And I mean wow.
The Huskies looked very good on Friday night. Those of you lucky enough to be at the NPA, to witness a 9-2 thrashing of the GP Wheelers will agree, it was a good-looking Huskies team that hit the ice that night. And it’s a team that is certainly capable of playing with Whitecourt. It wasn’t quite as impressive against Slave Lake, but they got the job done, so I think we can excuse a little bit of a hangover…
For those of you who weren’t there on Friday, or who haven’t seen the Huskies lately, here are three things to be excited about.
Line # 1. Kalb + Hildebrand + Sidhu. These guys have been all over the scoresheet lately, and show no signs of letting up. I was going to tally up their points from the three games this weekend, but I can’t count that high. According to league stats, Robbie Sidhu has 50 points on the season. That puts him 2 behind Kjell Reid, who sits in second, and 9 behind Cody Kalb. And RS is a rookie.
Line # 2. Norris + Fast (or Cam MacK) + Dylan (we hope). If there’s one thing that should be striking fear into the other 7 teams right now, it’s Kole Norris. This guy has really struggled this year, but seems to be coming on, at just the right time. You have to hand it to him, despite his slump, and all kinds of bad luck, he kept with it, and in many games was seen making great passes, creating chances, and making goals happen. He just wasn’t scoring. But now he is. In fact, one of his goals on Sunday against SL went off a defender and in. If bounces start going KN’s way, goaltenders beware. In fact, much as we all knew Steve Fast would be important to KN’s success, the way these guys played on Friday, Steve-O may find himself on the fourth line next time he’s in town.
Line # 3. Luke McInerney has been really impressing lately. He’s far too inconsistent, but when he’s working hard in the offensive zone, and helping out in his own zone, he’s a very useful player, and probably one of the best third-line centres in the league. When these guys have their ‘A’ line-up, and the MACs are the third line (Luke + Owen + Cam), the Huskies are a serious contender.
PLUS – The ‘X’ factor. The Huskies’ defensive corps is probably their weakest link, but some of these guys have really been stepping up lately. Add in some very talented Midgets who might join for the playoffs, this team now has all the ingredients they need to take on those punks in WCT.
Versatility – The Huskies have the ability to shift up their lines without much drop-off, and that’s a tribute to their depth. Brighton Campbell has an eight-game point scoring streak going, and looked totally comfortable playing on line 2 on Sunday. I am also really loving this combination of Kyle Porter and Brian Gilbert both playing D. If the pups need a centreman, keep KP there, and drop BG back. If a winger, drop back BG. They’ve both handled themselves admirably, and are proving their worth with every passing game.
Caution – Dylan Apsassin went down on Saturday night, when he crashed into the boards and apparently re-injured his wrist. I’ll try to pass info along as soon as I get it, but anyone who’s watched a Huskies game in the last three years will certainly be hoping for a positive diagnosis for Dylan.
And so – well, it still seems the nagging question remains. Can the Huskies replicate the game they played on Friday, ON THE ROAD. I think they can. We saw a pretty good effort when they were in WCT on Dec. 19th. The pups stuck with them through two periods, but just couldn’t get anything past Demharter. The key for these guys is to learn to play like they do at home, on the road.