Friday, 30 April 2021

Friday Quick Hits

I'll admit that I have very little knowledge when it comes to the "sweet science" involved in boxing. I do know that the speed bag, seen to the left, requires a rhythm for keeping the moving at all times, but I've neer really been a fan of boxing to spend any considerable time learning the nuances of the sport. What I do know is that it takes quick hits to keep that speed bag in motion, and that's what this article is all about as we run through some quick hits from the hockey world today!

Six Times Not Good Enough

This one was bad. For all that bluster about competing for first-place in the division a couple of weeks ago, the Winnipeg Jets now find themselves sitting four points ahead of fourth-place Montreal after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Habs tonight. Despite leading 2-0 and 3-1 at points in this game, the Jets seem to be suffering from a lack of execution between the ears when it comes to this losing streak.

Paul Maurice has to be on the hot seat at this point. From his insistence on icing the same lineup night after night to watching his team commit the same errors that put them in this spot, the Jets struggled hard against a team that featured Tyler Toffoli, Josh Anderson, 19 members of the Laval Rocket, and three ushers in their lineup. With games against Ottawa, Calgary, and Ottawa again, one has to wonder how much rope Maurice has left.

With Gerard Gallant listening to all offers, it might be time to pull the trigger on this move. A few more losses might make it inevitable.

A Fragile Team

How important are the likes of Adam Lowry and Nikolaj Ehlers when you consider how bad the Jets look right now when it comes to attacking with speed, going to the front of the net, and generating chances? Kyle Connor has all but disappeared without Ehlers stirring the drink which makes you wonder why the coaching staff wasn't using Ehlers more before he was injured.

Lowry's absence means that Pierre-Luc Dubois has been asked to contribute more, and I don't know if Dubois has that ability because he simply looks lost out there. Yes, he's playing physical, but he was brought in to center the second line, not the fourth line.

This team is a mess, and two of their most important players won't be back until the playoffs starts. Yikes.

A Legend Retires

It should be mentioned that today was the final day on the job for University of Saskatchewan men's hockey head coach Dave Adolph. Adolph has quietly put together one of the best programs in the nation over the years, and he's hanging up the whistle today after 868 U SPORTS regular season games to his name, 756 of which came with the Huskies. And, just for the record, he won 488 games and 456 with Saskatchewan.

He led the Huskies to seven Canada West titles, he was named U SPORTS Coach of the Year in 2017, and he's had an impact on countless lives throughout his tenure at the University of Saskatchewan. He had 17 captains that he named in his time with the Huskies, and all of them honoured Dave Adolph with a great reflection on what he meant to them.

"It's hard to picture the Huskie Hockey program without Dave Adolph," Jesse Forsberg said. "I think he embodies the program and all that makes it what it is."

Best of luck in retirement, Dave, and to your wife, Bev, as well. While we know you'll still be watching games whenever you can, it won't be the same without you standing behind the bench of the green-and-white. Happy retirement, and here's hoping it's both long and prosperous like your career!

Becoming An American

There was another Saskatchewan Huskies alumni in the news today as former Huskies forward Collin Shirley signed with the ECHL's Allen Americans and was in the lineup tonight against the Wichita Thunder where he wore #11 for the Americans.

Allen began the night with a 31-18-3 record and sitting in third-place in the Western Conference which includes a record of 3-3-1 against Wichita who began the night in first-place in the Western Conference. Shirley didn't factor into the scoring, but he was whistled for a high-sticking penalty at 14:18 of the second period that Allen successfully killed. When the dust settled on this game, Allen took the shootout victory by a 3-2 score! Not a bad debut for Shirley as his team picked up the win!

Here's hoping Collin Shirley has a successful run with Allen. Maybe he'll end up hoisting the Kelly Cup at the season's end? We shall see as this ECHL season plays out!

Correcting A Serious Error

The IIHF released the best news it has produced in some time as the 2021 Women's World Championship that was supposed to be happening right now in Halifax and Truro has been rescheduled for August 21-30 later this summer! While no venue has been selected yet, the fact that the IIHF and Hockey Canada made this rescheduling a priority is a start.

Personally, I'm not sure where they want to host this bubble, but I'd like to see it go some place other than Edmonton or Toronto. Maybe places like Saskatoon and Regina could be in the mix? Saskatchewan always seems to be up for hosting a tournament. I guess it will all be determined by the pandemic, but at least there will be a tournament for the women come August. Mark it down on your calendars!

Tune In Tomorrow!

The annual posting of all the Canada West women's hockey recruits goes tomorrow at 10am CT, so make sure you check back here to find out who is playing where next season. All nine teams have had their recruiting info compiled, and I'll give my thoughts on the incoming class of 2021-22 for each of those teams.

It should make for an exciting season in 2021-22 with all the great players who were recruited last year plus this year's class of talent. I'm glad I don't have to vote for a rookie of the year because half the league might be first-year players! Whatever happens on the front is out of my hands, but there are going to players to watch every night because of all the talent entering the league. If you're not excited yet, we may need you to check for a pulse!

There are your quick hits for a Friday night. As stated, the article goes live at 10am CT tomorrow with all the recruiting information, so stop by and check out who will be playing at your local rink and who will be visiting your local team!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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