Coming off of an ugly loss in their last outing, the Coquitlam Express are looking to bounce back tonight with a win as they host the visiting Surrey Eagles at the Train Station! Puck drop is at 7:00pm.
The Express closed out 2021 with a big shutout victory over the Powell River Kings, but opened 2022 on the other side of that coin with a 7-0 defeat at the hands of the Nanaimo Clippers. In the midst of the calendar turnover, the Express have made a handful of trades and brought in some new faces – most recently, and most notably, the Express traded away captain Arlo Merritt and got Mirko Buttazzoni in return. The Langley product, Buttazzoni, has 14 points in 24 games so far this season and is expected to make a sizeable contribution to this group’s offence. General Manager, Tali Campbell says that Buttazzoni should make an immediate impact for his team,
“Mirko is a guy who will jump into our lineup and make an impact right away. He’s a 200-foot player who capitalizes on his opportunities. He works super hard and is dedicated to getting better everyday. He’s the kind of guy who we want in our dressing room.”
The Eagles are currently on a downward slide as they are 1-3-1 in their last five outings. A major contributor to this has been their special teams play, as their powerplay went 1/14 (7%) in that five-game stretch and their penalty kill allowed five goals on 14 kills (35%). The Express need to exploit these blunders by staying off the penalty kill and capitalizing on their own opportunities.
Discipline has been a major cause for concern for the Express as of late as they’ve given their opponents seven-or-more powerplay looks in their last three outings – they allowed five powerplay goals in that stretch and it undeniably cost them at least one of their losses.
This home-heavy January schedule still stands as a great opportunity for this Express team to come together and go on a run to start the year. With each passing day, playoffs inch closer and closer to the forefront and the Express are currently tied for the final the playoff spot in the Coastal Conference. Granted, they have four games in hand on the Cowichan Valley Capitals, but that’s not enough insurance, especially in this league. The Express need to start stacking some wins and tonight needs to be the start.
We’ll see you at the Train Station!
#AllAboard | #WeAreAllExpress