Upon arrival at the Saddledome, it was clear that was still a lot of the reminisce of the Juno Awards held just the night before. The stage was still being torn down, crews were cleaning up all sorts of garbage and empty bottles... the ice surface still covered in black floor boards.
12 hours later, and you would have never known such an event was staged at all. The guys got to the rink in the morning for a meeting while Tim Kehler skated the black aces on a fresh sheet of Saddledome ice.
Broncos defenseman Jesse Dudas could play tonight. He will take warm-up and then be a gametime decision. He says he feels good and is ready to go. We'll see if the coaching staff agrees. Dudas was solid in the first two games against Regina before taking the arm injury. We will see how effective he can be getting back into a much quicker, faster tempo series. I think his game suits this series perfectly.
A little bit of a treat for the guys following meetings. The Calgary Flames held a practice before jumping on the charter flight to San Jose for their opening round best-of-seven series with the Sharks.
For the Bronco players, the lustre of an NHL practice remains bright. They become fans of the game, spectators for a change and really seem to enjoy watching the speed and flow of the practice.
"I wonder if Iggy will give me a stick?" was one of the things I overheard from the guys. No doubt these NHL superstars are held in high regard from the group.
It's almost refreshing to see.
There's no doubt a bit of the tourist element than can creep in on trips like these. For most of the guys it's not an issue. The bottom line is that there is work to do and a mission to be accomplished. I'm sure it must be nice to take a mental break.
Of course, I'm not excluded from this. But for me, it's guys like longtime radio voice of the Flames Peter Maher floating underneath the stands that I get more of a kick out of.
I have some pics from this morning I snapped with my digital camera. For some reason I'm having trouble uploading them to blogger. I'll post them when I can.
We're on the air beginning at 6:30pm with the pre-game show. Brandon Wheat Kings Coach and General Manager Kelly MaCrimmon will be our featured guest.