THE ROAD AHEAD: OCTOBER
This is the first of what I intend to be a series of monthly posts. The goal is to preview the Hurricanes schedule for the coming month. Since September only had two regular season games, I decided to forgo a September post and instead look to October.
The graphic above was taken directly from the Canes Domain “Hurricanes Schedule” infographic. It can be found here.
The Hurricanes play five home games and seven road games in the month of October. Lucky for those of us in Lethbridge eager to catch the first few games, the majority of home matches come in the first two weeks of the month. The second half of the month sees the Hurricanes hit the road for one of the biggest road trips of the season (the trip ultimately comes to an end early in November (concluding in PG). It’s great for the team to ease its way into the season with home games conveniently spaced out by a day or two. Between the 4th and the 14th, the Canes play four home games on a minimum of one day’s rest.
The fact that, after this coming weekend, the Canes don’t play in a back-to-back situation again until the 23-24th, is quite fortuitous.
Things appear even more promising when looking at the opposition. While there are a few teams projected to be elite, October doesn’t see the Hurricanes face a murders row of top end WHL squads. The highest calibre teams the Canes will face include Kelowna (2), Red Deer and Vancouver. Outside of the aforementioned teams, the remaining opposition projects to be middle of the pack or worse in 2015-2016. That’s not to say the other teams can’t or won’t surpass expectations, but for now, let’s proceed based on preseason projections.
A few key games from which the Canes will want to generate some wins include Swift Current (2), Medicine Hat, and Kootenay. Regina is another team that isn’t expected to be a serious contender and the Canes will match up quite evenly against the Pats.
This is the kind of post that coaches and managers hate. They plan to win every game and approach them all with the same mindset. It’s the right mindset to take.
I’m not a coach or a manager (I AM, however, the full-time GM of my keeper team, the Strait Oduya Compton’s, it’s a pretty big deal. Things are getting serious.)
That said, the Hurricanes very likely won’t win every single game this month, and it would be naive to think that the quality of opposition doesn’t play a factor in wins and losses.
For the record, I think the Hurricanes, as currently constituted, are capable of beating any team in the league. It’s still too early in the year to really predict the outcome of any matchups, but as an outside observer, I look at the month of October as an opportunity for the Hurricanes. I’m not sure which of the games they will win, and which they will lose, but the make-up of October should help facilitate a strong start if the Hurricanes are ready to seize it.
Optimistically, the Hurricanes take advantage of the friendly home schedule in the first two weeks and win three of four, setting themselves up for a great month.
Realistically, it would be great to see the team emerge from October a game, or maybe two, over .500.
Expecting more than that would be unfair (but not unwelcomed).
- All quiet in Hurricanes camp this week. It looks like they will carry on with the current roster for at least another weekend. I would be shocked if Watson didn’t see a game this weekend. I thought Ben Duppereault did a great job of creating chances and standing out Friday night against the Tigers and I expect we will see him against Friday night against the Ice.
- It will be interesting to see if the Canes elect to split this weekend’s games between Skinner and Sittler in light of how Saturday evening went. Of course, the loss wasn’t on Skinner, but will the coaches decide to start a goaltender back-to-back again? We wait and see…
- I took a few day’s off (of writing) after this weekend’s opening set of games. I apologize of the lack of content this week. You may, however, have noticed that the website looks a little different. There were a few little aesthetic changes that I had been wanting to make and I’m happy to say the website is now effectively done for the season. I really hope you like it and that the viewing experience is better than ever. The goal was to create a modern, clean, and minimal website so that reading would be a pleasant experience. I hope that’s the case.
- As always, check back here Saturday and Sunday when the Canes take on the Ice and Rockets. We have full pre and post game coverage. Also, remember to tweet @canesdomain or #canesdomain on game day’s. I love reading your tweets and featuring some of the funny/smart comments here on the site.