It’s been a big week for the Vancouver Giants – the team has clinched a playoff spot, and top scorer Ty Ronning has been signed by an NHL team – but that’s no reason to rest on their laurels.
“It’s a good feeling,” said head coach Jason McKee, of the 5-4 win over the Kamloops Blazers that put the team into the WHL playoffs. “We haven’t been there in a while.”
But the team has worked hard this year, and it’s paid off with a winning record. And once they get into the playoffs, anyone can win, said McKee.
That’s why they won’t be letting up – the teams that will face them over the next week will not see the Giants slacking.
“We want to be playing playoff hockey before the playoffs start,” said McKee.
He’s got a list of four areas he wants his team to work on during the next string of games: offensive, defensive, and neutral zone play, and special teams.
The fact that most of the string of games will be road games doesn’t bother McKee in the slightest.
“You’ve got to be able to win on the road if you’re going to win championships,” he said.
As for worrying about injuries, that’s something that McKee feels is entirely out of his control. He can’t think about it as the regular season winds down.
“We want our guys playing hard, and playing the right way,” McKee said.
That tough play has payed off in spades for one Vancouver Giant.
Ty Ronning, son of former Canuck Cliff Ronning, is headed for the NHL after signing a three-year entry level contract with the New York Rangers.
“It’s exciting for everyone,” said McKee. “Ty’s worked real hard here for the last few years.”