Trail Times file photo

First-round sweeps highlight world of hockey oddities

Sports ‘n’ Things with Dave Thompson

Strange days in the hockey world.

The record setting Tampa Bay Lightning, albeit with a couple of key injuries, have been swept out of the Stanley Cup playoffs by a team that only made it into those playoffs by the thinnest of margins (one less win down the stretch and the mediocre Montreal Canadians would have supplanted Columbus in the post season).

The New York Islanders, supposedly fated to dwindle away after their big gun, and captain, moved to Toronto, also got a sweep in the first round, against the almost always mighty Pittsburgh Penguins, no less.

AND, neither Canada nor America legitimately won the Women’s World Hockey Championship. Okay, the Yankettes were given the gold, given being the operative term here, despite what all the evidence shows to by Finland legitimately outplaying and beating the defending champs. C’mon, the American goaltender was scored on, while being assessed a tripping penalty. In what rational universe could that lead to the goal being disallowed for interference on that goaltender?

It makes sense only if the next World’s is being held in North America and a repeat defending champion would be a much better ticket draw than a deserved runner-up. Guess What?

• On the more predictable side, Prince George has continued as a dominant force throughout the playoffs, winning 15 of 16 games in the four rounds through Tuesday, with only two of those wins coming via overtime. The Game-4 score had not come through when this was done, but it will be a major shock if the Spruce Kings do not play the nationally top-ranked Brooks Bandits for the B.C/Alta Canadian Championship spot.

• On the local front, a bunch of former Smokies are getting a shot at the big time, although I am told Craig Martin has decided to wait till next year to fully exercise that option.

Better news is that, because they played Junior A rather than major junior, all were eligible for, and took advantage of, NCAA education/hockey opportunities, to the point that all have completed or are very near completion of university degrees.

So, however the pro hockey trials work out, the future looks bright for all of them.

• AND, baseball is back all over town, with all-star tryouts beginning Monday for the U16 and U19 groups hoping to make the travelling to Spokane elite leagues squads. U13s will hold their tryouts in another week.

Look out the window. If it isn’t raining too hard there is usually a local ball game that would love your company going on.

There is still a need for umpires. More players, more games, more officials needed. If you have a day or two at your disposal, and want to really learn the game better while helping out the kids, give Bill MacMillan a shout at bipamac@telus.net.

You may be surprised, a lot, by how much a little umpire training improves your appreciation, and enjoyment of, the game. Next best job to actually coaching or interacting with the players, too.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Trail reviewing organizational structure

Brentwood Advisory Group awarded $69,000+ contract

Know a candidate for Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year?

Nomination period for the annual award is open until April 9

Grand Forks company donates to emergency department campaign

Construction now underway at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Casting on the Columbia

West Kootenay Fishing Report is in today’s Trail Times

Air quality advisory in effect for West Kootenay

The special statement was issued Wednesday afternoon

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

Most Read