In general the regular season doesn't mean much in terms of playoff success, however you usually can take the last 15-20 or so games played as an indication of how the matchups will stack up. The Tigers played twice in Kootenay losing 5-2 both times, however over the course of the season neither team won in the other teams building this year.
Kootenay's Top scorers Sam Reinhart, Jaedon Descheneau and Phillip/Franko did the Majority of scoring for the Ice.....you could compare that to the Tigers Valk/Sanford/Cox line who did the majority of scoring for the Tigers.
Kootenay's goaltender Mackenzie Skapski struggled a little in the Hitmen Series. He was pulled in games 3 and 4, and their backup Wyatt Hoffin finished the series with back to back wins. It will be interesting to see if they go back to Skapski or if they ride the hotter goalie in Wyatt Hoffin.. The Tigers faced Hoffin once back on January 29th with a 6-2 win at the arena.
Injuries Edit: March 3rd
Gavin Broadhead, Anthony Ast, Hunter Shinkaruk weren't able to play a game in the first round. Steven Owre returned for the last couple games and saw lowered Ice Time.
The Newspaper had an article today which mentioned that Ast will likely be ready to go for Game 1.
Broadhead remains a bit of a mystery he may be out for a bit yet.
For Kootenay Tim Bozon has just been discharged from the hospital 4 days ago following a bout of meningitis.
He will be flying back to France and entering a sports rehabilitation clinic in the southwestern town of Capbreton.
Defenseman Tanner Faith is out with an upper Body injury who was listed as out for 3-5 months on the last WHL Injury Report, so it looks unlikely that he will be available.
Left Winger Ryan Chynoweth also appears out. The last WHL report says he was out indefinitely and did not play in the Calgary Series.
Kootenay Received Landon Cross back from injury In Game 3, and Landon peel back from injury in game 2.
In round one Kootenay racked up 36 powerplay opportunities and scored 11 times on the powerplay, for a staggering 30%. The Tigers were 12.5% scoring twice in 16 opportunities. Going on past history the Ice always seem to score very timely special teams goals.
At the Arena I remember at times the Tiger controlled large parts of the play, but Kootenay somehow stuck around and timely goals made it close. When the Tigers are playing well their game is spread out, with the defenseman jumping up if needed on the breakout, often able to carry the puck out themselves.....When they don't play well they bunch up and limit themselves to only 1 or 2 passing options in their own zone.