Stanley Cup: Jump on bandwagon and enjoy the ride

Picking Preds or Pens to win makes the Cup Final all the more interesting…

Not really a lot of Pittsburgh Penguins or Nashville Predators among my circle of friends. Most are original six stalwarts – you know, old.

Hockey, particularly playoff hockey – all sports, really – are more fun to spectate if you have a rooting interest, one based on something other than just anathema towards some player or players, or coaches, or historic slights (like my distaste for the Yankees).

So, heading into Game Five Thursday, I searched for something that locals can tie their interest to.

No former Smoke Eaters involved, but several former, and therefore of local interest, opponents from the BCHL. On that basis, Home of Champions hockey fans should lean towards Nashville. The Predators count four former BCHL players on their roster, three of them who have been regular contributors from the start of the playoffs. Even with top forward Ryan Johansen sidelined, the Preds BCHL-sourced regular players still number two, Colton Sissons and Matt Irwin, as opposed to just one, Justin Schultz, for the Penguins.

Schultz, of course, was a much admired enemy when he was a dominant force for Westside, Sissons, another Warriors’ grad, and Irwin, who played against Schultz’ Warriors for the Nanaimo Clippers’, likely made less of an impact on Smokie fans memories, but, still, two to one, in terms of players we have seen at Cominco Arena, in favour of Nashville.

Local fans of such as Bobby Orr and Larry Robinson might also lean towards Nashville, because the Predators play a more free-flowing, defencemen-involved kind of offence. Four of the top eight point producers for Nashville, two of the top three, are nominally defencemen. The Penguins have just Schultz (fifth) among their top 12.

There are the cities, though. Pittsburgh is a smelter town, like Trail, and, like Trail, has been beautifying itself out of its old industrial visage. Pittsburgh also played home for one of Trail’s best sporting exports, Jason Bay, launching him into a once unlikely career in the major leagues after most teams had passed him by. Nashville is country music Disneyland, with essentially nothing in common with the Silver City or Home of Champions other than many feel it might be a fun place to visit.

There, want a rooting interest not involved in anti-something-or-other, pick a justification above and get ready for game six Sunday. Don’t forget, though, while you are choosing, that local boy Glen Sanders, likely the reason for all the BCHL grads in the Predator system, has pretty big hopes involved in Nashville winning.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Lemon Creek fuel truck driver gets $20,000 fine

Danny LaSante was sentenced in Nelson court today

Actsafe BC brings expertise, new lighting to Trail theatre

Consultants are all technical directors in Vancouver theatres with years of experience in the field

Hospital improvements good news for entire region, says Trail mayor

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board will review the matter next month

Life insurance can be a business expense

Tax Tips & Pits with Ron Clarke, Trail Times columnist

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read