champs.

The Ice got their goal in overtime on a power play. After the game, Pats Head Coach Pat Conacher took some time to evaluate the performance of referees Chris Crich and Cole Hamm by saying this...
"Those guys don't work hard enough to get down the ice and they're definitely not together. They are lazy in getting up the ice."

I was sitting at the far end of the ice under the big screen, but I did see the penalty on Brandon Davidson that resulted in the winning goal on the CTV late night news and with all apologies to Conacher, it was a penalty. However, Conacher had every right to be upset with the officiating in this one and so could have Kootenay Head Coach Kris Knoblauch.

Early in the hockey game, the Pats had the puck in their own end when the referees arm went up. Goalie Matt Hewitt went racing to the bench. The only thing is the Ice picked up possession of the puck and started coming out of their own zone with it. The Ice player not realizing what was going on dumped the puck into the Regina end and when the Pats blueliner touched it, Regina's Andrew Rieder was charged for interference. Hewitt was ticked at the referee and he should have been since he blew the call by allowing Regina to originally skate out of the zone when they had the penalty. This happened again later on in the game as the Pats wondered why they were getting penalized after they had controlled the puck for a good time until the whistle had blown. I also thought there were a couple of hits along the boards that were a little questionable in my mind, but the refs turned the other way.

Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw are here Friday and Saturday and I'm guessing both games will be better than the one last nite simply because the Tigers and Warriors don't stress defence first the way the Ice do. That style of hockey won't win anyone over but it will generate wins and that my friends is just one of many problems with the game today.

Before I forget, two things for my good bud Cliff Mapes who is the VP of Operations.

1) On nights called Wiener Wednesdays, don't have an all-male hot tub
2) Go upstairs into the sound booth and yank "Cotton Eye Joe" out of the system so that patrons of the game never ever have to hear that song again. It is without a doubt one of the worst songs ever created and why it continues to get played is beyond me. There is plenty of other good music you can play. Thanks Cliffy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dinwiddies Days in Green Done

Nothing official from the Riders, but Sportsnet (and Sportscage's) Arash Madani has tweeted this afternoon that the football team has released Ryan Dinwiddie. This leaves Darian Durant and Cole Bergquist as the only QBs on the roster.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Barker Calls It A Career

Hamilton Tiger-Cats safety Dylan Barker announced his retirement from football today due to a chronic back injury.

"I would like to thank everyone involved with my CFL career, especially the Hamilton Tiger-Cats organization for four great years that I will never forget. I couldn't have had better teammates, coaches, managers, and mentors, or played in front of better fans,” said Barker.

Barker continued, “When I was drafted four years ago, I envisioned having a healthy, long career in the CFL. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen injuries I can no longer continue my football career and will now pursue interests outside of football at the University of Saskatchewan. Again, I’d like to thank all of TigerTown for four of the most memorable years of my life."

After a standout CIS career at Saskatchewan, the Ticats selected Barker with the first overall pick in the 2008 CFL Canadian Draft. Barker would miss the entire 2008 season after suffering a leg injury during the preseason, but tied a CFL record with 37 special teams tackles while adding six defensive tackles and an interception in 2009.

He started 13 of 17 regular season games in 2010, before missing the 2011 season due to a back injury. Barker totaled 40 defensive tackles, 51 special teams tackles and four interceptions in 35 games during his CFL career.

“It’s very unfortunate to see Dylan’s promising football career end at such an early age. During his time in Hamilton, he was a positive contributor on and off the field who represented the club with strong character. We wish him nothing but the best as he begins his new career,” said general manager Bob O’Billovich.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The UFC is pulling UFC 145 from Montreal's Bell Centre in March. In a release, the UFC says it is shelving the PPV due to complications in scheduling and the desire to deliver a championship card. The release goes on to say that Montreal will likely stage a show later in 2012.


Chris Bauman has a new home. Sportsnet's (and Sportscage's) Arash Madani says the former number one overall draft pick who was let go by the Eskimos earlier this month will be signing a contract with the Calgary Stampeders.

CFL Draft Rankings

The Canadian Football League released its latest draft rankings today and U of S offensive lineman Ben Heenan is still atop the list. For a complete list of the rankings, click here

Monday, January 16, 2012

Freeman Heads South

Free agent linebacker Jerrell Freeman will try his luck in the NFL. In a tweet Monday night, Freeman says Rider Nation has been good to him, but he will be in Colts blue next year.

Big Boost For Defending GC Champs

The B.C Lions won't be losing defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell to the NFL. The Lions announced today they have re-signed the defensive tackle to a new contract. The release can be seen right here. What might also be of news to Rider fans is the last line of the release.

NHL Three Stars Of Week


Earning the NHL's Third Star honors a week ago apparently wasn't good enough for Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson.

Over the ensuing seven days, Anderson won three more games -- including a shutout of the League-leading New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden -- to extend his personal run to 8-0-1 over his last nine starts.

Anderson was named Monday as the NHL's First Star for the past week, with Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg earning Second Star and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin taking Third Star.

Anderson, who has the Senators rocketing up the East standings, allowed just three goals in the three starts he made, while posting a .970 save percentage. Besides blanking the Rangers with a 34-save performance, he turned aside 29 of 30 shots against the Penguins and 33 of 35 to defeat the Northeast Division rival Canadiens.

"He's just so steady back there right now," teammate Jason Spezza said after the 3-0 win in New York. "You can tell he has confidence. When your goalie exudes that kind of confidence, your team exudes that kind of confidence. He's done a great job of calming things down when we get scrambling a little bit. There's times of the game when the other team is going to take momentum, and he's done a good job to take it back."

Stalberg already has a career-best 14 goals this season after putting five on the board last week, including his first career hat trick to highlight the Blackhawks' 5-2 win Tuesday over the Blue Jackets. Among his three goals that night was the game-winner, and he added the decisive goal again two nights later as the Hawks topped the Wild. Stalberg was held scoreless Saturday by the Red Wings, but bounced back one night later with a goal and an assist in a win over the Sharks.

"It was fun to get that," Stalberg said of his hat trick. "It was something I had a couple of chances before to get, and it hasn't happened, so great feeling obviously. A couple of guys made some nice plays out there for me."
Malkin continued his recent tear that has seen him move to within one point of Vancouver's Henrik Sedin for the NHL scoring lead. His week started quietly enough, with single-goal performances against the Senators and Panthers sandwiched around a scoreless outing against the Capitals. But against the Lightning on Sunday, he erupted for a natural hat trick in the third period to propel the Penguins to a 6-3 victory. He also assisted on two goals earlier in the game to up his point total to 51 for the season.

"I don't think about that," Malkin said about the scoring race. "We played a great game and got two points and have done a great job the last three games."