The Bruins set a couple of new team records this week, one good and one bad.
As the 2010-11 Western Hockey League regular season winds down, Bruins radio colour man Jacob Bestebroer discusses those, along with playoff possibilities, in this week’s column.
It’s hard to believe but the Spokane Chiefs had 78 shots on goal in a 2-1 shootout win against the Bruins Wednesday night in Spokane.
Through five years of existence the Bruins had never allowed 30 or more shots in a period. They did just that in periods two and three Wednesday night.
The 78 shots on goal is not a league record. That record belongs to the Brandon Wheat Kings who on March 12, 1979 fired 85 shots in a 14-4 win over the Regina Pats.
It’s unknown whether Gore’s 77 saves is a league record. If it isn’t it certainly has to be a top three all-time performance.
As the Bruins head into the final weekend of the regular season, their first round playoff opponent is still unknown.
Here’s what we do know.
The Bruins will finish fifth, sixth or seventh in the Western Conference. A fifth place finish would get them the Tri-City Americans in the first round.
A seventh place finish, which is right now the least likely of the three possibilities, would see them play the Kelowna Rockets in round one.
A sixth place finish would have them face either the Portland Winterhawks or Chiefs to start the playoffs. We may not know until Sunday’s games are completed.
An interesting side note, the Chiefs, despite having home ice advantage in round one will start the opening round on the road due to the unavailability of their arena.
After earning a single point Wednesday, the Bruins moved into fifth place in the Western Conference with 72 points, one point up on sixth place Vancouver (the Giants have one game in hand).
72 points is a new team record, bettering the 71 they earned last season.
Just two games remain for Chilliwack and winning both would not guarantee a fifth place finish. The Giants have three games left and if they win all three it doesn’t matter what the Bruins do.
The Giants three games this weekend are a home and home set versus Kelowna followed by a home ice contest versus Everett on Sunday.
After visiting Tri- City Friday night, the Bruins return for their final home game of the regular season Saturday versus the Silvertips.
It’s difficult to predict the exact importance of that game, but it will no doubt factor into how the first round matchups are set up.
There is a chance that Everett, currently in seventh place with 67 points could catch the Bruins. They sit five points back of Chilliwack with three games left.
It may be unlikely but it is certainly possible.
Saturday’s game is also fan appreciation night. The first 1000 fans will receive a team photo and following the game the entire team will be signing autographs on the concourse. Check the Bruins website for a full list of what is happening that night.