Welcome to the best time of the year in sports.

Next week starts the NHL regular season and the Major League baseball playoffs.

The NBA tips off in the month of October.

The NFL reaches the quarter-pole this weekend and the CFL is heading for crunch time with six regular season weekends remaining.

On the Prince George scene, the 0-2 PG and Cariboo Cougars have begun their season and the Prince George Spruce Kings are off to a 4-1-1 start.

In addition, the UNBC Timberwolves are in the home stretch in Canada West (CW) soccer and are on the court in preparation for CW basketball.

Now a closer look:

NHL:

The Vancouver Canucks should not finish last overall thanks to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights joining the league.

While the Canucks are trying to establish their identity, the other six Canadian teams have optimism and star power.

Meanwhile, it’s time for us hockey pool players to study up as the season begins on Wednesday.

NBA:

The league may not be as captivating to Canadians as the NHL, but the NBA never seems to leave the spotlight.

With the Kyrie Irving for Isiah Thomas Boston-Cleveland mega trade, and the Cavaliers acquiring Derrick Rose and  Dwyane Wade, the Eastern Conference has appeal on at least two fronts.

The West remains best, particularly with Oklahoma City upgrading with the addition of all-stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to Russell Westbrook’s team.

However, the race remains for second place as Golden State has set a standard that should keep the Warriors on top for at least the next couple of years.

MLB:

The regular season has not had much drama unless one counts the all-time total home run record being smashed.

This could mean the playoffs will make up for the lack of excitement.

The only post-season race that will go down to the last weekend is for the 2nd NL wild card and I doubt many fans outside of the local market care if it goes to Colorado or Milwaukee.

The Rockies are two up on the Brewers with three to play.

The Boston Red Sox are about to clinch the AL East with a magic number of one but the second place New York Yankees will have a consolation prize of hosting Minnesota in a one game playoff.

Of the 10 teams headed to the post-season, the Cleveland Indians appear to be the best bet to make the World Series.

NFL:

Can somebody please just talk football and not dominate the conversations with how many anthem protests there are each weekend?

I’m not a big fan of parity but it looks like NFL has many good teams but no great ones.

On the other hand, some things haven’t changed as the Cleveland Browns jokes are as relevant today as they were 10 years ago.

For the record since 2007, they are 38-109 including 0-3 this season.

PRINCE GEORGE COUGARS:

Sure the Cougars are disappointed that they started with back-to-back losses, but so did Kamloops and Vancouver and both the Blazers and Giants have worse goal differential.

The CN Centre attendance for those two games against Spokane was well below expectations with an average of 3,258 that included 3,833 for banner raising opening night.

PRINCE GEORGE SPRUCE KINGS:

They are in first place in the Mainland Division.

No need to try and spoil the party that it’s just six of 58 games complete.

With nine out of a possible 12 points no one is complaining.

CARIBOO COUGARS:

I don’t think General Manager Trevor Sprague takes kindly to the 0-2 start.

The Major Midget Cougars have set such high standards that back-to-back losses at any time of the season is a surprise, particularly at home.

It may be a bit of a transition year, but Cariboo should remain a BCMML upper echelon team.

UNBC TIMBERWOLVES:

Both the UNBC men’s and women’s soccer teams have shown dramatic improvement.

Will it be enough for the playoffs?

The 3-4-3 men were 4-10-2 last year while the 2-4 women were 0-12-1 in 2016.

Speaking about improvement, the UNBC basketball teams should be better in 2017-18 than a year ago when the men lost their last 12 to finish 4-16 while the women were 6-14.

Whether it’s local, national or international, the sports fan is in for a feast.

While October is also the month for Canadian Thanksgiving, we can just hope the turkeys will remain on the dinner plate and not on the ice, court or field.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Rush Limbaugh says he didn’t watch the NFL on Sunday because of the National Anthem protests. Now Limbaugh knows how fans felt when he was made an announcer on Monday Night Football.

 *Comedy writer Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

 

It’s ok @warriors, in a few months @realDonaldTrump probably won’t be able to visit the White House either.

*Robin Lopez of the Chicago Bulls on Twitter

 

Donald Trump criticized the NFL for making efforts to prevent concussions, saying they are ruining the game. I don’t think Trump realizes how dangerous the symptoms of these concussions are — headache, emotional instability, impulsive behavior. Basically they turn you into Donald Trump.”

*Late Late Show host James Corden

 

We had a bunch of big football matchups Sunday. You had the Eagles against the Giants, you had the Patriots play against the Texans, and you had the president against everyone.

*Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon

 

Trump: “NFL has to change” or “their business is going to hell.” @NFL response? “Funny, we were thinking the same about your administration.”

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

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers sat out the National Anthem Sunday. As opposed to the Cleveland Browns, who were there for the anthem and sat out the game.

*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg http://thordoggie.blogspot.ca/

 

An employee for the Buffalo Bills quit after the entire team took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday. Meanwhile, an employee for the Los Angeles Chargers quit after watching them play on Sunday.

*Conan O’Brien of TBS

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Reuters reports a Belgian town made a giant omellete of 10,000 eggs. I’m taking the high road on this and not cracking any yokes.

*Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 
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Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the Goat.
He also is the 94.3 radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller