Giants are hot off the start
I really don't get to talk about junior hockey as much as I'd like to, given that that's the hockey I grew up watching, but every once in a while, I get to catch a game on TV or (more and more rarely these days) in person.
The Canadian Hockey League is about 10 games into its 2006-07 season, and already a few teams have really impressed — including two who have been front and centre at the Memorial Cup in recent years. The London Knights are 8-0-0-1 and, out west, the Vancouver Giants are the talk with a 10-0-1-0 record.
I've got more than a few friendly sets of eyes back in B.C. with their eyes on the Western Hockey League, and the talk about the Giants is that they are, to the initiated, one of the best junior teams ever. Here's what one recent emailer had to say:
My question is not, 'Will the Giants win the Memorial Cup?' What I would like to know is what Major Junior team holds the record for the fewest loses in a season?Big talk, to be sure, and it's coming with last year's star, Gilbert Brule, currently toiling on the Columbus Blue Jackets checking lines. (Just imagine the boost he'd give his former club should he be returned to junior for the second season in a row.)
Could the Giants be a team the could set a new record for fewest loses?
As for the answer to the question — the fewest losses by a junior team was a record set by one of those dominant old Brandon Wheat King teams in the 70s, which lost only five games in a 72-game season one year. They were 58-5-9, which is just an absurd record, really.
Those London Knights I mentioned earlier? They were 59-7-2-0 in 2005, the year they went on to win it all.
Could the Giants be the next team to enter into that heady territory?