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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weal Left Out Again


Hockey Canada released their list of 41 players invited to this years World Junior Selection Camp this week, without Pats forward Jordan Weal. It seems odd to me that a guy who has scored 306 points in just over 3 seasons in the WHL doesn't even get a look. This season alone has been outstanding, every time hes on the ice he is dangerous all the while playing a solid defensive game. He is the leader of this Pats club and I just don't get why he would get left of the summer camp as well as this one coming up in December. Head Coach Pat Conacher agrees, when I asked him today if it was kind of a plus that Weal would be sticking around while some of the other top guys are gone he said, "I'd rather see him there, I think that he deserves at least an invite, at the very least an invite to go and let the cards fall where they may. Play those pre-tournament games and show Hockey Canada and the coaching staff, hey I deserve to be here. But hes not and that's too bad." When we talked with Weal he was disappointed but it seemed like he had already put it behind him and was focused on the road ahead with the Pats. He had this to say. "Its tough but you know what I thought I did all I could and its behind me now and its time to look forward to this month ahead with the Pats, Its a big month for us we have three, three in threes coming up and if we can get some big wins here it will be huge for us moving forward......Its up to them and it seems like they wanted to go a different direction with their team and there isn't much I can do about that. Its just something I'm going to put in the back of my head and when the time comes I'm going to use that to get that extra push." Now the focus is on the games ahead and I think the consensus is that he will prove the scouts and coaches wrong for not inviting him. The funny thing is that the Pats take on Vancouver on Friday whose head coach is Don Hay, the coach of Team Canada this year. Jordan will get his first chance to prove him wrong 4 days after being left off the list. Should make for a good game, 7 o'clock at the Brandt Center, live on 620 CKRM and also Jared Dumba and I will have the call live on Access 7.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Its The Monday after


The 99th Grey Cup was a good one. I wasn't overly excited to watch the game yesterday but my attitude certainly changed once the awful anthem singer was finished and the ball was kicked off. A lot of people said prior to the game that the Lions would dominate and blow out the Bombers but I thought that Winnipeg wasn't getting enough credit. Now BC had some huge chances early to put the game to bed but couldn't capitalize and kicked 2 field goals. At halftime, though the Bombers had managed very little on offense, were only down by 8 points. When the second quarter ended I thought that the Bombers had a chance here, they managed to hang around, weather the storm as they say. But it just wasn't to be, the offense was lethargic again in the third quarter and the Lions put 10 more points on the board. Then in the fourth the Bombers, namely Odell Willis, had a perfect chance for an interception for a touchdown, which he dropped. The Lions would go on to score a long touchdown and put this game out of reach, so we thought. The Bombers didn't lie down however down by 22. A quick touchdown strike to Greg Carr on third down brought them within 15 and then after a two and out for the Lions the Bombers scored on a pass to Terrence Edwards, the lead was only 8. But the onside kick didn't go far enough and the Lions kicked a field goal to seal it. 34-23 certainly isn't a blow out and props to the Bomber defense who managed to give their team a chance even though the offense couldn't move the ball. All the credit in the world goes to the BC Lions who were by far the better team, but they sure didn't make it easy on themselves late. It was hard to watch the likes of Geroy Simon, Arland Bruce and Corey Banks lift that trophy, but they deserved it. I also thought that Bruce or Anton McKenzie were more deserving of the MVP award but Lulay was the winner. Overall a great game to watch, it was good to see the Bombers fight back but in the end the Lions were winners and so was my proline.

How bout those Leafs? Now I was getting a lot of flack about the buds and how it wasn't October anymore so they were going to fall from grace again. All the signs pointed that way with injuries and a stretch of losing four of 5. However they have bounce back and surprisingly on the backs of some young talent. Winning again last night 5-2, that is three straight and four of their last 5. Now I know your just going to say he's a Leaf lover and write this off but hear me out for a second. This team is leading the North East Division which includes 3 other playoff caliber teams including the defending champs. If I would have told you they would be leading 24 games in you would have laughed, none the less they are. They have the leagues top two scorers in Kessel and Lupul, they are winning WITHOUT James Reimer. They have the 5th best powerplay in the league, yes the penalty kill isn't as shinny but it is improving. The moral of the story is, the Leafs deserve some respect for where they are and I know were only about a third of the way through but things look good. After all these years of not having enough good players, once these injured guys come back there will be a lot of tough decisions to make. I like this problem better. And I'm done.

The Pats finished their lengthy Western road trip on Saturday in Tri-City, unfortunately it ended in a loss 6-1. It was a tough trip overall losing 4 of 5 games. But now they are back and have some practise days before the Vancouver Giants come to the Brandt Center on Friday. I will have the call on Access 7 and am looking forward to that. Red Deer will also be in town on Saturday so make sure you get out and watch. The Pats sit 9th in the Eastern Conference, 2 points behind Calgary for that 8th spot while they trail the Blades by 9 points for the division lead. Nothing like a couple of home games to get back on track, lets hope.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

COWBOYS FACEOFF ON REGINA PATS HOME ICE THIS FRIDAY



The Regina Pats may be 20 hours and two time zones away, but they are always close to their Brandt Centre home. This Friday night will be Regina Pats night at the CCA Finals Rodeo at the Canadian Western Agribition.

It will be a Pats game night…without the ice! The usual fun family entertainment that you get at a Regina Pats home game will be there, instead with the top rodeo stars in Canada. K-9 will be there to entertain the kids, the Abadoo Ice Girls will fire off t-shirts from their cannon as well as draws for jersey’s, game tickets and tons more.

Wear your Regina Pats colours with pride and you will have an even better chance at winning great game day prizes. If you don’t own any Pats gear, the Neutral Zone will also be open so you can pick up anything Regina Pats for the night or as a gift for the Christmas Season.

The puck will drop on the CCA Finals Rodeo at 7:00pm on Friday night, so get your tickets now. Tickets are available at the Brandt Centre ticket office or any Ticketmaster location, you can also head online at www.ticketmaster.ca.

The Canadian Western Agribition continues all week long on the grounds of Evraz Place. For more information on all of Agribition’s events, click on www.agribition.com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

He's Back


The biggest story of the week in the NHL is obviously the return of Sidney Crosby. Now for the last year or so since he hasn't been playing a lot of people have speculated saying he would never be the same player after suffering the concussion he did. Well I think its safe to say that those people were wrong. A 2 goal and 4 point night in his first game in almost a year, (with only 16 minutes of ice time no less) only adds to the legend that is Sidney Crosby. It seems at times that his career is following the path a fictional writer would take in a novel. From his success as a Junior to Stanley Cup Champion to Olympic Gold Medalist and then injury and a comeback. Whats most incredible is that it seems he has picked up right where he left off last season. Prior to the Winter Classic where he took the hit from David Steckle he led the league in points and goals, he had just gone on one of the longest point streaks we have seen in a long time in the NHL and incredibly looked to be getting better and better as the season continued. If last night is any indication Crosby is not just back, he's still the best in the league. Now as good as Sid is I still have some reservations about him. He certainly isn't my favorite player but one thing is true, the NHL needs him in the game. The face of the league who has done it all and if he can stay healthy the sky is the limit. Sure there are a lot of haters out there who call him soft but hes the best and without him, the league suffers. The Penguins were among the best without him in the lineup and now you have to think they are the favorites to win it all even though it is only November. James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and the list goes on. This is an exceptional team with a very good coach, look out NHL because here they come.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2011 REGINA THUNDER AWARDS DINNER

I had the privilege of hosting a great evening at the Holy Child Church. Congratulations to all the graduating players and award winners. The night was dominated by Defensive Lineman Zach Evans and receiver Clay Cooke. There were also 14 players honored who will unfortunately not be returning next year.

First the PFC all stars were honored which included,  from left to right, DB Derek Pilon, REC Clay Cooke, DL Zach Evans who was also the PFC defensive player of the year and CJFL All Canadian, and Rookie lineman Brett Wade.



The Sheldon Neald Outstanding Offensive Lineman went to Trevor King. In the picture from left to right it is Thunder Alumni from 2004 Andrew Watt, OL Trevor King, Sheldon Neald and running backs coach Dwayne Masson.



The Montana's Steakhouse Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award went to Zach Evans, Joining him in the picture from left to right are Thunder Alumni from 2000 Terry Young, Zach Evans and D-Line coach Craig Hammond.





The Next Award went to Wyatt Catley who was the Sunlife Financial Outstanding Offensive Back. Catley was off being a cowboy apparently so he could be there to accept the award. His backup this season Asher Hastings accepted it on his behalf. From left to right below is Thunder Alumni from 2007 Brett Lund, QB Asher Hastings, and running backs coach Dwayne Hammond.



The Barker's Trophies outstanding Linebacker Award went to Will Kyle. From left to right, Peter Woldu Thunder graduate from 2005, Will Kyle and linebackers coach Derek Lamer.





The Vollmark Financial Services Outstanding Receiver Award went to the teams leader in yards and touchdowns Clay Cooke. Left to right, Alumni from 2008 Scott Assy, Clay Cooke and receivers coach Matt Endsin.


The Chris Sullivan Memorial Award for Outstanding Defensive Back went to Safety Mark Ingram. Left to right Thunder Alumni Paul Woldu, Mark Ingram and Defensive Coordinator Shawn McCall.




The Thunder Alumni Outstanding Special Teams Player was Joey Todd. Left to right is Alumni and current member of the Regina Rams Jay Smith, Joey Todd and Special Teams/Linebackers coach Scott MacAulay.



The Stone Custom Homes Outstanding Offensive Player of the year went to Clay Cooke. Left to right is Alumni Matt Crosby from 2005, Clay Cooke and receivers and kickers coach Jeff Bolen.



The Conexus Outstanding Defensive Player Award went to Zach Evans. Left to right Alumni Scott McGee from 2006, Zach Evans and Defensive Coordinator Shawn McCall.



The Clarice Outstanding Rookie of the Year went to Brett Wade. Left to right is Alumni from 2006 Mark Cratchmeer (apologies for the spelling), Brett Wade and receivers coach Morgan Bunce.






The Audio Warehouse Most Improved Player was defensive back Landon Walter. He was unable to attend the awards dinner. Left to right Alumni Jason Jansen from 2008 and Receivers and kickers coach Jeff Bolen.



The Randy Shaw Memorial Coaches and Leadership Award went to defensive lineman Max Amyotte. Left to right, 2010 Alumni Tyler Hogan, Randy Shaw's daughter Becky, his wife Jan, Max Amyotte and Head Coach Erwin Klempner.


Rounding out the awards was the Jim Wong Most Valuable Player as voted by the players which went to Clay Cooke. Left to right, Alumni Jimmy Cabylis from 2006, Clay Cooke, Head Coach Erwin Klempner.



Next the 14 graduating players were honored with plaques and rings. Left to right, Derek Pilon, Ben Thomas, Thomas Ringlein, Kolten Solomon, Blake Irwin, Wil Putland, Max Amyotte, Will Kyle, Philmon Bairu, Jonathan Probe, Jared Dunlop, Matthew Kuhnke, Joey Todd and Coach Erwin Klempner. Wyatt Catley was unable to attend and is also a graduating player.






Will Kyle made the address on behalf of the graduating players but Max Amyotte made a surprise appearance at the mic. He roasted the Hilltops cheerleaders with the joke of the night, apparently there's a reason the Hilltops play on grass, something to do with graising. Below is Max and Will giving their speeches. Also there are only two timber wolves on the Thunder squad.




The Thunder support staff were honored.





Lastly the coaching staff were recognized.



A great evening, congratulations to everyone who received awards, the graduating players and all the rest of the team for a great year.

As an end note I realized that after all the awards and recognition no one mentioned Rosanne McCall who has to be one of the hardest working people who does a lot for this team. She deserves her own round of applause.

Make sure to plan to come to the Annual Regina Thunder Sportsman Dinner at the Turvey Center on March 24th next year.

If only the off-season wasn't so long.

Cheers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Sports

The CFL East and West Finals are set to go this weekend. Its going to be an exciting weekend for football. The Bombers will host the surprising Hamilton Tiger Cats who managed to knock off the two time defending champs in overtime. If the Hamilton offense can have a similar effort as they did in Montreal I think they could end up in the Grey cup. however the Winnipeg defense will have something to say about that. They were the best defense in the East and though the Eskimos and Lions gave up less yards and points I think that the Bombers big plays on defense and the number of games that they won without the help of the offense puts them head and shoulders above the rest. The Winnipeg defense I believe will be the difference in this one, Hamilton will have to bring their A game to win on the road, we saw their A game last week but who knows which Ti-Cat team will show up. Prior to last week the black and gold lost 4 of their last 5 including twice to the non playoff teams. This is nothing new in Hamilton, every year they just cant take that next step into consistency but like everyone knows, the playoffs are a whole new season and it comes down to one game on Sunday, the last game ever at Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg.

In the West the BC Lions host the Edmonton Eskimos. It will be a battle of two very good defenses and two very good offenses. The Eski's handled the Stamps fairly easily last week with Adarius Bowman having another monster game. however they did lose their all star running back Jerome Messam to a knee injury. It looks like Hugh Charles will get a lot of action on Sunday and he is certainly capable but not the same caliper of Messam. Ricky Ray is a veteran who is 8-3 in the playoffs as a starter, I think that will play a factor in this game but on the other side Travis Lulay proved last year in the West Semi against Saskatchewan that he can play in the big games. The Lions have a great defense, they are probably the biggest reason they were able to turn their season around from 1 and 6. Yes the offense has played very well but going from 30 plus points against a game to close to 20 is huge. The front 7 of the Lions has dominated down the stretch and I don't expect anything different this weekend. The Eskimo defense is nothing to shake at either, they scored a big touchdown last week in the win over Calgary and have that big play capability. This one I think will be a lower scoring battle but a very entertaining one at that.

I am looking forward to emceeing the Regina Thunder 2011 Awards Dinner on Saturday night. It was a good season of football but with a disappointing end. None the less there were a number of guys who had outstanding seasons and are definitely deserving of recognition.

The Leafs will be taking on the Nashville Predators tonight without Grabovski and MaCarthur in the lineup. However the injury prone Tim Connolly will get back into the lineup playing on the second line. Also Cody Fransen will dress in just his fifth game of the year against his old club. The Leafs will dress 7 d men tonight. That is one of 11 games in the NHL tonight including the Isle's home to Montreal, Washington in Winnipeg, and Ottawa in Edmonton.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hilltops 29 Hurricanes 1



Courtesy pfcfootball.com
The 2011 Canadian Bowl featured a Hilltops squad looking for their 15th national title and 2nd straight Canadian Bowl while the Ontario champion Hurricanes were gunning for their first championship win since 1972.
The Hurricanes wouldn’t score on their opening drive, however the Prairie Champions opened the scoring as Zach Schmidt would be wide on a 41-yard field goal resulting in a rouge almost 6 minutes into the first quarter. The Hurricanes would grab a first down on their next drive, but Mike Prebble would get an interception. Saskatoon would march the ball downfield midway through the period and use all but the last 7 seconds of the quarter to go on a 13-play drive which wrapped up as Aaron Haight pulled in a 6-yard catch for the score to make it an 8-0 game after 15 minutes.
After a Hamilton two-and-out early in the second quarter, the Hilltops took the ball and took 9 plays to up their lead to a 15-point margin as Regan Schuler, who ran for 215 yards on the day, took a handoff and cut left and rambled 42 yards for a touchdown.
The Hurricanes offense had a horrific half trying to move the ball as Hamilton pivot Matt Francis threw 3 first half interceptions, two of those would land in the hands of veteran safety Graig Newman. Francis would end up tossing 5 interceptions.
 The Hurricanes would right themselves and go on a 5-play drive in the final minute. Matt Coates would attempt a 50-yard field goal on the last play, but went wide. A return attempt was halted in the end zone, giving the home side a point.
The Hilltops would drive the ball 67 yards on 4 plays early in the third frame and would find the end zone again as quarterback Chase Bradshaw would sneak into the end zone from a yard out. The score was set up by a huge 59-yard dash from Schuler. The Hilltops lead was 22-1 after 3.

The Hamilton offense would move the ball in spurts, but get nothing more on the board on the day. The Toppers would round out the scoring with 73 seconds to go as slotback John Trumpy made a spectacular twisting catch in the end zone to make it 29-1. Trumpy would sustain what looked to be an ankle injury on the play. The Hilltops capture their 15th Canadian title in convincing fashion.
The players of the game turned out to be rather obvious choices as Regan Schuler claimed the Offensive Player of the Game & safety Graig Newman earned Defensive Player of the Game honors as he equalled the Canadian Bowl record for most interceptions with 3.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday



What a night in the NHL on Wednesday. Everyone probably thought the biggest story of the night would be the Senators exacting some sort of revenge for their captain Daniel Alfredsson who has been out with a concussion since the last time they played the Rangers. However the only fight was a snorer between Zenon Konopka and Sean Avery. The big story of the night was found on TSN2 where the Flyers were in Tampa Bay. Less than a minute in the Lightning were deploying their typical 1-3-1 trap style of hockey and the Flyers, instead of attacking, just sat back in their own end waiting for Tampa to force the issue. Twice the refs blew the whistle after almost 30 seconds of nothing happening. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette wasn't very happy about that, mostly because he was trying to make a point to his opposing coach Guy Boucher. Well the game certainly will be the talk around the NHL for a while I would imagine. Already analysts are talking about whether or not the NHL should do anything about it. Personally I don think any rule changes will come into effect, the trap has only been apart of the game pretty well since its existence and there is no way the league starts telling coaches how to coach. I hope that teams will be figuring out how to beat the trap rather than making a mockery of the game on national television. The funny thing out of this game is that after all that the Lightning still won in OT. One word, embarrassing.

The Leafs will try and snap a two game losing streak tonight in St. Louis, looks like Ben Scrivens will get the start. Toronto needs James Reimer back.

The Pats are playing their final home game until December 2nd tonight against the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Warriors have beaten the Pats in the only other meeting 3-2. They will play again in Moose Jaw tomorrow night.

The CFL playoffs start this weekend. I think that every team in the playoffs has a chance at the Grey Cup, excluding the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Pat Chat


The Pats are practising this week preparing for the final game of their 4 game home stand against the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Pats are 2 and 1 so far with wins coming over Saskatoon and Medicine Hat while losing to Calgary on Saturday. The loss to the Hitmen was a tough one, especially because of the way the winning goal went in. Goaltender Matt Hewitt mishandled a puck and it slipped behind him into the net, however he bounced back with a good performance against Medicine Hat on Sunday stopping 29 shots. Anaheim Ducks prospect Emerson Etem was held off the score sheet in that game, that doesn't happen very often for the WHL's scoring leader. Pats rookie Morgan Klimchuk got the OT winner against the Tigers poking in a loose puck in the crease, he said after the game it was even more memorable a goal than his first in the league. The Pats will play a home and home set with the Warriors starting Thursday at the Brandt, they two clubs have met once already this year in Moose Jaw where the Warriors were 3-2 winners. Head Coach Pat Conacher said after that game that he wasn't happy with the effort in the third and said that they beat themselves, in talking with him after practise today he said that they cant do that again.

He said "Moose Jaw is a big physical team that can move the puck and they can skate, if you look at their team on paper and what they do on the ice, they have it all, they move the puck, they skate, they are a physical team, they can beat you in a lot of different ways, its a great challenge for our guys and we just have to come out and not beat ourselves."

He also talked about the mood in the dressing room when the team is winning and near the top of the standings.

"Its great to wake up in the morning and know you are at the top or near the top of the standings. That's what its all about the two points, that's what I get a charge out of because the kids are talking about in there too, its not about this guy got 4 points or this guy got two points, the Pats got two points and that's the most important points. That's exciting. The goal when we all started the year is to make the playoffs, and so the games are so important and the whole conference is so tight. So we are going to try and get all the points we can no matter what it is because they are just as valuable right now as at the end of the year, we've done a good job to get to this point so far and the guys are working hard, its good to see the excitement in the room that they are at the top or near it."

Thursdays home game will be the last game at the Brandt until December the 2nd when the Vancouver Giants come to town. The Pats will play 5 games in 7 nights from November 19th to the 26th. However the focus right now is on Thursdays and Fridays games with the Warriors.

The Standings right now have the Pats and Wheat Kings tied atop the East Division with 24 points. There are 8 teams in the conference that have 22 points or better; like Conacher said, every two points is critical.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday Sports



In Ken Millers last game the Riders lose their last game of the season last night to the Edmonton Eskimos 23-20 but it was a good effort by the green and white. Ryan Dinwiddie did OK again completing 12 passes for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns and an interception. The passing touchdown in the second quarter to Chris Getzlaf was the first in over 400 minutes for the Riders. Getzlaf went over 1000 yards for the first time in his career in the game with 131 yards and 2 touchdowns last night. Though he has had his trouble with some drops this year he has been an exceptional receiver and caught 10 touchdown passes this season to lead the team. Wes Cates also played well yesterday rushing for 89 yards. This was another good defensive effort for the Riders, aside from stopping Adarius Bowman the defense did a good job disrupting the Eskimo Offense. Bowman finished with 226 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Jerome Messam became just the third Canadian running back to rush for 1000 yards in a season. He needed 19 coming into last night and finished with 76. The Eskimos will sit and watch and hope that BC loses to Montreal today so that they can host the West Final. The Riders now enter a time of uncertainty, who knows who will be back next year, i think its safe to say things will be different.

The Pats host the Hitmen tonight at the Brandt Center. Rod Pedersen, Jared Dumba and I will be doing the game on Access 7. The Pats are 11-6 while the Hitmen are 6-8-1 on the season. Its hard to believe were almost a quarter of the way through the season already. Calgary played in Brandon last night losing 5-2 to the Wheat Kings. Brandon's win pushes them ahead of the Pats in the East Division. The Pats will want to finish this home stand with wins before they head out onto their western road trip for 10 days. The Hitmen and Pats have each won against each other this season on the road. The Pats have been playing much better at home as of late and will look to continue that tonight. The Pats are coming off a win over the Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday, a game in which they looked very good in all phases of the game. Hewitt played well again and that has come to be expected from the young goaltender. Puck drop will be at 7 o;clock at the Brandt Center so come out and watch!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PAT CHAT NOV 3


The Pats kicked off their home stand on Tuesday with a big division win 2-1 over the Saskatoon Blades. The score should probably have been more like 5-1 but Blades goaltender Andrey Makarov played exceptionally keeping his team in the game. The only goal that the Blades managed to get past Hewitt was a puck that Bidlevski tried to glove down in front of the net but ended up bouncing in over the head of Hewitt. With the win the Pats maintained their lead in the East Division but they have played a couple of extra games. Their focus is now turned to the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday, The teams have split their two meetings so far this season with the road team winning both matchups. The Pats will then entertain the Medicine Hat Tigers on Sunday night at 6 o'clock. They will play a home and home with the Warriors starting at the Brandt Centre next Friday and then they head out on the road for 5 games in 10 days out west. These next home games will be big to get points at home before that long road trip. I talked with Lyndon Martel and Andrew Reider this morning before practise, here's what they had to say.



PAT CHAT by PhilTheThrill18

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Milo Named Special Teams Player of the Week



Saskatchewan Roughrider kicker/punter Christopher Milo has been named the CFL’s Gibson’s Finest Special Teams Player of the Week.

In the team’s 19-3 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday, Milo had three field goals, three kickoffs for 105 yards and eight punts for 412 yards including one for 108 yards which tied a CFL record set back in 1977.

So far this season the rookie has tallied 20 field goals, 44 kickoffs for an average of 55.9 yards and 69 punts for an average of 42.8 yards in 11 games played.

Milo joins teammates Chris McKenzie, Craig Butler, Jerrell Freeman and Chris Getzlaf who have also been named CFL players of the week this season.

Tuesday Sports

The Riders are back at practise a day after Ken Miller announced his retirement. I think that most people expected that Miller would not be returning at all next year but not that it would be announced with a week left in the season. Darian Durant said that maybe it was because Ken wanted people to hear from him not from other sources but later Durant said he had known for a couple weeks; still it didn't get out into the public. None the less Miller will be gone after Friday and like everyone said it will be sad to see him go. He led this team to its best stretch in my lifetime and arguably the best stretch in its history. One thing that I think is inevitable is that this will be a much different team come next year and that's probably good. I would like to see a head coach come in that can choose his own staff and actually get a chance to lead this team. There is still a lot of talent on this roster and I expect that this will be a quicker than normal turnaround. But who knows, I hope Brenden Taman is still the guy and gets to BE the guy. Everyone writes him off simply because the defensive ends that have come haven't been the caliper of John Chick. What about Brandon West? Both Grahams? Brakenridge, Krausnick-groh, and Nuefeld. In my humble opinion this is not a Taman problem and I believe he can fix this. Only time will tell.



The NHL released its three stars for the month of October today, at the top of the list who else? Phil Kessel. 10 goals and 18 points lead the league and the Leafs sit at 7-3-1 to start the season. two goalies take the next two spots in Kari Lehtonen and Nikolai Khabibulin. Lehtonen boasts a GAA of 1.75 and a .947 save percentage as the Dallas Stars won 8 games in October. The third star Khabibulin has re surged out of nowhere. He won only 10 games last season and in one month has already won 5. His only two loses have come after regulation, he leads the league in GAA at 1.12 and save percentage at .960. Not to mention the Oilers lead the Northwest with a record of 7-2-2. Needless to say two of these three stars are surprises. Kessel has been streaky and Khabibulin hasn't been dominant since the 2004 Stanley Cup season in Tampa Bay. Its good to see these guys playing well, (especially Kessel).

The Pats host the Blades tonight at the Brandt Centre to kick off a 4 game home stand. The Blades beat the Pats last week Wednesday in Saskatoon 5-3. Jordan Weal scored a goal and added an assist while Matt Marantz and Lyndon Martell also scored. For the Blades Brent Johnson had a 4 point night and Josh Nichols and Matej Stransky had 3 point nights in the win. Coming in the Pats have the 10th best power play that has scored on 22.2 percent of its chances while the Blades are 5th at 23.9 percent. Killing penalties the Pats have the upper hand, 5th in the league at 82.2 percent while the Blades are 9th at 80.7 percent. I expect that Matt Hewitt will get the start as Buekeboom started in Moose Jaw Saturday but I could be wrong. Hewitt has been great all season, winning 10 games so far this year. He is a big part of why this team is winning. Puck drop is at 7 o'clock, you can catch the game on 620 CKRM with Dan Plaster.