Any questions about Kevin Bieksa’s desire to get back in the lineup were answered last night when he suited up against the Predators.
There were plenty of reasons to wait for another game; Bieksa hadn’t practised regularly with his teammates, he logged about 25 minutes of ice for the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday night, and then there was the psychological factor of returning against the same team he suffered his injury against. But the burly blue liner brushed that all aside because the Canucks need points like fish need water and Bieksa gives them a better chance to win than does Nathan McIver, with all due respect.
To be clear, this was Bieksa’s decision; it was not mandated by the team. That says something about his character, the fact that he was able to resume play says something about how hard he pushed himself in rehab with Canucks’ strength and conditioning coach, Roger Takahashi.
• The CFL schedule was released yesterday, and it looks pretty decent if you’re a B.C. Lions’ fan. The Leos will begin play on the road on June 26 against the Calgary Stampeders with the Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders providing the opposition for the Lions’ home opener on July 4.
B.C. will play 16 of its 18 games on Fridays and Saturdays this season, and there are no Sunday dates on the schedule. The Lions most familiar opponent will be the Edmonton Eskimos, as the Western foes will knock heads on four different occasions. The biggest disappointments are the noticeably absent late-season tilt with the Riders and just one home game against a division rival after the second week of September.
• If you’re looking to get out and take in a live sporting event this evening, the local hardwood has a couple of attractive offerings. SFU’s Chancellor gymnasium plays host to the No. 1 and 2 ranked teams in Canadian women’s basketball, as cross-town rivals SFU and UBC begin their best-of-three playoff series.
If you’re closer to Point Grey, check out the post-season clash between the T-birds’ men and the Victoria Vikes at UBC’s War Memorial gymnasium. Both tilts tip-off at 7:00pm.