Monday, October 28, 2019

Something To "Mitch" About

Photo: NHL

"Hockey may not have been born in Saskatchewan, but it sure grew up here" -- Hockey Night in Canada's Jim Hughson

"It's a place where hockey matters" --NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman 

"The experience was outstanding. Between the NHL and the city of Regina, the hockey fans in the province of Saskatchewan came out in full force. Lots of energy in Mosaic Stadium, and a beautiful setting with the light snow, and the temperature wasn’t too bad. If you ever get a chance to be a part of one, do it. You ever as a fan get a chance to attend one, I would definitely not deprive myself of the opportunity to do that.” --Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters.

"The only way to top it would be if Santa Claus went over the stadium".-- Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice. 

"What an awesome experience" -- Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. 

What a night it was.  The NHL's Heritage Classic featuring the Calgary Flames and the Winnipeg Jets was a day to remember.  The wind even died down enough to make it a great night to showcase the game under a snowglobe like setting.  The light snow that fell starting just after faceoff with some big snowflakes just made it better.   Tim Reid and his gang at Evraz Place must be smiling from ear-to-ear after what was a great event. 

--Was it just me or were the Jets the team that the majority were cheering for. It seemed that way to me both watching it live and on TV.  As great as Mosaic Arena looked live, it looked absolutely sensational on television.  What a night for Regina, Saskatchewan and the stadium.

-- I don't know when and if the NHL will come back to Regina, but the league knows if they do, they will be welcomed with open arms.  It begs the question about the NHL and Saskatchewan having a team.  Bettman said Friday at the International Trade Centre during a luncheon where he was cheered much to his delight that expanding to Saskatoon is not on the radar at this time.  

I don't see the day where Regina ever gets an NHL-sized arena so the best bet would be Saskatoon at SaskTel Centre, but I realistically just don't see that happening either anytime soon.  In the meantime and in between time, we will keep cheering for our favourite teams.   Many of us displayed the jerseys of our favourite team during "Hockey Week" in Regina.  If you were downtown, you saw Leafs, Canadiens, Oilers, Flames, Jets, Rangers, Knights, Canada, Pats name it.   Yes, we are a football-crazed province, but we love our hockey too.  

--Speaking of football, I think it is safe to assume Mosaic Stadium will be sold out for the second straight Saturday when the Riders look to clinch first place with a win over Edmonton.  I saw one play of the game from Commonwealth Stadium and that was Brett Lauther's winner.   

I tried to find a TV at Evraz Place that had the Riders game on, but with hockey taking over, all TV's where I was were on the Habs-Leafs game.  The texts were coming though.  

  • What the hell are the Riders doing?
  • Do the Riders know what's at stake today?
  • Why is Takoby Cofield playing?
  • Fajardo is going to get killed!!

Being down 14-0 will do that I guess, but a game is 60 minutes and the green-and-white found a way.  It is hard to fathom what this team could accomplish next weekend when you think about everything that happened leading up to and at the start of the season.   I still say 10 years after the 13th man debacle at MacMahon that the Riders and Alouettes will do it again.   What a week it should be around here and what an environment it should be for the regular-season finale and hopefully the Western Final. 

--The result from Winnipeg Friday night stunned me, but I was happy for Zach Collaros that he got through a game without being hurt.  As much as I believe the West Final will be between the Stamps and Riders, the Bombers will make it interesting no matter who their quarterback is.  

--Former UBC quarterback Michael O'Connor threw a TD pass for the Argos.  The talk of the Canadian quarterback has been put on the backburner with Brandon Bridge bouncing around from team-to-team, but O'Connor may have it heating up again.  One has to wonder if another Canadian---Nathan Rourke--who is at Ohio University will come north of the border as well.  If it does, this Canadian quarterback discussion might finally end with teams having one or two at their disposal. 

--You can't pin it all on one guy, but the University of Regina Rams might be heading to the playoffs if it weren't for the kicking problems they had this year.  This Rams season, that ends with a 3-5 record, will go down as so close, but so far as they had one point losses to Manitoba and Alberta and a five point loss to UBC---all games where kicking adventures turned possible victories into losses.   HC Steve Bryce is frustrated at missing the playoffs for a second straight season, but I think he has to feel awfully good about what the future holds.  He has a lot of good young players on his football team---good young players that should have this team playoff-bound again next season. 

I hope receivers Ryan Schienbein and Kyle Moortgat can find a way for their football careers to continue.  That's up to CFL talent evaluators to decide.

--I am sure that when fans in Washington started singing Baby Shark in Game 3 that it angered the baseball gods.  I thought the Houston Astros might be in danger of getting swept after losing the first two at home. NOPE!  Would it surprise anyone if this thing went 7 now?  Not me!  Houston looked like the team we thought they would be in Games 3, 4 and 5 and go home looking to wrap it up Tuesday.

--From Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun:  Since Lou Lamiroello left the Leafs to become the GM of the Islanders. the team is 55-30-7 while the star-studded Leafs are 52-32-10.  There's one for ya Toronto fans!

--Congrats to Matt Dunstone and his rink for winning the Grand Slam of Curling event in North Bay, Ontario. It was an emotional moment for Matt as he had a tough time spitting out words to Sportsnet's Joan McCusker when it was over.  Between this rink and the Kirk Muyres rink, that Brier drought Saskatchewan has had just may be getting ready to end.

--I'm still not buying the San Francisco 49ers

--The New Orleans Saints are still my Super Bowl favourites

--What does Jacksonville do when Nick Foles is ready to return.  The Jags can't derail Minshewmania can they?

--There are Sundays when fantasy football is a good thing, there are Sundays when it's not.  The latter is in effect for this guy this week.  JEEBUS!!

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


Anonymous said...

The current Rider coaching staff makes in-game adjustments better than any staff I can recall.
Thanks Chris Jones for freeing those guys up by getting out of their way.

Anonymous said...

My kids may not stop talking about this weekend for a while. We went to both. We were much colder on Sunday, but we had a lot of fun.

If Saturday isn't a sellout at Mosaic, the CFL and the Riders need to ask why! Win and finish first is all the marketing you need.


Anonymous said...

Will you change your tune on the Niners when they stomp on your Seachickens?

Anonymous said...

Went to the Pats game on Sunday, but watched the Heritage Classic on Saturday night. HNIC did a really good job of it. It had to be big when Hughson and Simpson were here and not calling the Leafs/Habs!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

If you haven't watched the game, Cofield was a disaster!

Anonymous said...

Seeing the Jets win a game in Regina that counted was perfect! Getting my pic with Schiefele and Laine made it even better.