Bulls Travel To Utah For A Battle For The Seventh Seed: Game Preview


San Francisco Bulls v Utah Grizzlies, December 1, 2013 – Photo courtesy of the Utah Grizzlies web page – utahgrizzlies.com

The Bulls continue their road trip as they travel to Utah to take on the Grizzlies as they battle for the seventh spot. The Bulls (20-28-7) sit just two point behind the Utah Grizzlies (21-27-7) for the seventh seed in the Kelly Cup playoffs. The Bulls come in with just two wins in their last six games, but they just broke a three game losing streak with a four to three shoot out victory over the Idaho Steelheads on Sunday. The Grizzlies have been as equally cold as they have only won one in their last six and they are currently on a two game losing streak. The Bulls are currently 1-3 against the Grizzlies on the season as the Grizzlies took the last contest three to two back in December.

Bulls’ forward Bryan Cameron plays his first game against his old team tonight and Bulls are looking for him to have the type of impact Tristan King had against his old team on Sunday. Also to go along with the recent acquisition of offensive talent the Bulls will add another player as the Worcester Sharks have loaned forward Yanni Gourde. Gourde had 10 point, seven goals and 3 assists, in 44 games for Worcester. Goude was last year’s QMJHL MVP with 124 points in 68 games with the Victoriaville Tigers. The Bulls offense has been boom or bust lately and the increase in offensive talent should show as the season wears on the players create chemistry. Kris Belan will be on his way to Worcester to play for the Sharks. The Bulls goalies have been streaky recently as they put together several periods of solid goalie play and then they will come back with a bad game and neither goalie can take a grasp of the number one goalie spot. Taylor Nelson is the latest hot hand in between pipes as he stopped 40 shots against Idaho.

The Utah Grizzlies are a relatively solid offensive team as they are ranked 12th with 2.98 points per game. They will be without leading scorer Mitch Wahl, who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers organization and will be assigned to the Adirondack Phantoms in the AHL. Their current leading scorer Colin Vock with 20 goals and 38 points in 51 games on the season. They have one of the top offensive defensemen in Nick Tuzzolino with 29 points in just 34 games with the Utah Grizzlies. The Grizzlies also posses one of the top power play units in the league at number five with a 21.3 conversion percentage. The Grizzlies downside is their defensive game as they have the worst goals against average in the league with 3.98 goals per game. They also have the worst penalty kill in the league killing off penalties at just 75.7 percent of the time.

This game has the potential to be high scoring as both teams struggle to keep opposing teams off the board and posses solid offenses. Special teams play may be what determines the outcome as the team with the most penalties against will struggle to mount offensive pressure. The Bulls will need Taylor Nelson to show up and play up to his abilities if they want a chance to contain the Grizzlies offense.