The season is upon us on all sides now.
The Smoke Eaters finally get 2014/15 started tomorrow and will be home next weekend. So the result of all that roster-changing, conditioning and community involvement will be in evidence, on the ice and in the stands, for Smokie hockey-hungry fans to see.
It does seem a lot of intelligent effort has gone into the creation of this year’s team, and one hopes it pays off in a strong season, playoff action and at least a bit of profit for the Trail squad and its dedicated volunteers.
• Meanwhile, the Neil Murdoch Division KIJHL standings must appear to supporters of the Nitehawks as looming from the wrong side of the looking glass.
Beaver Valley is at the bottom of those standings, Grand Forks is at the top.
After three games last season, the Nitehawks were 3-0, they finished September 5-0 and despite having a bit of trouble getting over Nelson, showed every sign of becoming what they became – the most successfull edition in the franchise’s history.
Of course it is very early and the coaching staff in Fruitvale will emphasize that (It’s really all they’ve got right now), but Nitehawks fans are not used to even occasional lulls and will expect things to change – starting tonight in the Hawk’s Nest.
The visitors will be the much reviled Nelson Leafs, the only opponent the Nitehawks have not lost to so far. That is one more point, by the way, than the Nitehawks took from currently second place Nelson in the first two months of last season.
Beaver Valley is still Beaver Valley. The same more-than-solid recruiting and coaching crew is in charge and I have no doubt things will turn around sooner rather than later. Still, there is bound to be a little tension in the Hawks’ Nest tonight as fans yearn for that usual dominating feeling to return.
• Just returned from a long road trip of my own, and I have one request of game goers, and drivers in general. Leave whatever electronic device you are welded/wedded to turned OFF while travelling to and from the rink, or anywhere else.
It is disturbing the way people who have not learned how to properly use turn signals and check blind spots (most of you) are so confident in their abilities to talk, text and otherwise distract themselves from the serious business of operating heavy machinery at high and low speeds.
Can’t enjoy the action on the ice unless you get there.