Whew. Thank you, Tampa Bay – you showed up on the schedule in the nick of time. I was started to get worried about the Maple Leafs, who, playing actual good teams of late, had lost five in a row before the woeful Lightning came to Toronto on Wednesday.
It was beginning to look a lot like last season, when the Leafs suffered an epic collapse and made me hate them. It's going to be a dogfight for most teams, this battle to reach the NHL playoffs in what is a weird and strange lockout-shortened season. As I often say, you can't get too high or too low over a game or three. Although if you're, say, the Oilers, Sharks or Capitals, the time to panic might be just around the corner. Yup, feel free to start panicking any day now.
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While it's sad to see people lose their jobs with the closing of Linacy Greens golf club, for the past few years it seemed to be a "not if, but when" scenario. When Linacy Greens and Glen Lovat opened within a year or two of each other back in the early 2000s, I asked a local expert on the business of golf – who shall remain nameless because it was a conversation that was off-the-record – about the viability of three big courses in a golf market like Pictou County. He was doubtful, stating that when Abercrombie was the only 18-hole golf course in Pictou County, there was a need for one more. But not two.
The market was barely able to support three 18-hole courses even when the economy was on fire (relatively speaking), so it was reasonable to assume that one of the two newer courses would eventually fold. Glen Lovat survived, Linacy Greens did not. I'll miss the second hole at Linacy, especially when the wind was howling on the downhill par-3. That was a picturesque, fun hole to play.
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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: unless they want to develop a complex, New Glasgow (or rather, Pictou County in general) is going to have to start ignoring MoneySense magazine, which released its rankings this week on the top places to live in Canada. Pictou County finished dead last in 2012 out of 190 communities, but this year we finished fifth-to-last, although more communities were ranked this year (200). It's almost like we got worse, although things aren't so bad: Truro ranked 181st, which is nothing to brag about either (although it is better than 196th), and Montreal, a great city of culture, beauty and character, finished out of the Top 120.
Do you think Montrealers give a hoot, especially with the Canadiens in first place? No, they're having too good a time.
We know the economy here isn't great (some would argue it isn't even good), with lots of things closing down and not much opening up. We know that when it gets too cold for Melmerby Beach, there's not much else to do in Pictou County but Facebook or go to a hockey rink. But we've got some cool stuff: we have some semi-famous and infamous people who walk among us; most of us are willing to work reasonably hard, although not enough to completely wear us out; everybody plays a guitar or fiddle or the spoons or something; and Dave Gunning just won Song of the Year at the ECMAs (I like that song better every time I hear it, by the way).
Besides, we in Pictou County are nice people – at least until we're at the grocery store and damn if someone else is gonna get in line ahead of us. I say "relax" about MoneySense and stop drawing attention to it. Complaining about it ad nauseam starts to sound pathetic.
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.