With thanks to Dr. Seuss' Oh the Places You'll Go
“When you’re in a slump, you’re not in for much fun, for un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”
Wise words to be sure, but little did Dr. Seuss predict a predicament as un-fun as the Victoria Royals recent stretch.
Be it one win or none in the last five or six, the Royals are still in the playoff mix. The Royals visit the Kelowna Rockets on Friday (Dec. 2) and Kamloops Blazers on Saturday.
Things could be better. No team in the WHL has surrendered as many goals as the Royals though many have scored less.
Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Blazers left the Royals on a most prickle-ly perch.
Five games without a budge in the win column. The eighth and final playoff spot is still the Royals’ to lose, but it’s the kind of scenario the Bruins, er... Royals, were hoping to avoid after starting over again in Victoria.
Jamie Crooks scored twice on Tuesday and could have emerged from the dressing room a little less depressed after the game. He could have said it was frustrating.
But he didn’t.
“We had a few lulls in the game and that’s when they scored,” Crooks said.
“You have to work hard. I feel we’re coming out of this.”
There’s no reason not to believe Crooks. His team was right there, playing ’til the end.
It’s more stormy weather than it is weathering a storm.
Or, as Seuss put it, “Games you can’t win ’cause they’ll play against you.”
The Royals could have won Tuesday just as they could have during Saturday’s 6-5 loss in Kelowna. In that game, the Royals actually scored on a late surge, but it was a fraction of a second too late as the final buzzer had sounded.
Likewise on Tuesday, the Blazers scored against the flow – twice – while the Royals ended the game with a dominating effort, controlling the puck during a 6-on-4 advantage with the powerplay and goalie pulled for the extra attacker. But the puck had other thoughts.
The Royals didn’t win because sometimes you won’t. Nor should the Royals stew. Because bang-ups and hang-ups will happen to the Blazers too. With their helmets full of brains and their skates full of feet (speedy ones, that is), the Royals are too smart to extend this not-so-good streak.
The fans will be there again when Western conference leaders Tri-City (19-6) visit Tuesday (Dec. 6) and Wednesday.
So be your name Hamilton, Sundher or Crooks, enjoy your time in the ‘Dub.’ You’re off to great places – like Kelowna Friday.
Tuesday results: Kamloops Blazers 4 Victoria Royals 3
The Royals are right back at it for Wednesday night with another shot at the Blazers, who move to 17-7-1 in second place in the B.C. division while the Royals sit on 23 points, tied with the Kelowna Rockets for third/fourth.
Tuesday was yet another night of bad bounces as the Royals dropped a 4-3 decision to the Blazers at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
“It’s frustrating,” said coach and general manager Marc Habscheid. “We played a pretty good game. The bounces didn’t go our way.”
Logan Nelson scored his 12th of the year with four minutes left to cut the lead to 4-3.
The Royals ended the game on the powerplay and with the goalie pulled for a 6-on-4 attack, during which the Royals dominated with several chances but were unable to convert any past Cheveldave.