Column: Early season no time to panic

The first four games of the BCHL season have rough, but hockey columnist Jacob Bestebroer thinks the Chilliwack Chiefs will be OK.

No games for the Chilliwack Chiefs this weekend, as a scheduling quirk means the team has a full two weeks between games.

The Chiefs played a pair of games in Prince George last weekend.

After a full day on the bus Friday, they were beaten 7-1 but bounced back nicely and earned a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday, their first win of the season.

After four games the Chiefs have scored just five goals.

Reason for concern?

Sure.

Reason to panic?

I don’t believe so. Four games is just too small a sample size to jump to conclusions.

The offense will improve as will the power play which is 0/21 on the season. I watched Saturday’s game, and despite scoring just two goals and registering 21 shots, the Chiefs generated a half dozen quality scoring chances that they were unlucky not to score on.

Sometimes the box score can be misleading.

With so many Chiefs playing at this level of hockey for the first time it will take a bit of time. It’s a faster game for many of the players.

You can see many good decisions being made with the puck in the offensive zone but often the decisions are made a split second too late.

Give these guys a few more games and their decision making will speed up and the scoring chances will increase.

Defensively, the Chiefs have given up too many shots.

They didn’t give up as many shots as claimed in either of the two games in Prince George (43 and 53) but they’ve still given up too many.

Defensive positioning needs to improve and I expect that defensive play will be a priority at Chiefs practices during this two week break.

Some of the mistakes are again due to the increased speed of the game for many of the players. I’ve seen players take low percentage chances on loose pucks that have led to scoring chances against. These are likely chances that were high percentage chances for them where they played last year.

Again, it’s an adjustment period to a faster game.

The bright spot defensively has been the the penalty kill which has been very good with a success rate of just under 90 per cent.

Off the ice, the Chiefs second annual Salvation Army Golf Tournament goes next Thursday.

There are still a few spots open.

All the Chiefs players will be there. If you’re interested check the Chiefs site for more details.

The official home opener is versus Prince George a week from Saturday. BC Lions general manager Wally Buono will be there to sign autographs, as will a few of the Felions (Lions Dance Team).

The first 1,000 fans will get a free magnetic schedule.

The next night the Chiefs are back on home ice versus Salmon Arm. As part of this season’s back to back promotion, if you buy two tickets for Saturday’s game, you get a free ticket to the game the next night.

 

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A police vehicle turns on to Landing Drive on the Skwah Reserve on Thursday, March 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
One man charged after allegedly pointing firearm at Chilliwack RCMP officer

Richard Joseph Williams faces 6 charges after March incident near McCammon elementary and Skwah

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crown seeking jail time for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Trial of Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016 ended Monday

RCMP patch. (File)
Young prolific offender from Hope faces another raft of charges

Jacob Paul Sihata charged in 3rd set of serious incidents since he was 19

Former Merritt Centennial and current Chilliwack Chief Jackson Munro (left) evades Merritt’s Chase Cook during a weekend BCHL game at the Chilliwack Coliseum. (Darren Francis photo)
Goalies lead Chilliwack Chiefs to pair of wins in weekend BCHL action

Mathieu Caron picked up a shutout Friday and Jakob Gullmes earned his first BCHL victory Sunday

Environment Canada says the Eastern Fraser Valley will enjoy plenty of sunshine this week. (Black Press News File)
Sunny weather to stay around all week in Eastern Fraser Valley

Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope all forecasted for a week free of rainfall

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read