Coach’s Corner: Flu hammers Giants at crucial point

It’s a rough part of the season as injuries and illness take their toll.

Vancouver Giants head coach Jason McKee is no fan of flu season.

The team’s winning ways are being impacted by the fact that it has lost a good chunk of its players to the sick and injured list.

“It’s not great, we’ve got eight or nine guys out right now,” McKee said. “It’s really affected our defence.”

Among the players out right now are Darian Skeoch, Matt Barberis, Dylan Plouffe, Own Hardy, and Milos Roman.

“We got, basically, the flu and a lot of injuries,” McKee said.

Things are so bad the team is bringing in a couple of players from midget leagues to make up their numbers for the next few games.

And those games will be rough.

The Giants play the tough Portland Winterhawks Wednesday (after press deadlines) and then have three games in three days from Friday to Sunday.

“We’re going to need to see bigger contributions from a number of players,” McKee said.

Getting the whole team to play every night has been a big theme of McKee’s this year, and when the team is clicking, they do get goals, assists, and solid play from everyone.

Speaking of big contributions, one of the Giants still not sick or injured is Ty Ronning, who has now broken the team record for most goals in a single regular season, having reached the marker of 49 goals. Ronning put in both goals in a 2-1 overtime win over the Seattle Thunderbirds.

“Everyone’s excited for him,” said McKee. “Ty’s a great kid.”

One secret weapon the Giants will have in their pocket as they fight their way towards the playoffs is the size of their crowds. They’re now well past 3,000 people on an average game night.

McKee said people who show up will get to see “good, entertaining hockey every night.”

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