First-place in the standings secured by a 30-point spread, the Dennis GM Western Kings will wrap up the season on the road with a two-game series that means nothing to them.
However, the two-game series means the world to the Tri-Pen Osprey — the opponent for the Kings this weekend at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts — and the East Coast Blizzard — both teams deadlocked with 34 points apiece and are jockeying for third and fourth place.
Whichever of the Osprey or Blizzard finish in third, they’ll miss a first round matchup with the Kings.
Western have been steamrollers all season and have scored a league leading 156 times this season, while allowing their opponents to score just 65 times.
With that in mind, its safe to say teams are in favour of avoiding them until the finals. While the Kings have a comfortable lead, wins mean everything for their opponents.
Kings coach Mark Robinson doesn’t want his players to create any bad habits with his team already holding home-ice advantage in the playoffs, but he admits it’s hard to keep players motivated the same way as if they were still fighting for a playoff berth.
Robinson has no plans to rest any of his players and he expects his players to compete hard so they set the tone for the playoffs.
He just don’t want to see his players cruising because that’s not in the best interest of anybody so he doesn’t plan on changing much this weekend.
His players are serious about winning a championship this year and they all want to be on the ice this weekend regardless of their status as the top dog heading into the playoffs.
“We got a bunch of gamers there and that’s why we’ve done as well as we have this year,” Robinson said. “They are all gamers. They all want to play. Nobody wants to sit out.”
The Kings clash with the Osprey Saturday 8:10 p.m. and Sunday 11:10 a.m. at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.