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HEADLINES & SIDELINES: The Occasional Mid-Week Edition

Hockey playoff time:

• A couple of years ago, I was up at the Canadian Tire store looking for something, when a stranger approached me and asked if I was that guy who writes for the paper.

“Uh-oh, this might not be good,” I said to self.

Because it can go either way, sometimes.

She said she enjoyed the things I write about Boston: the Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots (thank you, Philadelphia Eagles), the people, the crime, the guns, the killings, Brad Marchand, all those hateful, evil things that are easy targets.

And get this: she was actually from Boston – that distinct accent is hard to miss, as you know – but she was nice about the whole thing, and taking it all with good humour (although, I can’t lie: I wasn’t really trying to be funny).

I don’t know if she still reads this, but we can assume she knows the Bruins are playing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the NHL playoffs and, therefore, the hatred for the Bruins, never truly dormant within me, is starting to feel more acute.

Even their black-and-yellow jerseys (not gold, but yellow) are hard to look at.

The Leafs’ playoff disaster of 2013 against Boston still bothers me a whole bunch (Toronto famously blew a 4-1 lead with 12 minutes to go in Game 7) and, thusly, it would behoove myself and fans everywhere if the Leafs, wearing those iconic blue-and-white uniforms, would beat the Bruins and chase that ghost away.

It’s time to take out the trash. Leafs win, in six games.

• Upset Special: Columbus over Washington.

• Teams I might cheer for: the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers. The Jets because they are a Canadian-based team, the Flyers because we’ve seen the Pittsburgh Penguins win enough Stanley Cups and don’t need to see any more.

Incidentally, it might be time to think of Sidney Crosby as the greatest player in Pittsburgh Penguins history. He now has more Stanley Cups than Mario Lemieux, is more durable, and is just as dominant in his era as Lemieux was in his (Mario was dominant over everyone whose name is not Wayne Gretzky).

Just throwing that out there.

* * *

Some social media windbag nobody named Nora Loreto took to Twitter this week and said the following about the tragic circumstances that took place last Friday in Saskatchewan, when 15 people were killed after a hockey team’s bus collided with a truck.

She was apparently responding to the amount of money raised so far, money that will go to the families of the victims who perished, and the survivors, too.

“I'm trying to not get cynical about what is a totally devastating tragedy but the maleness, the youthfulness and the whiteness of the victims are, of course, playing a significant role.”

Yes, let’s bring race and gender into this, because that’s what’s really important – not the smashed bodies piled along a rural Saskatchewan highway, but the fact they were young, white males.

Kevin Adshade is a sportswriter with The News. His column appears each Saturday.

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