Memorial Cup Couch Potato

By Jeff Bromley

With the annual passing of the Victoria
Day long-weekend signifying not only
the start of camping season in these
parts but the culmination of the year’s
Major-Junior hockey in the Memorial
Cup in Regina. Four teams, round-robin
and playoff format with the hardware of
the Memorial Cup clearly in sight.

All the trades Regina Pats G.M. Brent
Parker made to sacrifice the near future
of the Pats in the name of
competitiveness with the champions of
the WHL, OHL and QMJHL as host of
the Memorial Cup and it appears that he
may of forgot one key aspect – goal-
tending. Not to put too fine of point on
it but Pats goaltender Donald
Choukalous has had better outings.
Regina looked like it could play with any
one of the Cup teams save for one
aspect – goal-tending. If the Pats are to
have any hope at all even to make it to
Friday’s Tie-Breaker game stopping the
puck has to be essential. Otherwise the
Pats will have be content with their
‘Host’ moniker and bow out quickly.
Near the conclusion
of the first game of the Memorial Cup
involving the Pats and the OHL
champion Ottawa 67’s, a 5-2 win by the
67’s, Ottawa captain Joe Talbot scored
an empty net goal to seal the victory.
Shortly there after Pat Captain Barret
Jackman leveled him. Of course, a melee
ensued involving almost everyone on the
ice with the TV cameras rolling. Not
exactly a ringing endorsement for the
CHL on national TV. Nevertheless this
is hockey and sometimes this stuff
happens. Jackman pulled a bonehead
move, misconducts were handed out and
Jackman probably deserved a
suspension.

The Calgary Hitmen
might remember that it was the ’67’s
Lance Galbraith who knocked out star
D-man Brad Stuart with a dirty elbow
two years ago when the M-Cup was
hosted by Ottawa. This stuff happens
and nobody’s condoning or saying its
right but Brennan needs to stay a little
more neutral. Being the home team
reporter is fine but lets try and stay
within the realm of credibility.

Why is it that there is now instant replay
in the Memorial Cup? Logistics dictate
that the CHL can’t institute it
throughout the three leagues on a
regular basis so why would they use it at
the cup just because Sportsnet is
broadcasting it? The
instant replay rule is good, but for fairness and
continuity’s sake to all the other teams
that didn’t make it to the big dance in
Regina, the rule shouldn’t be in place
now. Not that there was a specific
happenstance but what if there was a
goal disallowed or vice-versa for one of
the conference or league final clubs that
instant replay could’ve made a difference
on?….

On the same token you might be
wondering why the Memorial Cup isn’t
using the two referee system that the
WHL was subjected too for some of the
regular season and all of the playoffs?
Apparently the OHL and QMJHL don’t
use the two-zebra system. Fair enough.
So why then is the WHL the lone guinea
pig in this experiment? Shouldn’t all
three league’s have to be subject to the
same growing pain that is the two-ref
system?

The bright-spot of
the tournament so far has to be Val
D’Or’s 16-yr-old goaltender Maxime
Daigneault. If he keeps this play up the
Foreurs might have a chance to steal the
cup. Even if they don’t, Daignealt should
be given consideration for MVP…