Because this is April 1st and this column comes out in the morning no matter what I write you may not believe it.
Instead of coming up with a great big story that at the end will say April Fool, I am not going to go that route.
Many readers are suspicious of whatever is written or said in the media and this day can take it to a whole new level.
Perhaps you can believe the Prince George Cougars will be going to the playoffs for the first time in five years.
No, it is not official but the Cats, even though they have dropped 11 of their last 14, are in the driver’s seat to secure one of eight post-season berths in the WHL Western Conference.
The (22-36-2-1) Cougars hold down the 8th and final playoff spot, four points ahead of the (19-37-4-1) Spokane Chiefs and three points behind the (22-35-5-1) Victoria Royals and the (23-33-4-0) Vancouver Giants.
Vancouver has eight games remaining, Prince George and Spokane have seven left and Victoria has five remaining.
The Cougars, who were 6th in the Western Conference for much of the first half of the season, still have a shot to finish 6th or 7th.
Here’s a look at the schedule for those four teams battling for three spots.
Seven games left: four at home and three on the road.
The Cougars visit Kelowna tonight, host Kamloops on Sunday, host Kelowna Tuesday and Wednesday, host Victoria on Saturday, April 9th, and then close out at Kamloops on Friday, April 15th, and at Kelowna on Saturday, April 16th.
Five games left: two at home and three on the road.
The Royals visit Kelowna Saturday, visit Kamloops on April 8th, visit Prince George on April 9th, and host Spokane on both April 15th and 16th.
Seven games left: one at home and six on the road.
The Chiefs visit Kamloops tonight, visit Vancouver both Saturday and Sunday, host Everett on April 6th, visit Seattle on April 9th, and visit Victoria on April 15th and 16th.
Eight games left: five at home and three on the road.
The Giants host Spokane Saturday and Sunday, host Portland on April 8th, visit Kelowna on April 9th and 10th, host Seattle on April 13th, host Kelowna on April 15th, and visit Kamloops on April 16th.
The first round of the playoffs will begin on Friday, April 22nd.
The Conference quarter-finals have 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5.
The standings are right here.
Should the Cougars officially qualify for the playoffs their opening-round opponent could be one of four teams: Everett, Kamloops, Portland, or Seattle with Seattle being the least likely.
With still three weekends to go, it looks like the Cougars will compete in playoff hockey at CN Center “in late April” for the first time in 15 years since 2007 when they went 9-6 in the post-season. (The schedule this year was pushed back a month)
That believe it or not, is no April fool’s joke.
Cat Scan Podcast:
CAT SCAN: @Hartley_Miller sits down with @PGCougars Director of Business Iain Scott in this week’s episode | https://t.co/wrOINDu6An #cityofPG #princegeorge #NorthernUprising pic.twitter.com/SELMwM4HyE
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) March 31, 2022
Season over for Blades’ captain . . . Regina, Saskatoon combine to bid on 2023 WJC . . . Blazers clinch B.C. flag https://t.co/369mEfQqXr
— Gregg Drinnan (@gdrinnan) March 31, 2022
FROM THE QUOTE RACK:
This Just In: Will Smith has agreed to do a sequel to “Ali.” It’s called “Ali Rocks.”
*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg
There is no getting around this—Will Smith clocked Chris Rock and then, moments later, was awarded an Oscar. Man, is Will born to play Deshaun Watson or what?
*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
An Oscars observation: a lot of people didn’t get the GI Jane joke, but they all saw the punch line.
*Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver
NY Mets ace Jacob deGrom felt tightness in his right shoulder and may miss today’s spring start.
Does this mean deGrom might miss his chance for a 1-0 Opening Day Loss?
*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Tennessee pitcher Ben Joyce uncorked a fastball against South Carolina that was clocked at 104 mph. The batter didn’t see it but said it sounded fast.
*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/
In Case You Missed It:
A dog in Arkansas miraculously survived despite swallowing 23 bullets. One thing: Its hair keeps coming out in bangs.
*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).