Monday, May 21, 2018

Something To "Mitch" About

Courtesy Keith Hershmiller

--Three games into the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup and we have seen some entertaining hockey.  A last minute win by the Pats, an overtime win by Acadie-Bathurst over Swift Current  and the Titan winning a shootout against Regina in a game that shouldn't have been as close as it was, but it got that way thanks to a determined host team.

John Paddock was right after Sunday's loss when he said the third period comeback in Sunday's 8-6 loss disguised a lot of crap, but one can't deny the Pats were one shot away from tying it in the final couple of minutes which might have blown the roof off the Brandt Centre.

There isn't a lot separating the four teams in the tournament and it is still anyone's guess as to who will win when all is said and done. Until that happens, enjoy what you've been seeing because it has been fantastic.

--NHL brass are all over the Brandt Centre as one would expect.  I am guessing many scouts are just gushing over the play of Acadie-Bathurst defenceman Noah Dobson.   The kid is everything that has been advertised and he will be a top 10 pick in this year's NHL draft if not top 5.  There isn't a lot he can't do and when he puts on another 10 pounds or so, he will be a huge force for someone.  He will look great in a Canadian uniform at the World Juniors later this year. With that event happening in Vancouver and Victoria, Canucks fans could very well get a glimpse into the future.

--Sportsnet's Daniel Nugent-Bowman ( a former Saskatoon Star-Phoenix employee) did his homework on what is a great story about the 1980 Memorial Cup.  That event was won at the Agridome by Dale Hawerchuk and the Cornwall Royals.  It will always be remembered though as the MC where Mike Keenan and his Peterborough Petes threw a game to avoid playing the Pats in the final.  Keenan has always denied it, but those who were there that night know that is not the case. It is probably the reason I have no time for Keenan, the teams he coaches and the Peterborough Petes.  It was one of the wildest couple of nights I have seen under the orange-top and I've seen many wild nights over the years.

--I knew it wouldn't take long and it didn't,  As I roamed the corridors at the Brandt Centre during the first intermission, I had two people ask me about the Riders release of Cameron Marshall.  I certainly didn't see that coming, and I don't know if the green-and-white did either. Marshall is still bothered by that knee that ended his season prematurely.  Many went in wondering how the Riders would find a way to share the ball with Marshall, Trent Richardson and Jerome Messam.  The signing of the Canadian running back now appears to be huge.

--Duron Carter says he is done of trying to get people to change their opinion about him. I agree with that 100 percent.  The guy can play and while he is a little out-there in his ways, it makes Duron Carter who he is.  If you want to like him now great, if not that's OK too. Duron Carter shouldn't care about changing people's attitude. He just needs to concentrate on winning football games and doing things that won't hurt his team.  He is one of those polarizing characters that the CFL needs.  If that stance and attitude prevents him from going to the NFL than maybe he does have to change, but I don't see that happening so accept him for what he is now and moving forward in his CFL career wherever it may take him.

--It took him a while to get here, but Johnny Manziel is now in the CFL. I still don't know if he plays a meaningful snap in a CFL game, but give him credit as he is going to try.  Others have had the opportunity to like Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick and they have said no.  Manziel isn't doing that. He is going to come to Canada and do what he can.  You have to like that he is going to try and seize the opportunity presented to him.  What will the Manziel factor do for football in southern Ontario.  Does it move the needle?  We will find out. 

--Some love it, others don't, but the Vegas Golden Knights are off to the Stanley Cup final in year one of their existence.  Do you ever wonder if Gerard Gallant just smirks when he thinks about how his time came to an end in Florida and where he is now.  For those that don't remember, Gallant was fired after a game in Carolina with the team saying he couldn't even fly home with them so he was put in a cab outside the Hurricanes rink.  A photo of him in the cab made its rounds again Sunday saying that cab is now driving him to the Stanley Cup final.   He has to be loving life as does former Brandon GM Kelly McCrimmon who is an assistant GM with the Knights.  Many say he is a shoo-in to be the GM of the new Seattle franchise when it starts play. I can't disagree with that.

--Jose Bautista was batting 5 for 35 (.143) in his comeback with the Braves so they ended that comeback and let him go.  Russell Martin is 16 for 105 (.152) and there is no talk of the Blue Jays getting rid of him  This is why Atlanta is in first in the NL East and the Blue Jays are three games under 500 and going nowhere fast.  That rebuild can start once they trade Josh Donaldson and one has to think that time is coming very quickly.

--The shift in baseball has become so tiresome. What is more tiresome is the fact batters won't lay down a bunt to get an easy hit.  This is A) proof that big-leaguers have forgotten how to bunt B) big-leaguers are too proud to bunt.  You can't tell me there is no better way to start a rally than by having someone bunt to get on to lead off an inning when the shift is on.  Is Jacques Lemaire responsible for this?

--That's all I got. Enjoy holiday Monday. 


Anonymous said...

That is an outstanding read by DNB on the 1980 Memorial Cup. It is what turned the tournament from a three team to a four team one. Didn't know that.

Anonymous said...

Dobson is a force out there. If his team wins tournament and he keeps going like this he could be top 5 for sure.

As for last night's game, the Pats turned it on a little too late. That and sub-par goaltending cost them that one. I was calling for Kubic to replace Paddock after the 3rd goal, after seeing his 3rd period, I'm glad that didn't happen.


Anonymous said...

What's the deal with Richardson? Is he coming back? All Jones has said is he has personal issues to deal with, but he hasn't said if he is going to come back. Nothing wrong with Messam, but he isn't getting any younger.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with ya on the Carter thing. Let Duron be Duron. Yeah, he needs to grow up a lot, but he loves being who he is.

As for Manziel, Jones will do and say whatever he can to get him into the lineup asap. Unless he fails miserably in the pre-season, I won't be surprised to see him starting in Week 1.

Going to be fun when he walks into Mosaic and feels the wrath of the Pil Zone on him,


Anonymous said...

I didn't go to the final of the Memorial Cup that year, but I watched it on CTV. I think Bernie Pascal was doing the play-by-play. I was at the Peterborough-Cornwall game when all that stuff went down though

Keenan and his cronies can say all they want, but everyone who saw it knows they threw the game. Can you imagine if that game was shown across the country the way all MC games are now?

Anonymous said...

Without Marshall and Richardson, who is now considered the backup running back? Did the Riders whiff on not taking Atlee Simon when they should have instead of taking some DL that hasn't played for a year.

Anonymous said...

No Team Canada/World Championship Hockey news???? (SWEDEN - gold medal overtime win over SWITZERLAND - silver medal). Edmonton Oiler/Team Canada captain Connor McDavid not worthy of wearing the C at any level of hockey, and that's a fact!

Anonymous said...

Justin said,

"Going to be fun when he walks into Mosaic and feels the wrath of the Pil Zone on him."

Wake up to reality Justin. Johnny Manziel has played in front of bigger crowds when he was in high school, let alone college.

Anonymous said...

Marshall released, Richardson absent, Thigpen suspended, Messam past his best before date.

There's an old saying, "Running backs are a dime a dozen."

So why can't Chris Jones find one? Doesn't he have a dime?