Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here Come The Hitmen!!

Going into Game 4 of the WHL final, people were wondering if Kelowna would complete what they thought to be an improbable sweep of the Calgary Hitmen. A Hitmen win in Game 4 prolonged the series and another Calgary win---and a convincing one at that--has some wondering if the Hitmen will now do the unthinkable and come back from a 3-0 deficit to win. Don't bet against them. Calgary was simply dominant in every area of the game beating the Rockets 6-1 meaning Kelowna gets one last chance to clinch the title at home as they will play Game 6 Saturday night. If the Rockets can't do it then, I don't like their chances with Game 7 going in Calgary. I don't know what has happened to wake Calgary up but they are now playing like the team that cruised through the first three rounds.

By the way, word out of Lethbridge is that the Hurricanes are going to announce they are parting ways with head coach Michael Dyck perhaps as early as today. While I still believe Curtis Hunt is the front-runner in the search for Pats head coach, Dyck will certainly enter the ring as a strong candidate. He guided the Hurricanes to an Eastern Conference title last season and had a first round upset of Saskatoon this year before losing to Calgary in the 2nd round.
If the Canucks don't beat Chicago, they can simply blame themselves after the way they blew Game 4. Vancouver had a 1-0 lead and they thought that was good enough. They abandoned any and all attempts at offence in the 3rd as they played the prevent defence thinking Roberto Luongo could hold the fort. He came close. Marty Havlat scored late in regulation and Andrew Ladd tipped home a David Bolland shot early in overtime to give the Hawks a 2-1 win evening this entertaining best of seven at two. I don't know who came up with the prevent defence idea but they should be taken out back and spend five minutes with Darcy Hordichuk and Rick Rypien. Speaking of those two, how bout that effort from the 4th liners for Vancouver's lone goal.

Detroit comes off the canvas to bury the Ducks 6-3 . Wings coach Mike Babcock had said before the game he thought Marian Hossa was due to break out and he was right. Hossa had a pair. By the way say what you will about guys like Hossa, Datsyuk and Zetterberg but for my money, Detroit's best player is Johan Franzen. He can do it all!
The Balsillie-Bettman fight has started. I really don't know why the NHL commissioner can't realize a mistake was made and to admit hockey in the desert will not work. Surely, the other owners in the league must see another team in Canada would be a huge plus and would be a helluva lot better in southern Ontario than it would be in Arizona. They perhaps are the only ones that can tell Bettman to smarten up. He did the right thing for the owners when the lockout happened but he isn't doing the right thing here---at least not in my mind. I believe Balsillie can make it work so why not let it happen. If Gary's ego is going to be punctured than so be it. Here's why I think the owners have to tell Bettman to drop this fight and allow the sale and move to happen. The NHL is owed 35 million by the Coyotes. If Balsillie gets his way, the NHL gets that money back. If he doesn't, they don't. How can Bettman explain that not getting 35 million is in their best interest?? Save the court costs for something else and just allow this move to occur. Of course if it does, it could start a tidal wave of southern U-S teams coming to Canada and that is the one thing Bettman just doesn't want to see happen. I wonder if a new commissioner would??!!!
The Humboldt Broncos finish round-robin play at the RBC Cup with a thud. Summerside surprises the SJHL champs with a 5-0 win for their first and only win of the event. Humboldt will meet the host Victoria team in one semi-final with Vernon taking on Kingston in the other. The final is Sunday...its on TSN.
This McDonalds ad where the little girl asks if her dad wishes she was a boy is just plain stupid. Yeah dear, you're an embarassment to me because you are a girl. I will hate you forever and ever because of this now get lost and go become a hooker or something. CMON!!!
I will admit that I was hoping when Tracey was pregnant that I would get a little boy ---someone to play hockey in the driveway with, to take to ballgames, to watch games with. I had the little Seahawks, Cubs and Oilers jerseys all ready to be bought. In fact, I would tell everyone it was going to be a boy---the power of positive thinking you know. When I found out, my hopeful he was a she it didn't bother me one bit. She was healthy and she is and will always be Daddy's girl. C'mon MacDonalds...smarten up. Maybe if Grimace came out and laid Dad out with a Big Mac it would be entertaining but its not. Speaking of my little girl, she lost one of her upper front teeth and is damn close to losing a 2nd tooth after a little "incident" on the playground yesterday. She amazed me with her toughness. She hardly cried and I would think losing a tooth and getting a fat lip would be very painful and very traumatic for a 5 year old who wouldn't hurt a flea. It meant picking her up from school and taking her to the dentist and keeping her happy with what I'm sure was some soothing popsicles and a Slurpee, but she didn't seem too bothered with what happened to her. I am shocked! I also hope not to see the "tough" 2nd grade boy that precipitated the attack. Then again, if Annika's older sister sees who this kid is, he may be hanging off the monkey bars upside down if you know what I mean. OK yeah I'm joking(although I may not be when it comes to big sis) but I am glad I didn't see the little bastige or his parents when I went to pick her up yesterday. Words may have been exchanged!!!!
If I am shocked at the behaviour of Annika, I somehow am not shocked over the Manny Ramirez story. I guess I have just become desensitized to the steroid talk in baseball. To take credit for the suspension and not appeal it is admirable, but to try and blame it on a doctor is just stupid. By the way, why is he taking a womens fertility drug???? Manny is the latest to get crucified and he deserves every negative comment placed at his feet. Somewhere you have to think the Red Sox are breathing a sigh of relief. As I said, this just now falls off me like water on a ducks back. Baseball wants to say the problem is going away but it isn't. Who's the next star to follow Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, A-Rod and now Manny. I've often wondered what type of numbers Ken Griffey Junior would have put up had he stayed injury-free. Maybe its a good job he got hurt because we will never know if he was on something---besides that nerve tonic that gave him elephantiasis when he played for Monty Burns' company softball team in one of the greatest "Simpsons" episodes of all-time.
Brett Favre has told the Vikings he is retired! Yahoo Sports saying Favre phoned Vikes coach Brad Childress to say he wants to stay retired. This basically means, I don't like the first offer the team put forth but feel free to come back with another one but do it soon so I can get ready for camp. Nobody is buying this and either am I. In fact, I think the Vikings will have to get into exhibition games without Favre before talk of him returning comes to an end. This story isn't over yet----not by a longshot.
Would the world be a better place if we didn't have "Lady Gaga"??!!! Does this woman think she is the Madonna of this decade?!
Global Regina had a nice piece on the construction of the new Co-Operators Centre at Evraz Place last night. This should be a facility Regina can be very proud of and is one that should be busy year-round. Who's kidding who if Trent Fraser has anything to do with it, that place will be occupied 365 days a year...then again knowing Trent one wonders what type of "events" will be in there. Just kidding TF! When are we going for lunch???
If all goes well tomorrow, this blog will hit the 25-thousand mark in visits tomorrow. When I started doing this in February, I didn't think I would hit 25 thousand in the first week of May. With Rider season less than two months away, I am thinking I will hit the 50-thousand mark before Labour day and I never expected that. For that, I thank all of you for reading and for coming back every day. Many kind words have been expressed and many unkind ones as well but hey you can't please everyone....isn't that right Steve Machine??? I digress. Thanks again for coming here every day to get your fix. Have a great Friday and take the afternoon off and start the weekend early if you can.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mitch:
Just a shout out to let you know that I love the blog and I miss not hearing you yakking it up at night. In fact, I think I've listened to that show once since I found out you were gone. If RM was smart, they would pick you up and let you go head to head against Sharkboy, but then again you would probably have to water down your opinions on the Pats and Riders because thats what RP does. Anyhow keep up the good work and I hope your daughter is feeling better today.


PS: This Vikings fan is happy Favre isn't coming back!!!

Anonymous said...

Tough Grade 2 boy picking on a kindergarten girl. His parents must be so proud. My kid came home with a bloody nose a few years ago after getting punched in the schoolground. Two days later I'm in the Southland and my kid points out there's the boy that hit me. He's sitting there with his parents in the foodcourt. I wanted to take the burger and stuff it down his throat and his dad's throat but yeah common sense took over. I know exactly how you're feeling.

I watched the Kelowna-Calgary game last night. The first game I have watched and I don't know how Kelowna won the first three the way they played. They were terrible.

Count me in as a guy who would make 3 or 4 trips to Winnipeg if the NHL ever went back.

Good to see Rick Rypien doing well in Vancouver. I don't think I've ever seen a grittier Pat in all my life than him.


Anonymous said...


Great blog today.

Addressing a few points in order

1) I'm in the minority, but hockey will work in Phoenix. The tactical mistake that franchise made was in the beginning hiring Morons to run it. Wayne installed his Agent and buddies in key positions. He also recruited players he knew that were past their primes, and they took full advantage of him. This resulted in no wins, and alienating a fan base. They need a strong GM i.e. Ken Holland, Jim Nill etc., that can draft and build a strong team. Wins come, and people show up. These teams that struggle do not realize they are in the entertainment business. Put something worth watching, and fans will come. Anahiem, Dallas, Carolina, and Tampa are all teams that play to full houses, and have won Stanley Cups. Hey there was a time not long ago when Calgary and Edmonton were playing to 1/2 empty buildings.

2) In 2009 the McDonald's ad is just plain offensive. All children are a gift from God. Regardless of gender the girls can do everything the boys can do, and quite frankly should be able to do. If anybody wonders why there are women out there with no confidence or lack of self esteem they only need to watch that commercial to get the answer.

3) The Pats coaching search is pathetic. If 2 candidates are on the radar that tells people that is not a "premium" organization to work for. Contrast that with searches that come up in the NCAA when it comes to schools such as Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA for Basketball, and in Football it's Alabama, Florida etc., then you can see people line up to get a chance there. They know the emphasis is on winning and the resources are there to do it. If you are fired it's not because of any agenda it's because you didn't win period. Calling an organization in any sport a "storied franchise" doesn't cut it anymore. Urban Meyer turned down Notre Dame to go to Florida because he can win at Florida. Living in the past doesn't work.

3) Brett Farve wants to play for a different team every year until he officially calls it quits, then I encourage him to do it. When it's over it's over, and I don't go for ruining legacy crap. Quick...tell me the team Steve Carlton played for. He's in the top 3 for greatest Pitchers, and he retired over 20 years ago. He's known as a Philadelphia Phillie. Noboby rememebers the last 3-4 years of his career when he went on his trip of "will pitch for food", and played for 4 different teams before retiring for good. Johnny Unitas wound it up with San Diego, Nameth with the LA Rams, and hey even Kent Austin did a tour of different cities before ending it. Legacy never factors in, if you're considered great you'll always be great.

4) Manny Ramirez, just another nail in the coffin for the steroid era. There is no way any player who put in Major League service from 1994 to 2004 can be considered for the HOF. They should now start looking at the guys that retired in 1992 and the 5 year window that makes them eligible. That means Bert Byleven, Andre Dawson, and Dale Murphy should all be in the HOF, and not be grouped in with these steroid guys. All these guys do is cloud the picture.

Good Blog today Mitch

Anonymous said...

25,000 views in three months. Not bad!! Congrats big guy. You know I didn't think much of sports on your station when you were there as you were basically it and now its worse than ever. I know you know Jamie but he just doesn't bring it the way you did and you know my thoughts on the other two guys. I get more in 90 seconds of reading this than I'll ever get from "the information station" when it comes to sports. Their news coverage is great but well you know the rest. You really should think about podcasting this blog but I don't know how you go about that. I'm sure I'll be running into you at camp or at PB or BP.

Brian H

Anonymous said...

Brian H. You are so right. I stopped listening to CJME in the morning over a year ago because I could not stand Dave Arnold just yapping and yapping with Ray Morrison who thinks he is a know it all when he's a know nothing most of the time.
Mitch was great when he was with Alex Docking but then this Corey Kolt guy came along and it was boring.
How a company can have a guy who doesn't like football in a football starved province is beyond me. I don't mind Jamie Nye though. Jamie and Mitch would have been much, much better than Jamie and Drew because at least those two understand what people want to talk about in Saskatchewan.


Anonymous said...

x 2 Gary


Anonymous said...

Question for you and I don't know if you'll answer it or not or if you'll put this on but here goes.

I know Brendan McGuire and he tells me he hated his days at Rawlco because of Morrison and upper management. Its one of the reasons he left. I know you were pushed but was the frustration level the way he painted out. I don't know a lot about radio but I can't believe people are as stupid there as he paints them to be. You can paint me in with Gary and Brian H. You had way more resources than Rod Pedersen but I would rather listen to him than Morrison because I got the sports from him and not him laughing through something with Dave Arnold. The sports show is a much better show when Remenda isn't around whether it be Brendan, you or Jamie Nye doing the show. Who hired him and why??


Mitchell Blair said...

The circumstances between Brendan's departure and mine were different. I know he was very frustrated when he left but if you know him you know he is better off. The difference between his departure and mine was they (management)respected Brendan and as I found out later, not me.

Unless its the Riders, they don't care when it comes to sports and the average listener and the below average listener can see that. News-wise, Murray Wood and crew run a very solid ship---there are problems there too but there are problems in any newsroom of that size. I'm not going to get into the meat and potatoes of it and I think a lot of you realize that the place to get sports in this town is CKRM because they give everything to you or at least as much as they can. As one high profile Reginan has told me, I get more from Rod in two minutes than I get from you guys in 3 and a half minutes. He was right! I won't get into everything but I hope that clears things up somewhat TB.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mitch.