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

Trail Smoke Eaters to host Cranbrook Bucks to open exhibition season

The BCHL announces a 100-plus game exhibition season

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Trail Kiwanians wrap up $10,000 hospital donation

The new KBRH emergency department opened its doors a few weeks ago

LeRoi Foundation donates to hospital in Trail

$5,000 comes to KBRH via Community Foundations Canada and ECSF

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read