The Everett Silvertips had a heck of a preseason. The Tips went 7-0 and led the league in goals scored. This from a team that barely scraped into the playoffs last season.
But you know who might have had a better preseason? The Prince George Cougars.
That’s right, Prince George. The same Prince George that finished behind Everett in the Western Conference standings last season. The same Prince George that made the playoffs just twice in the past six seasons, getting swept in the first round both times.
But the Cougars, at least on paper, had a tremendous preseason. There were two teams that finished perfect in the preseason, and Prince George was the other one, going 5-0. Everett’s 36-22 goal differential in the preseason was impressive. Prince George’s goal differential of 25-8 was ridiculous. And it wasn’t just a case of the Cougars facing bad goaltending, Prince George rousingly outshot its opponents in all of its games.
And who do the Tips face in their season opener Saturday night at Comcast Arena? None other than Prince George.
Preseason results always need to be taken with a grain of salt. Teams aren’t fielding their first-choice lineups, players are rusty, and sometimes the emphasis is on things other than the final score. But I think it’s kind of cool that Everett’s first game gives us a chance to see whose preseason was for real.
There’s one hiccup that spoils that scenario a bit. While Saturday’s game is Everett’s first of the season, it isn’t Prince George’s. The Cougars travel to Portland tonight, so they’ll have a real game under their belts by the time Saturday rolls around. And it isn’t just any game, either, as Prince George puts its perfect preseason on the line against the defending league champion and Western Conference favorite.
Otherwise, it feels a little like the preseason championship game.