The Swift Current Broncos have a chance to grab a share of the lead in the east division when they host the Saskatoon Blades tonight. Here some points to ponder before tonight's face-off.
- The Blades will play their third game in three nights after back-to-back home ice losses to Lethbridge and Calgary. How much is left in the tank?
- The Broncos have to start playing to win rather than a team playing like they are afraid to lose against teams lower in the standings. Too often already this season the Broncos have let points slip away.
- The Blades sport the league's worst road record at 1-10-1. Yes, even Portland has been better on the road this season.
- The Broncos will hope to have Keegan Dansereau back in the line-up after he was sick on Friday night. He was at the rink the past couple days and that's a good sign. If history tells us anything, the Broncos will wait till he's 100% before getting him back in the line-up. The Broncos never rush injuries or health in order to get a player back in. Also, don't expect Derek Claffey tonight. His shoulder injury should keep him out until sometimes next week.
- The Blades may still be without overage defenseman John Flatters who sat out last night's game vs Calgary due to suspension. His hit on Lethbridge's Nick Hotson on Friday night drew a boarding major and game miscounduct. The league has said his suspension is "To Be Determined" according to whl.ca.
It's the Riders and Lions in the CFL's Western Final a little later on this afternoon. The Broncos elected to keep the starting time as is (7pm) even though Prince Albert bumped their start time back a half hour to 7:30. I would have liked the Broncos to move their start time back but it didn't happen. Looks like another late arriving crowd... if they arrive at all tonight at the I-plex. Fans would like to see both. Not sure why they didn't try to accomodate.
I got a kick out of the exchange between Lions Head Coach Wally Buono and Riders radio color commenter Carm Carteri. If anyone missed it you can catch the highlights over at tsn.ca. Don't tell me coaches don't pay attention to whats going on out there in the media. Most are glued to what's being said on the radio, in the paper and on the internet, though they will never admit it.
It reminded me of when Pats Head Coach Curtis Hunt had some words for me during last year's playoff series for a blog entry I had posted. All of that is water under the bridge. Curtis has been fantastic this year and hasn't held a grudge.
The Buono/Carteri incident is just another example of how the media plays a role in the game within a game.
My best wishes to WHL linseman Chad Marshall. The veteran liney recently had a tumour-like growth removed from his kidney in hospital at Regina. He's one of the nicest guys out there. All the best Duecey.