Saturday, 31 March 2018

#WMCC2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Canada vs Sweden Rivalry Continues
Can anyone stop a 2017 final repeat in Las Vegas?

44 games and counting.  Approaching 2 years.  Canada is one week away from being undefeated at the World Championships, men's and women's, for 2 YEARS!!  The last Canadian loss at a world championship was Niklas Edin defeating Kevin Koe in the RR back in 2016.  Of course Koe would go on to win his next four games en route to the world title and Canada has not looked back since.

As the 2018 World Men's Curling Championship is set to hit the ice in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend all eyes will be on Canada's Brad Gushue.  The team from The Rock come to Vegas fresh of defending their Brier title a few weeks ago in Regina and will look to go 2 for 2 on the #defendtheice theme by trying to replicate their world title victory from a season ago in Edmonton, AB.

Gushue will walk into the Orleans Arena as favourites but they will not be considered overwhelming favourites.  Watch out for the #SwedishVikings who have revenge on their minds!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018


#BetweenTheSheets: Format Frustrations Continue
The debate on which playoff format is better for curling rages on *sigh*....

The World Women's Curling Championships wrapped up for another year this past weekend in North Bay, Ontario.  Fans were treated to some outstanding curling throughout the week.  We had some tight battles.  We had some #StealPants victories.  We had some lopsided scorelines.  Pretty consistent with most year's championships I would say.  Outside of course of the special mention to the fans setting a new women's world championship attendance record in Canada! 

The World Curling Federation also unveiled their new format for the world championships.  A new 13-team round robin played out with the Top 6 teams advancing to the playoff round, no tiebreakers allowed.  This is not new news as this format shift was announced months in advance and everyone "should" have been well aware of the new format.  Apparently, similar to the Brier/Scotties, once again we discover the old fact of life we all know and love: you can't please everyone!


Monday, 19 March 2018


#BetweenTheSheets: It's Not Me, Its You!
Free agent frenzy heating up the curling ice

Do do do
Down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down
Breaking up is hard to do

Don't take your love away from me
Don't you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I'll be blue
'Cause breaking up is hard to do
- Neil Sedaka "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"

Yup this is happening folks. Welcome to curling's edition of #MarchMadness. No we are not talking about the grand slam of curling events still to take place nor the world championship events. We are talking about the hottest topic to hit the ice every four year: Free Agency!

With the current Olympic cycle coming to a rest the time has come for teams to start looking ahead and plan for the next four-year cycle. As we know Year 1 is a throw away year in a sense. Players can jockey (no no not THAT kind of jockey, although for some it might have double meaning) for position and take the free pass tryout with a three new players for one season to see how things are going. The Olympic points race only starts to heat up in Year 2 remember.

A player can now take the risk-free path next season and perhaps play with a few players they have always wanted to play with. Maybe we see players even try different positions and try to catch their slider on a nice path for the future. Who knows? All we know for sure is, as Julie Chen would say on Big Brother, "Expect the Unexpected".

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

#Brier2018 Takeout Shots

#BetweenTheSheets: The Brier 2018 Takeout Shots
The Hits and Misses of the Rumble in Regina

The 2018 Tim Hortons Brier is in the books.  When the final rock came to a stop on the button Sunday evening Canada rejoiced.  Yes, Team Canada I mean as Team Gushue successfully defended their Brier championship from a year ago and will now attempt to win back to back world championships in Las Vegas in April.

But the Team Canada fans were not the only one's celebrating.  All of Canada should be celebrating.  Curling fans were treated to a great event over the 10 days of competition....from the Hot Shots and Wildcard play-in game to the Championship Final.  There were moments of greatness.  There were moments of sadness.  There were moments of frustration.  There were moments of high energy excitement.  The Brier truly offered something for everyone, new and old fans alike.  Heck I even had a fan from Sydney, Australia watch a game online and engage on social media with questions and noted his new found love for the sport.  How cool is that?

The #TwineTime blog enjoyed the entire time in Regina.  From the action on the ice to the fun in the patch to the time spent watching my brother start to fully enjoy curling, a great time was had.  Lets start by thanking Curling Canada for once again accepting this blog into the media bench family once again.  I continue to be humbled and thankful for every opportunity and experience!

But it cannot always be a love affair right?  Hits and misses occur every event...and not just in the shots taking place on the ice.  With #TwineTime having a front row seat to the action all week there were quite a few notes made in preparation of the wrap-up blog post.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

#Brier2018 Midterm Grades

#BetweenTheSheets: Brier Midterm Grades
Who is making the cut, barely passing and failing?

The annual tradition of crowning our national men's curling championship is well under way in my hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan.  The games have been a mixture of high quality shot making and lopsided scores.  The crowds have been supportive of great shots with an extra feeling of anxiety/excitement whenever #TeamGreen steps onto the ice.  And the weather.....oh the weather!

#TwineTime has been in attendance since the Friday Hot Shots competition and taking in every draw, analyzing the shots on the ice and looking at how teams are performing....all with the big red marker at my side.

The blog tradition continues. Time to hand out the midterm grades for Brier 2018!

Friday, 2 March 2018

#Brier2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: The Rumble In Regina
#TwineTime welcomes special guest Matthew Hall to preview the Brier field

The Rumble in Regina.  The Smackdown in Saskatchewan.  Call it what you want but the theme is the same.  A battle is brewing and ready to hit the ice at the Brandt Centre in Regina starting Friday night and concluding with the crowning of Team Canada 10 days later.  17 teams enter the arena.  1 survives.  Who writes their own Sweet Saskatchewan Story?  Or their own Regina Riches theme song?

The 2018 Winter Olympics are barely in our rear view mirror but who has time for post-Olympic hangover?  Canadian curling fans are already looking ahead and getting ready for another incredible week of curling action with the start of the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier.

And this year will be an interesting one.  We have experienced skips and past champions returning.  We have rookie skips and teams ready to show they belong with the big boys.  We have a new format.  We have a new team designation.  Like I said, it will be a Rumble in Regina....but are you ready for it?