There is something wrong in professional hockey. Out of eight Canadian based NHL franchises, not one Canadian team will see post season. That has not happened since 1970, when there were far fewer teams in the running.
Last Wednesday night, the Ottawa Senators became the last of the Canadian franchises to be eliminated from the playoffs. Although they won the game against the already eliminated Winnipeg Jets, the Sens needed a little help from the Washington Capitals if they were to stay alive. That help didn’t come as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Caps 2-1 in overtime.
It will seem strange when all Canada stands to the side to watch the American entries play for “our cup” as it were.
With Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto all sitting out, hockey fans in Canada are as one, eating crow and vowing to change the hockey world next year.
Us diehard Toronto Maple leafs fans are somewhat used to having a shorter hockey season than most but there has always, at least since 1970, been a faint hope that Canada with somehow defend its reputation as the birthplace of the game.
Fortunately, the summer season of lacrosse is about to begin where fans can follow their hometown heroes to National titles in several levels and divisions. To put perspective on Canada being shut out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, that would be like the Jr. C Warriors, the Jr. B Rebels, the Jr. A Arrows Express, the Can/Am Slash, the Sr. B Rivermen and the Major Series all missing the lacrosse playoffs the same year.
The CLax Demons gave us an exciting season right to the final game and, for a while anyhow, the National Lacrosse League which boast many Haudenosaunee stars, is still a viable option. We around Six Nations are so lacrosse spoiled that we go into a deep, community wide depression if a Six Nations teams doesn’t win the National Championship. Imagine no one even making the playoffs, if that has ever happened in recent history.
Let’s put that nightmare as far from our minds as possible as we get set for the OLA and Can/Am season to begin. And let’s also not forget the Haudenosaunee Women’s National Box Lacrosse team Darrel Squire is putting together this year.
That’s not even talking about field lacrosse where Six Nations women have done very well in.
One thing is for sure, however. This summer is going to be filled with thrills, some spills and disappointments but one thing to put your money on as well is that there will be championships along the way and even if there isn’t, Six Nations will be in the thick of it right to the end.