It’s been a while since you have had your Abbotsford Heat update due to the holidays, so I will fill you in on what you missed. The month of December was a very important month for the Heat due to all the divisional match ups that they had to endure to stay competitive with the rest of the North division and stay in the playoff race. The Heat played eight of their thirteen games in December against divisional rivals and needed to have a strong month.
However, December was a very mediocre month for the Heat. They started the month off with three straight losses but followed them up with three straight wins. They then lost one more game before getting back into the win column, essentially trading losses and wins to start the month off. After their .500 start to the month of December, the Heat went on a five game losing skid to cap off the Christmas month. Maybe they should have asked Santa for another winning streak. After their string of losses in December, they dropped down from sitting comfortably in second place in the North division to a dismal sixth place, which leaves them second to last in the division with only the Rochester Americans sitting below them.
However, this isn’t the end of the world for the Abbotsford Heat. They are still only four points out of their former second place standing in the North division and have two huge games coming up against the Manitoba Moose. Two wins against the Moose could have the Heat right back where they want to be in the North division sitting in second place. Sweeping the Manitoba Moose at home is very crucial to the Heat regaining their second place standing in the North division.
The play of Matt Keith has slowed down, but the return of Mikael Backlund from the terrible Calgary Flames could give the Heat a much needed offensive boost for the club. Backlund would also make a great new line mate for Keith in order for him to return to his hot streak. The Heat also have an eight game home stretch that could easily help them get back to their winning ways and put them back on top of the North division. The Heat have home series with the Manitoba Moose, the last place Adirondack Phantoms, the Toronto Marlies, and the Peoria Rivermen. Four wins over the Moose and the Marlies could put them right back in the drivers seat.
The Next Heat home games you can catch start on the weekend against the Adirondack Phantoms, January 7, and then their series with the Toronto Marlies starts on January 14 at the AESC. Remember to look for student deals for these games, the Heat need the home town support. The Abbotsford Heat currently sit sixth in the North division and have a record of 16-16-1-3. For more insider info on the Abbotsford Heat and other hockey news, follow me on Twitter @ JustinOrly.