The Canes' went 3-5-1-0 in those 9 games. They managed to make up some ground with a few of the games in hand they had on Prince Albert and Swift Current. With 21 games remaining in the regular season, Lethbridge currently sits tied with Brandon for 9th place in the Eastern Conference, one point back of 8th place Prince Albert and 3 points back of the 7th place Broncos. They also have the Regina Pats breathing down their necks.
January was a banner month for two Hurricanes players in particular. Austin Fyten and Cam Braes combined for a total of 39 points in just 14 games. Fyten scored 20 of those points and Braes had 19. Austin Fyten continues to impress, even though he missed 5 weeks back in October with a broken foot.
The Hurricanes have also been getting more offence from their defence lately. Landon Oslanski has racked up a number of points in January and in the Canes' past two games, both Daniel Johnston and Reid Jackson scored their first goals of the season. It's important that Lethbridge get contributions offensively from throughout the line-up in order to be successful, as opposed to relying on the top line of Fyten, Braes, and Sutter to carry them along.
Again, staying out of the penalty box must be the key for this group. It's been their Achilles heal all season long. Undisciplined penalties at key times in hockey games have cost the Hurricanes points this season. The Canes' have taken 1106 minutes in penalties through 51 games, which is the highest in the Eastern Conference and third highest in all the Western Hockey League. Discipline has to be a major focus for the Hurricanes if they want to pick up one of last few playoff spots in the conference.
The Hurricanes will play 12 games during the month of February, most of which are at home. They'll play three games in four nights this week to open the new month. They play host to Vancouver on Wednesday. The Canes' have a very long winless drought versus the Giants. The last time Lethbridge beat Vancouver was more than 6 years ago in December 2004. I would say the Canes' are due! After that, the Hurricanes will head off to Saskatchewan and get set for a huge head-to-head match-up with Prince Albert Friday night and then they'll take on one the best in the WHL Saturday when the Canes' hook up with the Saskatoon Blades.
HURRICANES THIS WEEK
Just six more shows to go before we wrap up Hurricanes This Week for the 2010-2011 WHL season. On Monday night's show, Fred and I will be joined by Hurricanes forward Max Ross. We'll also welcome Drew Wilson, the radio voice of the P.A. Raiders to set up Friday's big game between the Hurricanes and Raiders. The show starts at 6:00 pm (MST) on CJOC.
This blog post is brought to you by http://www.clearlylethbridge.com/.