December 16, 2009 – Here’s our ‘almost Christmas’ version of "10 Things". Our next edition will drop first thing in the new year.
1. I think, ‘Tis the season to appreciate staying out of the penalty box. Edmonton, Cambridge and Ottawa are all averaging less than 7 penalty minutes per game. Is it a coincidence that they are all having great seasons? Probably not, penalty minutes are both the cause and effect of being in over your head in a game and these teams seem to always have the upper hand.
2. I think if you are going to play the Prairie Fire you best be prepared to go the distance. The Fire lead the league in shootouts with 5 (in 13 games) and they lead the league in shootout wins with 4.
3. I think Keely Brown‘s work to improve the resources available to ringette goalies is to be commended. A world ringette champion, Keely has written a book "The Complete Guide to Ringette Goaltending" and on November 30 she launched a ringette specific goalie trapper.
4. I think the mid season rookie of the year race is compelling. Rive Sud’s Marilyne Bedard, Cambridge’s Brittany Walden and Ottawa’s Jayme Simzer are all at or near the 2 point a game mark and there are several others close behind.
5. I think we are less than a month away from the next Team Canada selection camp, which will take place from January 1-4 in Kitchener, Ontario. The 34 athletes who are still in the running will be laying it all on the line for a spot on the next Team Canada. A no brainer that many of our NRL leaders will likely be sporting a maple leaf in Finland next November.
6. I think that the Calgary RATH are lurking. Their 3 game set with the Saskatoon Wild was postponed due to lovely prairie weather so they have only 8 games played in the first half. With 3 (or more) games in hand they will be in good shape to rack up points in the second half of the season.
7. I think the Cambridge Turbos join the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints as 13-0 teams at this stage. Unlike the Colts and Saints, the Turbos still have a ways to go before they can clinch an undefeated season. They still have games at Montreal and Ottawa in the second half, as well as the fact that no team can take any team lightly in this league. Undefeated is really tough, but with an average margin of victory of 4.2 the Turbos are showing they may just have what it takes.
8. I think Rive Sud Revolution is a silent underdog that shouldn’t be ignored by any team who goes into a game thinking they have the win. Rive Sud puts in a strong battle to the end, as can be seen in their recent shootout wins over Montreal Mission and Cyclones de Quebec.
9. I think Salla Kyhala and Erin Cumpstone are a powerful mix on Saskatoon Wild‘s front line. The pair racked up 20 points in the Wild’s last three games, which included two wins and a shootout loss to Prairie Fire.
10. I think these are my non-NRL thoughts this week:
a. I think the Tiger Woods debacle is a perfect example of why athletes need to remember they are athletes 24/7. Transgressions can lead to a whole lot of bad publicity and the end of a career.
b. I think in a perfect world, Santa would put a new ringette stick under the tree for the over 28,000 athletes across the country who play our fine sport.
c. Invictus is a good movie – not great, but good. Making a movie that lives up to the reputation of Nelson Mandela is a pretty big duty; what a great man.
d. I think the dawn of 2010 marks that we will be only three years away from 2013 and the celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Ringette – pretty cool all around.