I was hopeful, but never quite saw this coming.
The Trail Smoke Eaters, after a truly disasterous beginning of the season, have morphed into one of the best junior A teams in the country.
It would still be nice to see even a slight improvement in offensive contributions by lines three and four, but with last weekend’s sweep – it is not, never has been, easy to sweep Vernon – Trail ranks among the top 25 teams in the country and is climbing fast.
That, as I said, despite the crappy, no good, really terrible, first three weeks of the 2019/20 campaign.
There has been improvement, sometimes marked improvement, across the board, and a couple of new and returning faces have more than fit in.
Saturday’s tight contest was as good a game as I have seen at Cominco Arena in a while.
This weekend will be a slog, with lots of bus time and always unwelcoming barns in the mix, but the last game, when Trail finally, after five long periods, seemed to have worn down the dynamic Vipers, should give fans hope for positive results.
There is a long way, schedule-wise, to go, and other teams will continue to tweak and improve themselves, especially Interior Division teams, but the pieces seem to be in place for Trail to contend till the end.
• Semi-sad to see Don Cherry, almost inadvertently honest, end his career the way he did it. But, his neo-vaudeville act wore thin for me, and many others, long ago.
Cherry’s resistance to change, belittling of other’s, their ideas and even their cultures, made it seem as if he thought Archie Bunker was an icon of character and citizenship. His promotion of more, not less, violence in hockey, despite all the evidence of the damage concussive impacts have done to the health and futures of many players, was nothing more than self-absorbed, ignorant, attention seeking.
There will still be a lot of people (a dwindling number, we should all hope) who defend his boorishness, and it could, like the Bunker family patriarch, be entertaining.
We should be ready to move on to more civilized, and illuminating discourse.
There are reasons no team has been willing to bring Don Cherry on board for four decades, after all, despite his, “entertainment,” value. He was, simply put, out of touch with the modern game, just as with modern society.
I seek out, purchase (although no purchase is necessary) and humbly wear a poppy during Remembrance season, and would love to see the citizenry unanimously adorned with them. I encourage everyone to do so, too.
I don’t, and nobody else should, either, flippantly denigrate as worthless anyone not so adorned. Freedom has meaning, has been painfully earned, and should be treasured.
Don has his now, without the restrictions concerning civility we expect from our privileged spokespeople.
Hockey, and Canada, will get along just fine going forward.