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Friday, April 22, 2016

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

Welcome to Friday!  Here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order!

-- It is a picture you won't find on any promotional materials for the Regina Pats this summer.  Adam Musil's goal was the winner in what was a heartbreaking Game 7 loss for John Paddock's proteges as they saw what was a tremendous WHL season come to an end on Tuesday night. While the Pats likely deserved a better fate after dominating the Rebels in all but one aspect in the final 20 minutes of Game 7, one can take solace that we are just starting what should be a yearly occurrence of playing games of meaning in mid-April if not further.

In the past, there were many years where a playoff appearance didn't happen and if it did, it was over after the first round. If a second round appearance did materialize, the team was nowhere close to ending an Eastern Conference final drought that has not seen them as part of the WHL's final 4 since 1993.  This Regina team will be just as good if not better next year. Yes, Colby Williams and Cole Sanford will not be back, but there are so many returnees who will be better and are now playoff-experienced. The Regina Pats are once again someone to contend with and that hasn't been said for a long, long time.  One can only imagine what players like Austin Wagner, Connor Hobbs, Lane Zablocki, Sam Steel and others will do. Having Adam Brooks come back as a 20 would help too, but let's see what his future is after the NHL draft. Let's just put it this way----entertaining hockey is back at the Brandt Centre for the first time in a long time. You may want to be a part of it next winter and for the next few winters moving forward.

-- 20 years ago, no one would have flinched at what Andrew Shaw did at the end of the Chicago-St. Louis game on Tuesday night as he yelled at what we believe was the referee.  Right or wrong back then, it was something that was said not just on the ice, but the field, the court or the diamond. Shaw can't say now what was said then and he was punished for it---or was he? I can't help think the NHL copped out somewhat by handing Shaw a one game suspension. Was that suspension actually for what was said as the league claims or was it for giving the referee the double fingered salute as he went to the penalty box. Players can't give the finger, much less the double finger, to the officials, but Shaw did and seemingly didn't get punished for it. The NHL had a real chance to send a message here about on-ice behaviour, but they didn't. To not give Shaw a minimum of 3 for what was said shows a lack of fortitude amongst the league disciplinarians. To not give him anything for his one-fingered salute shows a lack of something else from the league.

-- The Hockey News says through the first five nights of the Stanley Cup playoffs, ratings are down 61 percent in Canada. That is jaw-dropping even when you consider all 7 Canadian teams didn't make it. However, Sports Business Daily reports in the same time frame, ratings in the U-S are up 13 percent with an average 468-thousand watching games on the NBC Sports Network.  Does that mean NBA playoff numbers are down in the US. If it is, I don't think the NHL brass will be that disappointed with the terrible Canadian numbers. Perhaps Rogers should start picking up some MSNBC feeds so we can hear Emrick, Cuthbert and others instead of giving us team announcers like what we are hearing now.

-- This is one of my favourite pictures from the post-Grey Cup celebration...

I think it was Tyron Brackenridge's mission to empty as many bottles of champagne over as many people as possible on that night. Shortly before this picture was taken, (look at Carm with the photobomb) I was dry until I ran into number 41. He looked at me and with a quizzical look said "You're dry". I said "So far" to which he replied "Not any more" and proceeded to dump a bottle over my head. If you remember, it wasn't that cold of a night after the Riders had won, but when you are soaked it was a little chilly waiting for the media bus and as I cut up tape in the 620 CKRM newsroom of what I had witnessed, the stench of champagne was strong as it was when I returned for work Monday morning.

Of course, moments after he had drenched me, he found another bottle and got Premier Brad Wall who was one of many in the room on that night.  That is the lasting memory I will have of Tyron Brackenridge. When he was at the top of his game, there weren't many better, but like many others who wore green last year, his game disappeared. Brackenridge called it a career after not getting any takers following his release in December. I can't help but think this guy would make a tremendous coach somewhere if he wants to. What is known for sure is a "Plaza of Honor" recognition will come in the next few years.

-- Maurice Price gets traded to the Riders and then retires. You don't see Chris Jones and company screaming looking for compensation do ya? It's called professionalism.

-- The WHL is getting down to the nitty gritty with who the top 10 players in its 50 years of history are. Number 10 is Cam Neely and number 9 is Grant Fuhr. Who will top the list? Joe Sakic tops my list. I thought Wendel Clark, Theoren Fleury  and Clark Gillies would be in the top 10, but they came in at 15, 17 and 24. I'm sure you could put 100 people in a room and you would get 100 different top 10's. What a great debate amongst WHL fans and what a great initiative by the league.

-- The NBA is going to a place I don't like as they are going to have corporate logos on jerseys. It means NBA players will become walking advertisements for a variety of businesses as they become the first league to "desecrate" the jersey. Yes, CFL players have had logos on their jerseys, but they were small and they were all for the same business. If what I have heard is right, you could have the Golden State "Budweiser" Warriors taking on the Denver "Papa Johns Pizza" Nuggets. If the NBA is going to allow this, it won't be long before the other pro leagues do it as well. Thanks, but no thanks.  Who will the Raptors sponsor be? I am guessing it might be BMO seeing they are a major sponsor of Raptors basketball now.

-- How Ken King can even think his CalgaryNext project will get off the ground in these current economic times is beyond me. The people of Calgary don't want to and can't afford to put up the money being asked. Get back to the drawing board Ken! It is time to go to plan B.  In the meantime, there is no need for Plan B here as things are progressing quite nicely with the new Mosaic which is looking great!

-- The great Vin Scully is into his last year calling Los Angeles Dodgers playoff baseball games. I find myself watching more and more Dodgers games just to hear Scully do his thing. Would it be too much to ask FOX to ask Joe Buck to move aside for the World Series so we could hear Scully do one last World Series. I like Joe Buck no matter what sport he does so this isn't a slam on him. I just think baseball fans deserve to hear Vin Scully do one last World Series. I don't even think Buck would mind sitting one out if it meant he was being replaced by Vin.

-- The Rangers and Wild are on their way out meaning my playoff draft has gone up in smoke. At least I didn't take any Flyers.

Have a great weekend!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

So you think the NHL missed the mark with Andrew Shaw. I say they missed it worse with Duncan Keith. Keith's wild stick swinging could easily take an eye out but I guess Gary Bettman only values someone else's eye at six games wages. I'll bet he wouldn't sell one of his own eyes for so little.

Anonymous said...

Keep Saskatchewan strong!!!! While you're doing that don't notice 500 jobs cut at Cameco's Rabbit Lake mine. Perhaps have the CEO back on SportsCage to ask him about that along with Brad Wall.

Anonymous said...

468,000 isn't a great number. How do these numbers compare with the NBA playoffs in the U-S. Are they up or down?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1. I guess you think Kris Letang swinging his stick hitting Stallberg's face was OK though right? Just checkin!

Anonymous said...

I am with you on Scully doing the WS. It would be fantastic as Lynch would say.


Anonymous said...

My husband said he has known for awhile that the uranium mine had flooding problems and was going to close. Interesting the timing of the notice to close, coming 2 weeks after the election.

I am happy to still have a job, but think we have not seen the worse yet.

Anonymous said...

The comment amounts on here are way down? What's up.

Anonymous said...

I love to watch the games that Bob Cole is doing the play-by-play on. It adds another level to the entertainment value of actually watching a game. I will miss his play calling when he is gone.

Anonymous said...

Above picture cap with Mosaic Stadium name -

Take a very good look. You wouldn't think that's a new stadium. It looks tired and old already, not impressed.

Anonymous said...

This is a sports blog site. Go back into the basement at Tommy Douglas House... please!??!

Anonymous said...

Mike Modano is the best junior player I've ever seen, Sakic included.

That shot..........


Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Andrew Shaw said what many other athletes say. His problem was it was caught on video. If anyone thinks gay slurs have stopped, they need to sit near the benches or the court.

Anonymous said...

Former city of Regina manager responsible for stadium build now fired. Stadium design/location was all wrong from the get go.

Anonymous said...

The new Mosaic looking tired and old already? As they say don't judge a book by its cover. Wait until the stadium opens up and we get to see the whole entire project and the inside of it. I will admit the outside cover isn't that spectacular with the green and out of date now grey siding (surprised they don't want to change that since they change the silver to white on the logo). It is still going to be way better than what we had and so looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Whl honorable mentions should go to Jason krywaluk (swift current early 90s , was exciting as all hell to watch 400 plus points but was an overager eventually never made the show) and Jeff Friesen . He was electric all the way from minor hockey up. Too bad it didnt translate pro but defensive systems held him back I always thought. Too bad

Anonymous said...

Modano top 10 without a doubt, but I will take Iginla and Sakic ahead of him.

Anonymous said...

Time to start thinking about the Pats top 50/100 players of all time list. The WHL top 50 list has stirred up lots of great memories and player debates. I'll bet Sakic, Modano, Kennedy and Habscheid will be added soon.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon Kennedy wasn't even on the WHL top 125. He certainly won't make the top 50. Total politics. Sheldon was an incredible junior.

Anonymous said...

Maybe simply paint the silver a white?

Too bad it sort of has a blah look on the outside, I'm sure the inside will be awesome.

It sort of looks like an old silo from the outside with the faded green and faint looking silver... Too bad...

Anonymous said...

Scruffy, you need to be more narcissistic like Rod is. Tell us how great you are, where you have been and who you have rubbed elbows with. Get with the program FFS.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Scruff let's see your mean streak like that beautiful man and his beautiful wife like to whip out sometimes. Cuss down Saskatoon, mention which burger joint is worst in Regina, anything! #RodNation is bored.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely loving this years playoffs with no Canadian teams. If that is what is required for people to watch then they are not "hockey fans". As for play by play, I disagree with the poster praising Bob Cole. Way way past his due date. If he's doing a game I find a different game to watch.
Russ from the Paris of the Prairies

Anonymous said...

Never watch hockey anyway!!!

Go Riders!

Go Raptors!

Go Whitecaps!

ps., above all, can't wait until the CFL starts... Did I say Go Riders!?!

Anonymous said...

Tsn top program last weekend , auto racing . 160 000 viewers. No one watches the Toronto sports network anymore . They can't even crack the top 20 most watched sporting events.

Anonymous said...

What dumass comments today! You're all b'otches!

Sincerly
Scuffy.

Anonymous said...

Watch your language,

Scruffy s mom

Anonymous said...

If Shaw was actually suspended for what he said on the ice, then it's absolutely ridiculous. Lots of mean-spirited and inappropriate things are said on the ice. These are grown men and they should be able to handle it! Since when is "hurting someone's feelings" cause for punishment? Can I retroactively sue every elementary school kid that ever teased me on the playground?

And the real kicker is this: nobody would even have known what Shaw said if the NHL hadn't made such a big deal about it. This is a classic example of virtue signaling. The NHL wants to say, "look how progressive and virtuous we are." C'mon, this isn't a Sunday school contest, it's professional sports!

Somebody should start a sports network that actually focuses on sports. I bet that would be huge.