Two games into a 68-game regular season is not a trend and should not be a concern.

I did notice though in the Prince George Cougars 5-3 and 4-1 losses on the opening weekend of the WHL regular season, that some of the concerns from the 2018-19 year repeated themselves.

Here are some observations.

The Cougars are not built to come-from-behind, yet in both games, they gave up the first two goals on home ice.

In fact, they were down 3-0, just past the eight-minute mark on Saturday.

Goalie Taylor Gauthier struggled both nights and I suspect he will play much better this weekend in Victoria.

I’m not sure if the stats would back this up but Gauthier, now in his third WHL season, has played better on the road than at home.

The Cougars need Gauthier to be no worse than a top-five goalie in the Western Conference if they are to be a playoff team.

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The Cougars lost the special teams battle, which often was the case last season.

Vancouver went 3/7 while PG was 1/12 on the power-play.

In other words, the Cougars had five more chances with the man advantage, yet gave up two more goals.

Again, if PG is to show marked improvement in the standings, both the P.P. and P.K. need a significant upgrade.

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The Cougars best line in both games was by far the trio of Tyson Upper, rookie Craig Armstrong and Mitch Kohner (who scored his first WHL goal in his second season).

They started as a third line but were given more ice time as the doubleheader wore on.

While it was encouraging to see that three blossom, there was a noticeable lack of production from some of the more experienced forwards.

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Overall, one has to remember the Cougars started against a team that came one goal shy of advancing to the Memorial Cup and the Giants have 16 returning players.

This weekend their opponent is a rebuilding team in the Victoria Royals that began their season with a 6-0 loss in Everett.

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It was hard not to notice attendance with just over 5,000 fans at CN Centre, not for one game, but for both combined (2,858 on opening night and 2,163 on Saturday).

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From Major Midget with the Cariboo Cougars to the WHL with the Victoria Royals, and onward to the AHL with the Manitoba Moose, the likeable goalie from Likely, B.C. is getting a shot with the pros.

Griffen Outhouse, 21, who led the Cariboo Cougars to the 2015 Mac’s International Midget Tournament title in Calgary, signed a one-year deal with the Moose.

Outhouse, who usually is at his best when the game is on the line in the third period, recently suited up at the Winnipeg Jets’ Rookie Showcase event in Belleville, Ont. where he had received an invite as an undrafted rookie.

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There isn’t much drama heading into the final weekend of the Major League Baseball regular season but the Toronto Blue Jays will try to play the role of spoiler.

The (65-94) Jays end a dismal season with three home games against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays actually have plenty on the line as they try to secure a wild-card playoff spot.

Tampa has a magic number of two to get in.

The Rays lead the Cleveland Indians by two games, with three to play, for the final berth.

The Indians, who have dropped their last two, play at Washington against a Nationals team that earlier this week secured a National League wild-card spot.

Next week, the baseball playoffs begin at the same time as the NHL gets going.

When the NBA starts on October 22nd, it will then become arguably the best in sports with football, hockey, baseball and basketball running at the same time.

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This is season two of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that predominately features the PG Cougars.

My second guest for year two is Cougars Associate Coach Jason Smith, who played over 1,000 NHL games before stepping behind the bench.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Donald Trump’s new golf course in Scotland has been given approval. Apparently, the funds to build it just became available from Ukraine.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

Former NFL receiver Antonio Brown landed in Rhode Island via private jet. Good thing he didn’t have to go through baggage claim because he’s got a lot of baggage.

*Al Michaels of NBC

Washington coach Jon Gruden says he’s not worried about his job security with team’s 0-3 record. Is this because no one else wants to take on the train wreck that is the Redskins?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Despite a horrendous 77-6 shellacking at the hands of Oregon, Nevada is still a respectable 3-1. Wasn’t Custer’s Regiment also 3-1 after Little Big Horn?

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Has there ever been a more fitting NFL team to tank than one called the Dolphins?

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


IN CASE YOU MISS
ED IT:

Ex-NBA star Jayson Williams drove his SUV off an exit ramp and into a tree, after which police say he refused to take a breathalyzer test. Maybe Williams was getting legal advice from Gilbert Arenas — he claimed he wasn’t loaded.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca