GDB 17.0: Trojan Horse
The ancient city of Troy was renown across the world. It boasted a culturally rich civilization, advanced technology, and fearsome warriors. Troy was a fortress and a jewel of the ancient world according to Homer, the infamous Greek poet. The tale of the Greeks and Trojans was made famous in recent years by the Brad Pitt film, Troy. As the story goes, the Greek armies couldn’t penetrate the defenses of Troy after numerous fruitless attempts. Moral was low and the Greeks knew they needed a fresh idea. They constructed a large hollow horse, hid a small army inside, then pretended to sail away. The Trojans, arrogant and naive, wheeled the horse inside the city and proceeded to celebrate their victory. Their short-sightedness cost them their city and their lives.
Last night’s win over the Thunderbirds was just what the doctor ordered for the Hurricanes. For a combination of reasons, some out of their control, the Canes overall play had taken a turn for the worst over the last two weeks. Some of the win’s near the end of their 8 game streak were far from complete games and the three losses to Kamloops, Kelowna, and Prince George speak for themselves. They went into last night’s game staring down the barrel of a fourth straight loss and emerged with a resounding victory.
What can we expect to see tonight against Kootenay? Will they be able to do it again?
Preview Brought to You by:
The Kootenay Ice are not a fantastic hockey team. It’s a storied franchise that has produced elite talent and consistent playoff appearances for well over a decade. It appears that the Ice are finally in a full blown rebuild. They currently sit at the bottom of the conference and traded away one of their best players (Martin) a few weeks ago. The danger for the Hurricanes, like the Trojans (oh ya, we’re going full circle here), is the temptation to look past their opponents. While they may be struggling, parody in the WHL is strong. If the Canes don’t bring the same level of compete tonight as they did against Seattle, Kootenay is more than capable of pulling out a road win.
Kootenay is coming off an overtime loss to the Tigers. They also took the Wheat Kings to OT last weekend, so while they have struggled, they aren’t a pushover. Kootenay has struggled to consistently generate offense. Their 42 goals is second lowest in the league (Everett is lowest with an astounding 26). They have also been outshot badly thus far, with a season-total shot differential of -136. If the Ice hope to turn things around, they will need to spend less time in their own zone and start to generate more shot attempts. If the Hurricanes can establish their cycle game, continue to outshoot their opponent, and take the game to Kootenay, they will be in a good position to get a win.
It ain’t earth shattering analysis, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
THIS AND THAT:
- Don’t expect too many changes in the lineup. The Canes played a great game last night with their new look lines. It only makes sense to keep things consistent tonight.
- Assuming Jayden Sittler is back up to full health (word is he was battling a minor upper body issue after the Victoria game), I imagine he will get the nod. If not, Stuart Skinner will play back-to-back. I believe Jayden is healthy again and will start tonight.
- It will be interesting to see what happens when Watson, Bellerive, and Davis return from the U17’s. With the decision to move Kennedy up to wing, the roster has gotten more convoluted. Is there room for Kennedy, Watson, Davis, Skeoch, Merezhko, etc…? I will let you decide on the name(s) for yourself (some of those names won’t or can’t be moved), but it’s a crowded situation and may we see some players reassigned? It’s not a pleasant conversation and the team has done well, but there is an issue of playing time. It’s not fair to the players to keep too many around if they only play limited minutes or games. For the sake of development, I am curious to see what decisions are made, if any.
- It’s was great to see the secondary scoring last night. Outside of the Estephan goal, the top line wasn’t what won the game for Lethbridge. Huge credit to the line of Gutierrez, Babenko, and Millette. They played a really great game. I was struck by how well they were able to cycle the puck. They have been playing together as a line since early in training camp and it shows. Their puck support is stellar and Gutierrez has far exceeded my expectations along the boards. It can be tough for big tall guys to make tight turns and maintain finesse along the boards but he does it often. All three players bring a different element to the line, but together they can be very good. Based on last night’s game, it would also be a crime not to lump Lindgren and Folk in this conversation. The Hurricanes are far from a one line team. Burke, Estephan, Wong, Lindgren, Babenko, and Millette have all consistently put up points. Nielsen and Atwal also bring offense from the back-end. Collectively, Lethbridge has some legitimate depth when it comes to scoring goals.
GDP: The Hurricanes get started on a brand new winning streak with a 6-3 win over the ICE.
OGDP: Jayden Sittler will yell so loud to his team at the end of a powerplay that he will lose his voice and need to carry around a pen and paper all week.
NSOGDP: Igor Merezhko will get his first goal of the season on an errant snapshot from the point. His teammates will celebrate hard, but Igor will settle with a casual fist pump.
What do you think? Who are you excited to watch tonight and what will be the outcome. Comment below.
Don’t forget to check out the sponsor of all this season’s game day articles, Graham Reimer of Dominion Lending here in Lethbridge. I personally know and vouch for the amazing work he does. If you need any advice or help with a mortgage or want to look into getting one, I cannot say enough good things about Graham and the Mortgage Crusher team.
Remember to tell him Canes Domain sent you!