It is the most wonderful time of the year!

Sorry Andy Williams, I am not talking about Christmas.

For the sports fan, mid-October is usually about as good as it gets.

Welcome to the “real” best time of the year.

NHL:

The NHL’s regular season is three days old and with this being the first week, even the Buffalo Sabres believe they can win the Stanley Cup.

Okay, that is a bit of a stretch despite the Sabres 5-1 victory over Montreal in their opener.

There is nothing though stopping fans in the nation’s capital from fantasizing about the Ottawa Senators actually thinking they have an NHL team to watch.

The Senators also started with a victory, 3-2 over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I am not sure who the best of the seven Canadian teams will be this season, but it is a good bet the Sens will be at the bottom.

The Vancouver Canucks, in all likelihood, will be improved, but the question is by how much?

Will they be closer to the team in the COVID-delayed 2019-20 season that beat Minnesota and St. Louis in the playoffs and took Vegas to 7 games or will they resemble the 2020-21 team that finished last in the Canadian Division?

My guess is somewhere in between which means they will likely be chasing down a wild-card spot in the last couple of weeks of the season.

 

NFL:

Thru five weeks and one game, one could argue parity has hit the NFL, at least among the top teams.

Does anyone think the only unbeaten team (5-0) Arizona is actually the best?

Maybe the most intriguing part of the season to date is no team has jumped out as clearly the best.

Don’t forget Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard field on the last play against Arizona.

Had that chip shot gone thru the uprights, the Cardinals would 4-1 like several others.

The NFC has no less than five legit contenders: Tampa, Dallas, Green Bay, LA Rams, and yes Arizona while the AFC has arguably more with six: Buffalo, Baltimore, Cleveland, Tennessee, LA Chargers, and K.C.

Sure the 2-3 Chiefs are not what we thought they were but it is still too early to completely dismiss them although the K..C. defense looks pathetic.

Tampa has quietly put up a 5-1 record and the Bucs are 13-1 in their last 14 games, including playoffs.

 

MLB:

The post-season is here and we are down to just four teams. This is where even the non-baseball fans get curious.

The (cheat to win) Houston Astros are appearing in their fifth straight American League Championship Series and are a good bet against the Boston Red Sox.

The LA Dodgers survived a 5-game series against the San Francisco Giants and are now the favourites against the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.

 

NBA:

Only four more nights of sleep before the NBA regular season tips off on Tuesday.

Even I can feel young again watching the LA Lakers, a team with a roster that has a total of six players that are at least 35-years-old.

It’s always fun to watch the experience at its finest.

 

Prince George:

The Prince George Cougars, Prince George Spruce Kings, and Cariboo Cougars are not only underway but all three teams have home doubleheaders this weekend.

The (0-3) PG Cougars should hit the win column once or twice against the (1-4) Victoria Royals, the only Western Conference team that has surrendered more goals than they have.

The (1-1) Spruce Kings should dominate both of their games against (0-2) Merritt at the RMCA.

The (3-3) Cariboo Cougars get a measuring stick of where they are at when they host the first place (4-1-0-1) Vancouver NW Hawks.

By the way, the PG Cougars are still crowded in the crease as for the time being Taylor Gauthier is one of three 20-years on the team. He is joined in net by Tyler Brennan and Ty Young but how long can that situation be manageable?

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The UNBC Timberwolves are in the home stretch of their Canada West soccer seasons.

The UNBC men and women are on the road this weekend at Fraser Valley before concluding at home the following weekend against Thompson Rivers.

And if it is basketball you are after, the UNBC teams are just two weeks away from starting their Canada West regular season at home and this weekend they have exhibition games at the Northern Sport Centre.

While temperatures are turning cold in P.G. and around many parts of the country, the sports feast is as hot as it gets.

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This is season four of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that predominately features the PG Cougars.

This week my guest is the Cougars VP of Business Andy Beesley.

In this episode, he touches on a number of topics including:

  • Fans cooperation with proof of vaccination status
  • Changes for the team and fans during a pandemic
  • Feature nights and promotions this season
  • The highs and lows of his first seven years with the WHL franchise


Taking Note:

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

The ‘Sea of Hands’ is…a) a famous play in which the Raiders beat the Dolphins in the ’74 playoffs
b) The Urban Meyer video

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

The Jacksonville Jaguars have now lost 20 straight games. How long until Urban Meyer resigns to spend some time with his family?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Mick Jagger, in Charlotte, N.C., for a Rolling Stones concert, dropped into a small bar for a drink the night before and nobody recognized who he was. “Why couldn’t that have been me?” asked Jags coach Urban Meyer.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

Urban Meyer still adjusting to the speed of NFL cover-ups.

TheOnion.com

“Breaking news: Snoop Dogg will be the Super Bowl halftime performer, which answers the age-old question: do the halftime performers need to pass a drug test? No.”

*Comedy writer Brad Dickson


In Case You Missed It:

According to a CTV report, over 800,000 visits were made to food banks last March. And that was just CFL players.

*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 

Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games.
Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes)