December 1, 2009 – Version 4 of "10 Things"…. I hope we are actually getting half-decent at this:
1. I think that one point per day is a pretty good month. Both Catherine Cartier and Stephanie Seguin got 30 points in the 30 days of the month of November, over the course of eight games.
2. I think that November and the injury bug were both cruel to BLL Nordiques this month. After a strong start, BLL went 1-7 for the month of November and now will need to turn it around to stay in playoff contention. Luckily, when healthy, Les Nordiques have shown they can make up some ground.
3. I think signs of parity are everywhere. Lac St Louis got their first win of the year last weekend after a tough start to the season. Now, every team has won at least one game. This did not happen last year as BC went 0-18 in the west and in the east Whitby did not get win #1 until the end of the season. There are simply no easy games in this league, and any team, when playing well, can beat any other.
4. I think that the undefeated start by the Ottawa Ice and the league-leading 0.921 save percentage for Tori Goble are probably connected.
5. I think the league is really catching on. This from a Doctor in Halifax: "A 7 year old male hockey player (along with his book of hockey cards) being seen in a physician’s office knows that there is an NRL, ‘just like the NHL’ but for ringette. ‘How do you know that?’ says the physician. "Because the grade 6 girls told me" comes the reply."
6. I think there were several incredible goalkeeping performances in the last couple of weeks. Manitoba Jets’ Amy Clarkson’s 115 save weekend versus Calgary and Gatineau’s Kimberly Johnston stopping 46 of 48 Ottawa shots in a shootout loss. A good goalie means these teams always have a chance.
7. I think that the Ottawa Ice took a multiple thousand dollar shot in the fight against breast cancer, dedicating all funds from their game against Gloucester on November 29.
8. I think (well actually, I know) that Jacqueline Gaudet has been either the first or second star in 8 of Cambridge’s 11 games this season. She is becoming the Peyton Manning of the NRL (of course, Peyton Manning is the Lisa Brown of the NFL, but that is just semantics).
9. I think Calgary’s 1-2 goaltending punch of Stacey McNichol (2.51 GAA) and Bobbi Mattson (3.17 GAA) is as good a combo as there is in the league. Having two strong goalies is important in a long season and really important during the 2-games-a-day marathon that is the NRL Championship.
10. I think these are my non-NRL thoughts this week:
a. I think there are not enough words in the world to make Rider fans feel better – so I won’t try.
b. I think that regardless of how the Grey Cup game ended, the Alouettes deserve congratulations for a great season.
c. I think I would have loved to watch the Grey Cup game with former Alouette and current Lac St Louis head coach Glen Keeble.
d. I think that we are less than a year away from the World Ringette Championship in Tampere, Finland. I think in Tampere it will be Canada’s time.