Trail Times columnist Dave Thompson

Hope will overcome disappointment

The Smoke Eaters still near the top of both division and league, and Sunday’s game, extreme outlier

Still hopeful, despite a couple of disappointing events in the past few days.

The Smoke Eaters were absolutely terrible in all phases of hockey Sunday, in front of the biggest Sunday regular season crowd in years. Good thing it is just one game, and I hope it rankles that Vernon came in after losing to Surrey, which would be sitting sixth in the Interior.

Not sure what the lesson was that the Vipers learned from losing to a weaker team, on home ice, but I hope the Smokies can absorb that lesson, quickly, too.

The reverse results for both teams, back to back reversals of fortune, really, emphasize the simple fact that junior A players are just kids, and as such have emotional and physical swings all the time.

As it is, the Smoke Eaters are still near the top of both the division and the league, and Sunday’s game was an extreme outlier. A small increase of intensity, and a little luck, should keep them progressing. Smokie coaches, heading into a tough, tough, two-game weekend, likely have had their work cut out for them – particularly since other teams have likely pored over the video from Sunday – but it is far too early to be anything but positive about Trail’s playoff, and more, chances.

Big incentives for fans tomorrow night. First chance to see the Vees, along with gambling loot on offer. It will give organizers a chance to see just how well the local version of, “Hockey Night,” stands up to the on-air one.

************

Not sure, and not because of the disappointing result for real ball fans Wednesday, I like the direction Major League Baseball is taking. More than half of all at bats end up in strikeouts or home runs. That means the rest of the game – defensive awareness, fielding and baserunning – is on limited view.

I like baseball in all its facets, and the, lively (to put it mildly) ball reduces the offence to a slo-pitch kind of action and tempo, along with diminishing the impact of defensive skills and the interest of those of us who enjoy such things.

A new all-time record seems to be set every at bat these days – which diminishes, too, the history of the game.

Oh, well, go Dodgers.

*************

Just a reminder, if you have household/yard work getting ready for winter that is physically difficult, the Smoke Eaters are glad to lend a hand most days, and the price is right. Had some of that action myself this week, and the kids are willing, agreeable and coachable – and you get to meet them helmetless, so identifiable. An opportunity for community outreach in both directions.

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