Picture: Courtesy SW Booster
We thought the Pats-Broncos and Raiders-Warriors series would be two great ones, and it appears we weren't wrong.
There isn't a lot separating Regina and Swift Current after two games while Prince Albert does not appear to be the pushover that some thought they might be against the heavily-favoured Warriors and are just a shot away from being up 2 games to none.
The biggest question going into Game 3 of the Pats-Broncos series is who starts in goal for Regina? Going into Friday night, I think everyone thought Max Paddock would get that honour considering the finish he had to the regular season, but when the lineups came out Paddock wasn't on it meaning Ryan Kubic got the call.
Kubic would like a Tyler Steenburgen shot back from Game 1, but other than that he has been rock-solid. A pad save he made on Colby Sissons in the 2nd period of Game 2 with Regina up 1-0 was a game-changer.
If Paddock is ready to go, head coach John Paddock has a nice problem on his hands. While that is a good thing, Paddock also has to be wondering about his team's discipline. You can't win on a consistent basis when you are sitting in the penalty box and Regina is doing wayyyy too much of that in the first two games.
It should be a great Game 3 tonight, and it could be a long Game 3. I get the feeling these two teams are so evenly matched that we could have one game in this series that goes well beyond the allotted 60 minutes.
As for what is going on with the Warriors-Raiders, one person told me Sunday that Moose Jaw looks nothing like the 52 win team that breezed through the regular season. Are they feeling the pressure? Justin Almeida may have saved the Moose Jaw season with his outstanding overtime winner on Saturday. If Prince Albert wins that game and goes home up 2-0, that very well could have been it for Moose Jaw. Despite the loss in Game 2, one could say Prince Albert has been the better team through two games and now they have home ice. Don't you love the playoffs?
--Did they play with a goalie Saturday night in Kelowna? Tri-Cities beat the Rockets 9-7 in a playoff game!! Oh how I would loved to have seen that tilt. The Americans have taken a 2-0 lead on Kelowna by taking the first two games in BC. Again, don't you love the playoffs? They're just getting started!!
--CFL Week is in the books and it appears as if Winnipeg did an outstanding job with everything. All stories coming out of the Peg indicate it was a great few days of everything CFL. Now we just need to get the draft out of the way and then we can concentrate on training camp and the season that lies ahead. A season where many are starting to now realize just what the Riders have in their cupboard and what they could potentially do. Is it fair to say the success of the season depends on Zach Collaros and how he performs? I think it is fair to say that because you could say it with QB's on other teams as well. If Mike Reilly doesn't perform, the Eskimos aren't going anywhere. Jonathan Jennings didn't perform last year and look what happened to BC. The same could be said with Darian Durant and Montreal.
--Still on the topic of Winnipeg, the Jets should be a force in these Stanley Cup playoffs with all indications being they can make a deep playoff run. With all the attention focussed on guys like Schiefele, Wheeler, Hellebuyck and Byfuglien for good reason, it would seem as if many have forgotten about Kyle Connor. In fact, where does he rate when it comes to the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Yes, one would think Matt Barzal is the favourite for the season he has had and Brock Boeser would have been right there as well if it weren't for his season-ending injury, but how can you not consider the University of Michigan product for the award? He's going to have a 30 goal season on a very good team. At the end of the day, Barzal is likely your winner, but Connor has to be a finalist.
--The Chicago Blackhawks are not going to make the playoffs this year. There is talk the axe may fall on Joel Quenneville as a result. Really? Quenneville is without a doubt one of the top 5 HC's in the NHL today. What he has done with that team over the years has been great. If he goes, he won't be out of work for long. I am not advocating a change in Edmonton, but after the year the Oilers have had and the track history Quenneville has had with guys like Toews and Kane, what could he do with McDavid and Draisiatl. That being said, if the Oilers tie a can around Peter Chiarelli as some are suggesting, it could mean Todd McLellan goes as well.
--Have they done a 30 for 30 on Loyola-Chicago yet? I'm sure Sister Jean is a lovely woman, but the focus has been on her and not the players who have given her her 15 minutes of fame. She is not the story! The players on that team will likely never see an NBA court. They are having the time of their lives and while I hope Michigan (Mitchigan) ends the Cinderella story next weekend at the Final Four, you can never take away what those kids are experiencing. Here's hoping it is them who gets the publicity deserved in San Antonio next weekend.
--I guess we don't need a curling summit as so many had called for right?
--That's all I got. Have a good week!