Vancouver Province article (Fire and ice: Giants, Bruins on different streaks)March 9 2011 at 7:32 AM
No score for this post
|N. W. Bruin (Login NW_Bruin_GM)|
Response to Copied from Giants' website (B.C. Division Battle)
Fire and ice: Giants, Bruins on different streaks
Chilliwack rides a 5-game win streak into the coliseum, vancouver's in an 0-3 funk
By Terry Bell, The Province
March 9, 2011
Vancouver's Spencer Bennett is one of several Giants currently injured.
Photograph by: Mark Van Manen -PNG, The Province
The Vancouver Giants will be facing a red-hot Chilliwack Bruins team when the WHL's B.C. Division rivals face off tonight at the Pacific Coliseum (7 p.m., AM 650).
And how red is the red in Chilliwack's red-hot?
Well, these 30-30-2-3 Bruins are on a five-game win streak. It's the first time Chilliwack has had a stretch that long since they joined the league for the 2006-07 season.
It only complicates matters that the Giants (33-27-1-4) are a banged-up hockey team right now and on an 0-3 slide.
"I think I'm always worried whether we're winning or losing," said Giants head coach Don Hay -who now has seven injured players and must feel like he needs to tune in episodes of House or Grey's Anatomy in order to coach his team.
"The sense of urgency is coming from all areas right now. It's coming from above us from the teams we've just played," he added, referring to Portland and Tri-City, who beat the Giants 5-0 and 5-1 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
"And it's coming from below us. We have to show that the strength of our team is in our system and then come out and find a way to get points with the players that we have in our lineup. These are three games against B.C. opponents that we feel we have a real good opportunity against."
Vancouver will host Prince George on Friday (7 p.m., AM 650) and then play in Chilliwack on Saturday (7 p.m., AM 650).
Vancouver, fifth in the Western Conference, is six points back of Kelowna in a battle for the B.C. title.
Chilliwack was sixth in the west, six points back of Vancouver before Everett, Prince George and Kamloops played Tuesday. The Bruins and Giants both have seven games left.
The Bruins have been riding sublime goaltending. Kamloops native Lucas Gore is expected to be named the CHL's goalie of the week on Wednesday morning after going 4-0-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .968 saves percentage.
They've also been bolstered by the presence of two 20-year-old defencemen, Jeff Einhorn and Brandon Manning. Manning scored three goals in a 6-2 win over Portland Sunday.
"We're getting better," Bruins coach Marc Habscheid said Tuesday. "This is maybe the first time all year that we've been almost healthy. We just haven't gotten into any sync. Now it seems like we're getting there a little bit. It changes every day but confidence is an amazing thing and I think our guys, because we've had a little success, are feeling better about themselves and that's a good thing."
The injured Giants are: forwards Brendan Gallagher (head), Spencer Bennett (hand), Teal Burns (shoulder), Connor Redmond (shoulder) and defencemen Darren Bestland (back), Joel Rogers (concussion) and Tyler Hart (shoulder).
Of the bunch, only Bestland is expected to play Wednesday.
"There's a couple of minor things in there but they seem to be keeping guys out of the lineup," said Hay. "That's what we'll see Wednesday morning ... how much pain can they play with. We don't want them to play hurt but they might have to play with a little pain.
"We've played under the (roster) limit this year," added Hay, whose team has missed well over 300 man games due to injury this season. "Right now we have a full lineup of guys so that's a positive thing."
GIANTS INJURY REPORT
RW Brendan Gallagher (head): Not skating. Underwent concussion baseline testing on Tuesday. He's at least day-to-day. Won't be playing tonight. LW Spencer Bennett (hand): He's feeling better but still sore and didn't skate Tuesday. Possible for tonight depending on his pain tolerance. He said Tuesday he hasn't tried to grip a stick.
C Teal Burns (shoulder): Didn't skate Tuesday. Doubtful.
LW Connor Redmond (upper body): Didn't skate Tuesday. Game-day decision.
D Darren Bestland (sore back): He skated Tuesday. He might play.
D Tyson Hart (shoulder): Out for at least a month.
D Joel Rogers (concussion): Dayto-day.
© Copyright (c) The Province