Pick of the Day: Pats vs Broncos

As I've bitched before in prairie dog, hockey season, which in the junior ranks starts in mid-September, and which in the pro ranks doesn't end until early June, is waaaay too long. Now that we're into late October though, and baseball is winding down, and football (of the CFL variety, anyway) is gearing up for the playoffs, it's not inappropriate to start thinking about hockey.

After enduring an off-season of turmoil, in which they fired coach Dale Derkatch and re-hired former bench boss Curtis Hunt after his dismissal as an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators, the Pats stumbled badly out of the gate going 1-4 in their first five games and being outscored 20-10. They received short-lived boost when forward Jordan Eberle (pictured) and defencenman Colten Teubert returned from NHL training camps, scoring a bucketful of goals in a handful of wins, but have since regressed and sit dead last in the East Division.

As with innumerable past seasons, the team has failed to play up to expectations, and has sorely lacked the necessary grit and discipline to succeed in the always tough WHL. Destined to lose Eberle and Teubert to the Canadian Junior team in mid-December, and facing lengthy stints on the road in mid-November to accommodate Agribition and late-December when Regina co-hosts the world junior championship with Saskatoon, it's imperative that the team pile up the points now to give it a cushion for the tough stretch to come.

Tonight, the Pats host the Swift Current Broncos at Brandt Centre. I won't be able to attend. But if you do go, and you happen to see a certain high-profile individual in the crowd who hails from Speedy Creek be sure to say Hi from all of us at prairie dog okay?

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