The Chilliwack Chiefs returns to the top of our British Columbia Hockey League rankings this week. We’ll talk about that and more in today’s BCHL Report.
The BCHL Insider is exactly that...a coach, or employee, with incredible insight into the league.
Now for the disclosure… the following is my opinion and not written under the influence of anything or anybody.
1 – Chilliwack Chiefs (22-9-0-0): Chilliwack needed a shootout at Surrey Friday night; that’s saying something. Langley, Powell River, and Trail all visit the Prospera Centre this week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Chilliwack almost got caught napping and woke up just in time to escape Surrey with two points. Any of the three visiting teams this week are also capable of causing the Chiefs some headaches.
2 – Prince George Spruce Kings (21-8-1-2): PG took two of three at home last week, but that one loss was very interesting. Getting shutout 4-0 at home by Langley may be telling us a bigger story. Let’s see what happens when Vernon and Nanaimo visit this week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The only story it tells is the same ol’ story of one team not being ready on a given night. PG will be ready this week.
3 – Penticton Vees (20-8-1-2): The Vees lost at Wenatchee before taking both sides of the home-and-home set with Trail. Penticton goes back to Wenatchee Friday before hosting the Wild Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Vees have a much better idea of what to expect when they go stateside this time, so it should be an interesting weekend.
4 – Victoria Grizzlies (20-10-0-1): The Grizz picked up the win in only one of three games last week. Victoria was beaten at Cowichan Valley tomorrow before getting past Coquitlam 10-6 at home. West K made it look way too easy on Sunday. Cowichan Valley and Salmon Arm visit this week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: With all the revenge focus on Cowichan Valley, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Salmon Arm stick it in Victoria’s ear.
5 - Wenatchee Wild (19-10-2-0): The Wild have wins in six straight games after the home win over the Vees and back-to-back road victories at Salmon Arm and Vernon. The Vees are back Friday before Wenatchee visits Penticton Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: A great opportunity exists for both teams to make some noise in an already congested Interior Division, though it’s also possible the division will just as much a mystery come Monday morning.
6 – Merritt Centennials (19-11-1-1): The Cents picked up road losses at PG and Vernon before salvaging the weekend with a 5-2 win over Salmon Arm. Merritt is at West K Friday before hosting Nanaimo Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: No need to worry about Merritt, they’ll be just fine.
7 – Powell River Kings (17-12-1-0): The Kings picked up three-points in the weekend home split with Alberni Valley. Powell River visits Cowichan Valley tonight before Salmon Arm visits Friday. The Kings are in Chilliwack Saturday. INSIDER SAYS: This will be a long weekend for Powell River, no matter how the games end up. They’ll be physically wiped out when they pull into Chilliwack.
8 – Coquitlam Express (17-12-1-0): The Express put an end to a seven-game slide with the win at Alberni Valley. Trail visits Friday before Coquitlam is at Surrey Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Express have won a lot of games and not by accident. This is a good team that won’t be down for long.
9 - West Kelowna Warriors (18-13-0-1): The Warriors took two of three games on their big island roadie. Merritt visits Friday before West K is at Vernon Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Warriors and their opponents this weekend are a “pick ‘em” for how they’ll finish in the standings, but it probably will be by a pretty slim margin. Warriors and Cents are very similar.
10 - Salmon Arm Silverbacks (14-12-3-0): The ‘Backs have losses in four-straight games and need to put an end to all this week. Salmon Arm is at Powell River, Victoria, and Surrey this weekend. INSIDER SAYS: Silverback goalies will see a lot of pucks this weekend. If they don’t keep them out of the net, it’s gonna be a real long bus ride home.
11 - Langley Rivermen (15-14-1-0): The Riv went 2-2 in their four-game roadie. Langley is at Chilliwack tomorrow before hosting Trail and Nanaimo this weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Langley needs to win 2 of the three this weekend, or players will start losing interest.
12 - Vernon Vipers (11-10-6-3): The Vipers looked very dangerous this past weekend. The snakes edged Merritt 3-2 before giving the Wild fits in the 5-4 loss. Vernon is at PG tomorrow before hosting West K Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Again, if not for all the overtime and shootout losses, Vernon would be right in the thick of the race.
13 - Trail Smoke Eaters (11-15-4-2): Trail lost both sides of the home-and-home set with Penticton. The Smokies will be dragging a three-game slide into this week’s trip to Coquitlam, Langley, and Chilliwack. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Forget about Trail’s record. They have enough quality pieces to turn it around and be a top 3 or 4 team in their division.
14 – Nanaimo Clippers (12-16-0-0): The Clips were ripped by West K and Coquitlam at home and go into this week’s three-game roadie needing a positive result. That’s not going to be easy with games at Prince George, Merritt, and Langley. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Over/under for this week’s roadie is 2 points, only because of how inconsistent Langley can be.
15 – Cowichan Valley Capitals (8-17-4-1): The Caps picked up a pair of home wins over Victoria and West K to set the tone for the upcoming three-game week. Powell River visits tonight before the Caps visit Victoria Friday. Alberni Valley comes to Island Savings Centre Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Suddenly, the Caps are on fire again? Sure, it won’t last, but it’s fun to watch when it happens.
16 - Alberni Valley Bulldogs (10-20-1-0): The ‘Dogs bit back in Saturday’s win at Powell River. Again, Alberni Valley can play with any team on the schedule. Look for a good result with the only game of the week at Cowichan Valley. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Cowichan Valley is playing hot right now, but the ‘Dogs are pretty good, too. Only one game all week? Advantage: Alberni Valley.
17 – Surrey Eagles (7-23-0-2): The Eagles gave top-ranked Chilliwack fits on Sunday and host Coquitlam and Salmon Arm this week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Will the latest coaching change be the right combination for the Eagles, or will they continue to waste the talent they DO have? Two winnable matchups this week, could be a good start to flying in the right direction.