SPEAKING OF MONDAYS
“Do what you love and you’ll never have a problem with Monday.”
So in case you missed it:
One day closer to every game with you in the seats, and our booth warmed up for your ears on Fox Sports 1380. Games of utter significance:
1. SILVERTIPS at VANCOUVER (9/23/16 – 7:05pm): Obvious reason, it’s the season opener. The Silvertips will lift the lid a little closer to home than last year – just a two hour trek for #SilvertipCountry to make north this time, versus roughly 12 to Prince George. Bajkov, Millar, Gerth, Juulsen, Christiansen, Davis, and Fairbrother: names from B.C., with families ready to visit should they make the trip. Assistant coach Brennan Sonne is from that neck of the woods. The boys in green also get to the be the first visitors to help give the Langley Events Center a spin, an interesting move for the Giants by downgrading from the spacious and historic but costly 17,000+ seat Pacific Coliseum to the modernized but smaller 5,276-seat Langley Events Centre. All I just hope for is the Giants transfer of the incredible Tim Hortons press room spread to the new township.
2. SILVERTIPS vs. VANCOUVER (9/24/16 – 7:05pm): Opening Night in your backyard is always special. For months, I’ve encountered individuals with Silvertips ties to the seats, expressing how much they’ve missed the electricity at the 8,150+ seat venue on the corner of Hewitt and Broadway, the roar of the goal horn, the smells from the concourse, and the splash of green cruising across the icy tapestry of XFINITY Arena. Vancouver didn’t make the playoffs last year, but they have a new direction with head coach Jason McKee, hired by new GM Glen Hanlon.
3. SILVERTIPS at PORTLAND (9/30/16 – 7:00pm): Funny how we’re 3 of 3 for games into the season (no, we’re not covering 72 of 72 – I don’t have all day)? This will be the first matchup since last season’s first round of the playoffs. The Winterhawks may have several players moving on who felt the sting of the Silvertips sweep in the opening round, but Mike Johnston has returned as head coach after being let go by the Penguins, which needless to say should make things a little on the competitive side. Whether we’re at Moda Center or the Coliseum, things have manufactured a tendency to end on the knee-knocking and fun side.
4. SILVERTIPS vs SEATTLE (10/15/16 – 7:05pm): First time the Tips and T-Birds play for keeps since meeting in the second round, last season. And understanding these games tend to pack the corner of Hewitt and Broadway to the brim, the extra promotional decorum of the Silvertips’ annual breast cancer fundraising tends to elevate the ticket demand. Good seats will not last long here. My hope is the place is electric again for the denizens of Snohomish County and Kent, and everybody wins (in the name of pink) for a great night out. October may still provide a “getting to know you” process when it comes to new players, but it doesn’t matter what season – these two teams, separated minutes through the 405, always bring the heat.
5. SILVERTIPS at BRANDON (2/10/17 – 5:30pm PT): First time in two years the Silvertips will visit Westman Place (my first). By this time, the glow of a WHL championship will have faded from Brandon’s complexion and all you’ll most likely hear about is “the playoff push.” Nonetheless, the sole matchup of the season against last season’s WHL champions will still retain a degree of charm, the names you could hear from have thick NHL potential (Juulsen? Hart? Patrick? Clague?). Devon Skoleski, Connor Dewar, Lucas Skrumeda, and Mario Petit will probably bring a thick ticket list as MB residents. And it’ll be the start of a six-game odyssey through every team in the East Division (I’ve been told to not pack the board shorts) in February. Plenty of team bonding time ahead.
HONORABLE MENTION: Any other game against Portland, Seattle, Kelowna (take note too: MLK Day home game at 2:05pm). There will be passion and fire in the stands, there will be force and intensity from the ice, and there will probably be plenty of one-goal games. That’s just the way these things tend to work. There were 14 of them between all of those teams last year. That’s plenty of juice.
Drink it up!
NEXT WEEK: Hart’s drafted, the CHL Import Draft has passed, and more. We’ll have a lot to cover.
Award winning broadcaster Mike Benton will be entering his second season as radio play-by-play voice of the Everett Silvertips. Tweet at him here.