Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wheat Kings Look to Avoid Inevitable

Chad Robinson
  The Brandon Wheat Kings need a victory Wednesday night to avoid being mathematically eliminated from the Western Hockey League playoff race.

  Brandon is trying to break a four-game losing streak when they host the Swift Current Broncos (7:05 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

  Realistically, even with a win tonight, the Wheat Kings would be just postponing the inevitable.

  After all, this is a club that's lost seven of their last eight games, 11 of 14 and 32 of 44 games since starting the season with a 9-7-2-1 record in their first 19 games.

  However, some of the club's veteran players are still trying to find a way to show some pride and character over the final 2 1/2 weeks of the regular season.

  "You never want to quit, and the Wheat Kings are an organization that prides themselves on hard work.  I think we just need to keep our heads up and keep working," said Brandon centre Chad Robinson after Tuesday's practice, "There's always something to work for and we have to stay focused and not be focused on not making it."

  Robinson got to taste the playoffs as a rookie with the Red Deer Rebels in 2010-2011 but was also a member of a Rebels team that missed the post-season last year.

  The other things he feels everyone needs to keep in mind as they move forward over the next 18 days is that non-playoff teams tend to make changes, and they need to have an eye toward what the team will be building for in 2013-2014 right now.

  "Guys are playing for spots next year too, and they have to realize that.  You have to take pride in your work ethic, and that's all you can do really," added Robinson, "You never want to feel that feeling again, not being in the playoffs.  Playoffs are the funnest time of the year and it's tough when you get a taste of it, and then you don't make it the next year.  It's good to keep that in the back of your mind, I think."

  Brandon is also coming off a 6-1 loss in Swift Current Sunday in what was, in my opinion, one of the team's most horrendous efforts of the entire campaign.

  Robinson says if nothing else, they owe the Broncos so they should be motivated for Wednesday's contest.

Chaff...F Richard Nejezchleb (hand) is listed as day-to-day on this week's WHL Injury Report but the 18-year old Czech has yet to participate in a full practice with the Wheat Kings since suffering the injury on January 8th...overall, the Wheat Kings have lost roughly 150 man games because of injury this season.  About half of those games are because of two injuries to Nejezchleb (35 games) and Tyrel Seaman's concussion that's sidelined him since November 18th.

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