The top teams in the BCHL have separated themselves, statistically, from the field.
Penticton, Coquitlam and Trail are the top three teams in goal scoring.
Coquitlam, Penticton and Trail are first, second and fourth in preventing goals being scored against them.
Island Division leader Cowichan Valley is fourth on the first metric and seventh on the second, despite having more standings points than Trail – another result of the poor Smoke Eater start to the season – and would rank fourth on the contenders list right now.
Only one playoff spot to be awarded, undoubtedly to West Kelowna, but Trail’s opponent in the first round will depend upon the results of the next three weeks of play. If West Kelowna does not surge to the finish, though, the Smokies face a very long opening round travel schedule.
Speaking of travel, Prince George moving back into the Interior, as it will now be shaped, is going to add a lot of mileage to their schedule. They will add extra trips to Trail, Cranbrook and Wenatchee and lose shorter jaunts to places in the lower mainland.
It will take some calculating, but that likely means the Spruce Kings will spend more time on the road than the Smokies – currently the league’s road warriors.
Speaking of West Kelowna, a surge from them would be a travel boon to the Smokies, but that would likely have to start tonight, against the Smokies. Not a prospect to be wished and damn the travel costs.
*Just returned from a medical trip to the Lower Mainland. Not sure whether the health situation at our house, or the trip itself, was more stressful.
C’mon folks. TURN ON YOUR DAMNED LIGHTS, especially in winter. Driving on packed snow and ice in conditions of diminished visibility is tough enough without having to deal with stealth traffic in front of you, behind you, and heading towards you in the other lane.
AND, use your signal lights, before you change lanes, before you pull out to pass, before you pull back in and for as long as it is reasonable (usually hundreds of meters) before you slow, stop and turn on and off highways.
It would have been a shame for the positive news we received in Vancouver to have been obliterated because of others’ negligent driving behaviour on the trip to receive it.
It isn’t hard. Pay attention and be visible, every trip, everywhere. If you can’t do that, stay home.