Tuesday night was wall to wall coverage of the upcoming 2011 Mastercard Memorial Cup and TPS had it covered from all angles. We welcomed 3 coaches, a GM and our CHL insider to the show, and even slipped in an update on the potential move of Lewiston to P.E.I.
We moved from East to West and started things off with Gerard Gallant the head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs. Gallant was in Brandon at last year's tournament winning the CHL coach of the year award and saw first hand what Windsor did. We wondered if Gallant feels like us, that the Sea Dogs are similar to the Windsor Spitfires of the past couple of years. The former NHL player and coach also told us about how they will approach the tournament, do they game plan for other teams or make other teams game plan for them? Gallant spoke about the buzz in Saint John right now and gave us a profile of several high end draft eligible players. He also has a Memorial Cup veteran in net, Jacob DeSerres who suited up for Brandon last year.
Next up was Owen Sound Attack bench boss Mark Reeds, who's team ousted Mississauga in a hard fought 7 game series. Ironically it was the only league final to go the distance and both teams were already in. Does Reeds think his team sent a message to the other 4 and how timely was Jarrod Maidens with his late series heroics? Reeds told us what to expect from several players on the Attack roster and how he handled playing 3 different goaltenders throughout the OHL playoffs.
From one OHL team to another, the hosts Mississauga and head coach Dave Cameron were our next team. Can Cameron take anything from coaching the World Junior team to a silver medal this year? How tough and nasty was the final with Owen Sound from a coaching perspective and how will JP Anderson approach the Memorial Cup. What's the hype like for the Memorial Cup in Mississauga and who are Dave's go to guys?
We finished the coaches/G.M. portion with Jeff Chynoweth the man in charge of putting together the Kootenay Ice. The Ice were so dominant in the WHL playoffs it's tough to pin point which series was there most impressive? What was running through Jeff's mind when he was presented the trophy named after his late father the Ed Chynoweth Cup? The G.M. told us more about the blockbuster trade that brought Cody Eakin to Cranbrook and how he built a 100 percent Canadian made team. No Europeans or Americans on the Ice roster. From Brayden McNabb to Matt Fraser to Nathan Lieuwen the Ice have a ton of talented veterans.
We wrapped things up with our CHL insider Sam Cosentino who will be working the broadcasts with Peter Loubardias on Rogers Sportsnet starting Friday night and Sam gave us 3 keys to success for each team:
1. Health- What is the status of Zack Phillips?
2. DeSerres Redemption - Can he bounce back from last year's Memorial Cup Massacre courtesy of Windsor?
3. Youth- How will this young team deal with travel and distractions?
1. Goaltending - It was a revolving crease all playoffs long, will one guy run with it?
2. Wilson/Hishon - Teams will be gunning for these guys, how do they battle through it?
3. Avoiding Overwhelming Feeling - The Attack have made a great run so far, can they keep it going on a National stage?
1. Top Line Power - As the trio of Shugg, Smith-Pelly and Cizikas go so do the host team.
2. JP Anderson - The tender has been good but not great...yet.
3. Shooting Down Stigmas - Dave Cameron failed to win at WJC was it coaching? And how do they end 5 yr home ice jinx at Memorial Cup?
1. G.M. Leading Way - Jeff Chynoweth and his experience of winning a title in Ontario could be huge.
2. Lieuwen Lights Out- He was the WHL playoff MVP, can the pipeman keep it up?
3. Eakin Out More Offence - Cody Eakin was terrific at the WJC for Dave Cameron and has been lights out for Kootenay in the playoffs, he'll have to be just as dominant for the Ice to win.
The tournament starts Friday on Rogers Sportsnet and all your schedule needs can be found here. For the record, Guy has Saint John beating Kootenay in the final, I have the Ice taking out Mississauga.
If you missed parts of our Memorial Cup Preview Show, no worries. You can visit our media archive and listen to any segments or the whole show at your convenience. Do that... HERE.