As the 2011-12 WHL season heads into the home stretch, the Regina Pats are in the midst of a real battle for a playoff spot. As of earlier this week, five teams in the ten team Western Conference had clinched playoff spots while in the 12 team Eastern Conference not one team had locked up a berth.
After playing a swack of road games earlier in the year, the Pats have been hosting a lot WHL rivals at Brandt Centre lately. For the most part, they’ve done quite well. If there’s a worry heading into this game against the cellar-dwelling Prince Albert Raiders, it’s that the Pats typically play their best hockey against teams like Moose Jaw, Edmonton and Kootenay in the upper echelon of the WHL while being outworked and outplayed by teams lower than them in the standings.
Following this tilt, which goes at Brandt Centre at 6 p.m., the Pats have six games left. They’re home to Brandon twice on March 7 and 16, to Moose Jaw and P.A. on March 9 and 14, and have road games in Moose Jaw on March 10 and a regular season finale in Brandon on March 17. Both Brandon and Moose Jaw are solid clubs so the Pats need to ensure they pick up wins in the two games against the Raiders.