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HEADLINES & SIDELINES: On the fast train to nowhere

Random Sports Thoughts:

• The NHL playoffs are starting this week, the Toronto Maple Leafs having stumbled into April and seem headed for nowhere.

Of course, Leafs fans have been are hearing it from the haters: you get Dave running his mouth, even though his hapless Edmonton Oilers are one more lost season away from Connor McDavid demanding a trade out of northern Alberta; then there’s Roger, whose Montreal Canadiens couldn’t make it into the playoffs even though they have arguably the best goaltender in the world (Carey Price), and you’ve got Ken, who cheers for whichever team seems like the surest thing (it must be nice to give yourself options).

The NHL playoffs are hard to predict, although if you had to pick one team to win the Stanley Cup right now, the smartest bet would be the Tampa Bay Lightning, who were dominant in the regular season (62-16-4).

Upset that won’t really be an upset: St. Louis Blues over Winnipeg Jets.

The Surest Thing: I was going to say Boston over Toronto, but I’m not ready to accept that: at this point, I’d rather be in denial. Give it a week or so, and reality will set in.

So, I’ll go with Nashville Predators over Dallas Stars.

• A silver medal isn’t always shinier than a bronze, it only looks that way. The Pictou County Peewee AAA Crushers, playing at the Pictou County Wellness Centre in front of a good crowd, were happy to win their bronze medal game Sunday afternoon at the Atlantic championships; it was a subdued celebration but a celebration nonetheless. The St. John’s Hitmen lost in the gold medal game to the champion Bedford Blues and there was no silver celebration at all, really. I think the old guy was right: it’s better to win for a bronze than lose for silver (no offence to our Bantam AA girls).

• Unless you want to know some random person’s opinion on the weather, the Oscars or the Lavalin scandal, Twitter is almost useless, mostly just empty calories. Although, I did retweet a Twitter post from hockey expert Bob MacKenzie (or maybe he retweeted it from someone else, I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter).

“…have your kid play lacrosse, not summer hockey,” the tweet said in part.

It doesn’t have to be lacrosse – it could be baseball, or soccer, or golf or tennis – but it should be something that doesn’t involve pucks.

If the parents didn’t demand year-round hockey, it wouldn’t happen. It’s true that some kids love playing hockey 12 months of the year, but some kids also like play in mud puddles and stick metal forks into electrical outlets, and we don’t always let them do that, eh Mom?

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Non-Sports Thoughts of the Week:

• A field caught on fire the other day in Poplar Hill and reportedly ending up destroying a shed. Since fields don’t often spontaneously combust in early April, this could have been one of those times that someone tried to burn grass and bushes and shrubbery – which doesn’t do any good, by the way – and allowed it to get out of control. So now somebody needs a new shed.

• Don’t worry, it’s not about the beer.

In 2015, I went to the Riverfront Jubilee specifically to see Honeymoon Suite, and it pleasantly surprised me when teenagers started singing along to the hits from that 1980s Canadian rock band. Now that the Jubilee is closed to people who can’t legally drink, that’s no longer going to happen. Which is too bad.

Kevin Adshade is a writer with The News. His column appears each week.

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