How will we ever survive the N.H.L. playoffs without Canada?

This week's Hammertime questions NHL playoffs without Canadian teams.

As all the grand old traditions of spring magically unfold all around us we really deserve to get very excited about the always welcome appearance of nature’s finest within the warm and occasionally wet spirit of this great green and growing season. Of course all the sports players and fans of all ages will be preparing for their new season outside in the sun and occasional showers, but sadly for those of us who are avid ‘couch hockey fanatics’, we will have to somehow adjust to the fact that for the first time in 46 years there will not be a Canadian team in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Some will utter ‘who cares’, as they head outside to enjoy the walking and jogging and biking and wheeling in the fresh air to be enjoyed all on our own schedule and pace. The kids are already picking up teams for road hockey as well as finding a dry spot to kick around a soccer ball, playing some catch or batting out fly balls, digging out their cherished bag of marbles, or tagging along with their parents to register for all the many great spring and summer activities that are available in and around our community. Always required for this fresh new season of fun are coaches, officials, parents, fans, and volunteers for all events, who will quickly come together as a team to make it all happen. Some of the major sporting events scheduled for our area this spring are the Western Hockey League playoffs, the Junior ‘B’ Hockey Provincial championships and the Memorial Cup both in Red Deer, and there will be many others.

Of course many of us, especially seniors, will continue to browse through the far too many T.V. channels to check out the spring re-runs and new shows, and whether our favourites have survived or not, we may choose not to watch these ‘All American’ Stanley Cup playoffs? We will then likely flip over to the now wildly popular world of curling or WWF Wrestling, and can’t wait to tune in on our Blue Jays with hopes that they will pick up right where they left off last season.

Back to the National Hockey League, our Canadian teams have won the Stanley cup 41 times since 1927, and the only other time that a Canuck team didn’t make the playoffs was in 1970, when both the Montreal Canadians and the Toronto Maple Leafs missed the cut. Many of us will still watch some of the thrilling playoff action, but will certainly miss our Canadian National anthem and flag flying before the opening face-off of that great game that we introduced and shared with the world.

The definition of golf

Golf is a grand old game that consists of a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment, bad arithmetic, and occasional fits of stress. It is also a game of opposites, where the world’s slowest people are ahead of you and the fastest are right behind. Golf is a colorful sport that keeps you in the green, in the pink, and financially in the red, and can be played on Sundays (preferably after church) because it is not considered a game by law, but a form of moral effort. The game of Golf can be a lot like taxation as you drive hard to get to the green and then find yourself in a hole. The Golf Cart is a popular mode of transportation, because unlike a caddie, it can neither count, criticize, nor snicker. The definition of a Golfer is a person who yells ‘fore’, takes six, and puts down five; but golfers have all the advantage over the fisherman because they don’t have to bring anything home, and can always brag that they had a great day.. Book your tee time early this spring, and have a great week, all of you.