EVERETT — The playoff push in the Western Conference is in full swing. And while the Everett Silvertips are prominently in the inside track for the U.S. Division regular-season title, the fight for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference is shaping up to be a neck-and-neck race.
The Silvertips are two points ahead of Vancouver, but the Giants possess a game in hand. Whichever team finishes ahead captures home ice for the Western Conference playoffs. Everett general manager Garry Davidson noted the importance of that.
“I think it’s valuable for two reasons,” Davidson said. “First of all, it’s valuable for success, but it’s valuable from a business standpoint too. You can get extra home ice, which is extra revenue and extra (revenue) at the gates for our business.”
The Silvertips will have an uphill battle, with a much more difficult schedule than the Giants. The combined winning percentage amongst the remaining eight opponents for Everett is .522, while the Giants’ is .442.
“Everyone wants to win and everyone has something to prove,” Silvertips forward Connor Dewar said. “With the standings race and the playoff race, there are teams breathing down our neck, trying to pass us. It’s important to win every point.”
While Dewar acknowledges home ice can be important moving forward in the playoffs, Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams’ stance is that they can’t put too much stock into playoff positioning.
“I’m not too worried,” Williams said. “We worry about us and how we’re playing. If we get first? Great. … It’s not something we put pressure on ourselves for it. We just have to play the game.
“We don’t talk about it, we just go out and play.”
Pair of forwards cleared for Tri-City
Forwards Dewar and Dawson Butt were cleared for Friday’s contest against Tri-City, Davidson confirmed on Wednesday.
“We have to make some decisions with conditioning with these guys,” Williams said. “But they’re on the right path to coming back for sure.