Friday, August 28, 2015
Dogs open Exhibition sked, Kings close Exhibition sked, tonight at Multiplex
It's only preseason hockey, but it's hockey against another BCHL club as the Bulldogs (0-0-0-0) host the Powell River Kings (1-0-0-0 in preseason) tonight at the Multiplex.
It's just another step up in the level of play that new and returning players alike will face. Training camp scrimmages are one level, the intersquad game is another. Exhibition hockey brings yet another step up in the intensity, hostility, pace and physical play. Eventually that goes up another notch with the start of the Regular Season.
Both teams might be looking at this game very differently. It's the first Exhibition game for the Dogs - they will host the Clippers tomorrow and play three more next week, in Duncan Wednesday, home to Victoria Friday and in Victoria on Saturday.
The Kings meanwhile opened their Exhibition sked last night, picking up a 9-4 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the Lake Cowichan Arena. Tonight's contest is their final preseason game, as they won't see game action against another BCHL club until September 12th and 13th when they host the Nanaimo Clippers to open the Regular Season. I'm sure in a perfect world that the Kings would want to play a couple more exhibition games next week, but it's not a cheap endeavour to hop a ferry and spend a night in a hotel. The fact that they are "mean nothing" games, it's hard to think it's worth the expense. Knowing their Staff like I do, you can be sure they'll have more than a few things planned to get their team game ready next week.
The Bulldogs Coaching Staff still have the luxury of a good amount of time to evaluate potential players in a game situation, and might adjust their roster accordingly. The Kings meanwhile might very well be treating this as their final tune up and icing close to their opening night roster. For players dreaming to crack their line up, this might be their final chance to get off the bubble and make that lasting impression, so the Bulldogs will need to be ready to match their urgency.