GDB 22.0: THAT EGOR
…He’s so hot right now.
If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favour and catch the brand new trailer for Zoolander 2 (it’s embedded in this article). The original Zoolander is one of my favorite comedies of all time. It’s not without its flaws, but it’s immensely quotable and absurdly hilarious. It’s rare that a comedic sequel isn’t terrible, but I’m holding out hope for Zoolander 2 and I thought the trailer was great.
As far as Babenko is concerned, he has been one of the Hurricanes hottest players over the last three weeks. Over the Hurricanes’ last seven games, only against Moose Jaw did he not record at least one point. Egor has been providing the secondary scoring the Hurricanes need. He was a huge reason for the skid-snapping victory over the Silvertips on Wednesday, and the Canes will need him to play well again tonight against the Cougars.
More after the break.
Preview Brought to You by:
Tonight the Hurricanes face off against the Prince George Cougars. The Canes have already met the Cougars once this season, a road loss at the end of a grueling BC road trip. On that occasion, the Hurricanes played the Cougars close, but defensive mistakes cost them the game late. Tonight promises to be a different story. The Hurricanes have been lights out at home this season. Their lone loss at the Enmax Centre was a an Early October loss to the Kelowna Rockets. Since that time, the Canes have been perfect in their own barn.
Prince George has proven to be an average team to this point in the season. Their underlying numbers and overall record indicate the same. Their season shot differential (+7) and season goal differential (-5), for example, suggest that the Cougars are generally competitive but aren’t without their flaws. Prince George is not an offensive juggernaut. They boast the second lowest shooting percentage in the Western Conference (only Everett is worse) but do have some top end talent. Much of their offense runs through Boston Bruins 4th round draft pick Jesse Gabrielle. He was a thorn in the Canes’ side when they lost to the Cougars a few weeks ago and shutting him down will give Lethbridge the upper-hand for a win tonight.
Lethbridge is coming off a big, but not necessarily overly impressive win over the Everett Silvertips. While it may not have been their most complete effort, they once again found a way to win on home ice. The Hurricanes haven’t had the best stretch of late, going 4-6 in their last 10 games. It’s not that they have been getting blown-out. The Canes have been in virtually every game, but things have been more difficult than they were early in the season. The top line hasn’t been quite as effective and defensive lapses continue to be an issue. Another problem the Hurricanes have run into is undisciplined play. Lethbridge is among the top six most penalized teams to this point in the season. The Cougars don’t have a fantastic powerplay (currently ranked 17th in the league), but none the less, Lethbridge needs to curb the sloppy penalties.
With a second game tomorrow evening against Saskatoon, chances are will will see both goaltenders get a start. Who plays in which game is hard to predict but as fans should know by now, regardless of the netminder, the Hurricanes will likely have a chance to win.
With Brandon Kennedy traded, the log-jam on the backend has been momentarily clarified. Skeoch, Watson and Merezhko continue to rotate in and out of the lineup, and more recently, Kord Pankewicz also took a turn as a scratch. There’s a good chance all of the defencemen I mentioned will play over the weekend so look for the lineup to change slightly between tonight and tomorrow evening.
THIS AND THAT
- It’s never fun to see hard working players traded but that’s exactly what happened Thursday with Brandon Kennedy. The trade was likely agreed upon before the game Wednesday as Kennedy was a healthy scratch and Stuart Skinner sent out a tweet about the move immediately following the game. Skinner deleted the tweet once he realized it hadn’t been officially announced by the two clubs, but needless to say, it wasn’t a huge surprise to hear about the move early Thursday morning. It was becoming increasingly clear that something needed to happen on the Canes backend. There were too many players and not enough ice-time. Kennedy had some really nice moments as a Cane and some tougher moments. I think when it came down to it, there wasn’t much that separated Brandon from a few of the bigger players he was battling for a spot against. The great news for him is that Anholt was able to move him within the league and keep him playing at the major junior level. I may have been a little hard on him at times, but I never doubted his effort. I wish Brandon the best with the Warriors.
You bet Deric. I can read minds and the future…
GDP: The Hurricanes keep their home winning streak going and play a more complete game for a 4-2 victory over the Cougars
OGDP: Jesse Gabrielle scores at least one of the Cougars’ goals tonight
NSOGDP: If he is in the lineup, Igor Merezhko will snag his first WHL tonight on a floater from the point. If he’s not in the lineup, Merezhko will be tomorrow, and the prediction holds true.
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!