It seems like only yesterday that the Junior A Crushers were getting bounced out of the Maritime Hockey League playoffs, a Game 7 loss in overtime against the Amherst Ramblers.
In a couple of weeks, though, the Crushers will begin another training camp, getting ready for the six-month grind of the regular season.
General manager Chad McDavid expects that the league will be wide open, with a lot of parity around the 12-team loop.
Last season, the Crushers had the MHL’s best record in the regular season, but we all know how that turned out. (The year prior, the Crushers were fourth in their division and ended up wining a league championship, proving – for those who didn’t already know it – that all you have to do is get in the playoffs, and who knows what might happen from there?)
The Crushers have guys coming back that are known producers in the MHL: Michael Dill, last season’s scoring champion – and rookie-of-the-year Dylan Riley, to name a couple. They may not have the explosive offence they showed a year ago, when they feasted on the MHL’s lesser teams, but they shouldn’t struggle for goals, either.
So, it’s a safe bet to declare the Crushers are not going to be terrible (not exactly a snappy team slogan to start the 2017-18 season, but it could be worse).
Other Random Sports Thoughts:
• Pictou County’s athletes are coming without a medal from the 2017 Canada Games, unless cyclist Tim Shea medals in the criterium road cycling race Saturday.
Otherwise, the closest anyone came would be Randall Bernard, whose men’s softball team, at one point, was within a win of at least getting a bronze. If anyone is disappointed by the lack of Canada Games hardware, they shouldn’t be: our athletes hung in there with the country’s best, and deserve applause for all the effort needed to get there in the first place.
• If the Toronto Blue Jays could ever go on an extended winning streak, they would find themselves in contention for the playoffs. A couple of weeks ago, I figured they were ready for burial, but somehow, they’re still alive and while the Blue Jays have a few teams to jump over in the chase for the final wild card berth, they are only four games out, with plenty of time.
Non–Sports Thought of the Week:
• It’ll be 40 years on Aug. 16 since Elvis Presley – he’ll always be the King of Rock ’n’ Roll – slid off his throne and went face-down on his plush bathroom carpet. Dead at 42, Elvis was done in by all the pills, and a diet made in hell.
His longtime cook once described a typical Elvis meal in the morning (or whenever he got out of bed): “For breakfast, he'd have homemade biscuits fried in butter, sausage patties, four scrambled eggs and sometimes fried bacon,'' she said. “I'd bring the tray up to his room, he'd say, 'This is good, Mary.' He'd have butter running down his arms.”
A couple of things Elvis proved in his lifetime: a little boy from Tupelo could change the world, and you can’t live to 43 if you’re scarfing down food like that.
Kevin Adshade is sportswriter with The News. His column appears each Saturday.