MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Something to cheer about

I’ve been watching a lot of hockey lately, if the truth be told

I’ve been watching a lot of hockey lately, if the truth be told, as the NHL games take on more meaning inching closer to the playoffs, which is likely concerning to my wife as when the playoffs start the TV viewing goes to a whole other level, unfortunately.

Well, at least as long as the Canucks stick around and right now it’s still a battle to get into the playoffs, see previous sentence for reference sake.

Of course just when hockey gets interesting the spring yardwork blooms into play and that creates even more tension on the homefront but we’ll save that for another day, let’s just say it’s under negotiation and so far things are fine. We actually launched the tree pruning and garden cleanup season last weekend, which to me is way ahead of schedule, and it actually felt good to clean up a little from the ravages of winter during a beautiful sunny day in the neighbourhood, and even reconnect with some of the neighbours too as we all got started on our outdoor to-do list. And apparently our to-do list is especially long this year, my homefront advisor, hi honey, tells me.

But for now, back to hockey. Thank goodness.

First and foremost, after an amazing March, I’m currently leading the in-house Morning Star hockey pool. I’m not counting my money at the table, so to speak, but I thought I’d mention it while I can and on at least that front the season can’t end soon enough.

However, what a ride it’s been lately for beleaguered Canadian hockey fans.

Of course the two exceptions, and it’s getting to be like Groundhog Day on these two fronts, are Edmonton and Toronto. Nuff said.

But in Ottawa former Viper Andrew Hammond is starring as the Hamburglar in a movie that’s attracting national attention as the Senators take a run for a playoff spot after being left for dead at the trade deadline.

The Disney-like movie hit a roadblock on Thursday night in New York, although Vernon’s Curtis Lazar scored his fifth of the season, but, hey, that just makes it better when they edge out the Bruins for the last playoff spot. Right?

Then there’s the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames who are giving their playoff-starved fans a run for their money with a late surge for glory in cities where they likely didn’t think this would be the year, or maybe even next.

The Flames especially thought this would be another rebuilding year (see Edmonton over the last decade for reference) but thanks to great coaching, a plucky young team that never says die and a work ethic that makes up for any lack of superstars and you have a team on fire (yes, it’s a pun) all year long.

And the beauty is if the Flames and the Jets make the playoffs, the dreaded L.A. Kings likely won’t, but we won’t go there quite yet, although I guess I just did.

Carey Price is writing his own hall-of-fame-season in Montreal and the Habs are a lock for the playoffs and hopefully a long run but they better start remembering how to score goals again, and pronto.

Which brings us to Vancouver where former backup Eddie Lack is backstopping a playoff run, which at one point included the top three or four defencemen on the shelf, giving us fans at least some hope of glory, although anxiety and fear of failure still haunt us, Or at least me.

But, mostly, it’s all great fun to be a Canadian hockey fan once again and the yardwork will just have to wait til June.

Just kidding, honey, sort of.

My only complaint is the NHL has to one day move to three points for a regulation win, two points for an OT or shootout win, and just one for an extra-time loss to make things even more interesting after the trade deadline and get away from teams playing for 0-0 ties and……ah, forget about it, just enjoy the dramatic run for the playoffs will you?