Home > Chiefs Hockey > Last One Before Christmas: Chiefs V. Smokies

Last One Before Christmas: Chiefs V. Smokies

Will we see a post-win salute tonight?

Will we see a post-win salute tonight?

Chilliwack Chiefs (7-26-1-2, 5th in Mainland Division) VS Trail Smoke Eaters (7-27-2-1, 6th in Interior Division) (Saturday, December 21st,  Prospera Centre –  6:30 pregame/7pm faceoff on 89.5 The Drive)

I tweeted some things last night that could be misconstrued as snarky. Not so at all. It’s actually quite factual. This game tonight between Chilliwack and Trail should be fascinating. The desperation should be THICK, man. Consider:

Both teams come in tonight sporting identical eleven game losing streaks.

Both teams let games go on Friday in deflating fashion – Chilliwack allowing five in a span of 8:56 in the second period to seal their fate, while the Smoke Eaters squandered a 3-2 lead in Victoria, allowing 3 unanswered goals in the third in a 5-3 loss.

The goal differential for both clubs is the same – a rather unsightly -68. Chilliwack has scored 13 more goals overall than the Smokies this season, while Trail has allowed 13 fewer than the Chiefs in their 37 games played.

Chilliwack’s home record? 3-13-0-1.

Trail’s road record? That’s right – 3-13-0-1.

Trail’s last road victory? A 5-1 triumph over West Kelowna on November 2nd – You know, the site of the Chiefs last victory back on November 22nd.

Chilliwack’s special teams are respectable – the power play is 8th in the league, and they’re 3rd in the BCHL in power play goals with 32. The penalty kill is currently 11th. That should get you more than seven wins in 36 games, but Chilliwack’s play at 5 on 5 this year simply hasn’t been good enough. Friday was a prime example of that. The first period last night was extremely entertaining with chances at both ends. There was energy in the building, and good jump from the home side. Prince George was a little better from a territorial standpoint, but nothing to scream about.

In the second period, Austin Plevy was stoned by Alex Murray with the game still tied, and then the floodgates opened. Danny Kiraly got it started, and it snowballed from there.

So much of this game is played on momentum when you’re struggling. We’ve seen the Chiefs time and time again this season let things snowball out of control when the game gets away from them for a shift or three. It’s incredibly frustrating, and deflating.

It also doesn’t help that they’re as banged up as they are. Carter Cochrane left the game in the 2nd after taking a puck up high and went to the ER. No word yet on how long he’ll be out, but that’s three regulars on the blueline unable to help the group in the short term. When it rains, it pours. Jake Hand played D in the 3rd last night, and I’m sure we’ll see more of that tonight.

I’m hopeful about tonight. Two points up for grabs between two eerily similar clubs.

Merry Christmas, guys. All the best.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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