This Friday the Eels will be heading south to take on the Palm Beach Typhoon.
Both teams square off against its East Coast foes. Despite Palm Beach’s struggles of late on the scoreboard, we know that they have the personnel to battle hard and bring home wins. Simply put YOU CAN NOT TAKE PALM BEACH FOR GRANTED. That is the beauty of playing teams in the Division. Any team can defeat any other divisional opponent on any given afternoon. Moreover, the Typhoon are coached by the Flanagans and they are one of the most respected families in Junior hockey. Indeed, they are very well respected and highly regarded. You can count on them to bring out the best in the players. That is why our Eels coaches prepare just as hard for each opponent. The same hard practices. The same video prep work dissecting each aspect of its opponents, be it 5 n 5, D zone, O zone, forecheck, power play and PK. Our coaches are relentless in their quest for excellence.
The Eels Premier and Elite teams are sitting in 1st place. However, we see that the other teams in our Division have games in hand and that margin can quickly evaporate as they play the differential. That underscores why each point is critical to our plan. Moreover, we all saw what happen when we took teams for granted. No doubt the experience in Atlanta taught our boys a hard lesson. To come out to play every game. Do not take any opponent for granted. You need to bring 100% focus, determination and a complete 60 minute effort each and every game. That is why we train the way we do. We saw and experienced what we can do against the likes of Tampa and the Jr Blades last weekend. We also saw the hiccups of the Eels Premier team last weekend and the Eels Elite squad against the Madhatters
The coaches and players appreciate the inequities in the recent games. But that is what makes and builds championship caliber players and consequentially teams. So we are not focused on easy wins or stats this weekend. We know our mission and expectations: To win every shift. To out work our opponents every shift. To engage in our patterned smothering fore-check and suffocating back check. To overwhelm our opponents with a sustained systematic and continued attack on net with shots after shots and be aggressive on the rebounds. For our goalies to stand tall and stop the puck.
But words are hollow without execution. We demand and expect an unwavering buy in and unselfish commitment from each player. That is what we should see and experience in Friday’s game in Palm Beach and the home games on Sunday
Notes on the Elite squad: We are 1st in the Division on goals for. In fact unlike other teams our scoring is pretty well balanced amongst a number of players. The Eels outscored its opponents 7-1 and 9-0 in the last two games. However, the Eels Elite squad is 4th in the division on goals against. This is not simply a goalie issue. It is overall team defense issue. So you can expect a more concerted effort in overall team defense. We showed this emphasis last weekend, allowing only 1 goal against the Jr Blades. That was very impressive.
Notes on the Premier squad: The Eels are 1st in in the Division in both GF and close 2nd on GA. The goal differentia is outstanding. Here it is just a matter of being healthy right now. The week off for a number of guys comes at a good time to allow mends. Indeed, the Thanksgiving break will provide some well needed rest for some guys. But the scenario also allows enhanced opportunities for so many other players in the line up. This is a deep squad and one thing for sure they are very tight and relish all challenges ahead of them.
Game time for Elite 2:30 pm Friday at Palm Beach
Game time for Elite 10:30 Sunday at Fort Myers
Game time for Premier 12:30 pm Friday at Palm Beach
Game time for Premier 1:00 pm Sunday at Fort Myers