Thursday, March 26, 2015

This And That

The usual weekly assortment of thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are in no particular order.

--Did I miss the memo? Has the CFL decided they are going to be an outdoor version of Arena Football? The proposed rule changes announced Thursday night are for the most part dumb. The desire is obviously there to increase scoring, but defences around the league and defensive co-ordinators must be going WTF?  Not allowing any contact between defender and receiver when the receiver has a running start is a HUGE disadvantage for the defence.  The decision not to allow the line to run downfield on a punt until the ball is caught is just as stupid. The only rule worth its salt is the change to the PAT and don't get me started on the idea of a three point convert.  I'm not really sure what is in the CFL's head with these changes. Why are you screwing around with a game that is fine! Yes, scoring was down last year, but it was one year. Its not a trend. Lets see if it happens for the next couple of years and then sit down if its that big a problem. In the meantime, I think you have done more harm than good. Time will tell!

--"Jungle" Jim Lang appears on the Sportscage every Wednesday and he had a very interesting thought as to where Connor McDavid should end up. Lang said the perfect spot for the NHL to have the next superstar is Arizona. ????? Its my thought the NHL might want to have the league's marquee player in 5 years in Toronto because of the exposure that could be given, but Lang says Arizona would give the franchise some respectability and that landing there would mean the Coyotes could forget about all the woes they have had and look to the future. With all due respect to the Coyotes, selling hockey in the desert is virtually impossible when you see what they are up against. Yes, the Coyotes would certainly gain more exposure on NBC telecasts and perhaps some more in Canada, but I don't think Phoenix is the right spot for the kid.

--Speaking of the Coyotes, they play Buffalo twice in the last few games of the season to likely determine who will be the winner of the McDavid bowl. Who needs to see the battle for top place overall when we can see those two teams skate against one another twice in the final couple of weeks. Arizona won the first game on Thursday night in overtime in Buffalo and Sabres fans cheered when Arizona won. That's gotta hurt if you are a member of the Sabres.

--Its rather sad when you consider the top scorer in the NHL this year won't have 90 points.

--The L-A Kings will likely knock either Calgary or Vancouver out of the playoffs. I'm torn as to which team I want to see on the outside looking in. I can't stand either.

--Congrats to Warriors forward Brayden Point for signing a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. I don't have to tell WHL fans how good of a player Point is. There is no way he ends his junior career in Moose Jaw and one would have to think he will be with a contending team next year---perhaps the Memorial Cup hosts from Red Deer.

--Swift Current Broncos Coach and GM Mark Lamb was on the Sportscage Wednesday. I asked Mark if the fact the Pats were home and cooled off and had nothing to play for in the final few games while his team had to fight, claw and scratch to get into the playoffs meant his team had the advantage going in. He said that was over-rated.  That being said, it will be much harder for the Pats to have that intensity needed that they haven't had to have over the past couple of weeks. Game 1 of this series will be very important and sadly Pats fans, I won't be surprised to see Swift Current take it. That's what playoff hockey is all about though as you need all the right breaks at the right time. On paper, the Broncos arguably have the better team, but Regina has John Paddock behind the bench and that is a huge intangible. Its going to be a lot of fun starting tonight at what I am hoping is a sold out Brandt Center.

--Congrats to John Paddock for being named the WHL East coach of the year. A couple of people have wondered how Kelly McCrimmon of Brandon doesn't win this award considering what he did this year. There is a valid argument there, but did anyone expect Paddock's team to win 37 and still be a competitive team after what was done at the deadline. It baffles me as to how some people can't see the light and how this team will be very good for the next couple of years, but whatever.  As good a job as Paddock has done, how much does he owe to assistant Dave Struch who knows the WHL like the back of his hand and has been instrumental in filling Paddock in on some things. His hire might have been the best transaction of all this year.

--Premier Brad Wall chimed on the series when asked who he will be cheering for---his hometown team or the provincial capital where he works. Predictably, Wall said Swift Current. It made me tell the province's "Grand Poobah" on Twitter it was OK if he wanted to change his mind since he had done that once already this week.  He favourited the tweet moments later easing any fears I would be deported to Manitoba. He also sent a direct message laughing so all is good.  I shudder though if the Raiders should ever beat the Seahawks.

--It is great to see all the support being given to "Bruce Almighty". Some have suggested the Regina Humane Society put down the cat that came in which came in with electrical tape wrapped around its legs cutting off circulation. That cat has a fighting spirit and he has finally found someone who will care for him, The RHS will find the right family for that cat to live with and the fact people around the world have donated for not only his care but care of other animals at the shelter is outstanding and heart-warming.  As for the jackhole who performed the act of animal cruelty, lets just say I would like a one on one interview with this person and have it in a dark room if you know what I mean. I know many of you feel the same way.

--Its WrestleMania weekend! Brock Lesnar's contract signing with WWE throws what I thought would be a Roman Reigns win into jeopardy. I am guessing Vince MacMahon will keep the belt around the waist of the mammoth Lesnar but who knows. At some point, Seth Rollins has to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Does John Cena get another belt to carry around? Can the Undertaker perform one more match? Will I get up to go to the can when the divas tag team match comes on? What one of my neanderthal buddies will make the first highly offensive comment?

--Its only one game, but Edmonton beating Brandon in Game 1 of their series left me with a smile on my face. The Oil Kings have 15 players on their team that won the Ed Chynoweth Cup last year so they will be no pushover. With the series having a 2-3-2 format, an Edmonton win in Game 2 will have the Wheat Kings in a huge hole. BTW: If Edmonton were to win that series, they would stay in the East and play the winner of the Pats-Swift Current series.

--Congrats to Dave Thomas at CJWW Radio. The man who does the visitors sideline at Rider games (and does a helluva better job than the schmuck he replaced down there) is the new voice of the U of S Huskies as CJWW and Husky football have come to agreement on a new deal. Dave, when you go to T-Bird Stadium in Vancouver, make sure your cellphone is charged up!!!

-- This can't be as good as the original can it?

--If love is grand. is divorce a hundred grand?

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend and GO PATS!!


Anonymous said...

Great point on Struch!

Anonymous said...

#1 Scruffy !

Anonymous said...

CFL BOG must be smart enough to aay NO to some of these ideas. It is going to resemble arena football. What's next, 12 offensive players and only 9 defensive ones on the field?

Anonymous said...

Linden Rowatt, Donald Chokalos, Dawson McCauley and in the next week Daniel Wapple. That is the answer to the question

Name 4 Pat goalies who have shat the bed come playoff time,

BRONCOS in 5!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the weekly column Mitch, it's a pleasure to read. I agree that having Struch is a big asset for the Pats. As well, I hope they find the person who tortured that cat. They deserve some jail time in my opinion. Someone has to be pure evil to do something like that. Similar to the pilot who took down the plane with 150 people behind him.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to Sting and Triple H on Sunday.

WM is a must-see!

Anonymous said...

I am guessing there a lot of pissed off kickers and defensive players today.

Anonymous said...

Would the Pats have been as successful if Struck had been there as HC? I would make the argument they could have been.

He has been very instrumental in what has happened this year.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Question for ya Scruffy

You do stuff on RM for Riders and Rams, but not for Pats. Is there a reason for that? I would think your knowledge of the WHL and game would help make what is already a good broadcast better.

Hope to see ya tonite


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Al, I have never been asked by the team nor the station to do anything with the Pats.

Doing my thing with Cougar basketball would prevent me from being at many home games though.

Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Why put McDavid in Toronto? Every game is sold out anyway and we're already saturated with news of the Leafs. Personally the media force feeding everybody on the Leafs woes makes me sick and I wouldn't cheer for that organization if they had Gretzky, Lemieux and McDavid playing for them.

Anonymous said...

You just might have missed the memo Mr. Blair, CFL now seems to be adopting XFL rule book in consultation with WWE Vince McMahon.