After falling behind 2-0 in the series, the Vancouver Giants return home for Game Three and Four versus the Kamloops Blazers. The Giants were outscored 14-1 in the first two games, with Samuel Honzek finding the back of the net for his first WHL playoff goal late in Game Two. If Vancouver wants to get back into the series, they need to find a way to beat the powerhouse Blazers in Game Three to avoid a potential elimination game on Thursday Night.
Special Teams The Difference So Far
Special teams have played a massive role in this series so far. The Giants have been given just three power play opportunities over the two games, while Kamloops is already up to 14. While Vancouver does have a power play goal, the Blazers have four which is one more goal than the Giants have had opportunities this postseason. Vancouver needs to find a way to be more disciplined over the remainder of the series, as while their penalty kill has been decent all season, Kamloops is going to make them pay every chance they get.
One way to get more power plays is through puck possession. This has been an issue so far during the series for the Giants, as they haven’t been able to set up and create scoring chances in the Kamloops zone through the first two games of the postseason. As a team, Vancouver needs to find a way to create more zone time which will hopefully lead to more mistakes by Kamloops and opportunities on the power play.
Too Many Shots Against
While the Giants have relied on strong goaltending all season, they need to find a way to limit the Blazers’ shots on goal. Through the two games, Kamloops has recorded 108 shots on goal compared to Vancouver’s 41. This is a major reason why they have been outscored 14-1 in the series and will continue to cost them if they can’t find a way to keep the Blazers’ offence under 50 shots per game.
One way to lower Kamloops’ shots on goal is, as mentioned earlier, puck possession. To make it simple, when the Giants have the puck on their stick in the offensive zone, the Blazers can’t generate shots on goal. Vancouver also has to do a better job of clearing the puck out of their own zone and preventing second opportunities for Kamloops off rebounds. They need to play better overall, but especially in their own zone.
Giants Have The Talent To Win Game Three
Despite how the first two games went, the Giants have the talent and structure to make this a series and win Game Three. Kamloops is a top team in the league, but if Vancouver’s top players can kickstart their offence, it could be the boost needed to generate a victory. The fans in Langley deserve to see at least one more win this season, now, it is up to the Giants to deliver.