November 16, 2009
Here goes our third installment of our bi-weekly overview of the past weekend’s games and events around the league:
1. I think that Ringette fans in Montreal were treated to some incredible ringette this past weekend. The entire Southern Ontario division visited for a total of 16 games. At the end of those 16 games, the record was nine wins for Southern Ontario, seven wins for Montreal. Lots of very close games, lots of important points on the line in that weekend set.
2. I think that I twittered that the Cambridge/Montreal rivalry is the Yankees/Red Sox of the NRL. I think I was right. The Cambridge/Montreal rivalry never stops being compelling. Over the past three years the Turbos hold a 4-2 edge in regular season games, but every game is compelling. The matchup between Julie Blanchette and Jacqueline Gaudet, between Kassy Chiim and Sharolyn Wouters or the goaltending matchups with Claudia Jette and Meghan Pittaway all keep you guesssing, keep you watching.
3. I think that the western conference is a very tough read. With the big differences right now in the number of games played and in terms of who has played against whom, it is hard to really tell where we are at. The fact that Prairie Fire has not yet played outside of the province of Manitoba makes them very difficult to figure out.
4. I think that BLL has shown that they are for real, continuing with strong play over good teams (such as a win over a strong Waterloo team) without last year’s leading scorer, Jessica Pepper in the lineup. Big offensive contributions from Karyna Dallaire and Isabelle Grenier sure have helped.
5. I think that any questions about the "real dealness" of the Fraser Valley Avalanche were cleared up during their series in Calgary. Taking one from the RATH, in Calgary is not small feat, accomplished by very few NRL teams over the past few years. Those two points on the road will also go a long way in terms of the playoff race for the Avalanche. After a tough first three series of the year, the Avalanche are set up pretty well if they can keep it up.
6. I think that the Cambridge Turbos just keeping rolling along. With most teams you would expect a "hiccup" or two along the way. With the Turbos you can’t be so sure. I think that ringette’s habit of discounting Glen Gaudet as a coach of the year (because he always has such good players) has to be re-thought. This team had a lot of turnover this summer and just doesn’t slow down.
7. I think that Marilyne Bedard of Rive Sud has now scored in five straight games and has 13 points in 10 games. The rookie of the year chase has a new entrant!
8. I think that I won’t count out Gatineau in the Capital Division, but among the three other teams (Ottawa, Quebec City and Gloucester) the 2 point spread between first to third will probably stay that small through the end of the year. We are about a third of the way into the season and the next two thirds of the year will likely be just as close.
9. I think that experience and skill have given the Edmonton WAM! "an extra gear" that lets them come out on top against improving teams like Saskatoon and Fraser Valley in close games. I also think that the WAM! have had to use the "extra gear" a lot more this year than in previous years. The rest of the league has you in your sights Megan Todd, Jennifer Hartley and company – look out!
10. I think these are my non-NRL thoughts this week:
a. I think that I am getting slowly addicted to Glee. Cheesy, fun, songy and has a Canadian playing the lead role. Best way to waste an hour on a Wednesday night. Best guilty pleasure since the OC got cancelled…
b. I think that the ringette features on RDS in the past couple of weeks have been great. Well done Ringuette Quebec, Maurice Jean, Julie Blanchette, Jessica Pepper, Stephanie Seguin, Julie Primard and others…
c. I think that the BC Lions playing in the "Eastern" final is weird.
d. I think I am going to add "Twilight" to my list that includes "Titanic", "I Love Lucy" and "Gossip Girls" of pop culture phenomena that I have not participated in – in any way.
e. I think the world can do without another Jim Carrey semi-animated holiday movie. Just saying…