Saturday’s game against the Kelowna Rockets was not about winning, it was about resting the front-runners who will take to the ice this Friday in the Vancouver Giant’s first playoff game. It was also about giving some up-and-coming players a turn on the ice, said head coach Jason McKee.
This past weekend, the G-Men fell 5-2 to Kelowna before their hometown fans at Langley Events Centre (LEC) on Friday, then lost again Saturday night, by the score of 8-1, to the Rockets in Kelowna.
But it’s not worth dwelling on, said McKee, who noted it was the Giants’ last game of the regular season.
The Giants have already secured their spot in the playoff, and now all the teams’ energy and thought must be focused on preparing for the playoffs that begin with two games in Victoria this Friday and Saturday night.
Getting ready for playoffs means focusing on areas the Giants may need to improve on, what they need to do to tighten up on their game, and whatever is required to understand and better prepare for their opponents.
McKee said the Giants will keep with their regular practice schedule this week, but more importantly, players are being encouraged to eat exceptionally well and get lots of rest.
“Once [the playoffs] start, it gets really hectic,” McKee said.
Does it worry the coach that the Giants’ first games in the playoffs are being held in Victoria.
Not at all, he said.
The team has performed well on the road this year, and he is confident they’ll give it their all this weekend against the Royals.
In the first round of Western Hockey League playoffs, the Giants are battling the Victoria Royals. As mentioned, the first two games of this matchup are away, then the G-Men return home – at the LEC – for two games. One is Tuesday, March 27, followed by the next Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. Thursday’s game will be broadcast nationwide on Sportsnet.
• Stay tuned to the Langley Advance for more on this team’s progress in the playoffs