It’s been over a year since the last time the Swift Current Broncos took the ice. The long-awaited 2021 season is about to start officially, and Swift Current will feature an impressive, and league-leading, 12 rookies on the roster.
For the Broncos, last season was rough! There is just no way to sugar coat that. The record speaks for itself. Last in the league in scoring, last in the league in wins.
Similar to the 18-19 season, Swift Current finished the shortened season with a 10-48-2-3 record. It wasn’t strictly for lack of trying, though. You have to give it to this team – they have heart on the ice. They never gave up, though it probably felt, at times, like an insurmountable uphill battle.
The Broncos will need to change a few things this season to give themselves a better fighting chance against top teams in the Central Division. As with the rest of the WHL, Swift Current will not be playing outside of their division. They will be playing in the Subway Hub based out of Regina where there will be no fans in attendance. This is both a blessing and a curse. It will allow them to get more familiar with the other teams’ styles of play, but it also allows the other teams to get familiar with the Broncos.
— Swift Current Broncos (@SCBroncos) March 11, 2021
Where we really need to see changes made within the on-ice game is in scoring. It sounds simple, but we all know it’s easier to say than it is to do. For a team with just eight players topping over six-foot, their battles will need to be focused on winning faceoffs and keeping the fight for the puck in the opposition’s zone. The goal? Keep the other team’s goalie busy.
Swift Current wasn’t just last in the league for scoring. They were second in the league for goals against despite goaltender Isaac Poulter leading the league in saves. Keeping the puck out of their zone will help bring that down, but we all know the puck is going to find its way into the defensive zone.
The bright side
Swift Current is one of the lowest in the league in penalty minutes which is not a change that should be made, but it certainly has the potential. Tempers and moods will run higher with more time spent playing the same teams repeatedly, potentially leading to more scuffles.
Isaac Poulter is back between the pipes, but he can’t win games by himself; no player can. You win as a team, and you lose as a team. He’s going to need help keeping pucks out of the net, and that means he needs the blueliners in front of him protecting their zone.
It’s time to give the other team a fight they won’t forget. Block shots, be mindful of turnovers in your own zone, strengthening the backcheck, and protect the goalie. The blue line will look slightly different, considering just three players; Alex Moar, Sam McGinley, and Kaleb Bulych from the 19-20 season will be returning. The majority of the defense consists of rookies and players picked up in trades or waivers from other teams.
This season looks to be a building season for a fresh-looking Swift Current, and if you aren’t excited about that, well, you should be. The Improvements won’t be easy to make, and they won’t come overnight, but this team has the drive and the desire to make changes where they need to be completed and play to their strengths.
Puck drop between the Swift Current Broncos and the Saskatoon Blades is Saturday, March 13th at 4 pm CST
One. More. Day. pic.twitter.com/0GBfncqLHi
— Swift Current Broncos (@SCBroncos) March 12, 2021