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Monday, October 21, 2019

NHL Three Stars Of The Week

Stars of the Week, Pastrnak, Carlson, Hutton


NEW YORK (Oct. 21, 2019) – Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 20.



FIRST STAR – DAVID PASTRNAK, RW, BOSTON BRUINS

Pastrnak topped the NHL in both goals (7) and points (9), recording multiple points in all three of his appearances to guide the Bruins (5-1-2, 12 points) to a 1-0-2 week. Pastrnak scored all four of Boston’s goals, including the winner, in a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Oct. 14. Pastrnak, who posted his fifth career hat trick, registered the 25th four-goal performance in Bruins history and first since Jan. 6, 2018 (Patrice Bergeron: 4-1—5 vs. CAR). Pastrnak (2-1—3) then factored on each of Boston’s next three goals in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Oct. 17. He added another multi-point effort to finish the week, compiling 1-1—2 in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 19. The 23-year-old Havirov, Czech Republic, native shares the League lead with nine goals and ranks fourth overall with 15 points through eight contests this season. The 2014 NHL Draft pick (25th overall) also sits one point shy of 300 for his career (141‑158—299 in 328 GP).



SECOND STAR – JOHN CARLSON, D, WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Carlson paced the NHL with seven assists and ranked second with eight points in four games to propel the Capitals (6-2-2, 14 points) to a 3-1-0 week. He notched one assist in a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Oct. 14. Carlson then registered consecutive three-point outings, compiling 1-2—3 (including the GWG) in a 4-3 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 16 and three assists in a 5-2 victory against the New York Rangers Oct. 18. He added one more helper in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Oct. 20, extending his assist/point streak to seven games (3-12—15). The 29-year-old Natick, Mass., native tops the NHL in both assists (15) and points (18) through 10 contests this season. Only two other defensemen in League history have recorded as many points through their team’s opening 10 games of a campaign: Bobby Orr (2‑16—18 in 1969-70 and 5-13—18 in 1973-74, w/ BOS) and Paul Coffey (3-17—20 in 1988-89, w/ PIT).



THIRD STAR – CARTER HUTTON, G, BUFFALO SABRES

Hutton stopped all 72 shots he faced across two games, going 2-0-0 with two shutouts to help the Sabres (7-1-1, 15 points) complete a 3-1-0 week. Hutton earned his 12th career shutout with 25 saves in a 4-0 win over the Dallas Stars Oct. 14. He then set a franchise record for saves in a regular-season shutout, posting 47 – including 19 in the third period – in a 3-0 victory against the Los Angeles Kings Oct. 17. The 33-year-old Thunder Bay, Ont., native is 5-0-0 with a 1.40 goals-against average, .953 save percentage and two shutouts through his first five appearances of 2019-20. Only one other goaltender in Sabres history has collected multiple shutouts within his first five games of a season: Bob Sauve in 1979-80.

(NHL Media) 

Something To "Mitch" About




--If the truth be told, I did not see much CFL action this weekend.  In fact, the only snaps I saw were from midway from the 3rd quarter on in Vancouver.  Why were the Riders wearing their home greens on the road?

--It doesn't matter how much you win by, its just do you win.  For the Riders, they didn't blow out the BC Lions as many expected them to do, but they won.  Cody Fajardo admitted on Twitter after that the team didn't play up to their standards, but they found a way.  That's all you can ask for and hope that lessons are learned from the performance that was given.  On to Edmonton!

--Question asked to me on the weekend.  If Cody Fajardo gets to free agency, will there be a lot of suitors?  I say no.  Toronto, Ottawa and the Riders would be the three teams and the Argos may not want to move on from McLeod Bethel Thompson.  That's advantage Riders isn't it?  Of course Winnipeg may be in the mix too, but I hear conflicting reports as to whether or not Matt Nichols is a free agent or has one year left.  I guess we'll find out soon.  Rider fans hope we aren't talking about Fajardo going to the highest bidder come mid-February.

--The reason I did not see much CFL action this weekend is the fact I was in Edmonton to do the Rams-Alberta game on Saturday (more on that in a second) and with the Oilers at home to play Detroit, I obviously had to go check out the team that has gotten off to a start that I think most hockey and Oiler fans weren't expecting.  There is a mood of cautious optimism amongst Oilers fans.  That is the way it should be.

While I haven't been to a lot of NHL games over the years, the Oilers (like other teams) know how to make the game-day experience a great one for fans.  They do an outstanding job with their off-ice game-day presentation.  The intro they have is great---its not as good as the Pats intro (and yes I'm biased) but its pretty good.

I've said it before when watching him and I will say it again.  If you have never seen Connor McDavid live, you are missing out.  His speed watching him in person is something you just don't get when watching him on TV.  When he puts it into another gear, it is amazing to see.

The game's first star was Ethan Bear.  The pride of the Ochapowace First Nation is bouncing back after a less than stellar year last season that saw his stock fall.  Bear had a solid pre-season and has obviously rid himself of the problems he had last year.  If he continues on the pace he is on, he will be a solid NHL player moving forward.

--We need more rivalries in the NHL like Drew Doughty vs Matthew Tkachuk.

--Tkachuk will be on display here next week, but Doughty won't be.  It's not hard to know the Heritage Classic is right around the corner.  Drive by Mosaic Stadium and you see flags featuring the Jets, the Flames and Saturday's outdoor game.  The next week should be a lot of fun in Regina.  We love our football, but we LOVE our hockey as well.  Get out and enjoy some of the week and get to one of the two games at Mosaic for something you will never likely experience in your own backyard again.

--The University of Regina Rams put in a complete performance Saturday in beating Alberta.  Too bad that it was too little too late.  A loss by Calgary in Manitoba meant the Rams were eliminated from the playoffs as next week's game at Leibel Field against the Bisons will now just be for pride.  As good as the Rams were, the Bears were atrocious and that is being complimentary.   When you have 26 penalties, you don't deserve to win. Its as plain and simple as that.

--As I said, I didn't see a lot of CFL action this weekend.  I was hoping to catch the 2nd half of the Calgary-Winnipeg game at the Edmonton airport figuring the Eskimos-themed restaurant right next to my gate would have the game on.  How silly of me!  The Leafs were playing and all three TV's in the place were on that game.  Tell me again the CFL doesn't have a problem when a restaurant with a CFL theme doesn't have a CFL game on---especially an all-Western battle.   The sad thing is the place I went to before heading to the airport had TSN on and then changed the channels for hockey.  I could see that in a place like Toronto, but Edmonton?

--Going into Sunday's Ravens-Seahawks game, I was a little concerned with Lamar Jackson and what he could do.  Those worries were validated as the Baltimore quarterback played like Russell Wilson.  Wilson is leading the way for guys like Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray and Jackson.  You just can't give them an inch of space or allow them to improvise because they just kill you if you get the chance.

--The New Orleans Saints didn't have Drew Brees, they didn't have Alvin Kamara and they were going up against one of the NFL's top defences on the road in Chicago.  The Saints crushed the Bears. I still say they are the best team in the NFL with all apologies to those rooting for the Patriots and Niners.

--Why is it Tom Brady can do quarterback sneaks from the one, but many other less than mobile quarterbacks don't.  Yes, I'm looking at you Phillip Rivers! Two chances from the one to win the game and you hand it off instead of keeping it yourself?  That's yet another reason why the Patriots is where they are and the Chargers are where they are.

--What has happened to the Atlanta Falcons? At least Washington and Miami have an excuse for being so bad

--The Houston Astros will meet the Washington Nationals in the World Series.  The 9th inning of Saturday's Game 6 was one for the ages.  Jose Altuve's walk-off homer came after DJ Lemahieu had tied it in the top of the 9th.  The best thing about the Altuve homer was the Joe Buck call.  He just let the moment take over by staying quiet for at least a moment.  Many broadcasters would try to talk over the moment and take away from the raw emotion and scene that is unfolding.  Buck is good at that. I really don't understand why so many people don't like the guy.  He is one of the best in the business as far as I'm concerned.

--What establishments are holding NBA Championship Banner raising ceremony nights?

--If you haven't done so already, get out and vote today! It doesn't matter what party you are backing, just go cast your vote.

--Have a great week!







Sunday, October 20, 2019

Thunder's 20th Anniversary All-Time Team Named




The Regina Thunder Alumni named their 20th Anniversary All Time Team, the top 28 Regina Thunder Players of All Time at halftime of their PFC semi-final on Sunday against the Edmonton Huskies.  A game that they lost 20-17

The players were identified through voting amongst the alumni.

The players are as follows.

1. Dan Clark, OL
2. Logan Ferland, OL
3. Matt Halbgewachs, OL
4. Max Ivanov, OL
5. Jeff Yorga, OL
6. Ryan Anderson, Receiver
7. Chris Getzlaf, Receiver
8. Wil Heward, Receiver
9. Jay Smith, Receiver
10. Kolten Solomon, Receiver
11. Stu Foord, RB
12. Victor St. Pierre Laviolette, RB
13. Asher Hastings, QB
14. Reid Quest, QB
15. Ivan Brown, DL
16. Zack Evans, DL
17. Jason Skolney, DL
18. Ryan Warner, DL
19. Scott Magee, LB
20. Brett Selinger, LB
21. Steve Wilson, LB
22. Dustin Erbach, DB
23. Mark Ingram, DB
24. Jon Krahenbil, DB
25. Jimmy Stewart, DB
26. Paul Woldu, DB
27. Jeff Bolen, K
28. Ryan Anderson, Special Teams (also recognized as Receiver)

Player Notes used during today's announcement:

Dan Clark

-         from Regina

-         played 2006-2010

-         All Canadian

-         Starting Centre for the Saskatchewan Roughriders

-         Grey Cup Champion

Logan Ferland

-         From Melfort

-         played 2015-2019

-         All Canadian

-         He’s the only current active player on the list

-         Currently on the Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster

Matt Halbgewachs

-         from Regina

-         played 2012-2015

-         All Canadian

-         Current Regina Thunder OL Coach

-         Alumni of the Concordia University Stingers

Max Ivanov

-         from Horlivka Ukraine

-         played 2002

-         All Canadian

-         University of Regina Rams alumni

Jeff Yorga

-         From Moose Jaw

-         played 2003

-         Former U of R Ram and Toronto Argonaut

Ryan Anderson

-         Player 2000-2003

-         All Canadian

-         Receiver and Special Teams Player

Chris Getzlaf

-         From Regina

-         Played 2001-2004

-         University of Regina Ram Alumni

-         CFL veteran

-         Former Saskatchewan Roughrider

-         Grey Cup Champion

Wil Heward

-         played 2009-2013

-         2013 Canadian Bowl Champion

Jay Smith

- Played 2007-2010

- Former Regina Thunder Receivers Coach

- One of the PFC's top receiving yard leaders in 2010, helping to secure the Thunder's first home playoff game

Kolten Solomon

-         Played 2009-2011

-         2010 PFC Receiving yards leader

-         Former U of R Ram and Saskatchewan Roughrider

Stu Foord

-         from Regina

-         played 2003-2007

-         in 2007 was ranked in the PFC’s top five in rushing yards, receiving yards, kick return yards, punt return yards and all purpose yards

-         Former Saskatchewan Roughrider and BC Lion

Victor St Pierre Laviolette

-         From Winnipeg

-         Player 2015-2017

-         Current University of Manitoba Bison and one of the most talented running backs in Thunder history

Asher Hastings

-         From Regina

-         Winner of the Wally Buono Award for top junior football player

-         Current USport record holder for most touchdown passes in a single season

-         McMaster Marauder Alumni and 2013 Canadian Bowl Champion

Reid Quest

-         Player 2007-2010

-         Lead the PFC in Passing Yards in 2010, earning a 6-2 record and the Regina Thunder’s first home playoff game and game

-         Concordia Stingers Alumni

-         Also attended Montreal Alouettes Spring Camp

-         Current Thunder QB Coach

Ivan Brown

-         From Regina

-         Played 2004-2005

-         9 year CFL Veteran, including the Saskatchewan Roughriders

Zack Evans

-         From Regina

-         Played 2009-2011

-         2011 finalist for CJFL Top Defensive Player

-         2 time Grey Cup Champion

-         Current Saskatchewan Roughrider

Jason Skolney

Played 2000-2004

Ryan Warner

Played 2014-2016

2016 PFC Outstanding Defensive Lineman

University of Regina Ram Alumni

Scott Magee

-         From Gull Lake

-         Player 2005-2006

-         CJFL All Canadian

-         University of Regina Ram Alumni

Brett Selinger

-         Played 2010-2014

-         2013 Canadian Bowl Champion and Defensive Player of the Game

Steve Wilson

-         From Regina

-         Player 2000-2003

-         2003 Larry Wruck Award Winner for CJFL Defensive Player of the Year

Dustin Erbach

-         Player 2011-2015

-         2013 Canadian Bowl Champion

-         U of S Huskies Alumni

Mark Ingram

-         From Imperial, SK

-         Played 2008-20012

-         U of S Huskies Alumni and CIS Standout

Jon Krahenbil

-         From Regina

-         Player 2002-2006

-         All Canadian

-         U of S Huskies alumni

Jimmy Stewart

-         From Regina

-         Player 2000-2003

Paul Woldu

-         From Regina

-         Played 2001-2004

-         U of S Alumni

-         CFL Veteran with both Montreal and Saskatchewan

-         Three Time Grey Cup Champion

Jeff Bolen

-         From Regina

-         Played 2006-2009

-         All Canadian

-         Former member Saskatchewan Roughrider Practice Roster

-         Long time Regina Thunder and Regina Riot Coach

(Regina Thunder)


Friday, October 18, 2019

Riders Depth Chart/Game Day Tidbits




Image 


  •  In the 10 Rider wins this year, the defence has allowed 16.1 points per game.  In their 5 losses, they have allowed 33.8 points per game.
  • Solomon Elimimian can still reach 100 defensive tackles by averaging 9 per game. He has 3 previous 100+ seasons. 
  • Charleston Hughes is 1.5 sacks from tying former Rider Vince Goldsmith for all-time sacks.  If Hughes gets two tonight, he will have 17 this year and 131 overall to move into 7th place all-time
  • The Riders have the most rushing TD's in the league with 23 
  • The Riders are 10-1 when leading at the half and 8-0 when leading after three quarters



This Week In The CFL

Image result for cfl football



The week opens with Toronto visiting La belle province for Friday Night Football. The Alouettes are coming off a tough 35-24 setback in Winnipeg and will be glad to return home where the team has compiled a 5-2 mark this season. Montreal will be looking to rile up the playoff-hungry crowd at Molson Stadium after earning the right to host the East Division semi-final on November 10. The Argonauts are hoping to make it two-in-a-row after opening Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons’ era as general manager with a 28-21 win last week. Toronto will attempt to even the season series in the 7 p.m. contest after falling 28-22 to Montreal in Week 11.
The action then heads to BC place with the Roughriders in town. The visitors will need a victory to keep pace in a tight race for the West Division crown. Saskatchewan has an opportunity to sweep the season series after having claimed both matchups in a home-and-home set across Weeks 6-7. The Lions will attempt to return to their winning ways after a 19-6 defeat in Week 18 halted a streak of four consecutive victories. BC has a record of 2-7 as hosts this season. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s doubleheader begins with a matinee in Hamilton. The REDBLACKS are in search of their third road win of the year which would snap an eight-game slide. Ottawa is facing a tough task ahead – the Tiger-Cats are not only well-rested following a bye week, but they are also a perfect 7-0 when playing in front of the home crowd at Tim Hortons Field. When the two provincial rivals last faced one another in Week 10, the Tiger-Cats emerged with a 21-7 victory.
The Week 19 finale begins at 7 p.m. ET and will take place at the setting of the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw: McMahon Stadium. The matchup featuring the Blue Bombers will open a back-to-back set with heavy playoff implications – the winner will take a significant step towards first place in the West Division and a Winnipeg victory will earn the visitors the tie-breaker after having claimed a narrow 26-24 decision in Week 9. The Stampeders are 6-2 as the home side this season and hold a game-in-hand. The contest pits the West’s two best intra-division clubs against each other: Calgary is 6-1 when facing a Western foe, while Winnipeg is 6-2.
PLAYOFF PICTURE
  • Calgary clinched is 15th consecutive playoff appearance in Week 15.
  • Winnipeg secured its fourth straight spot in the post-season in Week 15.
  • Saskatchewan punched its ticket to the post-season for the third consecutive year in Week 16.
  • Montreal earned its first playoff spot since 2014 in Week 17 and claimed Eastern Semi-final hosting duties in Week 18.
  • After reserving the right to host a home playoff date for a second year-in-a-row in Week 15, Hamilton secured home field for the Eastern Final in Week 18.
WILD WILD WEST
  • Through 18 weeks, Calgary, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg all have an opportunity to earn a home playoff date. However, no club can clinch hosting duties in Week 19.
  • The crossover team has yet to be determined.
Remaining schedules in the West Division
TEAM
OPPONENTS 
CUMULATIVE RECORD
Winnipeg
@CGY, CGY, BYE
20-10 (.667)
Edmonton
BYE, SSK, @SSK
20-10 (.667)
Calgary
WPG, @WPG, @BC
25-23 (.521)
Saskatchewan
@BC, @EDM, EDM
21-27 (.438)
A DIME (OR MORE), A DOZEN
  • With a Week 18 win over Saskatchewan, the Stampeders’ earned their 10th victory of the season, marking the team’s 12th consecutive season with double-digit wins.
  • In the past 11 seasons from 2008-2018, Calgary has:
    • Averaged nearly 13 wins per season
    • Totaled 142 victories
    • Hosted 10 playoff games, including seven Western Finals
  • The next-best active streak is Winnipeg with 10+ wins in four-straight years.
QUICK SLANTS
  • BC receiver Bryan Burnham leads the league with 1,329 receiving yards. The last Lion to top the statistical category was Geroy Simon (1,308) in 2007. Burnham needs 64 yards to surpass his career-high of 1,392 set in 2016.
  • Toronto’s McLeod Bethel-Thompson leads the CFL with 22 TD passes this season. The last Argo to accomplish the feat was Trevor Harris (33) in 2015.
  • Bethel-Thompson has been the top passer in four weeks this season (5, 11, 13 and 18).
  • Home teams are 43-26 this year. Hamilton (7-0) is the only team which has not lost at home.
  • Teams with a better average starting field position are 57-12 (.826).
  • Teams with a better second down conversion rate are 54-15 (.783).
  • If Hamilton wins one of its final three games, the team will set a new franchise record for wins with 13.
  • 2019 will mark the first time since 2001, and only the second time since 1988, that at least one quarterback has not started all 18 games for his team.
  • If Montreal can collect two victories in its final three games, the Alouettes will reach double-digits in wins for the first time since 2012 when the team won 11 matches.
  • Best records when leading at the half:
    • Edmonton: 7-0
    • Saskatchewan: 10-1
    • Winnipeg: 9-2
  • 19 games in 2019 have been decided by 4 points or less, with 12 games to play. There were 17 such games last season.
  • With a 90-yard punt return in Week 18, Montreal’s Mario Alford returned a kick for a touchdown for the second time in as many weeks. There have been 22 kick return TDs this season.
  • Hamilton ranks first in kick return TDs this season (5).
  • Calgary and Winnipeg lead the league with five defensive touchdowns scored this year.
  • Toronto, Montreal and Hamilton lead the CFL in touchdowns scored when starting a drive from their own 1-to-20-yard lines (6). Ottawa is the only team which has yet to score in the same scenario.
  • In Week 18, Ottawa’s Dominique Rhymes surpassed the 1,000 receiving yard mark for the first time in his career, becoming the ninth receiver to reach the milestone this season.
  • Toronto’s S.J. Green led all receivers in Week 18 with 170 yards and became the 18th player to reach 10,000 in his career. At 10,080, he ranks No. 16 all-time and needs 40 yards to surpass Earl Windfield for the No. 15 spot.
  • Winnipeg’s Mike Miller (184) is tied with Wade Miller for No. 2 all-time in special teams tackles.
  • On Friday against Saskatchewan, BC’s Danny O’Brien will become the fourth QB this season to start his first-career CFL game, joining Will Arndt, Nick Arbuckle and Cody Fajardo. O’Brien will be the 20th different QB starter in 2019.
  • In the Argonauts’ past six games, they have put together nine touchdown drives of 75+ yards, including three of 90+ yards.
  • Hamilton’s Brandon Banks (94) is one reception shy of a new personal best.
  • Cody Fajardo has the most passing yards (3,649) among active QBs behind the injured Trevor Harris (2nd at 3,706) and Mike Reilly (1st at 3,897) who is out for the year. The last time a QB did not pass for 5,000+ yards in a season was 2014.
  • The Top-6 all-time field goal-kickers are all active in 2019, led by Rene Paredes (87.1%).
(CFL Communications) 

This And That


Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind.   As always, these come in no particular order

--The 10-5 Saskatchewan Roughriders are in B.C tonight to meet the 5-11 Lions.  The Lions don't have Mike Reilly, they have been eliminated from the playoffs,  there is nothing to play for.  That is exactly what they want Dickenson's dudes to think when the two teams step on the BC Place turf.   The Riders can't take their opposition for granted. For the record, I don't think they will, but they can't come in feeling cocky.  I see a 12-17 point win coming. 

--The NFL is getting hammered over Monday night's win by the Green Bay Packers and the way the officials botched it.  Hey, if Detroit doesn't kick 5 field goals and get more than 55 yards in total offense in the second half, we aren't having this conversation, but it is evident that NFL officiating is no better than CFL officiating.  Penalties in the NFL are up over 3 a game from last year and that has many including Tom Brady a little steamed. 

The question to you is "As a fan, do you like games with too many calls or bad calls?".  Bad calls are going to come in just about every game.  It's the too many calls that bother me because it takes away from the flow of the game and the excitement of it.   

Despite the pleas of some, instant replay is never going away.  What my beef about instant replay is you slow it down too much. With super slo-mo and everything else, you don't get to see what the referee is seeing in real time.  I have no problem with the regular slow-motion, but stop going frame-by-frame and zooming in to make officials look bad.  That doesn't help.  The networks want every little thing they can, but the super slo-mo is what is hurting the game. 

--I've been to Rexall Place and I've been to Rogers Place to watch the Edmonton Oilers play,  I will sit in the stands at Rogers Place tonight to watch the Oil take on Detroit and I am legitimately excited to see the home team play.  Yes, there is a long ways to go in the NHL season, but one can't ignore the 6-1 start that they have had including a pasting of Philadelphia on Wednesday. 

Connor and Leon are leading the way. Dave Tippett has been a godsend behind the bench and everything is working.  As mentioned, there's a long ways to go, but could a playoff game be my next Oilers game at Rogers Place this April.  It just might be! 

--There is talk about free agent to be Taylor Hall perhaps returning to Edmonton as the Oilers are interested.  Edmonton doesn't need Taylor Hall.  They need a solid  #1 or 2 defenceman.  

--The Calgary Flames named Milan Lucic as their player of the game Thursday night vs Detroit.  Were the Red Wings that bad? 

--The reason for being in Edmonton is I'll be behind the mic for Saturday's Canada West football game between the Rams and Alberta.  Despite their 1-5 record, Regina can make the playoffs with wins over Alberta and Manitoba.  Those are two teams they should have beaten this year, but they lost to each by one.  A win tomorrow at Foote Field is a must.  I think they can get if they play smart football.  The Bears are a much better team than years past, but Regina is the more desperate squad.  Let's see how it plays out! 

--The Thunder will be playing at Leibel Field this weekend.  The Rams close out the regular season against Manitoba at Leibel.  I think you know where I'm going with this.  Leibel Field needs to be the home of both. It makes for a better game-day experience.  Yes, I'm well aware of the 50-50 implications should the Rams opt for Leibel and that is a huge reason to stay at Mosaic.  Do the Thunder have any reasons to stay at Mosaic?  

--Week 7 NFL Lock Of The Week --  Packers over Raiders
   Week 7 NFL Upset Of The Week --  Saints over Bears

--RMF teams run a better offense than what I saw from the Denver Broncos last night.  That was two or three levels below pathetic. 

--How do Montreal Expos fans feel about the Washington Nationals being in the World Series? How do Seattle Mariners fans feel about knowing they are the only team that hasn't been in a World Series? 

--In just over a month, Olive Garden will be open in Regina.  With the lineups that are to be expected, the question is will I be able to get in before 2020? 

--That's all I got.  Have yourselves a great weekend! 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Week 7 NFL Capsules

Image result for patrick mahomes


Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are in the NFL Thursday nighter to kick off Week 7 as they visit Denver in an AFC West battle. For a preview of that game and others this weekend, click here

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Events Surrounding NHL Heritage Classic Announced

  • Image result for nhl heritage classic regina 
             

                Highlighting The PreGame are the Tim Hortons® Coffee Trucks where fans can receive a free cup of Canada’s favorite coffee or a cup of hot chocolate and spin to be entered for a chance to win a trip to the 2020 Honda NHL® All- Star Game or other prizes. The Stanley Cup® will also be on display on Saturday from 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. local time and there will be live musical performances by local Regina cover bands - Wonderland on Saturday and Fog Dog on Sunday.

    Admission to The PreGame will be free and open to the public. A ticket to the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ is not required for access, but fans will need to go through security screening to enter.

    WHAT:              The PreGame at the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™

                WHEN:             Saturday, Oct. 26: 1 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. local time
                                        Sunday, Oct. 27: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. local time
                WHERE:           Confederation Park
                                        1700 Elphinstone Street, Regina, SK S4P 2Z6

                HOW:               Admission to The PreGame will be free and open to the public. A ticket to the                                           2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ is not required for access.

    The PreGame will feature the following attractions:

    • Calgary Flames: Brush up on your stick skills by shooting into our giant inflatable, and enter to win your very own Calgary Flames NHL Heritage Classic Jersey.  Stop by the Flames tent between 5 and 6 pm for autograph opportunities with Flames alumni!
    • Danone: Oikos challenges fans to channel their inner champion at the Hardest Shot booth! Oikos is proud to be the official yogurt of the NHL.
    • Esso: Imperial Oil Limited and the Esso brand have been supporting hockey for over 80 years. And now, they’re giving fans an opportunity to gear up using authentic vintage equipment to travel back in time and create a classic hockey photo of their own to take home.
    • Fanatics: A wide assortment of NHL Heritage Classic apparel and products will be available for purchase at the NHL Official Merchandise Shop - A Fanatics Experience.
    • Honda: Visitors to the Honda tent can check out the all-new Honda Passport, test their shooting accuracy in the Virtual Reality Hockey Shootout, get free swag, charge mobile devices, and meet NHL Alumni Mike Vernon for photos and autographs.
    • Kruger: Get absorbed in the action with the SpongeTowels Zamboni® machine! Hop on and get your picture taken with Spongie while ‘cleaning up the ice’, plus get coupons and a free Scotties tissue pocket pack.
    • Lay’s: The Lay’s Accuracy Challenge will reward sharp shooters with a chance to enjoy hockey’s favorite snack.
    • Nestle: Are you into BREAKing records? Come test your slap shot accuracy with the KITKAT Bullseye Battle. Afterwards is a perfect time to “have a break, have a KITKAT” with some complimentary KITKAT!
    • Rod Pedersen Show: Meet Rod Pedersen and have the chance to shoot your very own segment for the show! Fans will have the chance to win an #RPShow prize pack!
    • Safeway: Come visit Safeway Canada on-site for PreGame snacks, our hockey skills competition, giveaways and more!
    • Scotiabank: Scotiabank’s Ultimate Hat Trick will be an interactive game, giving fans the chance to win a trip to any regular season NHL game of their choice, plus $1,000 to be deposited into a Scotiabank Ultimate Account.
    • Sportsnet 960 The Fan: Sportsnet 960 is Calgary's only all sports radio station and the radio home of the Calgary Flames. Calgary Flames Warmup is our comprehensive pregame show one hour before every game, hosted by Pat Steinberg and Peter Loubardias. Once the puck drops, Derek Wills takes you through every second of action.
    • Tim Hortons: Fans can stop by the Tim Hortons Coffee Trucks to receive a free cup of Canada’s favorite coffee or a cup of hot chocolate and spin to be entered for a chance to win a trip to the 2020 Honda NHL® All Star Game or other great prizes!    
    • Upper Deck: Fans can score a FREE personalized trading card from Upper Deck.  While visiting the Upper Deck booth, fans can have their picture taken by professional photographers and will receive their own personalized trading card right on site.
    • Winnipeg Jets: The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club will have their new inflatable rink that fans can test out. Moose and Benny will be present with the promotional team with giveaways all weekend.
                                            
                For more information, fans should visit NHL.com/HeritageClassic. In addition, a wide assortment of NHL Heritage Classic™ products will be available for purchase at the Official Merchandise Shop at the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™. Fans are also encouraged to download the NHL Fan Access™ App for the opportunity to participate in many fun PreGame activities, a chance to win prizes at The PreGame, receive up-to-date event schedule alerts, access to event maps and much more. The app is available in the App Store and Google Play. All fans entering The PreGame will be subject to a security screening.

                A limited number of tickets to the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ are available for purchase through Ticketmaster, the official ticketing partner of the NHL®, via its website and the Ticketmaster app. Fans can purchase tickets safely and securely on Ticketmaster.com and the NHL Ticket Exchange™, with the peace of mind in knowing that the specific seats they buy are the seats they’ll get. 


Monday, October 14, 2019

Tickets Still Available For Grey Cup

Image result for grey cup calgary

Organizers of Calgary’s Grey Cup are locked in a tough ground game to reach the end zone for a sell-out.

With six weeks to go before the Nov. 24 CFL championship clash, plenty of unsold McMahon Stadium seats remain.

There’s some public speculation the ticket sales will fall 3,000 to 4,000 short of the 36,000-seat Grey Cup game capacity, “but we think we’ll go further as people get more excited,” said Mike Franco, chairman of the 2019 Grey Cup Festival.

“We won’t coast into it, we’re going to work at it … as an organizing committee, we expect to sell out.”

Franco said he didn’t want to reveal how many seats are unsold “because that gets into a death watch” mindset.

Some local footballs fans have complained — amid a slumping economy — about what they see as the high price of game tickets, which went on sale May 7. They start at $119 in the top four corners of the stadium and up to $419 for the most expensive seats.

Discounts are available for season tickets holders who’ve renewed them for next year.

Those less expensive tickets, said Franco, are about $100 below what similar seats were priced the last time Calgary hosted the Grey Cup a decade ago.

The recent announcement of country superstar Keith Urban as the game’s half-time entertainment has not only boosted ticket sales, it makes their price a better value, he said.

“Urban’s a huge, huge plus … when you look at it as an entry point to see the Grey Cup game and a Keith Urban concert, it’s remarkable,” said Franco, who’s president of the Calgary Stampeders.

But the biggest factor in ensuring McMahon Stadium is filled for the championship tilt lies in the hands of the defending champions, the Calgary Stampeders who are in a tough fight to claim first place in the CFL’s western conference, he said.

“I tell (Stampeders General Manager John) Hufnagel he’d be the best market strategy,” said Franco.

“Though if Saskatchewan’s in it, we’d see the stadium just as green as red.”

Unlike the 2009 Grey Cup, organizers aren’t adding 10,000 temporary bleacher seats to McMahon, choosing instead to install late-season suites in the north end zone that will accommodate far fewer.
That’s to ensure less congestion in the stadium’s notoriously constricted concourse.

“We’ve really tried to listen to the fans, we don’t want to put the load on the building,” said Franco.

Most of the higher-end seats have been sold out, said Franco, leaving the middle-value spots the most available.

The game deserves to be a sell-out, said former Hamilton Tiger-Cat Lee Knight, who’s coming to Calgary for probably his 10th post-career Grey Cup.

“It’s the national championship, a national celebration,” said Knight, a Ticat from 1986 to 1997.

The former CFL fullback said he came away with a very different impression after attending the 2012 Super Bowl game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

“It was not even close to the national celebration that the Grey Cup is, it was really just San Francisco and Baltimore fans and people with lots of money,” he said.

If Hamilton makes it to the CFL final, there’ll be a considerable contingent from the Steel City heading for Calgary in late November, added Franco.

(Calgary Herald)

NHL Three Stars Of Week



Stars of the Week


NEW YORK (Oct. 14, 2019) – Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 13.

FIRST STAR – CONNOR McDAVID, C, EDMONTON OILERS
McDavid posted 2-5—7, including a League-best five power-play points (2-3—5), in three contests to help the Oilers (5-0-0, 10 points) win each of their first five games of a season for the third time in franchise history (also 1983-84: 7-0-0 and 1985-86: 5-0-0). McDavid registered his 15th career three-assist game in a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders Oct. 8. He then collected 1-1—2 in a 4-3 shootout victory against the New Jersey Devils Oct. 10, followed by the winning goal and one assist in a 4-1 triumph over the New York Rangers Oct. 12. In doing so, McDavid helped Edmonton become the first team in NHL history to overcome a deficit to win each of its first five games of a season. The 22-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native has earned at least one point in all five of those outings, topping the League with 4-8—12 overall and 2-5—7 on the power play. The two-time Art Ross Trophy winner also paces the NHL with 1.31 points per game since entering the League in 2015-16 (132-252—384 in 292 GP).

SECOND STAR – PATRIK LAINE, RW, WINNIPEG JETS
Laine led the NHL with 2-6—8 in four games as the Jets (4-3-0, 8 points) picked up a trio of wins. Laine recorded his first career three-assist performance in a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Oct. 8, helping the Jets/Thrashers franchise snap an 18-game winless streak in Pittsburgh dating to March 24, 2007 (0-14-4). He then posted 2-2—4, his third career four-point game, in a 5-2 triumph over the Minnesota Wild Oct. 10. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-2 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks Oct. 12, Laine closed the week with one assist in a 7-2 loss to the Penguins Oct. 13. The 21-year-old Tampere, Finland, native shares the League lead with eight assists and ranks third overall with 11 points through seven contests this season (3-8—11). Laine’s 113 career goals are tied for fifth in the NHL since he made his debut in 2016-17 (113-82—195 in 244 GP).

THIRD STAR – SIDNEY CROSBY, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Crosby compiled 3-4—7 in four appearances to help the Penguins (4-2-0, 8 points) close the week on a three-game winning streak following a 1-2-0 start to the season. Crosby scored once in a 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Oct. 8. He then registered 1-1—2 in both a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Oct. 10 and a 7-4 triumph against the Minnesota Wild Oct. 12. Crosby added two more helpers in a 7-2 win over the Jets Oct. 13, moving him past Jean Ratelle and into 37th place on the NHL’s all-time assists list. The 32-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S., native has collected at least one point in each of his first six games of the season, topping Pittsburgh with 3‑7—10 overall. The two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, who sits 41st on the League’s all-time points list, also leads the NHL with 449-777—1,226 (949 GP) since making his debut in 2005-06.

(NHL Communications) 

Something To "Mitch" About




--Win or lose, we knew the chances of the Riders and Stampeders playing again this season in what probably will be the Western Final were high. We also found out why Calgary is Calgary and that the Riders have some work to do if they are to catapult the CFL's version of the New England Patriots from the CFL playoffs. 

It was one of those nights early where you wondered if it would be Saskatchewan's night. I am still not really sure what exactly happened on the Cody Fajardo overthrow to Shaq Evans on the first series. . That was a sure touchdown, but Evans seemed to let up on it.  Why?  You go from what would have been a big-time punch in the mouth to a 2nd down sack to a rouge.  What a huge let-down. 

Then you have the Marcus Thigpen bobble on the kickoff that resulted in a Calgary touchdown and you are wondering if it is going to be a long night, but Nick Marshall turned the tide after what was a horrible decision by Bo Levi and you knew it was going to be a strange night.  One in which the Riders couldn't pull it off, but they have no one to blame but themselves. 

To me, it just looked as if the Stamps wanted it more on both sides of the ball.  The Riders seemed lethargic especially on defense.  A no-name Calgary o-line won that battle.  I think the green-and-white only had one sack and I thought they would get at least three or four on old Bo. 

The offense simply didn't produce.  The team only had two or three passes that went for more than 12 yards on this night.  You can't win with that production.  The sad thing is they just about did.  If you take away the first 6 minutes and a Brett Lauther doink at the end of the 3rd, the Riders come out of MacMahon with a win.  There was so much I didn't like about the effort, but the desired result was just about there.  They have some work to do, but it can be done. 

--If Bo Levi Mitchell were a professional wrestler, he would be one of the best heels going.  What was that with the half-time interview with Jermaine Franklin.. As the former voice of the Riders would say, BO LEVI SHUT YOUR MOUTH!!  

He certainly had no problem with getting 47 yards of penalties thanks to Ed Gainey and I'm sure he didn't think a Calgary defender was guilty of interference or face-masking on a slant pass to Shaq Evans in the redzone.   BLM is one of those guys you just despise unless he is wearing your colours. He's not! 

--The CFL is looking at having teams dress just two quarterbacks next season.  They may want to put that on hold or just put it on ice.   Mike Reilly's broken wrist means A) no quarterback that was the starter for their team in Week 1 has made it through the year without being injured and B) Bo Levi Mitchell is the only QB that started in Week 1 that is the starter now. 

BC:  Reilly- Danny O'Brien
Edmonton: Trevor Harris - Logan Kilgore
Saskatchewan: Zach Collaros - Cody Fajardo 
Winnipeg: Matt Nichols-Chris Streveler 

Hamilton: Jeremiah Masoli - Dane Evans 
Montreal: Antonio Pipkin - Vernon Adams Junior 
Toronto: James Franklin - McLeod Bethel Thompson 
Ottawa: Dominique Davis - Will Arndt

If the CFL goes through with this plan, disaster awaits.  Then again, this is the CFL that has introduced a ludicrous coaches salary cap. 

--Why isn't there a CFL game on Thanksgiving Monday?

--Credit to the groundskeepers in both Calgary and Winnipeg.  Snow hit those two cities this week and you wouldn't know it by looking at the fields.  Great job in both cities.  Hopefully, we don't have to worry about that for Rider home games before the end of the year.

--Cody Fajardo became an honorary Reginan on the weekend.  He tweeted that his vehicle was broken into.  He now truly is "one of us".  Thankfully, it doesn't sound like anything of major value was stolen and he is taking it in stride. 

--I am sure the Regina Thunder didn't like the fact they were gifted a win by the Prairie Football Conference because the Winnipeg Rifles couldn't get here due to that storm but what are you going to do?  Yes, the Thunder likely beat the Rifles to clinch 2nd, but what if they don't.  We will never know the answer to that question and the Edmonton Huskies have a right to be choked if they want, but what are you going to do?  With games happening next weekend and no idea as to when the number one highway will open, the league was stuck with making a decision they probably didn't want to.

--Are the Pats ever going to win again?  While they obviously didn't know the early season problems Max Paddock would have when it comes to staying healthy, I am sure they are wishing they hadn't traded Dean McNabb to Winnipeg.  To say this team struggles scoring goals is an understatement.  The newest Pat --20 year old Zach Wytinck--- looks to be a big plus for them though as he stabilizes the back end. 

--Good on the Moose Jaw Warriors for hiring former Notre Dame Hound Olivia Howe as an assistant coach.  In the words of GM Al Millar

“We are very pleased to add Olivia to our hockey operations staff.  She has tremendous experience in the game and made a strong impression on our staff at our recent training camp as a guest coach. Olivia has played at a high level, coached, scouted, been a leader, and a champion in her career.  She will be a strong addition to our team.”

She may be the first woman to be an assistant in the WHL, but I'm guessing she won't be the last.

--The Edmonton Oilers are 5-0!  At what point of the NHL season do you start to look at things and decide whether or not your team is good or not and what its strengths and weaknesses are.   I say its about mid-November once you have a month of games under your belt.  Meanwhile, if the Oilers are 5-0, it brings back the great days of the 80's.  Should I go to ladies night at Checkers to celebrate?

-- The Dallas Cowboys have lost three in a row!!

--Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are going to get contract extensions from the Blue Jays.  Why?

--If you are a baseball fan with no horse in the race, you had to enjoy Sunday's Astros-Yankees game.  What a contest it was. That is playoff baseball at its best.

--It was great to see so many people put out on social media, especially millenials, that they took advantage of advance voting this weekend.  It doesn't matter who you support, you need to cast your vote on October 21.

--That's all I got. Have a great week!

(If you're not already, give me a follow on Twitter @mblairYQR )





Saturday, October 12, 2019

Thunder Awarded 2nd Place Due To Manitoba Snowstorm

Image result for regina thunder
(Wanda Harron Photography) 

If you had plans to go to Leibel Field to watch the Regina Thunder meet the Winnipeg Rifles on Sunday afternoon, you can forget about it.

On Saturday night, the Thunder announced the Rifles can not get to Regina because of a snowstorm that has crippled southern Manitoba closing many highways including the Trans-Canada so the Prairie Football Conference is awarding the game to them.

It means Regina will finish the season at 6-2 and will host a PFC semi-final against the Edmonton Huskies on Sunday, October 20 at Leibel Field.

The team was going to unveil its 20th anniversary all-time team before Sunday’s game, but that ceremony has been delayed by a week with the team being named at the semi-final contest.