Tonight Brandon and Calgary meet up at the Mastercard Memorial Cup to determine who gets last change in Friday night's semi final. That's it, that's all. And as longtime WHL scribe Greg Drinnan just said to me, 'if you can't coach without last change, you're in trouble' Both Kelly McCrimmon and Mike Williamson can.
So what should we expect tonight? Some think it will be a feisty game where both clubs try and send a message and possibly some players to the injured list. I ask why? If I was Calgary I wouldn't play Martin Jones and rest a few others as well. My message before the game would be 'don't do anything stupid.'
These two teams know each other inside and out. Brandon beat Calgary 3 of 4 times during the regular season, while the Hitmen took out the Wheat Kings in the Eastern Conference final in 5 games. In fact Calgary has ended Brandon's season 3 of the last 4 years. Why would either team risk an injury? While the fans might not like it, I think we're in for a glorified game of shinny tonight. However, once these guys hit the ice and remember the rivalry, things could get intense.
As for Windsor, they don't play for real until Sunday night. So what do you do if you're Warren Rychel and Bob Boughner? I get out of dodge for a while. Take a trip to the Peace Gardens or Riding Mountain National Park. Hell they could fly home and sleep in their own beds they have so much time off right now. The Spitfires didn't practice today, and might take tomorrow off as well.
Taylor Hall was hit hard a few times last night, once by Brandon Gormley where he was slow to get up. When I asked him about it after the game he said it wasn't the Gormley hit so much that slowed him down, but a lingering effect from the Travis Hamonic crushing on opening night. However, he was quick to point out, it wasn't anything serious. By the way he's playing, I'm not sure anything can slow him down.