Friday, July 05, 2013

Friday Thoughts

Here's what I think, in the final hours before the Saskatchewan Roughriders' home opener:

  • The Riders need to score early, before Calgary's defense gets any sort of momentum going. The Stamps D is tough, athletic and fast.
  • I expect the Stamps will look to get the ball out of Drew Tate's hands quickly, anticipating a big pass rush from the Riders. Look for Tate to try to hit Nik Lewis on crossing routes, before going deep to Maurice Price.
  • And then there's Jon Cornish. As he goes, so goes the Stamps offense, I think. The Riders have improved their team speed on defense, and their d line has been significantly upgraded with the additions of John Chick and Ricky Foley, so this will be a match-up to watch tonight. 
  • I'm really looking forward to seeing what sort of offensive game plan OC George Cortez has designed for tonight. He might very well be the Riders' most significant off-season acquisition!
  • After last night's loss, I think it's safe to say the days of the Montreal Alouettes dominating the east division with impunity are over - at least for now.
  • Don't look now, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers look pretty good. Mind you, Buck Pierce is still healthy. How long can that possibly last?
  • GM Dave Nonis is doing some serious tweaking to the roster of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I really hope Jonathan Bernier is the real deal in net. 
  • Dave Bolland was a nice pick-up, but he by no means addresses one of the Toronto's biggest gaps - the lack of a dominant, high-scoring first line centre.
  • Meantime, the Leafs have re-signed Regina-based centre Tyler Bozak and power forward David Clarkson. I still think Bozak might be better suited to a role on the second line, but Nazem Kadri has that spot sewn up, so it's back to the first line for "Flowzak", he of the 80s vintage hockey hair!
  • Less than two weeks to go until summer holidays. Rarely have I been so ready for a break!
  • And when the J-man and I return from our annual southern Ontario pilgrimage, it's right into football season. Imagine my delight to find out the bantam Sun Devils will have a 225 lb lineman at our disposal. 
  • Then imagine my reaction when I found out we have a kid that tips the Toledos at 310 lbs! This is gonna be fun...

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