Welcome to the Hangar and welcome to March. Can you believe it’s March 2012 already? Time is flying and so too is the 2011/12 season. Tonight we welcome the Basingstoke Bison and their travelling fans to the Hangar following their hosting of us yesterday.
February was a tough month for the Bison as they were hit by injuries and illness and really struggled for bodies on the ice. A new month will see Steve Moria hoping he’s got some of his players back in the line-up for this weekend’s game.
For the Jets February was also a tough month. Adam Calder came back from his injury and we had players playing through injury. Adam Greener received a suspension which is now thankfully over but last weekend we played without Ryan for all but the first period of the first game.
These injuries you may think may just take out a single player but, as the Bison fans will agree, they in fact take out a player and a whole line. Players play in lines, they gel with each other, they learn how each other like to receive passes, they learn where players are going to be in order to receive passes and then play as a unit.
The upshot of losing players through injury is that the lines themselves become less effective as they have to adapt to their new members temporarily. We were fortunate in that Ryan slotted in so well on the second line following Tom Carlon’s departure but since then we’ve had players missing through injury and indeed playing injured and it’s taken a toll. It’s my guess there isn’t a team in the league (except maybe Guildford who have spares!) who are not currently icing players who are playing through injury. We’re coming to the business end of the league season and after 44 games for most teams every player will have taken their fair share of knocks along the way.
For us making up a 10 point deficit from the top team in 10 games is a huge ask now but March is about momentum. There are some big challenges ahead in terms of opponents to play and it’s vital to build momentum in the league run in to gain the highest possible place in the table and be ready for the short and sweet play-off tournament. In recent years the play-offs have become so short that momentum plays a huge role meaning these final few games will be crucial for every team.
Games between the Jets and Bison rarely disappoint and I’m sure this weekend series will be no different. Enjoy the game
My team, your team, OUR TEAM