Monday, December 18, 2017
Something to "Mitch" About
--The Regina Pats have hit rock-bottom. If you didn't think it could get any worse than what it has been this season, it did on Saturday night when the Lethbridge Hurricanes walked into the Brandt Centre and took a relatively easy 6-2 victory. It was ugly! It was beyond ugly! The thing is it wasn't the first time this year that has happened. John Paddock could only say one word when it was over and that was "embarrassing"!
Paddock probably wished he could do what many fans did and leave. Win or lose, I am one to leave the Brandt Centre most nights midway through or late in the third because I don't want to sit forever in traffic. (Get some traffic people out to direct people out in a quick fashion and that will change). I wasn't alone Saturday night, but traffic wasn't the reason why---the style of play was.
Paddock couldn't blame the fans for leaving. He said after the game the players aren't doing anything to make it better and the fans are seeing that. They are as frustrated as the team is. They are starting to wonder if the investment they made in what was supposed to be and could still be a magical 100th anniversary season was the wrong one. I can only wonder what Anthony Marquart and Queen City Sports and Entertainment are thinking. This isn't going to sell tickets to the outdoor game. In fact, one fan approached me right after a four-goal Lethbridge second period and said flat out, he spent his good money on watching what was supposed to be an enjoyable product this year and that hasn't happened so why should he spend his good money on an outdoors game when the price is obviously much more than a regular-season game. I couldn't answer him.
I have no idea what has happened to this team. I think all of us knew the team that skated onto the ice for Game 1 of this season would not be the same team that skated off the ice after shaking hands with the Seattle Thunderbirds following Game 6 of the Ed Chynoweth Cup this year. However, we didn't think it would be this bad with the lack of compete showing itself night after night after night. If the returnees think Adam Brooks, Austin Wagner, Connor Hobbs and Sergei Zborovskiy are walking through the door at anytime to save the season, they're not. I could understand maybe a 10-15 game WHL championship loss hangover, but not one that lasts until Christmas.
I have confidence John Paddock will have a team that will be competitive when it is time to drop the puck for the Memorial Cup, but a win in that event now much like it would have been in 2001 will be hollow because of what has to be done to make the end goal happen. I just hope for Regina hockey fans that experienced bad times after the 2001 Cup because of the way the team was gutted, that the same thing doesn't happen this time. I have faith in Paddock it won't. I also don't envy him at this time as he, Dave Struch and Brad Herauf are pushing every button they can. It's on the players now. Do they want to continue to be embarassed and have fans walk out on them during the game or do they want to play the way they know they can. I guess we will find out when they return---at least some of them as that January 10th deadline draws closer.
--Is the XFL about to make a return? There are many reports suggesting Vince McMahon is ready to bring another brand of football back. We all remember the first go-round on this and what a disaster it was don't we? Yes, the NFL has its problems as does the CFL, but do we really need another version of the XFL. It won't be good for the CFL as it will give Americans another option to stay at home with some current CFL players perhaps leaving as well. Would this throw a monkeywrench into the idea of moving the CFL season up. I guess I'll believe it when I see it, but I can't see this being good for the overall game as we know it. Then again, I don't think the XFL will measure whether or not a first down was achieved with a piece of paper like we saw in the Dallas-Oakland game. HUH??
--I don't know what Bill Belichick and Tom Brady did to sacrifice their souls or whatever to the football gods, but enough already. I am not a Pittsburgh Steelers fan so seeing them lose in the fashion they did was amusing, but less so because it was the Patriots who get the win. How many times is this going to happen? It looked like the Steelers were going to snatch this one away from Patriots in the dying seconds only to have a touchdown called back on a controversial call followed by a Ben (no don't call me Bo Levi South) Roethlisberger interception to give the Patriots the win. It really is inexplicable as to how they keep pulling these ones out of the fire. No wonder if you're not a Patriots fan, you hate New England.
--As for the Seahawks, let's just say they soiled the linen in a huge way. The playoff run for them over and now it might be time to retool. The only positive in the blowout loss at home to the Rams is that Seahawks fans didn't have to watch Blair Walsh miss a field goal! It is time to get Russell Wilson some protection and a running back of substance. A kicker wouldn't hurt either.. Yes, not having the likes of Sherman, Chancellor, Avril and Wright along with a less than 75 percent Bobby Wagner didn't help the cause yesterday but they will be back. The window isn't closing yet, but it is starting to.
--Have you been offered the head coaching job with the Alouettes yet?
-- There is a new stat in the NHL. It is called Short Handed Ice Time. The Leafs Ron Hainsey apparently leads the way if the talking heads on Hockey Night in Canada are telling the truth. If a power play goal is seen in the stats as PPG and points are PTS and save percentage is seen as SPCT, than what will "Short Handed Ice Time" be seen as. It can't be what I think it is can it? Who thinks this stuff up?
--That's all I got. Have a great week!