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12.14.2008

Holiday Break

Tbirds hit the holiday break with a win over Spokane last night. Calvin Pickard was the story again as he made 35 stops to pace the Birds to a 3-1 win.

Lindsay Nielsen returned for the Tbirds and wore the "C" for both games while Thomas Hickey was away at the tryouts for the Canadian World Junior team. In case you were wondering, it looks like Hickey has 1 assist in the 3 games at camp.

Seattle finished the unofficial first half of the season looking like this.

14-17-3, good for 31 points, 7th in the Western Conference, 1 point behind Kamloops for 6th, 4 behind Everett for 5th and 7 behind Kelowna for 4th.

As everyone knows the schedule has been extremely road heavy in the first half of the season. The Tbirds have now played 26 games on the road and just 8 games at home. That leaves 10 games on the road and a whopping 28 games at home the rest of the way with 25 of those coming in the new Kent Events Center. (Relax about the tickets people... this is going to be fun, trust me).

Seattle was 6-2 at home and 8-15-3 on the road. They had a goal differential of +16 at home and -34 on the road.

The Tbirds Power Play has been improved over last season... but not much much, at least in the results category. 24 goals in 149 chances for 16.1% and places them 18th in the WHL.

The Penalty Kill has been slightly better giving up 34 goals in 155 chances, killing at a rate of 78.2% and placing them 16th in the WHL.

You watch enough hockey and learn to realize how important special teams are... think about this... The Tbirds on the whole have been outscored by 18 goals and they are 3 games under .500. Actually... I won't go into the calculations but the Tbirds have actually out performed their goal differential slightly.

But how much does it really matter?? If the Tbirds were to improve on the Power Play and on the Penalty Kill how big of a difference would it make?

Score 10 more goals on the Power Play and they would be 34 of 149, 22.8% and 5th in the WHL.

Kill 10 more chances and they would be 24 in 155, 86.7% which would be 3rd in the WHL.

This represents a 20 goal swing and they would be +2 in overall goal differential. Based on the calculations they would be expected to play at .509 and they have out played their projections by about 1% so lets just say .520.

At .520... they would have secured just over 35 points. So basically.... we're talking about roughly 4 points or 2 games.

I don't know about you guys but that just isn't that big of a difference....

So what does this mean? It means what most of us have picked up on through the first half of the season.... the problem isn't on the Power Play or the Penalty Kill... it's in the 5 on 5 play.

Even if they show marginal improvement on the Power Play or the Penalty Kill, it just won't make that much of a difference if they don't improve in 5 on 5.

The Tbirds are going on Holiday this week... and so am I. If I read something super important I will throw it up here... if I don't... see you all back at the Key on the 27th.

1 comment :

Peter Robert Casey said...

Hello there,
I am Peter Robert Casey and I am a basketball columnist. I have initiated an idea to create a sports blogroll where bloggers from all sports disciplines could participate. All you need to do is to add my blog link to your blog and i'll do the same. That way, we could have a mutual partnership and we could refer visitors to each other's blog.
Please let me know if you would be interested.

Your's in Hoops,
Peter Robert Casey
http://www.peterrobertcasey.com

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