Monday, March 26, 2007

WHL Playoffs At a Glance

We'll get to the Broncos/Pats series in a sec, first the WHL Head Office handed down the following fines and suspensions following game two of the Everett/Spokane series:

Everett $2,500.00 fine for post-game incident vs Spokane
Brandon Campos Everett Two game for post-game fight vs Spokane
Kyle Beach Everett One game for post-game actions vs Spokane
Spokane $2,500.00 fine for post-game incident at Everett
Judd Blackwater Spokane Three games for post-game actions
Mitch Wahl Spokane Two games for post-game fight at Everett on March 24.

I watched the webcast archive and it appears the Everett Silvertips were a bit over exuberant in their celebration after Zach Hamill's overtime winner. Some contact definitely happened between the two teams as the Silvertip players came off the bench leading to a long melee with a couple of scraps. The situation could have been much worse. It could have gotten ugly, really ugly. The one thing I will comment on is all the Everett fans giving the finger to the Chiefs as they skate off the ice. All the fans in front of the camera are standing up, I counted three giving the ol' Pierre Trudeau to the Chief players. Honestly, what's that all about? These guys are kids for the most part and these adults are doing this. I find it a despicable act. Some of these "adults" are their with their kids. Nice message they're sending.

Also, Red Deer's Martin Hanzal will sit out game three of their series against Medicine Hat tomorrow night after a one game suspension for a checking from behind major penalty in game two Saturday night.

Alright to the Broncos and Pats. Game three tomorrow night could be a pivotal game. Some people think it could be a series turning point. While I won't go as far to say "whoever wins game three will win the series", I will say it's a crucial game. The Broncos may have the momentum but a Pats win would shift it back drastically in their favor. That would mean the Broncos would have to win in Regina again. Remember it took them nine cracks to get their first win in at the Brandt Center going back to March of 2005. Playoffs are weird though and you can really throw those kind of stats out the window.

Another thing that concerns me is the 1300 tickets sold as of this afternoon. I know we are a last minute kind of market and the game is mid-week, but I thought we would be pushing the 1800 mark by now. Tickets can be pricey, especially for a family at $19 a pop for adults.

Hopefully our fans respond. This is a chance to get some playoff pride going in our town. I can sense the buzz in the city but it's NOWHERE near where it could be. I think back to the Conference Finals vs Red Deer back in 2001. That was awesome. Fans, businesses, everyone rallied around the team in their quest for a WHL Championship.

The Broncos are a great team to cover in the playoffs. They make themselves available, they want to do interviews and they know what to say. I've already told most of the guys not to say anything to give the other side some fire in the playoffs. They look at me like "duh, you don't think I know that?" I think they've been great with Regina media too. The coaching staff is a smart bunch that knows what this time of year is all about. And, thank god about this.... they're not PARANOID. Some teams get so unbelievably worked up in the playoffs. I've seen teams go to great lengths to cover-up injuries or downplay issues. I've seen teams refuse to do their post-game media duties and thick curtains pulled around all parts of the team's dressing room area. Not the Broncos, they roll with the punches and don't really sweat the small stuff. I know we are only a couple games in but the routine and mindsets don't really change with this team. They have a job to do and they try their best to do it. The Pats are pretty good too.

I was on 620 CKRM's Sportsline tonight with Rod Pedersen. I was on for a few quick questions about things in Broncoland. Nothing too serious. Just a scene setter if you will for games three and four.

We're on the air at 7pm with the Big Show, play-by-play with myself and Ryan Switzer at 7:30pm.

Time to step to the plate Bronco fans!


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