There’s no place like home

"Good to see that the Smoke Eaters have drawn a couple of nice home crowds, not so good that they have lost more than they have won."

Good to see that the Smoke Eaters have drawn a couple of nice home crowds, not so good that they have lost more than they have won.

I have yet to see them play in this 2012/13 season (hoping to make Sunday’s game my first of the year), but the results themselves, the result of a large infusion of players paired with some talented returnees with a year of BCHL experience under their belts, are encouraging for a fan who witnessed the annus horribilis that was 2011/12. All fans, I expect.

Meanwhile, in that other world we have been inhabiting for the past three weeks, there has not been a single mention of ice hockey. NFL football, that other football, major league baseball, cricket, tennis, that other hockey, cycling, motorsports and golf have all had airtime, but not a minute of hockey news has surfaced on any channel while we have been sailing to the tropics and back – so it seems there has been no movement on the NHL front.

That should be good news for junior hockey, the Smokies and their Sunday foes from Merritt in particular, as fans get to see the entertainment value in their own back yards and perhaps desire more of it.

Here’s hoping there is actually a lot of that going around, for the Smokies, all local hockey fans and the businesses that benefit from having a BCHL franchise in this area.

• Our trip has been unique for us, not least because internet access (at the least expensive level $25/hour) is much too pricey to expend on much browsing of Canadian news sites. So if anything noteworthy has happened back home ($204 internet-fee dollars later) while we have baked and broiled and seen and learned in alien environments, we haven’t become aware of it – so are hoping to return to things that are pretty much as we left them.

Just a couple of days away from that now (as I write this). The trip wasn’t to be missed, but home is home.