What’s Left?


(Photo by Elizabeth Huber for scbroncos.com)

With only eight games left in the regular season I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the playoff picture and what it might take for the Broncos to find a way in. The hill is obviously a steep one with three teams ahead of them and the Broncos mired in a 7 game losing streak. Of course momentum can turn on a dime sometimes. So what kind of a streak would the Broncos have to go on to make it in?

Let’s start by looking at the schedules of the other teams the Broncos are chasing.

Prince Albert Remaining Games:

  • at Swift Current
  • at Moose Jaw
  • vs. Kootenay
  • vs. Regina
  • vs. Edmonton
  • at Brandon
  • at Calgary
  • vs. Swift Current
  • at Swift Current

The Raiders have 9 games left compared to 8 for Swift Current. They are the team Swift Current is in the best position to catch because there are still three games left between the two clubs. Only 4 of the 9 games the Raiders have left are against teams ahead of them in the standings. If they lost all 4 of those games and Swift Current swept the 3 games they have left with PA, they could potentially catch and pass Prince Albert. That being said, the Raiders only need 11 points in their last 9 games to make sure Swift Current has no chance to pass them.

Lethbridge Remaining Games:

  • at Chilliwack
  • at Kamloops
  • at Kelowna
  • vs. Moose Jaw
  • at Calgary
  • vs. Medicine Hat
  • at Edmonton
  • vs. Kootenay
  • at Kootenay

The Hurricanes also have 9 games compared to 8 for Swift Current. I’d say Lethbridge has a tougher schedule than the Broncos. That home and home against Kootenay to close out the season could be a killer. The extended road trip to BC this week could be make or break for Lethbridge. I know Kamloops is red-hot right now and is going to be tough to beat. The Hurricanes only have one game left against a “lesser” opponent so they’ll have to make some hay in BC and they’ll need to take down some better teams  in order to earn a spot. They (like PA) can ensure the Broncos don’t pass them by picking up at least 11 points over 9 games.

Regina Remaining Games:

  • at Moose Jaw
  • at Brandon
  • vs. Brandon
  • at Prince Albert
  • vs. Moose Jaw
  • at Moose Jaw
  • at Swift Current
  • vs. Saskatoon
  • at Saskatoon

The Pats also have 9 games left compared to 8 for Swift Current. Their schedule is a tough one. They’ve got 5 games left with the top two teams in the East Division and a couple more left against the Wheat Kings, the hottest team in the league right now. That is a major uphill climb for the Pats. Brandon just hammered them 9-3 last night so that’ll be a challenge for them to overcome. They’ll need 13 points over their last 9 games to ensure the Broncos don’t pass them. I’d say based on this schedule they’d be and underdog to pass Lethbridge and Prince Albert.

Swift Current Remaining Games:

  • vs. Prince Albert
  • at Calgary
  • vs. Calgary
  • at Kootenay
  • at Red Deer
  • vs. Regina
  • at Prince Albert
  • vs. Prince Albert

As I’ve mentioned a few times recently, the schedule really isn’t too bad for Swift Current. They’ve got 6 of their last 8 games against teams bellow .500 and 4 of them are against teams they’ve fighting against for the final playoff spots. The problem is that their recent slide (15 losses in their last 16 games) had put them in a pretty big hole. It’ll take a significant run of victories to get in.

That weekend swing in Cranbrook and Red Deer looks like the toughest part of the remaining schedule. They might need to win one or both of those games to make the playoffs. That is certainly an imposing task.

So what are some scenarios here?

If the Broncos go 5-3 in their last 8 is that good enough? That would leave them with 59 points. In that case they would have to hope that Lethbridge and Prince Albert go at best 2-7 in their final 9 games. Also they’d need Regina to go no better than 3-6. Those teams don’t play each other more than once so it is possible if unlikely.

They can finish tied with Lethbridge and Prince Albert and still get in depending on how the season series with the Raiders wraps up. For the benefit of this discussion I’m assuming that if they do tie Prince Albert that will mean they’ve won the season series. Swift Current can’t finish tied with Regina because the Pats have already won that season series.

If the Broncos go 6-2 their chances improve somewhat. In that case Lethbridge and Prince Albert could do no better than 3-6 in their last 9 games while Regina could do no better than 4-5. I think that scenario is somewhat plausible because both Lethbridge and Regina have tough schedules. I think in this scenario the Broncos absolutely would have to sweep their last 3 games with the Raiders and then Prince Albert would just have to finish no better than .500 in their other 6 games.

Both of those scenarios rely a lot on the failure of the other teams they’re chasing. A 7-1 or 8-0 run wouldn’t guarantee anything but would at the very least make it close. You can’t say for sure that a 6-2 or 5-3 run would.

Of course none of this matters if the Broncos can’t find a way to shake off this latest losing skid when they host Prince Albert on Tuesday. If they do that maybe the tide starts to turn.

Either way it’s an imposing task… but not impossible.

BLACK LIGHTS IT UP

The Broncos could soon have the services of Graham Black available to them. The 1993 born leading scorer in Midget AAA is a game away from being eliminated from that league’s playoffs. His Pat Canadians are down 2 games to 1 against the Notre Dame Argos after an overtime loss last night. Black has been spectacular for Regina so far. He has 6 goals and an assist in 2 games. The games and competition get harder in the playoffs, but that hasn’t slowed Black up at all.

I certainly wish Black at the Pat Canadians good luck as they try to stay alive against Notre Dame. However, if Regina is eliminated perhaps we’ll see Black in a Broncos uniform before the end of the regular season. With all the injures the Broncos have been fighting it couldn’t hurt to get a player with his skill set into the line-up. Of course it’s also not fair to expect much out of any player jumping into a WHL game as a call-up.

About these ads

About shawnmullin

Play by Play Broadcaster for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos on 94.1 FM The Eagle.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What’s Left?

  1. Pingback: It’s a fist pump and air hump extravaganza! « saskawhat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s