Friday, December 2, 2016

This and That

--I am shocked and stunned over the senseless death of Joe McKnight.  One minute, he is driving to wherever after doing who knows what when he strikes the car of someone. That someone, who just isn't stable, decides to settle it by shooting the 28 year old. If what a witness is saying is true, the shooter actually stood over McKnight as he laid there and shot him again. While shocked and stunned, this crap is happening in the U-S every day. Was race involved? The shooter was white and McKnight was black. I'll let you decide on that one. Joe McKnight was a good football player. I watch a lot of US college football and he was on those USC teams that were a national power after Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush left. McKnight was supposed to be the next Reggie Bush. That didn't happen. I couldn't believe it when I saw his name in the CFL and after one game this year, I told him I loved watching him play. He wanted his name on an NFL roster. That won't happen now because of something that didn't need to occur. RIP Joe! My thoughts and sympathies are with those in the Riders organization who got to know the 28 year old. From the sounds of it, he was a helluva guy to be around.

--Has the ink on the Grey Cup game dried? There are many who are saying it was the best GC they have ever seen. I'm sorry, but that honor goes to 1989. The 1996 game between Toronto and Edmonton in the snow at Ivor Wynne Stadium and the 2005 overtime game between Edmonton and Montreal also come to mind. This game was exciting, and it had its drama, but it wasn't the best one. Not in this guy's opinion at least. Had Ottawa and Calgary gone up and down the field on one another the way the Ti-Cats and Riders did in 89, I might have said otherwise, but that was a game which was all Ottawa in the first half, and all Calgary in the 2nd half. The other three games also had no frivolous challenges.

--The question remains why Calgary took the ball out of Bo Levi Mitchell's hands at the end of regulation and tried to get in the endzone with Andrew Buckley. Some are saying that's what happens when you put the ball in the hands of a Canadian quarterback. ?????  Really?  No one had a problem with Buckley scoring in the game before or the numerous TD's he received. Would Drew Tate have been able to put the ball in the endzone on that play? Yes, Buckley shouldn't have been in the game at that point, but to say its because he's a rookie Canadian quarterback is a little bit of a stretch and does nothing to foster the development of Canadian quarterbacks in the CFL

--While Dave Dickenson is being roasted for his play calling at the end of regulation, it seems no one wants to pat him on the back for the short kick call that enabled Calgary to get into position to tie the game. Without that gutsy move, he never has the opportunity to make what turned out to be the wrong call.

--Henry Burris needs to do the Peyton Manning and leave when he is on top, Damon Allen had that chance and so did Anthony Calvillo. Neither did, and two of the all-time greats limped to the finish line. Hank doesn't have to be like those two and his resume speaks for itself. Get out while the gittin is good Hank!

--Remember when Commissioner Orridge said the Riders damaged the reputation of the CFL with roster-gate? I wonder what Jeffy boy thinks of the Toronto Argonauts and how they damaged the reputation of the CFL with what they did to Grey Cup. I have talked to more people this week about the disaster that was Grey Cup week. From empty hospitality suites to ticket prices to giving away free tickets to that awful Pizza Pizza promotion. Am I missing anything? Thank god the game was entertaining because if that had been a one-sided contest, especially in Calgary's way, it would have been a bigger disaster.  Ottawa will put on a great Grey Cup next year because Jeff Hunt knows what he is doing. However, he does have the task of bringing the Grey Cup Festival back to what Canadians expect and not what they received in Toronto.

--The Old 96er Scott Schultz went off on Orridge during an episode of Saskatchewan's #1 sports show---the Sportscage.  Schultz wasn't happy with Orridge's statement at his state of the league newser during Grey Cup week that there's no conclusive evidence at this point" of a link between football and CTE (the degenerative brain disease caused by head trauma).  Schultz was not enamoured with those comments and finished by saying Orridge should step down or be removed from his position because he thinks  in all facets, he hasn't been good for the CFL." Agree or disagree? I think you know where my stance on this matter is. Has the league grown and is the league making money for the teams. If he has, he stays like Gary Bettman in the NHL, if not, he has one more year to pull up his socks. He may not even have that much time.  One CFL person told me facetiously this week that wouldn't it be something if Orridge's dismissal came during CFL week.  That isn't going to happen. I countered with perhaps they get rid of him and announce the new guy at CFL week. That isn't going to happen either.

--What was the best moment of the year for the Riders? Is it the "Farewell to Mosaic" ceremony after the home portion of the schedule had concluded?  I asked two people that and that was their answer. Was there nothing better?

--The NFL is thinking about scrapping Thursday Night Football. I would be OK with this because the Thursday night games aren't generally good ones and is something the players bitch and moan about. Have your opening Thursday night game and have your Thanksgiving Day games, but that's it.  If the NFL wants more prime-time games, could they do a Monday Night Football doubleheader every week?  The logistics of that may be too difficult though as you would need to have the 2nd game on the West Coast or close to it all the time.

--Week 13 NFL Lock of the Week -- Packers over Texans
  Week 13 NFL Upset of the Week --Ravens over Dolphins

--Someone at Hockey Canada needs to explain why Pats blueliner Connor Hobbs was left off the list for the national junior team training camp.  The guy is a rock on the blueline and as some have already said, he may be NHL ready.  That one is a head-scratcher. There are guys every year left off the list for one reason or another sparking similar debates. When it hits close to home though like it did with Jordan Weal, it makes you wonder.

--The latest Boston Pizza ads with the hockey coach can go at anytime. In fact, most ads for Boston Pizza can go. Great food, poor ads!

--Are Guns N' Roses coming to Regina? If some of the billboards around town are any indication, it would appear as if one of the first events at the new Mosaic might come from the iconic band. Word is some kind of announcement is happening Monday.

--Finally, a thank you to Principal Richard Pound......or John Cozman as he was better known. The local wrestling legend passed away this week after a battle with cancer at the age of 52. There have been many who have had a unique schtick in the ring, but the way John (Principal Pound) did his thing every night was something to see and something to behold. He was great and yes, I took pride in standing up whenever he came out to give him a solid round of applause while letting Gronkville know they should show him some respect. The wannabes just had no clue what they were going to get when the Principal entered the ring and those at ringside had no idea what they were going to get if they dared talk smack to him, Isn't that right Toots!! While I have had many enjoyable nights at wrasslin, I have never laughed so hard as a night at the Victoria Club when he got into it with a wrestler named Mr. Intensity Mark Posey. I won't get into the whole story, but I was amazed the cops didn't show up, He had me literally on the floor laughing with my ribs aching. I am laughing now just thinking about it.  After the show he came out and said "I think I riled some people up tonight" with a huge grin on his face. Those who know me know I love my wrestling, and I have to admit had it not been for John, I don't know if I would have started going to High Impact or Hardcore Wrestling as it was known back in the day. He was a beaut! Those who watched him would agree! School is sadly no longer in session.  

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Riders RB Joe McKnight Killed In Road Rage Incident In Louisiana

Image result for joe mcknight saskatchewan

Riders RB Joe McKnight has been shot to death at the age of 28 in New Orleans. The incident happened Thursday afternoon. Click here for the story I have on the 620 CKRM website surrounding this horrific and needless act of violence.

This Week In Cougar Athletics

Home Schedule – Friday
Women’s Basketball – vs. Saskatchewan, 6:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Men’s Hockey – vs. Lethbridge, 7:00 p.m. (The Co-operators Centre)
Men’s Basketball – vs. Saskatchewan, 8:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Home Schedule – Saturday
Track & Field – Larmer Friendship Games, 2:00 p.m. (Regina Fieldhouse)
Men’s Hockey – vs. Lethbridge, 3:00 p.m. (The Co-operators Centre)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Saskatchewan, 6:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Men’s Basketball – vs. Saskatchewan, 8:00 p.m. (CKHS)

Away Schedule – Friday
Men’s Volleyball – at Alberta, 6:00 p.m. MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women’s Wrestling – Clan Invitational Day 1, 6:00 p.m. PST (Burnaby, B.C.)
Women’s Hockey – at Lethbridge, 7:00 p.m. MST (Lethbridge, Alta.)
Women’s Volleyball – at Alberta, 7:30 p.m. MST (Edmonton, Alta.)

Away Schedule – Saturday
Women’s Wrestling – Clan Invitational Day 2, 9:00 a.m. PST (Burnaby, B.C.)
Women’s Hockey – at Lethbridge, 3:00 p.m. MST (Lethbridge, Alta.)
Women’s Volleyball – at Alberta, 5:00 p.m. MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Volleyball – at Alberta, 6:30 p.m. MST (Edmonton, Alta.)

Women’s Basketball (U Sports Ranking: No. 2) – The Cougars collected a road sweep over Trinity Western last weekend, edging the Spartans by a 57-51 margin on Friday before exploding for an 85-47 win on Saturday. Now in fourth place in the Canada West standings with a 5-1 record, the Cougars close out the first half of the conference schedule this weekend at home against Saskatchewan (3-3). Game time is set for 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

Men’s Basketball – The Cougars won twice on the road at Trinity Western, but in very different fashions. Friday’s game saw the U of R dominate in a 107-74 win, which stands as the largest margin of victory in a road game in program history. Saturday’s game was completely different, as the Cougars had to battle back from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter before holding on for a 100-94 win. The Cougars (4-2) host provincial rival Saskatchewan this Friday and Saturday at the CKHS. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. both nights.

Men’s Hockey – The Cougars are at home to close the 2016 portion of their Canada West schedule at home against the Lethbridge Pronghorns this weekend, with games scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday at The Co-operators Centre. The Cougars are coming off of a pair of road losses to Calgary, as the Dinos won in double overtime last Friday before completing the sweep with a 6-1 win on Saturday. The U of R and the Pronghorns have already met twice during conference play, as the two teams split a weekend series in Lethbridge in early October.

Track & Field – After warming up with an intrasquad meet two weekends ago, the Cougars will compete in the Larmer Friendship Games this Saturday, their first official meet of the season on Saturday. Held at the Regina Fieldhouse, the meet is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and wrap up at 8 p.m. After the Games this weekend, the Cougars will take a break from competition until mid-January.

Women’s Hockey – The fifth-place Cougars (7-6-1-0) are coming off a weekend sweep of Calgary, as the Cougars topped the Dinos 3-2 and 4-2 on home ice. Jaycee Magwood had a four-point weekend, capped off by two goals and one assist on Saturday. Bailey Braden also had three points in Saturday's win while Morgan Baker and Jane Kish each earned a win in net. The Cougars hit the road this weekend, heading to Lethbridge to battle the Pronghorns (2-9-1-2).

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars fell to 0-8 on the season after losing twice to No. 5-ranked UBC Okanagan over the weekend at the CKHS. Leah Sywanyk was the top statistical player for the U of R, finishing with 10 kills and seven aces while hitting .346 over the two matches. The team will close out the first half of the Canada West schedule this weekend with road matches against No. 1 Alberta (8-0) on Friday and Saturday.

Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars (0-8) lost twice to UBC Okanagan last weekend, with both matches being decided in four sets. The highlight of the weekend for the U of R was likely the play of rookie P.J. Seekings, who had kills on his only two attacks on Friday and exploded for 11 kills off the bench on Saturday. For the weekend, Seekings had a total of 13 kills and hit at an impressive .526 clip. The Cougars travel to Edmonton this weekend for two road matches against No. 4-ranked Alberta (6-2).

Wrestling (Women’s U Sports Ranking: No. 5 / Men’s U Sports Ranking: No. 6) – The men's team placed second in the overall standings at the Huskie Open in Saskatoon on the weekend, led by Gaelan Malloy and Waylon Decoteau who both finished atop their weight classes. Olivia-Ann McDonnell and Sena Debia each placed fifth to help the women's team to a sixth-place overall finish. The women's team will send wrestlers to Burnaby, B.C. to compete in the Clan Invitational at Simon Fraser University on Friday and Saturday.

Swimming – The Cougars combined for five medals last weekend at the Canada West Swimming Championships, with Eva Madar winning three of them and Noah Choboter adding two. Madar won silver medals in the 50-metre and 100-metre butterfly and a bronze in the 100-metre freestyle, while Choboter won bronze in the 100-metre and 200-metre backstroke. As a team, the Cougars set 12 new school records including new marks in five of the six relay events. Madar and Mitchell Hebert both qualified for the U Sports Championships next February, giving the Cougars a total of seven swimmers that have hit national standards this season.

Shawn Lemon Staying In Toronto

Image result for shawn lemon toronto

The Toronto Argonauts signed defensive end Shawn Lemon to a contract extension through the 2018 season on Thursday.

Lemon finished this season tied for second in the CFL with a career-high 14 quarterback sacks and five forced fumbles while recording 23 tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Argonauts' Most Outstanding Defensive Player and East Division All-Star recorded the team’s highest single-season sack total since 2003.

In 63 regular season games over six CFL seasons, the Akron product has compiled 94 tackles, 42 sacks and 17 forced fumbles.

Lemon originally arrived in Toronto on July 2 via trade with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in exchange for OL Matt Sewell and QB Mitchell Gale. The Argonauts also received a conditional 2018 CFL Draft pick in the deal.

Week 13 NFL Capsules

Image result for dak prescott 

Week 13 of the NFL season begins at the brand new home of the Minnesota Vikings as Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys look to keep it rolling. For a look at this game, and all the others in Week 13, click here 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lots of WHL Talent Invited to Canada's World Junior Camp

 Hockey Canada announced the names of the 32 players invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp at a press conference this morning, of which 12 currently play in the Western Hockey League

The Brandon Wheat Kings, Everett Silvertips, Kelowna Rockets and Regina Pats will each send two players to the selection camp.

WHL Invitees – Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp 
GoaltendersHWDOBHometownWHL ClubNHL Draft 
Carter Hart6'2"1808/13/1998Sherwood Park, ABEverett SilvertipsPHI '16 (2,48) 
Connor Ingram6'1"2023/31/1997Imperial, SKKamloops BlazersTB '16 (3,88) 
Jake Bean6'1"1706/9/1998Calgary, ABCalgary HitmenCAR '16 (1,13 
Kale Clague6'0"1776/5/1998Lloydminster, ABBrandon Wheat KingsLA '16 (2,51) 
Noah Juulsen6’2”1854/2/1997Abbotsford, BCEverett SilvertipsMTL ’15 (1, 26) 
Mathew Barzal6’0”1875/26/1997Coquitlam, BCSeattle ThunderbirdsNYI ’15 (1, 16) 
Dillon Dube5'10"1807/20/1998Cochrane, ABKelowna RocketsCGY '16 (2,56) 
Brett Howden6'3"1903/29/1998Oakbank, MBMoose Jaw WarriorsTB '16 (1,27) 
Nick Merkley5'10"1855/23/1997Calgary, ABKelowna RocketsARI ’15 (1, 30) 
Nolan Patrick6'3"1959/19/1998Winnipeg, MBBrandon Wheat KingsEligible 2017 
Sam Steel6'0"1802/3/1998Sherwood Park, ABRegina PatsANA '16 (1,30) 
Austin Wagner6'3"1856/23/1997Calgary, ABRegina PatsLA '15 (4,99) 

In total, Hockey Canada named 19 forwards, 10 defencemen and three goaltenders to its National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp roster, moving one step closer to the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be hosted by Toronto and Montreal beginning December 26.
Last year, 10 WHL players earned invites to Team Canada’s selection camp, while 14 attended in 2014.
Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp will run from December 10-14 at the Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau in Blainville, Que., home of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. The selection camp will also include three games: two against the USport All-Stars on December 12 and 13, with one final game against the Czech Republic on December 14.
Following the four-day selection camp, 22 players will be selected to represent Canada and don the Maple Leaf on home ice for the first time since 2015 when Canada won gold in front of a sold-out crowd of over 19,000 fans at the Air Canada Centre. This year, gold will be won in Montreal.
In addition to the 12 WHL players that will attend selection camp, the WHL will be represented on the staff of Team Canada once again this year. Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw Warriors) will serve as an assistant coach while Brian Cheeseman (Edmonton Oil Kings) will serve as an athletic therapist for the second consecutive year for Team Canada.


Monday, November 28, 2016

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Image result for craig anderson

– Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson,New Jersey Devils left wing Michael Cammalleri and San Jose Sharks defensemanBrent Burns have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Nov. 27.

Anderson paced the NHL with four wins, compiling a 1.25 goals-against average,
.960 save percentage and one shutout in four appearances to lift the Senators (14-7-1,
29 points) into second place in the Atlantic Division. He made 36 saves in a 4-3 victory
over the League-leading Montreal Canadiens Nov. 22. Anderson then allowed one goal
in each of his next two starts, recording 19 saves in a 3-1 triumph over the Boston Bruins
Nov. 24 and 32 saves in a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 26. He closed the
week by earning his 36th career shutout – via 33 saves – in a 2-0 victory over the New
York Rangers Nov. 27. The 35-year-old Park Ridge, Ill., native shares second place in
the NHL with 12 wins and three shutouts in 17 outings this season (12-4-1) to go along
with a 2.03 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.

Cammalleri led the NHL with four goals and eight points to power the Devils
(10-6-5, 25 points) to a 1-0-2 record in his three appearances. Playing in his first game
since Nov. 8, Cammalleri (1-3—4) registered his sixth career four-point performance –
and first since Feb. 13, 2013 – in a 5-4 shootout victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs
Nov. 23. He added multiple points in each of his next two contests, picking up 1-1—2 in
a 5-4 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings Nov. 25 and scoring twice in a 4-3 shootout
loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Nov. 26. The 34-year-old Toronto native paces the
Devils with seven goals and ranks second on the team with 14 points despite missing six
of the club’s 21 games this season.

Burns ranked first among defensemen with 2-4—6 in four outings as the Sharks
(12-9-1, 25 points) won three of their four games to maintain second place in the Pacific
Division. He posted 1-1—2 in a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils Nov. 21. Fresh
off signing an eight-year contract extension, Burns then collected multiple points in each
of his next two appearances – two assists in a 2-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks
Nov. 23 and 1-1—2 in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders Nov. 25 – before being
held off the scoresheet in a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks Nov. 26. The 31-year-old
Barrie, Ont., native leads NHL defensemen and paces the Sharks with 8-12—20 in 22
games this season.