Realty One

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Photo by Brian Liesse

1 - GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS: The good news is there will be a Mothers Day Clash in Game 6 of the WHL Finals this Sunday as the Regina Pats will host Seattle in the Brandt Centre (6:00 pm on 620 CKRM). The bad news is the Queen City Kids totally squandered a chance to potentially wrap up this series in five games in Seattle thanks to a listless, lethargic effort in Wednesday's Game 4, losing 6-1 to the host Thunderbirds. The series is now tied 2-2.

As Pats fan and former Regina Ram John Carmichael said last night at the 4Seasons, "That's why they play 7 games Roddy!"

Very true. And the anger at Wednesday's performance eventually evaporated and turned to excitement at the opportunity which still dangles before the Pats in a series which has now become a Best-of-3.

2 - THE GREEK FREAK: The 4Seasons Sports Palace was packed last night with fans of both the Pats and the Edmonton Oilers, who were playing Game 7 of Round 2 in Anaheim. The debate raged over which game should be featured on the big screen, since both faced off at 8:00 pm. Tensions were high.

"Pats fans have been waiting 33 years for this," 4Seasons owner George Yannitsos declared. "The Pats game will be featured."

That was until Regina fell down 6-1 in the second period and showed zero signs of coming back.  So the TV was switched, the Oilers went on to lose Game 7 by a 2-1 score, and fans of both teams left demoralized.

What had the potential to be one of the greatest nights of the year turned into a complete dud.

Such is sports.

But honestly it felt great to be a fan again. Now I know why you guys get so pissed off and say things you don't mean in the heat of the moment! I honestly forgot what it was like. It's fantastic.

You are forgiven for every rotten thing you've ever said on this blog.

3 - OFFICIATING: Call me crazy, but I have NO complaints with the officiating in the WHL Playoffs this year. Sure there are some calls that not everyone can agree on, but that's always going to happen in any sport. No one can agree on anything and that's why there's so much hate in the world.

But from the 2-minute minor for Seattle's Keegan Kolesar kneeing Regina's Connor Hobbs in the groin in overtime of Game 2, to the diving penalty on Thunderbirds Captain Matt Barzal in Game 2, I've had no gripes with any of it.

The notion that Kolesar should've been suspended for his knee on Hobbs was an out-and-out fantasy. Some are saying it was "a deliberate attempt to injure".

What? I've seen guys try to pry an opponent's eye out with their stick in the past! This was nothing other than entirely stupid.

Kolesar paid enough by costing his team the game and all was settled by the hockey gods on the ice that night.

As far as the Stanley Cup Playoffs go, I haven't watched enough to comment but the officiating seems typical from what I've seen.

If Oiler fans want to blame the refs for their team's second round exit, then their frustrations are misdirected.

4 - OVIE, EBS AND THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS: Unlike some leagues, the NHL won't go underground in the off-season. June is going to be off-the-charts entertaining with the Las Vegas expansion draft followed by the NHL Entry Draft, and then in July it's Free Agent Frenzy.

There were social media posts on Wednesday night saying Alexander Ovechkin may be offered to the Las Vegas team because he, again, couldn't lift his team to a Game 7 victory. BUT, I could never see a team leaving their captain unprotected.

And then shortly after the Oilers' loss in Anaheim, Facebook was rife with comments that the Jordan Eberle Era in Edmonton should now be over. Will he be left unprotected? Would the Golden Knights be willing to pay his $6-million salary?

If they're smart, Golden Knights GM George McPhee will. Expansion teams are generally stocked with a bunch of stiffs but a flashy player like Eberle would sell tickets in that market.

And his personality would be a great fit for Sin City too. Jordan still has the first nickel he ever earned.

All of this will be spectacular to follow.

5 - THE COMMISH SEARCH: Don't forget the Canadian Football League is still without a Commissioner. Sportsnet's Arash Madani reported on Tuesday's show that the CFL received 30 applications and from there they'll whittle them down to a shortlist, then the finalists, and hopefully we'll have a replacement for Jeffrey L. Orridge in June.

Madani further reported that, from he's been told, this is NOT a star-studded field of resumes and that this is no longer a coveted position. While the NHL has had the same Commissioner since 1993, the CFL has had at least six in that time period.

As far as names go, no one seems to know and if they do, they aren't saying.

6 - THE 2017 CFL SEASON: When this season finally does kickoff on Thursday, June 22 with Saskatchewan at Montreal, there are going to be a ton of salacious stories. See for yourself:

- Will Darian Durant be able to resurrect his career in Montreal?
- Will Chris Jones be able to turn around the Roughriders ahead of schedule in Saskatchewan?
- Will the Vince Young comeback include him being a back-up QB in Saskatchewan?
- Are Jim Popp and Marc Trestman the ones to restore the Toronto Argonauts to respectability?
- Will the Calgary Stampeders atone for last year's choke job in the Grey Cup?
- Will the Winnipeg Blue Bombers continue their slow, steady and impressive ascent?
- Is Ottawa Canada's #1 sports town right now with the resurgence of the Senators and RedBlacks?
- Is this the year Kent Austin finally gets it done in Hamilton?
- Will the Eskimos recover on the football side from the firing of Ed Hervey?
- Are the B.C. Lions going to be the frontrunners in the West as many predict?

I don't know about you, but I get tingles thinking about all of these stories.

7 - KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES: The Rider Nation is growing restless. You only have to step outside your front door to figure that out.  Or feel it.  We are now 17 days away from training camp in Saskatoon and that's what everyone prefers to talk about.

Predictions really are only worth the paper they're written on and the truth is no one knows how this season will play out.

But the pressure on Chris Jones has ramped up exponentially because of the Durant trade and the latest wave of fines from the CFL. That's the sense I get from fans everywhere I go.

They're willing to put up with whatever moves Jones makes but only if they translate to wins.

The honeymoon is over and there will be no grace period.

The time is now.

8 - FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Apparently the Riders' John Murphy said on the SportsCage in Florida that they feel they have a "playoff-calibre" team in Saskatchewan in 2017.

Honestly I don't recall him saying that but several fans latched onto it, and have brought it up since our return from Vero Beach, FL.

But what's there to say about that? I would hope that a year into this regime, the franchise would at the very least be a contender to make the playoffs.

It would've grabbed more headlines - and been more comforting - if Murphy had labelled this crew a "Grey Cup championship-calibre" team.

However I suppose you have to walk before you can run and you can't win the Grey Cup without achieving the playoffs first. Even if it were a crossover playoff berth, I think we'd all gladly take it after what's gone on the past few years around here.

Jones knows how to get to the Grey Cup and Murphy knows how to find players.

I still believe that's a great combination and the Riders are in good hands.

They plan to do their talking on the field.

9 - SOCCER COMES TO MOSAIC STADIUM: These are incredibly exciting times right here in little ol' Regina. The Riders are on the cusp of training camp, the Pats are in the WHL Finals and now On Ice Sports is bringing the first-ever pro soccer game to new Mosaic Stadium on July 22 when Valencia FC faces the New York Cosmos.

Tickets are affordably priced from $22-$66 and I think there will be a much larger crowd there than you think. Not surprisingly, the Roughriders will have to be on the road for an event such as this to take over their stadium and on July 22 Saskatchewan is at Calgary.

Clearly I'd rather be in Calgary for that, but am also disappointed to have to miss history being made in our new facility.

For $22 bucks, I'd go just for the curiousity factor alone. I'm not a soccer fan in any way, shape or form but it's not about that.

10 - SMILIN' HANK RETURNS: The annual Regina Thunder Dinner of Champions is Friday, May 26 featuring Henry Burris and there are still plenty of tickets available at Burris is making the rounds on the banquet circuit and, I'm told, is finally divulging the reason he left Saskatchewan way back in 2005.

I'd suggest the only trouble with that is no one cares anymore. When the Riders stomped Burris and the Ticats in the 2013 Grey Cup, that whole "villain" thing went up in smoke.

You don't hear the chant "HENNNNNNNRRRYYYYYYYYYY" anymore at all.

Maybe Hank can be serenaded with it on May 26 at the Delta.


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Anonymous said...

Well Regina boy Ryan Getzlaf sure earned his $13.7 million Cdn per year salary vs Oilers. Guy was a beast.

Anonymous said...

Name one player John Murphy has found. One.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

When you look at our QB roster how can you say "Murphy knows how to find players"?

Rod Pedersen said...

That's something we'll have to discuss on the radio tomorrow.

Craig said...

Quick comment on Oilers fans "blaming" the refs (and I like to think I'm speaking with the majority of Oilers fans). Do we blame them for the series loss? No. The Oilers didn't come out strong or fast enough in Game 7, and the Ducks did. The Oilers had the opportunity to win the series despite the reffing, but they lost the deciding game fair 'n square.

However, do we blame officiating for Game 4 & 5? Yes. Hear me out. The hockey community has pretty much unanimously agreed that 3, possibly 4 ANA goals over the course of those two games should not have been goals if the refs/linesmen made the right calls. It's pretty tough for even the most resilient teams to overcome a missed goalie interference + missed offside + sketchy waved-off icing in game 4, and a missed goalie interference on the tying goal with 15 seconds left in game 5.

IF the correct calls were made in those two games (and assuming the Ducks don't score in the final 15 seconds of game 5), the tally after five games would have been EDM 4 - ANA 1. Last I checked, that's enough to win a series.

So yes, I get the "don't blame the refs" rhetoric/cliches. The Oilers missed their opportunity to overcome the missed calls. HOWEVER, with all due respect Rod, the fact remains that if the refs made the right calls in games 4 & 5, the Oilers are preparing to play the Preds as we speak. Them's the facts.

Anonymous said...

The Riders should be expected to be competitive this year and that should not be considered "ahead of schedule".

Jones already had his 18 game training camp last year and chose to start over at QB this year. Its on him to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't pay me to go watch soccer.

Anonymous said...

Is it any comfort, Rod, if Murphy had said they have a Grey Cup team? Jones stated that last more than once. Here's a couple of facts. Jones' 1st 3 Grey Cup wins came on teams he joined that year, as DB coach on the 1st & DC on the last 2. He got on some pretty good teams in Mtl & then Cal & did not "build" the team. In Toronto for his 3rd GC, the defence was awful. They won the Cup because they got Ricky Ray, which Jones had no hand in, & the Argos caught fire the last 3 games averaging almost 40 points per game. Let's not forget Owens was league MOP that year & Kackert ran all over the Stamps in the GC game. With the Esks, as I have heard from another blogger, 17 of the offend/defence starters were there before Jones arrived. This whole idea of Jones as builder & GC winner is way overrated. Jones is a brilliant DC. His reputation as a builder starts here - in Regina, unless you believe that Jones input outweighs Popp, Barker, Hufnagel or Hervey where those Cups were won. I somehow doubt that in his initial year with those clubs he had that much input.

Anonymous said...

Great game, sad that Vancouver or Toronto overlooked for USA team.

Anonymous said...

Sad that mayor and mosiac staff allowed USA team!

Andrew Wiens said...

Craig, you can argue the tying goal in game 5 if you want, but the first two goals and the OT winner had nothing to do with missed calls - the Oilers have no one to blame but themselves for blowing that 3 goal lead.

Anonymous said...

Football is very much " what have you done for me lately". From that stand point, Jones and Murphy have done nothing here. Zippo. Since they came, the team has lost its core players, has absolutely no continuity (Which I believe is rather important in a winning team) and the brand and the coffers have taken a major hit. "Ahead of schedule": if the Riders do not make the playoffs this year and not through the back door but actually come in third in the west, then I believe they are behind the schedule. This team must have a winning record this year and regain some respectability or a great deal of support for this franchise will be gone and will take a while to repair. I , for one, believe that the teams that Jones was with previously won Grey Cups in spite of Jones, not because of him. If this season is another gong show, just how many years are you going to give him to complete his revolving door plan? As for Murphy, Calgary does not appear to have missed a beat without him. I suspect Huff is a bigger part in bringing in good talent than Murphy will ever be. He just had a free ride on Huff's coat tails.

Anonymous said...

This young Oiler team learned some important lessons from this years playoffs.

A young defense will only get better.

Some baggage (Pooliot and Ebs) will be gone over the summer.

Oilers haven't played meaningful hockey in May for years.

We were 1 game from being in the top four.

We beat Calgary at every chance.

Signed-Glass half-full Oiler Fan

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, the "Sports Palace" only has one TV?? LOL.

Craig said...

Andrew, you've rightly pointed out (and I already mentioned) that the Oilers had every opportunity to win the series (and game 5) despite the reffing. Credit the Ducks and blame the Oilers for the 1st, 2nd, and OT goals in Gm 5. This is not blame-shifting or whining. I'd simply like to point out what a lot of people are trying to diminish: the reffing was brutal in this series at the most important times, and it DID cost the Oilers the series.

The assumption in pro sports is that games should be called fairly. The rules are there for both teams to follow, and if a team scores a goal by breaking the rules, that goal should not stand. Everyone sitting at home watching on TV knows that the tying goal in Game 5 should not have counted. It's really a shame that the refs, with access to a video replay and with the game riding on their decision, got the call blatantly wrong.

YES, refs are human and make mistakes, and YES, the best teams learn how to win despite missed calls going against them. But this was a hard-fought series between two evenly matched teams. Goals don't grow on trees, and the reality is that the refs are responsible for 3-4 goals in which the rules were not enforced, all of which were Ducks goals, which amounted to 2 wins for the Ducks and 2 losses for the Oilers. In a first-to-four series against a team as good as the Ducks, that's damn near impossible for any team to overcome.

. Is it June yet??

Anonymous said...

Not sure what players Murphy has found. Certainly none that have stuck around because none have stuck around. Big fail! We are starting this season again with a full roster of "Rider rookies". No one the fans can identify with or even know their names. Jones and his boys need to produce a winning team this year or they can go live off some other team.

Hank Kimball said...

The Sports Palace has a great many TV's, but only one Huge big screen projector type unit.

4 Seasons is the place to be.
Sports living is the life for me.
Stools spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Moosejaw, just give me that Regina Pats Pride!

Anonymous said...

6 - THE 2017 CFL SEASON:
- No
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes
- Yes

Andrew Wiens said...

Craig, kudos to you for at least admitting that the Oilers lost game 7 fair and square, but you might want to think about how consistent your posts are in regards to the role of the officials in this series. In your first post you said, 'do we blame them [the refs] for the series loss - NO'; however, you then go on to say in your second post, 'the reffing was brutal in this series at the most important times, and it DID cost the Oilers the series.' Those two statements are directly contradictory.
If game five had been decided by a 1-0 score or if Rakell had gone top corner instead of five hole maybe I would have a bit more sympathy for your position; however, the fact is that you continue to focus on one goal in a game in which the Ducks scored 4. Why not say that if the Oilers had bared down a bit more defensively on one of the other three they would have won the game?
So if you want to look repeatedly at the slow motion replays of the goals in question with a magnifying glass and try to find a millimeter of white ice here or there so that you can shift the blame for the Oiler's loss from the players to the refs then go right ahead, but it sounds an aweful lot like whining to me. By the way, you had better hope that Mclellan is not seriously playing the same blame games you are, because if he is it's not likely the Oilers are going to go any farther in the playoffs next year - teams get better by focusing on their own mistakes, not those of the referee.

Anonymous said...

If ands and buts were candy and nuts.. . Oiler fans were ok with the refs in the 1st 2 games. It takes 60 min to win a game and 4 wins to end a series.oiler fans have a sense of entitlement already

Anonymous said...

Knock off the bullying eh.
It's not just the Oilers fans talking about the refs.
Every talking head on TSN and Sportsnet agreed poor officiating gave a game to the Ducks.

Craig said...


“If Rakell had gone top corner instead of five hole I would have a bit more sympathy for your position” – I’m confused. How would that be any more blatant than what happened? Kesler pulled Talbot’s right pad, prying his legs open and exposing his five hole. The puck went through the exposed five hole. How would a top corner shot be any worse?

“hope that Mclellan is not seriously playing the same blame games you are” – That’s a bit of a ridiculous suggestion; I can assure you he’s moved on and working hard to improve the team for next year, as per his job description. He’s a coach, not a fan; he’s getting paid to improve the team, not point out bad reffing. In the same vein, Chiarelli and all the players on the ice are getting paid to accept responsibility for not doing enough. For them to pin 100% of the blame on the refs would be foolish and irresponsible. And for the record, they’re not doing that. Nor am I… I did say they had every opportunity to win despite the reffing, and didn’t. They’re not blameless.

HOWEVER: I am a fan, not a paid player, coach, or exec. That means I have the luxury of sitting back and calling it like it is. I don’t need to worry about trying to make my team better. For me to sit here and say “the second round exit is 100% on the Oilers” would do NOTHING to improve the team, or the league.

So here’s me, sitting back and calling it like it is: The refs blew 2, maybe 3 blatant calls in game 4 (50-75% of the ducks goals in that game) and they blew an even more blatant call with 15 seconds left in game 5. They had video review and they STILL missed it, while pretty much everyone watching at home saw the goalie interference. If they didn’t miss that call and correctly waved off the goal, with only 15 seconds left, the Oilers would in all likelihood have done enough to stave off the Ducks comeback. We’d be sitting here saying “they didn’t make it easy on themselves, but they did enough with their early surge – full credit to the Oilers for stealing that game!”

And to address your complaint about my consistency, you’re right. I’m still figuring out my position on this. To clarify, I believe that the blame can be shared. That is, I think the refs are to blame and I think the Oilers are to blame. To say “this is ALL the refs fault!” would be false – the Oilers could’ve done more. But to say “this is not the refs fault at all!” would also be false. As I’ve said three or four times now, the fact remains that if the refs made the right calls, the Oilers would be playing the Preds.

Ultimately, I’m not sure what you expect of Oilers fans. The Ducks won by cheating and getting away with it. Do you expect me to be okay with that? Do you expect me to ignore it, sweep it under the rug, and blame my team?
I’m just trying to call it like it is. The refs blew the series, and the Oilers didn’t do enough to overcome it. It seems like common sense to me. Not sure I can spell it out any more clearly....

Dave Stouse said...

I do very much enjoy your blog, Rod, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Now oiler fans are bullied wow, you oiler whiners become more irritating by the day. Had a chance to win it in game 7 but didn't... get over it.

Craig said...

We will get over it. The future is bright for the Oilers and we'll be in the playoffs for years to come.

But for the time being, would you get off our case and let us be rightfully upset that the refs stole 2 games? Don't tell me you wouldn't be upset if it was your team. We're fans. We like our team and want them to win. We were robbed. We're upset. We'll get over it, but it'll take time. You don't have to read our "whining" if it irritates you that much.

Andrew Wiens said...

So its pretty clear from your last post that you still think the refs should shoulder a good amount of the blame for the Oiler's early exit (if not all of it), but now you have gone even farther and accused the Ducks of blatant cheating in the series - are you kidding me?? If what you are doing right now is not whining then I would be very curious to hear you when you actually are whining. Even an extremely biased fan like yourself should be able to admit that the controversial plays in game 4 had nothing to do with intentional cheating (how is a player playing to the whistle on a potential icing, 'cheating'?) This brings us back to the tying goal in game 5. Here's the deal, if you are confused as to how to distribute the blame for the Oiler's meltdown think about it this way: the Ducks scored 4 goals, 3 of which were the Oiler's fault which means that at most you can only assign 25% of the blame for that game to the refs. But think about the sequence of plays leading up to that goal - it goes something like this: the Oilers fail to control a defensive zone faceoff, they lose a puck battle, miss on a crucial opportunity to clear, fail to box out Kessler around the net, do not block either shot the Ducks put on net in the final flury, and have a goalie who, in a scramble situation, decides to try getting up instead of focusing on covering the bottom of the net. But despite all of these failings on the Oiler's part it is, in your opinion, all the refs fault that Anaheim tied the game - good grief. As for my 'roofing the puck comment'; if Kessler is laying on Talbot's pad preventing him from getting up then it would be understandable how someone could shoot the puck overtop of him; however, it wasn't Kessler pulling on Talbot's pad that opened up the five hole, it was Talbot lifting his left pad in an attempt to get up that opened it up. The TSN panel even said that Talbot would likely agree when reviewing that goal that he should have focused on covering the bottom of the net instead of trying to get up. You should stop whining and admit that the Duck's were just as deserving of that series as the Oilers.

Craig said...


Yep, that's what I said. The refs should shoulder a good portion (but not all) of the blame. Not sure why you still think I'm suggesting they take all of the blame.

Here's the thing: a team making mistakes in the playoffs (e.g. losing a faceoff, Letestu failing to clear the zone when the puck jumps over his stick, losing battles along the boards against a desperate team with momentum) is understandable. The nature of competitive sports like hockey is that they're full of mistakes, giveaways, and momentum swings. The Oilers made plenty of mistakes and the players and fans know it. The players will get plenty of scrutiny from the fans and media in the offseason and next season. But at the end of the day, I'm not going to be furious with my team for making mistakes.

Again: a team making mistakes in the playoffs is normal, expected, and understandable. And get this: refs making mistakes in the playoffs is ALSO normal, expected, and understandable. Yep, I said it! They're human too.

Now listen carefully: My gripe, and that of most Oilers fans, is that refs getting the call wrong in the playoffs WHEN they have access to video replay AND are on the phone with a control room that has even more video replay, AND they have as much time as they need to get the call right, AND when the game is on the line and getting the call right is absolutely crucial... THAT is absolutely NOT normal, expected, or understandable. The whole point of video review is to make sure that the call is right for those crucial, game-altering, series-altering goals. For the video review system to fail so pitifully twice in two consecutive games, with the same team benefiting immensely from both decisions, is (and should be) infuriating for the opposing team and their fanbase.

And as a side note... Blaming Talbot for not being in proper position while someone is pulling on his limb?? Really??? That's almost as ridiculous as your suggestion that the refs had nothing to do with the Ducks advancing. There is no way Talbot is to blame for that goal. If a forward gets tripped by a defender on a breakaway and it doesn't get called, do you blame the forward for not having better footing and for not scoring from his knees/belly? If someone takes a stick in the face and it doesn't get called, do you blame that player for not ducking his head out of the way of the stick? Come on.

And no, I'm not kidding you. The Ducks cheated. This seems basic to me. Kesler pulled Talbot's pads open in game 5 (almost certainly with intent, knowing Kesler's history). Try convincing anyone that Kesler did that "by accident". And in game 4, Perry skated straight into Talbot's right skate, blocker, and shoulder while the puck beat him high blocker side. Not as blatantly intentional, but I like to give all-star professional hockey players like Perry the benefit of the doubt and assume that they know exactly where they are on the ice. Last I checked, playing against the rules intentionally is cheating. And last I checked, both those plays resulted in goals in 1-goal decisions. Uncalled rules infraction? Check. Intent? Likely. Impact on game result? Check. Any questions?

Now, let me attempt to dispel your assumption that Oilers fans are ignorant, whiny, sour, and refuse to give credit where it's due. I think the Ducks played a hell of a series. Coming back from a 2-0 series deficit is no small task, especially when two of those games were comebacks. Getzlaf was a beast in a few of those games and Gibson was brilliant in most games. Their forecheck is one of the best in the league. They found a way to shut down the Art Ross trophy winner consistently. They play a physical, scrappy brand of hockey that (although OFTEN borderline) is very effective in the playoffs. They're a VERY good team (which is why a lot of Oilers fans are upset, because we feel that we should rightfully have beaten a very good team). That said, I will be cheering wholeheartedly for the Preds. Mike Fisher deserves a shot at the cup.

Andrew Wiens said...

Craig, maybe if Kesler had tried a little harder to 'cheat' he would have actually prevented the goal from going in. If he blatantly jumps right on top of Talbot then Talbot wouldn't have been able to even try getting up and the puck would not have gone in. Watch the replay again; the puck went in because Talbot lifted his left pad just before the puck was flipped towards him. Talbot was already in position regardless of Kessler's actions and if he just stays down like goalies usually do in a scramble situation (and as the TSN panel suggested he should have - did you ignore that sound bite?) the game is over. If you want to insist that it should have been goaltender interference according to the letter of the law, then fine, but the 'interference' wasn't the reason the tying goal when in. At least we can agree on one thing in all of this - it would be really nice to see the Preds and Fisher get a shot at the cup.