|Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews|
CONSISTENCY - If there is a word that that has been used the most when talking about the Regina Pats it is consistency. This past weekend epitomized this season. On Friday the Pats were dominant in a 4-0 win over the Saskatoon Blades. But on Saturday they fell flat and lost 7-3. It's almost unfathomable how different this club can look from night to night.
Goaltender Tyler Brown who turned away 28 shots on Friday for his second career shutout says it's hard to explain what happened the following night in Saskatoon. "Definitely troubling with some consistency issues right now. We came out flat footed, not really ready to play and it ended up costing us in the end. You know four minutes they score four goals. Two minutes into the first, two minutes into the second they scored four goals so that just shows even if we played 56 minutes we still wouldn't have won the game. You gotta play a full 60.... It's puzzling to everyone in the room. They are probably going to be pretty frustrated about it, I know I am. We want to show better for ourselves, the fans and our coaches. We just need to find a rhythm and continue to roll with it every single night."
That being said, the Pats remain just 8 points back of the Moose Jaw Warriors for 3rd in the division and have two games in hand. Brown says they have their sights set ahead and not on the teams chasing them in the Eastern Conference. "We are only a few points behind Moose Jaw and that is our goal, is to gain a solid position in the playoffs and just go ahead into the playoffs rolling here. It's only 20 games left, one third of the season and we still have to find something to keep our consistency up and if we do find that... We showed it last year that we can beat anyone in the league and I think we can do that this year."
The Pats return to action Friday when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Brandt Centre at 7 o'clock.
WHAT A DEBUT! - The Pats were forwards Adam Berg, Aaron Macklin and Jared McAmmond all missing both games against Saskatoon. As a result they called up 16-year-old forward Robbie Holmes from the Sherwood Park Kings of the AMHL. The 11th round pick in 2014 was fantastic, scoring in his first ever WHL game on Friday and then scored again the next night in Saskatoon. What an incredible way to introduce yourself to the league. Especially since in 22 games with his midget club, Holmes had just 4 goals and 7 points. So fun to see a kid succeed like that right off the bat!
INJURIES? - The Pats should get some relief on the injury front for this weekend. Head Coach and GM John Paddock said on Tuesday Jared McAmmond should be available for Friday's game against the Tigers. He also said Aaron Macklin could play Saturday against his former team the Prince George Cougars. It looks like Adam Berg, Connor Hobbs and Colby Williams will have to wait at least another week to return but a lot can happen between now and this weekend. We will see.
FAMILIAR OPPONENT - Overage forward Cole Sanford will take on his former team the Medicine Hat Tigers for the first time since being traded to Regina on Friday. The Vernon B.C. product played 230 games in a Tigers uniform, tallying 217 points. He says he is looking forward to Friday night. "Its exciting. I'm a little nervous, it's going to be weird but definitely when I got traded and I looked at the calendar and was excited that I was going to get to play them two times. This is the first one and obviously I want to play good and we want to win the game but definitely going to be a little bit weird... I think looking at the bench and seeing the coaches and all my friends on the other side, especially in warmups, it's going to be different but looking forward to it."
The Pats currently sit 5 points ahead of Medicine Hat who are the first team outside the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Sanford says the fact it's such a big game will help him get past the fact it's his old club on the other side. "That might help a little bit come game time. it's a bit two points, especially with them on our tails. I got a lot of buddies over there but during the game it's a playoff atmosphere and we are going to do whatever is necessary to win the game."
Sanford says he hopes to help his new team have a bit of an advantage come Friday night. "Obviously I played there for a while and know their tendencies and what they like to do you know special teams and so on. I have a little bit of incite on how they play and we will be leaking a couple strategies that they have." he chuckled.
Puck drops at 7 o'clock at the Brandt Centre, hope to see you there!
GABES IS BACK - Former Pats forward Jesse Gabrielle will make his one and only appearance against his former team when the Prince George Cougars visit the Brandt Centre on Saturday. Jesse is having a heck of a season with 32 goals and 58 points for the Cougars who sit 3rd in the B.C. Division, two points back of the Victoria Royals for second spot.
JOHN SCOTT - What a great story it was for John Scott at the NHL All-Star Game. The stuff he had to go through from the league leading up to the game was so avoidable and I don't need to get into it again. However to see the other players on the ice embrace him and to see him score twice made everything so worth it. He handled the whole situation with class and I hope he finds himself back in the NHL.
NHL ALL-STAR - I liked the 3 on 3 format. The games were actually entertaining, it was certainly the best all-star game I can remember watching. Yes it wasn't full paced but I didn't expect it to be. I thought the skill was on display and even the goaltenders looked really good. Well done NHL, for a gimmick game, it was as good as it could be.
McDAVID BACK - What a return to the ice for Connor McDavid last night for the Oilers. The 19-year-old scored an absolute beauty of a goal in the 2nd and then assisted on a powerplay marker in the middle frame and in the 3rd as well. He is so fun to watch, it's really too bad he missed so much time. I'm not an Oiler fan per say but with him in the lineup there is no other team I would rather watch on a night by night basis. He is just incredible and the entire team plays better when he is on the ice. One of the broadcasters on last nights game against Columbus said it best. "The team knows they have the best player on the ice and they all play two inches taller as a result." After last nights win the Oil are 8 points out of a playoff spot in the Pacific Division.
SUPERBOWL WEEK - The big game is almost here! The more I think about it the more I think it will be the Carolina Panthers victorious on Sunday over the Denver Broncos. However I think it will be very close. The only way the Broncos win in my opinion is if the defence can keep the Panthers to less than 20 points which will be a tall task. Carolina's defence is almost as good and So Peyton Manning will have to have a game similar to the one against New England where he threw a couple touchdowns and took care of the football. Can't wait for what should be a good game.
- That's all I have for today, be sure to catch tonight's episode on Pats TV on Access 7 starting at 6:30. My guests tonight are forward Rykr Cole, defenceman Chase Harrison and assistant coach Brad Herauf.
Have a great week everybody!