It is a day that I thought might honestly never occur.
Granted, the day isn’t actually upon us yet, but all signs point toward there actually being an opening day later this month to the National Hockey League season.
I understand that some folks wouldn’t miss the NHL if it went away permanently. Some have gone so far as to point out they enjoy the sports highlights shows more because there is no time wasted with clips from hockey games of the evening before. Those aren’t my sentiments.
Every time the NHL goes into one of thesea work stoppages, its popularity does a freefall in the mainstream sports consciousness.
With the NHL Network available locally and with the NBC Sports Network carrying many hockey games last season, this could have been a year of increased visibility. Now the visibility will be compressed to be sure.
The date of Jan. 19 has been bandied about as a likely opening day and 48 games seems a probable length to the season. That will seeem woefully short to fans.
Hockey has been regularly available through this lockout. The Indiana Ice have been playing USHL games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The team has a dedicated, if not overaly large following. Anyone yet to experience the sport in person should try to take in an Ice game this winter.
While I am waiting, watching the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Hoosiers have been time well spent.
On Saturday, the Pacers took care of the Milwaukee Bucks in fine fashion with Roy Hibbert having his best all-around game of the season.
Then Tuesday, the Pacers faced the Miami Heat and had a remarkable win against the team with the best record in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Indiana got a stalwart performance from Paul George. Perhaps the people who will make the All-Star decision will take note. Next up tonight is the New York Knicks with a TNT national audience.
This is a good place to admit that I really can’t wait to see what the Pacers can do when Dany Granger finally gets to play this season. The intensity of his rehabilitation has increased recently, though there is still no timetable for his return.
While on the topic of confessions, the IU men’s basketball team continues to be a source of great enjoyment.
I was fortunate to get to see most of the Hoosiers’ Big Ten game monday at Penn State. Though the visitors started the second half very slowly, they were never in any danger after a sparkling showing over the first 20 minutes.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of IU’s game is the way the Hoosiers share the ball and make that extra intelligent pass.
Defensively, the Hoosiers incorporate all of the best team concepts that make them tough to score against.
As a fan of both the Pacers and the Hoosiers, Victor Oladipo is the current IU player I’d most like to see wear the blue and gold when his days in cream and crimson are completed.
It is a day that I thought might honestly never occur.
Pacers steal Game 2 from Heat
David West punched two passes from LeBron James away in the final minute, then punched the air.
He had plenty of reason to celebrate.
Liberty Christian eliminated in softball sectional
Liberty Christian School and Cowan had to wait 48 hours to resume play in the second semifinal of the IHSAA softball sectional 55, but once they did it was over in a minute.
Dan Patch features Hall of Famers
A Hall of Fame driver, a Hall of Fame trainer and the defending champ highlight the 10-horse field for tonight’s 20th running of the Dan Patch Invitational.
The race carries a purse of $200,000 and will be the 11th race on the card. First post is 5:30 p.m. and the Dan Patch will have an approximate post of 9:30.
Sheets bumps his way into Little 500
All the drama on “bump day” came down to the final minutes as Anderson driver Jim Sheets made the starting field on Friday at Anderson Speedway as the last car on the track.
Sheets was bumped from the 33rd and final spot in the field for the 65th running of the Pay Less Little 500 tonight with less than 15 minutes remaining in qualifying.
Pacers’ legends coming to Hoosier Park tonight
Ten of the Pacers’ more recognizable names from the past 40 years are slated to make a joint-appearance at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino tonight to kick off the start of Memorial Day weekend live racing.
Helberg nabs Little 500 pole
Following a rain shower and cooler than normal May temperatures, drivers were having problems finding grip around Anderson Speedway on pole day qualifying Thursday for the Pay Less Little 500.
California driver JoJo Helberg went out early in the qualifying session and captured the first Little 500 pole of his career with a four-lap average speed of 80.56 mph and the quick lap of the day at 81.17 mph.
Family affair in Lapel sectional
It will be like a new episode of “All in the Family” when the Lapel baseball sectional championship game is held on Monday.
In Thursday’s semifinals, Frankton rolled past Shenandoah 10-4 and then Lapel scored seven runs in the sixth inning on its way to a 10-3 thrashing of Wapahani.
Trio leads area at boys regional
The Ben Davis boys track regional is one of the toughest in the state.
“THE toughest,” according to Anderson coach Cary House.
It’s proven on the track year after year as runners from Brebuf Jesuit, Lawrence Central and the host Giants torch the competition.
But Madison County made its presence known in the field events this year.
Wilson drives Tribe into semifinals
There was some debate overnight about whether Curtis Wilson would return to the mound Thursday when Anderson’s Class 4A sectional game resumed against Richmond.
But the Indians senior never had a doubt.
Mike Lopresti: Welcome to the NBA spotlight, coach
Good morning Frank Vogel, and welcome to the Eastern Conference finals spotlight. Having fun, yet?
Not the most stress-free experience for the Indiana Pacers coach so far, is it?
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