Cool Blues playoff run begins tonight
SPRINGHILL - Hockey fans in the Springhill area will be gripped by Cool Blue fever tonight when the Cumberland County Cool Blues host the Pictou County Scotians in the first round of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League playoffs at the Richard Calder Arena.
Game time is 7:30 p.m.
"I've never seen the boys so ready as they are now," Cool Blues' coach Ron Reynolds said. "The playoffs are a totally new season."
Reynolds expects a very disciplined Cool Blues team to take to the ice.
"To win championships you have to be very strong defensively," Reynolds said. "We definitely have some firing power up front but we have to take care of business in our own zone."
He also expects the Blues to work hard for every shift.
"We're looking for a total commitment from all four lines."
The Blues enter this year's playoffs in an unfamiliar position as the team to beat.?The club finished the regular season with a 27-6-0-1 record, the best in franchise history.
At 190 goals for, the Blues had the best offence in the league, led by Cody Roach, while its 101 goals against was also tops.
Reynolds has one major concern going into the series. The concern stems from the fact that their back-up goaltender, Landon Crowe, was injured in a car accident and will not suit up for the series against Pictou.
"We have a hurt goaltender and there's a rumour out there that there will be some liberties taken on Matt Kimber," Reynolds said. "I don't like to hear that stuff. Hopefully the referees and league officials will make sure that stuff doesn't happen."
If it does happen, the Cool Blues will have a plan in place to correct the situation.
Who will play backup for Kimber?
"We're still in the process of an appeal through Hockey Canada. We can't seem to get any answers from them, but we'll definitely have somebody backing Kimber up come game time."
Despite the goalie issue, Reynolds said fans can expect to be treated to some great hockey.
"Pictou is a fast skating team," Reynolds said. "We'll be looking to play the body real hard on them."
The Blues won five of six regular season games against Pictou during the regular season, but he doesn't want his players looking beyond the series against Pictou.
"You don't want to put the cart before the horse, you just want to take it one game at a time. We want to concentrate on getting through this series, and then we'll worry about the next one.
Game 2 is Sunday night in Pictou County.