Monday, March 07, 2011


Blazers practice Monday afternoon at ISC

- So what's it going to take for the Blazers to get into the playoffs? Do they need to win 4 of their last five games? All five?

Certainly no one would have thought the Blazers would return off their successful Central Division road swing with three straight losses - two of which on home ice. The tables have certainly turned in the last week. The focus has shifted from Chilliwack to Prince George as far as playoff battles go.

Here's what each team has left:

Blazers (5 games) vs Tri-City, Vs Kelowna, @ Kelowna, vs PG, @ PG

Cougars (6 games) vs RD, @ Van, @ Seattle, @ Tri-City, @ Kam, vs Kam

As you can see the final weekend of the season, the home-and-home between the Blazers and Cougars will likely decide things. Let's not discount Seattle who have played themselves within striking distance from the 10th spot.

The Cougars have to be equally as unimpressed as the Blazers. Let's remember they were LEADING the BC division at the Christmas break. Now they are tied with Kamloops for 5th.

Why are the Blazers in this battle for their playoff lives? It's fairly easy to see. It's their 10-18-1-0 record vs the BC division. Here's how they've stacked up against their BC division rivals.

vs Vancouver 3-5-0-0

vs Kelowna 3-4-0-0

vs Chilliwack 3-4-1-0

vs Prince George 1-5-0-0


- The Blazers could be without F Ryan Hanes for tomorrow night's game vs the Tri-City Americans. His checking-from-behind major penalty vs Chilliwack also drew an automatic game misconduct. The player hit was D Zach Habscheid. Habscheid stayed in the game.

- Where has the offense gone? After scoring 14 goals in the final two games of their Central swing, the Blazers have scored just four goals in the last three games. For the most part they are getting chances, but it's just not happening.

- The Blazers will need more from their top six forwards. It's an old adage, but their best players will have to be their best players. Otherwise... I don't really want to think about the consequences.


- The River 97.5 FM, Radio NL's sister station, produced a video from last Wednesday's Stanley Cup/First Nations game night vs Kelowna. You can see that video here.

- This Friday's game vs Kelowna is Thompson Rivers University Night. A pretty good deal to be had. It will also be the 2nd last regular season home game.

The "Sleeveless Tease" feature lead singer Mallory Johnson, who is also the Blazers in-stand announcer.

- Maybe it's just me but I don't really think the "Rich Preston incident" is worth all the talk and promotion. I watch the video and my reaction is "big deal".
Learning the circumstances of why Preston was upset I can only agree with him. To have a goal taken away on a penalty call from the linesman only to have the opposition then score on the ensuing PP would have me up in arms too. As for Preston's reaction? I just don't see it as a big deal. Just my opinion.


kevin k said...

its too bad a season of such lofty predictions by the blazers management has turned into another river city hockey fiasco i really dont know why i expected anything more but i guess lesson learned. Seeing ive signed up for three more years i will honor my committment to the team its too bad we dont see the same committment from management back to us.

Spencer said...

What more "commitment" are you looking for from management? Do you think they are trying to lose games? Do you think they are happy with the fact that nobody is showing up for home games (is Kamloops really this much of a fairweather sports town)? I think we are all pretty disappointed in the recent results, but I don't think there is any lack of effort going on here. In any case, next season will tell the story. management has pegged it's hopes to the current players/coach, so next year will be do-or-die...

kevin k said...

Spencer I have no problem with the players or the coaching staff I agree that the effort is there most nights. The problem is that bonner and his gang once again gave these kids no chance. Early in the season when this team was probably playing as well as anyone in the league we had zero goaltending this should not have been a surprise based on the previous season. Anyone who watched this team the last few years knows this bunch will continue to be fragile until they find success. Winning breeds winning and unfortunatly there were a few glaring problems that could have been taken care of early in the season but these problems still exist. Bosch was the wrong type of goalie for this team he has moments but tends to let in some soft goals a veteran winning team can deal with that. This team being as fragile as they obviously are needed that rock back there like what curtis supplied for us last year. I know that they dont want to lose and are probably trying there hardest but when you see the management make poor decisions year after year it becomes apparent that someone is in over there head. I think bonner is learning but i really think he missed a great chance to make a couple of small changes early that would not have given away the future and would have pushed this team to winning, this is basically a decent club that should not be in this spot but here we are. As for a committment this is my second 3 yr bundle and the blazers are my entertainment budget for the winter im not going anywhere as this is the best jr hockey in canada but i think its time for the gm to step up and at least take some responsibilty twice on the call in shows he blamed previous management for the lack of depth in our organization, he blamed a newspaper rporter for the teams issues, the time has come for him to put firm goals out there for us to see, let us fans know exactly how many wins they think we will have at the end of the season. I live and breathe this team but when someone as lay as me can see the problems the gm and scouts should to.Once again we lost a year that could have been a big part of turning around the franchise. btw we still have no goaltending for next year and this team will still be a fragile bunch and with the wrong decisions this whole thing could play out again

dogger said...

just be thankful you're not in Swift, it's been frustrating and painful to be a Bronco fan this year.

Spencer said...

Kevin K - agreed on the goaltending and some other decisions made by Bonner (Trask for nothing, Bosch instead of Matthews, Groenheyde for Lanigan?). I think that both Thorimbert and Keeney choosing U.S. college played a HUGE role in the current problems. Bonner will either need to convince one of those guys to come to Kamloops or draft a strong Euro-goalie to save his job next year. If one of those two happens though, I think this is a pretty good team going forward. As for commitment, I am not questioning your commitment to the Blazers, but I do question the community support. As you said, this is the best jr hockey in the world (not just Canada). That arena should be packed every night.