Two-time world silver medallist Patrick Chan will be chasing his first world crown April 25 - May 1 in Moscow. (Antonio Calanni/Associated Press)
In parts of the East and West, Canadians have been hammered by snow. Old man winter is refusing to loosen his grip.
But with the calendar having flipped into spring, the sweet season for Canadian sport is in full swing.
Bone chilling temperatures notwithstanding, there's much to feast on. Coast to coast to coast and everywhere in between, there's plenty to cheer for at this time of changeover.
The "Boys of Summer" will make their way north soon. "March Madness" reigns south of the border. These are encouraging signs of deliverance from the depths of long, cold nights, which have dominated the first months of 2011.
Still, we hope the ice will linger ... it runs through our veins.
Our national obsession is entering the critical phase. The Stanley Cup playoffs are preceded by the annual run to the post-season ... the desperate drives cobbled together by ambitious teams with fanatical backing. So the Canadiens and Canucks are home and cool, but the Leafs and Flames still have fires to put out.
It makes for great hockey drama.
The national pastime of curling has emerged from Canadian arenas to compete on the world stage. Prairie rinks from Regina and Winnipeg have steadfast missions to assure us all that we are still the international frontrunner in this enticing game of skill and precision.
Amber Holland and Jeff Stoughton face a subliminal pressure where winning is taken for granted and losing is a dire warning that something so intrinsically Canadian is slipping away.
Curling has kept us company through the long winter. Victory at the worlds is a sure sign of spring.
The national passion of figure skating will also witness its culminating event. The world championships will happen, albeit deeper into the season than anticipated.
Canadians are at the forefront. The national men's champion, Patrick Chan, has an inside track on the title. Like Jackson, Orser, Browning, Stojko and Buttle, Chan has designs on the top of the podium. This is not to mention ice dancers, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, hoping to return from injury to defend their crown.
Figure skating promises Canadian tradition at this time of year.
All of this points to an extension of the cold season to allow our obsession, our pastime and our passion to work their magic.
In our minds we're still stuck in winter. But as Canadian sports fans it's the springtime of our content.
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