Thursday, February 15, 2024

Huge long weekend coming up

As the weekend begins, the Pats are hanging tough in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, sitting five points out of the playoffs. The Lethbridge Hurricanes and Calgary Hitmen sit in a virtual tie at 51 points, and both have two games at hand on the Pats.

Some may think that the clock is ticking, and that time will run out. Will it? It's a big task. The Pats play three games this long weekend, a home-and-home against the somewhat underachieving Swift Current Broncos, here on Friday and in Speedy Creek on Saturday. The Pats end the weekend with a Family Day Matinee versus the Calgary Hitmen.

The Pats need as many points as they can get in these three games. If they were to lose all three, it could be the writing on the wall. The team needs a win on Monday in a "four-pointer" against the visitors from the Stampede City.

Reinforcements Incoming

Ty Gibson - Keith Hershmiller Photography

Good news for the club as a couple of veterans are on their way back into the line-up. 20-year-old defenceman Ty Gibson is set to return after missing three games with a lower-body injury. he has 11 points in 14 games after being acquired in a trade that sent Parker Berge to Everett Silvertips. His puck handling and veteran savvy were missed on the back end. 

Brayden Barnett - Keith Hershmiller Photography

Also making his return to the line-up this weekend is 2004-born veteran forward Brayden Barnett who had been out of the line-up since December 29th. He will return after missing 18 games with an upper-body injury. The veteran presence will be a nice add and hopefully, they will bring some extra jump to the games this weekend. It also sounds like a couple more players will return sooner rather than later.

After The Weekend

Once this weekend is finished the Pats hit the road for their longest trek of the season when they travel south of the 49th for six games in nine days, including four games in a five-day streak. This will likely be the make-or-break part of the season for the Pats who have picked up just 5 road wins in 24 attempts. The Pats can’t sit back at all, they just need to win. They can’t control what other teams around them do, you win, and you might just have a say when it comes to the playoffs.