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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Back in action...

I'm back after sort of taking a week off... sorry everyone. I doubt anyone is going through withdrawals when I don't write anything but I also know some of you enjoy my "take" on things.

First a couple of observations from the weekend...

- Calvin Pickard appears to have a solid grip on being the #1 goaltender and he doesn't appear willing to give it back anytime soon. Pickard again was very solid down in Portland and how the stats ended up looking was really solid against Calgary on Sunday, on a night when the Tbirds just didn't seem willing to work hard enough to beat possibly the best team in the league. This leaves Seattle with either a really big problem, or a really good problem to have as they have DeSerres a Flyers draft pick as a solid backup right now. This team is looking more and more like a middle of the road Western Conference team to me and if that is the case I wouldn't mind seeing them stick with Pickard as a commitment to the future... but this creates a pretty big problem as DeSerres has the talent to be a #1 goaltender in this league if he can ever manage to regain his confidence. I would not expect to see it happen this season... but I will mention what probably nobody really wants to talk about... I would kind of expect to see Jake traded in the offseason.

- Everyone is drooling over the two games that 15 year old Colin Jacobs played this weekend and I won't really stray from that too much either. I also thought he looked very good... skated well, wasn't afraid to pull the trigger, checked a little and appeared to display a nice ability to read the play... but he is also 15 and I think everyone should temper their expectations for the kid. As we have all seen numerous times, the development and improvement of a player between the ages of 15-19 are much more important than the talent they possess as a 15 year old. Jacobs is starting with a lot of skills as a 15... but he still needs to improve to become a star. After seeing him play for 1 game... it's hard to say but it seems that the sky is the limit for the kid and the though of having Sanvido and Jacobs for 3 or 4 years should get Tbird fans very excited for the future. Jacobs has returned home to Texas, but expect to see him back in Seattle towards the end of the season after his team's games have been completed.

- Despite the fact that we have seen some nice contributions from some younger players in their absence, Seattle really misses the presence of Prab Rai and Lindsay Nielsen. Prab hurt a groin and is listed as "week to week" and Lindsay has a shoulder injury that is currently listed as "day to day" though I don't believe he is really that close to returning, I could be wrong. The Tbirds miss a lot of scoring and leadership with these two guys out and with Thomas Hickey leaving for Junior Camp this weekend and two games with Spokane coming up after tonight the Tbirds really need these guys back as soon as possible.

- As I mentioned, Thomas Hickey will be going to Canada's World Junior selection camp and while the camp starts tomorrow in Ottawa... I believe Hickey will still be in Vancouver for the game tonight against the Giants.

- Quietly... Sena Acolatse has been playing some darn good hockey lately. At the end of October, Sena was -14... that is not a typo... through 11 games he was -14. To put that in perspective... that put him on pace for a season where he finished -91... whoa. Things started to turn around for him with the first game of November as he posted a 3 assist night and +3 in the Tbirds ovetime loss in Tri-City. He went on to post a +10 for the month to get back to -4 before the last three games have pushed him back down to -6. Seattle needs the +10 Sena the rest of the way if they want to have any shot at the #4 or #5 seed in the West.

- Exciting news for Tbirds fans "might" come today and likely by tomorrow as the Tbirds are meeting with the "powers that be" today at 3pm to find out when they can open the ShoWare Center for the first time. Here is knocking on wood that it comes on the 27th of December and not the 3rd of January... although either one will be just fine with me.

- I'm really happy to see that Thom is regularly posting some thoughts on his new "blog" section of the Tbirds website. I can't say for sure yet whether the fans will be happy with his contributions, but I think it is great. The more insight about the team that is out there... the better. I will repeat what I have said all along... I started this blog because it felt like there was a demand out there for this sort of thing about the Tbirds and so far I have had a great time writing this thing even though we still only have about 200 readers a day (we can do better!!). Having said that... I would happily give up this "hobby" of writing about the team when it becomes pretty clear that the demand has been filled elsewhere. Thom's blog can be found here and I'm going to add a permanent link over on the link bar.

- Tbirds are in Vancouver tonight where the Giants have not lost a game in regulation in their own building. Tall task for a team missing two of their best players... if the team gets the game to overtime tonight I would be pretty happy and I would be thrilled if they pulled off the win tonight.

1 comment :

Mr Tell13 said...

I think your analysis of the goalies situation is spot on. As just a simple fan my take is that to have Deserres to the level of last year he needs to start more. I was kind of suprised after the home game vs Kootenay not to see Jake start against Portland. As you said until the offseason its premature to talk trade. I would not put my playoffs hope on a 16 y/o goaltender when the team will be seeded 6-7th in the conference.

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