Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sports Fix Recap, and More.

Today is going to be a good day!

It's not often that I wake up at 4:55 A.M. and feel refreshed and fired up, but this morning was one of those times. Admittedly yesterday was a pretty long day, but as I reflect on yesterday, it was certainly worth-while, and a lot of that has to do with the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix.

Kindersley head-coach and G.M. Rockie Zinger made his first appearance on the show, and in my opinion he nailed it. Not only did Zinger speak very candidly about his own group, but I appreciated his compliments towards the Battlefords North Stars and the existing rivalry between the two clubs.

Zinger is welcome on the program anytime.

Some have scoffed at the Klipper's/North Star's rivalry in recent years saying, "The two teams aren't even in the same division! How can you call it a rivalry?"

My response, "Watch these two teams play against each other. There is a rivalry and a very good one at that." It's not necessarily a rivalry built off of bitterness from playoff battles, but more one of geography and mutual respect.

Even though tonight's game is technically a 'nothing game' I still expect both teams to be competitive, and ready to compete. Kindersley is 5-1 against the Battlefords this season, and I'm sure the Stars will want to add another 'W' to that column before their season ends. The only Star's win against Kindersley came in December at the SJHL Showcase in Weyburn.


Guest two on the program was the play-by-play voice of the Prince Albert Raiders, Drew Wilson. Wilson has covered the Raiders now for seven years, and always speaks professionally and with great knowledge of the Western Hockey League.

Right now the Prince Albert Raiders sit in the eighth playoff spot in the WHL's Eastern Conference, and if the playoffs were to start today, the Raiders would square off with the Saskatoon Blades.

Wilson made it no secret that he considers the Blades "The team to beat" in the league. I don't think you'll find too many who disagree with that notion.


I admit that I haven't thought 'too much' about the Flin Flon Bombers so far this week. Trust me, by the end of tonight things will be different.

I truly think that the North Stars will benefit greatly from a clean slate, especially the goaltenders. I've never been a huge stat guy. I've always held the belief that stats do tell most of the story, but certainly not all of it. That being said, statistically this season has not been kind to either Kyle Birch or Graham Hildebrand. I'm sure both may gain back some confidence just knowing full well that their records
will all read: 0-0-0-0 come Friday night.

Tonight the spotlight will certainly be on North Star's goalie Graham Hildebrand, who could earn a Game One start on Friday should he beat Kindersley tonight.

Ken Pearson's "win and you stay in" mentality is likely not about to change anytime soon.


Health-wise I think the Stars are in decent shape. Zach MacLellan is still out with an injury to his hand, and the status of Luke Hannas remains unclear. Other than that, the Stars appear to be in good shape in that regard.


Blake Tatchell and Colin Phaneuf head into tonight's game tied with the team-lead in points with 74. Which one will prevail over the other?

Last season Chad Filteau led the team with 66 points, while Blake Peake finished with 65. Again, those stats are a tad misleading given the fact that Filteau only spent three months with the team.

Overall, it has been a much different season in the SJHL from a points perspective. Last season, Travis Janke (Notre Dame) led the league with 83 points and 36 goals. This season Janke would have been SIXTH. 36 goals would have put Janke fifth this season.


A Kindersley-Battlefords preview will be posted sometime later today. Hope you're able to catch the game tonight.

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