Could the BCHL steal from the NHL on how they recognize their players? A few years ago the NHL introduced their 3 stars of the week. Just like in a game, three players from the past week were recognized for their outstanding individual performances.
This works in two ways, one, you can certainly avoid any controversy when only one player is picked over other deserving candidates. Secondly, this presents the potential opportunity to award three players in three different areas of the game.
Don't get me wrong, Kiefer Smiley was simply outstanding in the 1-0 loss Trail suffered at hands of the Kings. However, his competitor at the other end of the ice, Mike Garteig, was just as stellar.
After a surprising start in the BCHL, (with some proclaiming the sky was falling) it looks like teams who had slow starts are rounding back into form. Lots was made of Vernon's "slow" start to this years campaign. If you win two consecutive national championships and subsequent player turnover as they had this off-season, its bound to catch up to you eventually. After their weekend performances, it looks like Mark Ferner's team is on track.
The Kings opposition tomorrow, Alberni Valley, has bounced back from their opening night loss to Powell River. In fact, the 'Dawgs haven't lost since.
Furthermore, though its early, I think Langley is the real deal and will battle Powell River all season long at or near the top of the Coastal Conference Standings. Matt Ius is collecting points by the bushel full and several broadcasters have told be Wyatt Galley looks to be game stealer between the pipes.
This will be a very entertaining season in the BCHL, and their is a reason the season is played over 60 games, not 10.
On another topic, how bizzare is it to see almost three teams top line in the top 10 in BCHL scoring? At one point this season, when Surrey was in town, the game feature 6 of the top 8 BCHL scorers, think of a time you saw that last.
Matt Garbowsky and Chad Niddery will finish in, if not near, the top 5 in BCHL scoring. These two are just too dynamic and gifted with the puck.
Holy Cross, you have an absolute stud coming to your program next season. Justin DaSilva, is a towering presence that has all the tools to be one of the top defenseman in the league. His icy stare on the ice alone, can put your stomach in your throat.
The "other" guys on the back-end are simply, solid, rock solid. The development of Jon Jutzi and Craig Dalrymple has been surprising. I personally thought these two would have an adjustment period coming from Ontario. However, that seemed to last all of one game. Both are seeing plenty of ice time, and in key situations too. Furthermore, don't let Dalrymple's frame fool you, he has an absolute cannon of a shot.
Speaking of hard shots, can we give Klay Kachur an nomination for Unsung Hero already? The 19 year-old from Lanigan, Saskatchewan has been terrific for the Kings. With a numbers game on the back-end and a hole to fill upfront, Klay didn't complain, he thrived. He has been great up front playing key fourth-line minutes, and playing as the third man down low in defensive zone situations. Also twice this year, he was called back into defensive duty, in the third period, and didn't miss a beat.
The Kings are showing, character and maturity of a team with only one goal on their mind. I don't think I have to tell you what that is.