This game means absolutely nothing.
Atleast, in the standings that's the case.
But, with the rivalry that has grown even more this year, it should still make for an entertaining matchup.
The Saskatoon Blades are coming off of a 4-0 shutout win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday night. The Warriors are winners of 3 games in a row, including a 2-1 win over Regina their last time out, also on Saturday.
The Blades have clinched the overall WHL title, and can't be knocked from their perch. The Warriors are in a similar position, albeit further down the standings. They are 5th in the Eastern Conference, but alone on their own island. They can't catch Kootenay for 4th, and can't fall down to 6th.
It seems as if they are destined to play the Ice in round one, with an outside chance of meeting the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Warriors are also likely without super pest Cody Beach tonight, who was hurt in the recent game against the Pats. That might be disappointing to some fans expecting fireworks on the ice, but it's almost a breath of fresh air for the Blades, who can focus (mostly) on simple hockey tonight.
Here are my keys to the game:
For Moose Jaw
- Stay out of the penalty box. The Blades haven’t scored on the PP in 4 straight games and are due for a big explosion.
- Use their speed and size on the forecheck. That’s one area that teams have exposed Saskatoon this year, being able to force some turnovers.
- And continue to slow down the top line. They will be in better shape if they are forcing Viedensky and Nicholls to beat them, instead of Schenn and Hamilton.
- Get off to a quicker start. They were outplayed in the first ten minutes of last their last game against Edmonton. They can’t allow that to happen.
- The younger players need to continue to play well. Players like Olsen and Bews have really come on strong lately and that will be needed once the playoffs hit.
- And keep their emotions in check. The rivalry continues to heat up as the season has gone along, but they have to be smart and keep their heads in the game.
Game time goes at 7:05 from CUC. You can catch it, starting with the pregame show on 92.9 The Bull at 6:30.
Tonight is also Faith Night at the rink. Saskatchewan Roughriders QB Darian Durant will be on hand to take part in the festivities.