2021 Vancouver Giants season review

 

The 2020-2021 season has officially concluded for the Giants. With a record of 12-10, they finished third in the division with 24 points. Now it’s time for a look back on some positives of the season, some things that need to be improved for next year, and how the great play from younger players is a positive sign for the next year.

Positives from this season

The play of Nielsen and Sourdif really carried the team this year. Sourdif finished the year in the top five for points while Nielsen finished eighth in points. Trent Miner also had a fantastic year finishing fourth in GAA and tied for first in shutouts. The combination of Miner and Drew Sim allowed the fifth least amount of goals this season with 59 in 22 games.

The overagers also stepped up their final season. Nielsen led the team in goals, Eric Florchuk led the team in faceoff wins and captain Alex Kannok Leipert led the team in defensive scoring. The trio were the leaders of the team on and off the ice. They set great examples with their hard work and dedication each game and showed the rookies how to play like a Giant.

Outside of the individual play, the most impressive part of the Giants’ season was their penalty kill. They finished fifth in the league with an 84.4% penalty kill success rate while scoring six shorthanded goals. They were aggressive and created scoring opportunities almost every time they were at a disadvantage. Hopefully, they can continue the stellar penalty kill play into next season.

Improvements for next season

The Giants took too many penalties this season. They finished sixth in the league being shorthanded 96 times. As for overall penalty minutes, they finished second with 360 minutes. The Giants also only played 22 games while most teams in the league played 24. Penalties are the main reason the Giants went 3-7 in their final 10 games. The penalty kill was great all year but just ran out of gas late in the season. If the Giants can decrease their penalty taking next season, they should have no problem being a top team in the BC Division.

The other improvement for next season is the powerplay. It just didn’t click this season. The Giants finished 13th in the league at 21.4% and went 18-for-84. They were getting good shots on net so this may be chalked up to the opposing team’s goaltenders. The BC Division had some of the best goaltending in the league so the powerplay not producing could be correlated to that. With additions to the powerplay like Mazden Leslie next season, the powerplay should be able to its form on again.

Excitement for next season

There are a couple of reasons Giants’ fans should be excited about next season. The main one is that this team is stacked with high-end talent. Players like Drew Sim, Mazden Leslie, Nicco Camazzola, Colton Langkow, and Julian Cull all took steps forward this season. Add in players like Zack Ostapchuk, Marko Stacha, Cole Shepard, and Justin Lies and you have a solid team next season.

One other part of the Giants game that should have fans excited is the fact that this team plays physically and is not afraid to drop the gloves. The Giants led the league this season with 24 fights with Lies having five. They stand up for themselves and their teammates. If they can continue the physical play into next season, the Giants are going to be a very difficult team to play against.

Final thoughts:

This season was successful despite the third-place finish. The Giants fought every game despite the difficult scenario. Yes, they did lose a little steam near the end but that is understandable. They did go a perfect 6-0 versus Victoria so that is a special distinction this team can carry with them. The most impressive part however of this season was that the young guys stepped up. This wasn’t a one-line team. They had offense from all throughout the lineup including the blueline. This team is going to come back stronger next season and if Sourdif comes back, there is a good chance a Giants could lead the league in points next season.

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    Adam Kierszenblat
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      The 2020-2021 season has officially concluded for the Giants. With a record of 12-10, they finished third in the division with 24 points. Now i
    [See the full post at: 2021 Vancouver Giants season review]

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