The basketball team that plays out of Credit Union Place?
We're beginning to forget what they look like.
They last played at home on Valentine's Day, their first time here since Jan. 25. Their next home game is March 5. That's one appearance in the friendly confines of their home court in a span of 40 days. Blame it on the weather, blame it on the schedule, blame it on your mother-in-law. Whoever's responsible needs a stern talking to.
Right now the Storm is treading water atop the Atlantic Division of the National Basketball League of Canada. They have a won-lost record of 19-12 with nine games to play in the season. They have a four-game cushion in the loss column over Saint John and Halifax for the top spot in the division.
That division championship is important because it's the surest way to the playoffs, as the two division champs and the next three-best records qualify. The challenge is to stay out of the fourth or fifth qualifying position, because those two teams have to play a best-of-three series to join the others in the semifinals.
The Storm starts the meat grinder finish of their schedule in Saint John on Thursday. All nine of their remaining games are against the league's best – Saint John, Halifax, London, and Oshawa.
The redeeming feature is that the last five are at home, if they even recognize the place by the time they get there.
The Storm is the youngest team in the league, and with any luck, their young legs will help their stamina down the stretch.
One of those young legs took a hit on the weekend, and it may be the most important of all. Rookie Antonio Ballard leads the league in rebounding, but was undergoing medical tests this week when he would rather have been practising. He was placed on the Injured Reserve list by the team with what they called a "lower body injury," a description that appears to be right out of the Toronto Maple Leafs' communications manual.
The team filled in with veteran rebounder Shamari Spears.
The Storm's other young legs may have to go into overdrive. Josiah Turner is the rookie point guard who has turned heads around the league with his court generalship and vision, and is averaging almost eight assists a game in generally limited minutes since joining the Storm a month ago.
Nick Evans has increased his presence and playing time throughout the season with solid work under the basket at both ends of the floor, and Willy Manigat provides outside shooting and scoring off the bench.
In addition to this group of talented first-year players, two of the leading scorers on the team, Brandon Robinson and Omari Johnson, are just 24 years of age.
Compared to the other squads in the league, the Storm is the Kiddie Corner. By comparison, some of their opponents look like they're veterans of the Korean conflict.
Add to the youth movement the fact that Storm coach Joe Salerno is just 31, and one really begins to wonder if experience might be a tad overrated, at least when compared to the benefits of young knees.
But it takes some experienced glue to hold the whole thing together, and that's where the veteran backcourt of Al Stewart and Greg Plummer come into play. These two guys have to keep their heads about them when everyone else is losing theirs.
But if they sometimes look around and wonder if they're working in a day care, who could blame them.
Bob Gray is a freelance journalist with a long history of P.E.I. basketball reporting. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, and can be followed on Twitter @bgray5.