Friday, April 3, 2015
This And That
The usual assortment of Friday thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are no particular order.
--OK, lets be honest. There weren't many people out there who thought the Regina Pats would win their first round series in four straight. There were a lot of people who had the Pats moving on to the 2nd round, but there were also a lot of people who thought the Broncos would win. It will be very tough to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, but one never knows what can happen and if this young squad rides a wave of momentum, you just never know. What has been rammed home is the "plan" John Paddock and QCSE laid out is working. Regina hockey fans were aware of Sam Steel and what he could bring to this team, but we are now seeing first hand what Adam Brooks, Austin Wagner, Connor Hobbs and others are all about and they will be back next year ready to start competing for a championship in earnest. Its nice to see a "plan" which wasn't evident here in the past and nice to see a winning hockey club on the ice. The attitude and the mind-set has changed.
---Rams DB Tevaughn Campbell impressed many at the CFL combine last weekend in Toronto after setting the fastest 40 record in combine history. It sparked a very good article on CFL.ca. The debate is does the performance at the combine improve his draft stock or do CFL brass still feel that despite the fact Campbell can run, he needs to be able to show off his football skills. What isn't brought up is how Campbell and others performed in the interview part of the weekend. If you send the wrong vibe, you can certainly see your stock plummet, I spoke with Campbell this week and he says at the end of the day you do what you do and hope everything works out right. That's really the only attitude you can take as a player.
--Riders GM Brendan Taman brought up a very interesting point when speaking to Rod Pedersen on Saskatchewan's #1 sports show Monday. Taman told Rod and the Sportscage audience it really does pay off in a way when you show your excitement to play for the Riders. Addison Richards has let it be known he would love to play for the green and white and many are hoping the Rams receiver will get a chance to do that. Taman says one question they ask potential draftees is if they have ever been to Regina. He said some in Eastern Canada haven't, so they really don't know what type of environment they are walking into. Its a very good point. Having someone who knows the Rider culture because he sees it first hand has an advantage. That doesn't mean Richards will be taken by the Riders, but I somehow think the team will find a way to make it happen. It may mean moving up in the 2nd round to take him if they don't nab him at 6, but I think they will find a way. Keep your fingers crossed!
--Brock Lesnar lost it on RAW Monday night. It was an amazing segment.
--After everything former Pats defenceman Brandon Davidson has been through, it was great to see him score his first NHL goal Monday in Denver. Lets hope the first one isn't the last one.
--Dustin Byfuglien got four games for his cross-check on the Rangers J-T Miller. Byfuglien is a little fortunate in my mind, but had Miller laid on the ice for a while it would have been more for sure. I am not advocating a player lay there and embellish something for a further suspension, but the NHL disciplinarians see the player isn't seriously injured thus the message will be a stern one, but not a death sentence. Byfuglien will return for what could be a must-win season finale for both teams when the Jets take on Calgary.
--If the L-A Kings get into the playoffs, look out. Yes, it was the Oilers they played on Thursday night, but they looked more than ready to not give up the Stanley Cup without a fight. If they get in, I would not want to be their first round opponent.
--The Tampa Bay Lightning need a marketing 101 lesson. The team is not selling playoff tickets to anyone outside the state of Florida. That would really impress Joe Lightning Fan from outside Florida who maybe wants to watch his team play and take a trip. What is wrong though is there are some areas of the building where fans wearing another team's logo aren't allowed. ??????. This is inherently wrong. Imagine the cry if the Winnipeg Blue Bombers told Rider fans they couldn't wear green for the Banjo Bowl or vice-versa. Who came up with this brilliant plan and why?
--I am not going to go back and look, but the Medicine Hat Tigers put out an interesting stat on Thursday night. The Tigers tweeted out goalie Tyler Bunz was the 99th Tiger to play in an NHL game. That made me wonder just how many players who have worn the Pats logo have gone on to play at least one game in the show. If someone knows the answer to that, pass it down the pipe. The Tigers started play in 1970 so lets start there and yes I would think more Pats have made it. I'm not sure though.
--Congratulations to those in the west-central part and northern parts of the province who will now be able to pick up 620 CKRM's game-day coverage thanks to North Battleford, Prince Albert and Meadow Lake all coming on board to join the Rider Radio Network. Its a lot of work being a part of the best, longest and most comprehensive game-day coverage in the CFL and finally those who haven't been a part of enjoying what Rod and company do on game day can. It truly is a privilege of being part of those broadcasts and being a part of the 2013 Grey Cup broadcast goes down as one of the highlights of my what is already way too long broadcasting career.
--Should I be happy or sad that I am only in two fantasy baseball drafts this year?
--It would appear as if we are set for a Norway-Canada final at the World Mens Curling Championship. The John Morris rink has not missed a beat since John took the step of handing over the reins to Pat Simmons. If Canada wins, it could be one of the greatest sports achievements accomplished over a few beers because you know that discussion to change skips likely started in the Brier Patch.
--That's all I got, Enjoy the long weekend and may the Easter Bunny leave behind chocolate and not something else in your yard.