Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blogging From Everett.

The Prince George Cougars have safely arrived in Washington State.

We crossed the border successfully this morning at around 8:00 AM, and after a breakfast in Bellingham, we have touched down in Everett where the Cougars are currently practicing.

Given the fact that I'm only 18 games into my WHL broadcasting career, there is still plenty that I have yet to see and experience. The Comcast Arena in Everett, WA is one of them.

I've heard nothing but good things about Everett. Apparently the atmosphere and energy in this building is awesome, and as I look around here it's easy to see why.

Even though I've never seen a game from this building, I am no stranger to Everett, or Washington State as a whole. Having grown up nearby in B.C. I have forged a lot of friendships in the Northern Washington area, and I am likely going to get to see some of them during my weekend in Everett. Hopefully they'll be treated to a couple of Cougars victories against their beloved Silvertips.


Heading into this weekend the Prince George Cougars are a healthy hockey team. Barring anything unexpected, the Cougars will have 25 eligible players ready to go tomorrow night. This is why practice is so important. A healthy lineup forces everybody to pick it up a notch, and if a player gets caught dogging it in practice, chances are good that he'll be sitting in the stands for games. Coach Dean Clark has not hesitated to sit players who he feels were not playing up to their usual standard.


Even though it's only early/mid November the statistical importance of this weekend is quite clear. The Silvertips and Cougars are tied in the Western Conference standings with 11 points each, and if the Cougars can head back North with three-or-four points, it will help build their confidence, and also help get them back into the thick of things in the B.C. Division.

Right now the Kelowna Rockets are one point ahead of the Cougars in the B.C. Division standings, and you know that the Cougars would feel great about themselves should they be ahead of Kelowna when all is said and done this weekend.

In saying that, Prince George Cougars Assistant Coach Jason Becker brought up a good point yesterday during an interview. He stressed the fact that the coaching staff is not concerning themselves with 'who is where' in the standings. The primary focus of the Cougars is simply improving their record, and it doesn't matter who it's against or what the circumstances may be along the way.

If you win games, the standings take care of themselves.


A couple of observations from Cougars practice this morning:

- Both Jarrett Fontaine and Jake Mykitiuk can really shoot the puck. These two continue to prove on a daily basis that they belong at this level, and they will not be intimidated. Jake Mykitiuk finished with the most votes in my recent blog-poll for Cougars unsung hero through the first 18 games. A well deserved winner to this point of the season, in my opinion.

- Drew Owsley has made some big-time saves in practice today. I think that Drew Owsley could be poised for a big weekend. In all four of his victories this season he has been nothing short of brilliant.


I'll be posting my Friday preview either tomorrow morning or later this afternoon. Enjoy your day, and don't forget to tune in to the broadcasts this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

- DO

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