Have you seen the standings in the BC Division today? One point separates Prince George and Vancouver with Kelowna and the Kamloops Blazers.... and the teams all play each other again tonight.
At the beginning of the season, we all talked about how tight the division would be, but I don't anyone expected it to be this tight as we approach Monday's trade deadline.
The Blazers head down to Kelowna for another meeting with the Rockets - the 6th of the season. Meanwhile, Prince George plays Vancouver for a 2nd straight night.
As for tonight's game, the Rockets are expected ton insert D Tyson Barrie back in the line-up tonight. He'll play against the Blazers in his first game back from the World Juniors. F Mitchell Callahan has now played two games with the Rockets after playing with the U.S. at the event. The Rockets suffered their 4th straight loss dropping a 3-1 decision in Seattle last night.
The Blazers will likely be without their captain Chase Schaber for a 2nd straight night. I think the Blazers would like to get him back for Wednesday's home game against the Medicine Hat Tigers. It's a charlie horse injury.
F Bernhard Keil was hit hard in back-to-back shifts last night vs the Chilliwack Bruins and didn't finish the game. I'm not sure of his status for tonight's game.
Dalibor Bortnak fit in well on the Blazers top line in the place of Chase Schaber. Bortnak, Brendan Ranford and Jordan DePape combined on one of the nicest goals of the year for the Blazers as they scored off the rush in the 1st period to put the Blazers up 3-1 in the 1st period. Plays of the Week? I'm thinking so....
Trade deadline talk is heating up. Who's buying? Who's selling? There seems to be some teams in the Western Conference willing to give up some assets. The talk around the Blazers is very status quo. It's quiet. I think if there is a chance add some depth, or a piece to the puzzle, GM Craig Bonner will, but they won't be giving up a lot in order to acquire such an asset. I'm thinking it will be a quieter deadline this year in Kamloops than in years past.
Speaking of trade deadline, we have our Blazer Hockey Talk show from the Ramada Rooftop Lounge set for Monday evening beginning at 5:30. We've just confirmed that majority owner Tom Gaglardi will join us on the phone just after 6pm. He will comment on the ongoing ban of access to Blazer players and coaches imposed on Kamloops Daily News Sports Editor Gregg Drinnan. The Blazers are 5-2 since imposing the ban, it would equal their best seven game stretch of the season. Is it related? Not likely, but it's an interesting footnote.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, tonight's broadcast from Kelowna begins at 6:30pm with the pre-game show on Radio NL.