The Swift Current Broncos improved to 7-1 on home ice with a solid effort leading to a 5-2 win over the visiting Kamloops Blazers.
Here's some random thoughts and quotes that caught my attention.....
When speaking to Blazers Head Coach Barry Smith before the game, Smith made no bones about his team's defensive play this season.
"(other) Teams do come after us, we are not a good defensive team. Until we can prove that I think we are going to see teams continually get after us especially on the forecheck." - Barry Smith
Broncos F Mike Brown now has goals in three straight games for the first time in his WHL career. Brown's 4th goal of the season has eclipsed last year's season total of three. So what's been the difference? Yoga Perhaps?
"I actually started doing Yoga in the off-season. It really loosens up the legs and lengthens the skating stride and makes you more flexible." - Mike Brown
Broncos F Brad Hoban has now equalled his point totals from last season. His goal last night gives him five on the season to go along with seven assists - the same totals he posted all of last year in an injury shortened season of 53 games.
The emergence of Brad Hoban as an offensive player is helping the increased depth up-front.
I can't remember the Broncos having a 16 year-old defenseman playing as much as Reece Scarlett and Graeme Craig have in the last number of years. Craig logged over 17 minutes of ice-time, exceeding his previous most minutes played in a game by five or six according to Assistant Coach Tim Kehler.
Scarlett meanwhile continues to play a key role in all situations. These two have already shown a significant jump in their level of play in the first 13 games of the season.
NHL scouts should start taking note for next year's draft. The Broncos have a couple of gems back there.
Some concern for Broncos D Eric Doyle who left the game with a suspected concussion last night after taking a blind-side hit on the offensive blueline. Doyle never returned to action and his status for the weekend would be doubtful at best.
It was a hit Tim Kehler said was "dangerous" with a player in a "defenseless position". The tape will be sent to the league as they are keeping track of hits that lead to concussions this season.
Fans got a better sense of what F Dane Muench is about last night. Muench was buzzing around most of the night in a 3rd line role with Taylor Vause and Adam Lowry. Muench missed on a couple of great chances and distributed the puck well to his linemates. His night ended with one assist. I said it at the start of the season and I'll say it again... he has a lot of Keegan Dansereau-type characteristics in his game. Most notably his skating stride and quick release.
Granted Dansereau led the Broncos in scoring last season with 37 goals and 81 points, the comparison is admittedly a bit lofty.
A tough game tomorrow night as the red-hot Saskatoon Blades pay a visit. The Blades have won six in a row and lead the east division with 18 points. More on the match-up later....
I'll get the opportunity next month to work alongside former NHL enforcer Jeff Odgers for an upcoming broadcast. They don't come much tougher than Odgers in the NHL (and he fought them all). Willing to trade with anyone, Odgers racked up over 2300 PIMS in his NHL days. The native of Spy Hill, Saskatchewan shows another side in this segment that should have made him a youtube sensation.
Great stuff here from the Atlanta Thrashers production team!