ADSHADE: Looking toward a golden future

Kevin Adshade
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With the New Year comes opportunity for a fresh start, a chance for all of us to make ourselves better, improve our lives a little – or a lot – and to better the lives of those around us in a small way. It is also an opportunity for fearless prognostications from sportswriters who can't bring themselves to do one of those "a look back at 2013" pieces. It's easy to tell you what already happened, it's much harder to tell you what is going to happen. 

Solid Gold: Canadians will win medals in skiing, snowboarding, speedskating and other Olympic sports, but what will capture our attention the most is men's hockey, our focal point when the world's athletes gather in Sochi, Russia, in February. 

They can't top their dramatics of the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, but Team Canada will win in Russia just like in the Summit Series of 1972, and it will be extra sweet because it will be on Russian soil. Another element is that Russia is starting to seem dislikeable again, with their government acting a little crazy of late. Not Cold War-style goofiness, mind you, but goofy nonetheless, so we shall take extra pleasure in stomping them at their own house.

Canada's women's hockey team will be after another gold medal too – they've won the three most recent Olympic golds – but since the U.S. is the only other country that can ice a credible hockey team, women's hockey just isn't as compelling. Bobbi Jo might not like that, but it's true.

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Super Hyper-Bowl(e): I see a Super Bowl in early February between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. The Seahawks have home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and they are extremely tough at home. The Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, are on a mission after their disastrous playoff game against Baltimore a year ago. One could make a case for New England (Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick can make chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what), maybe San Francisco, or maybe another team that gets hot at the right time, but Seattle/Denver is your best bet.

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Stanley Staying Out West: If the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks or San Jose Sharks make it to the Stanley Cup final this coming spring, I can't see an Eastern Conference team capable of beating any of those teams in a seven-game series. It could happen obviously, but it won't. The west is dominating the east this NHL season, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. 

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Predicting a World Series champion before January is nearly impossible, but if I had to choose one right now I'd go with the Detroit Tigers for three reasons: pitching, pitching and more pitching.

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Crushed Ice: the Junior Crushers will capture their first-ever Maritime Hockey League championship in the spring. I say this for two reasons:

1.) I'm still feeling the Christmas spirit of positivity and they're the local team, so why not?

2.) The Crushers are actually good enough to do it: they've got enough offence, defence, goaltending and playoff experience from 2013; and the added motivation of losing that seventh game to the Truro Bearcats last season. If I were the Crushers I'd have kept  Game 7 memory front and centre from the moment they left the ice in Truro after suffering that heartbreaking defeat.  

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Finally, may I say with all sincerity that I hope the year ahead is a better one for all, and if it should be that way, it'll start with you and me, because we can't count on others to do all the heavy lifting for us. Some of it, yes, but not all of it.

Peace and good fortune in 2014.


Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.

Organizations: Solid Gold, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos Team Canada Summit Series Chicago Blackhawks San Jose Sharks NHL Detroit Tigers Maritime Hockey League

Geographic location: Russia, Sochi, Canada U.S. Baltimore New England San Francisco Seattle Truro

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