Rosters are set. Now for the run-in to the playoffs.
The Smoke Eaters made only one late change, so should be able to be consistent across the roster for that run-in, and the lone newcomer will have ample opportunity to become comfortable with the home area and facilities, and his new teammates – after tonight, Trail has seven of its next eight games on Cominco Arena ice.
The Smokies had better be home barn stalwarts, because the remainder of the season contains six of the final eight games on the road, including one session of 40 hours on the road wrapped around three tough games in four days, beginning on Valentine’s Day.
There is still the potential for the Smoke Eaters to grab a top-two spot and a first round home series. First place is still doable. Even though the Vipers have already clinched a playoff spot, Vernon is just six points in front of Trail. Lots of skating to go, but it would be fun if Trail’s end-of-season visit to Vernon had first place implications.
First things first, however. Tonight will be tough, but it is long past time Trail got some points out of outplaying the Merritt Centennials on Cominco Arena ice, and the standings points will be crucial to the final placings in the Interior. Not too soon for many to start sharing those, “extra,” tickets which came in their season ticket packages, either.
• Been watching curling of late. As weird as its organization seems, the mixed doubles works to bring drama to its contests, and the Roar games were exciting.
In the meantime, still bemused by the fact that, more or less as we speak, Canada’s number-1 ranked men’s team is involved in a playoff, with Brazil, for the right to take part in the Mens’ World Championship for 2018.
Just another foolish offshoot of countries concentrating on the Olympic Games – Brazil spending money to earn qualification points for the Games despite never having won a challenge game, in four tries against the Americans, and the nation itself having no connection to ice sports, at all.
Not as if other parts of the Brazilian society almost being bankrupted by big events (World Cup and Olympic Games and heavy, accumulating ongoing costs from both), could not have used the money more usefully than funding a curling vacation to Sin City.