It’s been a crazy busy week for the Vancouver Giants, both on and off the ice, with the G-Men travelling to Alberta and back – playing five games in seven days – and all that while Giants staff were moving players around like chess pieces leading up to Tuesday’s WHL trade deadline.
While the dust was still settling on all the swaps late Tuesday afternoon, head coach Jason McKee wanted to focus on the positive moments in his team’s play last week and weekend.
The trip to Alberta started off great, he said. In the first game against the Calgary Hitmen, the team fought back from a 2-0 lead to tie it up and win 5-4 in a shootout. It was an exciting “come-from-behind game.”
That momentum continued two days later in Edmonton, when the Giants delivered another win, this time a 3-2 victory over the Oil Kings, with a large part of the credit for this one owed to the goaltender, McKee said.
Sadly, that’s where things turned. But the coach still didn’t seem too disappointed by their efforts in what he described a series of close games.
In last Friday’s play against the Rebels in Red Deer, the Giants fell 3-2 in a game that “could have easily gone either way,” McKee said. And, the next night in Medicine Hat, they took on what he called a “fast-paced” team that forced the guys to play a “very different” type of game than they’re used to. “I liked our game there,” he said, even though they lost 5-4 to the Tigers.
Their next stop in Cranbrook Sunday didn’t leave the coach feeling nearly as positive about the players’ performances, although he was somewhat forgiving since they’d played five games away and were tired.
He called the game “a little bit flat,” and said “every team goes through that.” McKee said the second half was close, but not good enough to get them a win, the G-Men losing 3-2 to the Kootenay Ice.
Despite the ups and downs, McKee said the team is eight points out of the playoffs heading into Friday’s game at the LEC against the Moose Jaw Warriors. If the team can simply stick to the plan, play consistently, and take life one game at a time, he still has hope they could be a contender.
“Hopefully it’s enough to get us in,” McKee said.