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HEADLINES & SIDELINES: The season is here. Now what?


It’s the dawning of a new Maritime Junior Hockey League in which good things are expected for the Junior A Crushers. 
A year ago, September and October were brutal for Pictou County, they won the first game of the season and waited two months until the next one. They found themselves so far behind the eight-ball, that not even a torrid stretch of winning in the middle of the season could bring them all the way back.
Two straight seasons of no playoff hockey isn’t something the Crushers faithful had been accustomed to (they had never missed the playoffs in the first 13 years the team existed). While there’s no point in looking far ahead to next spring, the Crushers have to be intent on not messing around in the early part of the season: stack some wins together, stay on top of things. 
Training camp had barely started in late August, but coach Mike Danton and since-appointed captain Jake Martin were in lock-step about at least one thing: keep trucking north, and don’t let their playoff hopes head south.
Other Random Sports Thoughts:
• The first weekend of the National Football League season looked very familiar: the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots were blowing somebody out of the stadium (33-3 over Pittsburgh); the much-hyped Cleveland Browns lost their season opener (for the 20th time in 21 years) and looked really bad while doing it, committing 18 penalties, the most infractions they’ve had in one game since 1951; and the Miami Dolphins were embarrassed by a 59-10 margin on their home turf against the Baltimore Ravens. Dolphins’ fans just don’t seem to care anymore, and they really haven’t since Dan Marino played for them.
• Bianca Andreescu’s historic win at the U.S. Open on Sept. 7, when she became the first Canadian to ever win a Grand Slam tennis tournament by beating Serena Williams (greatest female player of all time), is not an anomaly, it’s a sign of things to come. 
Andreescu has enough talent that she will win a few of these in the years ahead, as long as she stays healthy and ambitious. Mind you, I said the same thing about Eugenie Bouchard a few years ago, and she’s already a has-been: it won’t be long before she’s teaching tennis at some swanky club in Montreal, living on her laurels (one could rightfully ask: what laurels?)
• Here’s how spoiled sports fans are in Boston: less than a year after the Red Sox won the World Series, the fans were clamouring so loudly for the head of president Dave Dombrowski, that he was fired on the weekend.
Build a championship team? Great! 
Have one bad season? See ’ya!
Non-Sports Thoughts of the Week:
• I truly believe that, when the federal election debates are held next month, Elizabeth May could demolish Justin Trudeau. He doesn’t deal with adversity well, he kind of stammers and stutters, hems and haws and does it for so long, that everybody forgets what he was talking about in the first place.
• So, I stayed up really late Saturday night and into the wee hours of early Sunday, just in case Hurricane Dorian was going to bring the world to an end. If it was going to happen, I wanted to be awake for it. The power went out just after midnight, and I had just woken up on Sunday morning when the lights flickered back on. I didn’t even miss my morning cup(s) of coffee, so all was good. 
All that aside, it is amazing what Mother Nature can do, when she’s in a cranky mood and wants you to know about it.

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

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