I did not see the game so I don't know if we are talking goaltending, defense or both tonight... but more of the same from Seattle on the road.
I know "anonymous" thinks I am simply excusing these poor performances... but that simply isn't the case. The Tbirds just aren't consistently being competitive on the road and that is unacceptable.... that said... my comments from this weekend remain the same. The goal is to end up around .500 by the new year and at least on the record board they aren't really that far from making that true. On the other hand... if you judge by performance they are still have quite a ways to go to become a .500 team.
Link to box score...
Tbird official story...
Key stats from tonight...
Rai... 1 G, 1 A
Warg... -1, but also 2 A's
Hickey... 2 A's
I have added the their address to the link bar on the right. I encourage everyone to give it a look...
One of the biggest differences I notice with this team in the last two nights that they were not doing previously is the ability to chip the puck deep in the opponents zone. The Tbirds are a speed and finesse team that relies on chip and chase, winning the puck deep in the zone and hitting the third forward cutting to the front of the net. Through the first 12 games most of their problems were originating in their own zone and the neutral zone, which minimized the good chances they were getting on the offensive end. Far too often they were turning the puck over in their own end, which resulted in goals against.
Last night and Friday... they seemed to get back to being able to control the puck into the neutral zone and then chip the puck deep into the corners with all three forwards in full stride.
The difference was huge... Seattle constantly put pressure on Everett in the 1st and 3rd period that resulted in 15 shots and 3 goals in the first period.
Seattle's first goal was a tic-tac-toe slam dunk by Jeremy Boyer off a nice feed by Lindsay Nielsen. The Power Play goal was the first of two by the Tbirds on the night.
Just over two minutes later... David Richard scored his 6th of the year from Prab Rai to give Seattle a 2-0 lead.
Chris Cloud then picked up his 3rd of the season finishing high over the shoulder of Kent Simpson on a snap shot after receiving a nice feed from Brenden Silvester who beat his defender on the 2 on 1 and fed a perfect pass to Cloud at the far post and Seattle led 3-0 at the end of the first period.
Everett came back with a stronger effort in the 2nd period and netted Power Play goals from Daniel Bartek and Kellan Tochkin to cut the lead to 3-2. Tochkin's goal was jammed in with 3 second left in the period and suddenly the game became very close after 40 minutes.
The Tbirds could have let the momentum slip into the 3rd period with the late goal but the responded with the effort that mirrored the 1st period and the effort paid off just 3 minutes into the period as Jim O'Brien scored his 2nd of the year from Rai and Greg Scott on the Power Play and Seattle re-upped its lead to 4-2.
Prab Rai finished the scoring with a circus backhand at the 9:30 mark of the 3rd period when he flipped a fluttering backhand that Simpson never saw over the top of his shoulder and into the back of the net. For Rai it was his 9th of the season and with his 2 assists on the night now has 12 points on the season.
Interesting stretch of games coming up for Seattle... Tbirds travel to Kelowna Wednesday and then down to Kennewick to face Tri-City on Saturday the 1st before they come home for home games against Edmonton and Red Deer.
If Seattle could somehow manage to get a 2 or 3 points out of the games at Kelowna and Tri, Edmonton and Red Deer are winnable games followed by a road trip to Chilliwack, another winnable game.
Currently the Tbirds are 5 points behind what I consider an important benchmark. If they can end the calendar year with as many points as games played they would be in really good shape to make a run in the second half of the season... and despite the early season struggles they have 9 points in 14 games currently.
If they pick up 7 points in the next 5 games... suddenly they would have 16 in 19 games and you creep closer to that mark.
Obviously the coaching issue set people off a little bit as 16 comments were made on my article about Rob Sumner. I suppose "Anonymous" will claim that tonight was a victory by talent and not by coaching? Seriously... you can't have it both ways. You can't claim coaching is the problem when you lose and the players get the credit when they win and I don't even know if that is what "Anonymous" will say... but I'm assuming that he or she will...
This was a big win for the Tbirds... Spokane is one of the best teams in the WHL and to steal not only 2 points but deny the Chiefs points is a huge plus. Having said that... Seattle must build on this and one win a season does not make. They have to come back strong tomorrow at home against Everett and take care of business and grab another two points.
I thought the Tbirds dominated this game tonight... Spokane's first goal was an unfortunate rebound by Jake DeSerres and the second was an excellent shot. Seattle dominated the action for much of the first period, most of the second and all of the latter half of the 3rd period and it finally paid off with goals by Rai, Nielsen and Silvester. The Silvester goal was an awesome flipped backhand through traffic over the shoulder of Tokarski to give the Tbirds a 3-2 lead.
The Tbirds enjoy a long bus ride home tonight and get right back to it tomorrow night at the Key against Everett.
I think this is a silly conversation but I'm going to address it since obviously one blog heckler and some other people are putting the issue out there that Seattle needs a change at Head Coach and that this slow start can somehow be blamed on the coach.
For whatever it is worth, my opinion is this...
I don't care if this team doesn't win another game the rest of the season and finishes with the worst record in WHL history, there is absolutely no way you even entertain the idea of firing Rob Sumner until the season is over. Furthermore... even if this team ends up having a terrible season and missing the playoffs I still do not think Rob Sumner should be replaced. You can say that my "head is in the sand" all you want, as an anonymous commenter has said, but you just don't evaluate a coach with the record that Rob Sumner after a poor 12 game stretch.
Let's look at the facts....
In 2003-04, the final year under Dean Chynoweth, the Tbirds slumped to 24-31-8-9 (Ties and OT losses), 5th in the U.S. Division, out of the playoffs and did not have a single scorer with over 60 points on the season.
2004-05, Rob Sumner took over and the "New Generation" of Tbirds hockey was born. While teams in the WHL often turn around from year to year... Seattle went from being last in the U.S. Division to being 1st in the U.S. Division with a record of 43-24-2-3 and winning their second Division Title and finishing with the 3rd best record in the Western Conference. Aaron Gagnon topped 60 points and Bryan Bridges had 13 shutouts to tie the single season record for shutouts. The Tbirds then defeated the Tri-City Americans 4 games to 1 in the first round of the playoffs. The season came to an end in Round 2 where the Tbirds lost to the eventually WHL champion Kelowna Rockets who had previously won the Memorial Cup the year before. Safe to say this had nothing to do with the coach and they simply got beat by the better team.
2005-06, Tbirds go 35-31-6 and finish 2nd in the U.S. Division only 4 points ahead of Portland. No player finishes with more than 45 points although Roman Tomanek would likely have had he not been sent home for violating team rules. Without Tomanek the Tbirds lose a 3 goal lead and Game 7 at home to the Portland Winter Hawks in Round 1 of the playoffs. Obviously this isn't the result everyone was looking for they lose a Game 7 by one goal to a team that was probably their equal. By winning... Portland earned the right to be smashed by the Vancouver Giants (eventual WHL Champion) in Round 2... the same fate the Tbirds probably would have faced.
2006-07, Tbirds finish 37-21-14 and in 3rd place in a very tough U.S. Division where 3rd place meant finishing 4th in the Western Conference. 2 players top 60 points led by Aaron Gagnon's 80. Seattle then upsets the Carey Price led Tri-City Americans (96 points regular season) to advance to the 2nd round where they lose 4 games to 1 to the eventual Memorial Cup Champion Vancouver Giants.
2007-08, Tbirds finish 42-23-7 which is good for only 3rd in the U.S. Division again with two teams over 100 points in the Division. The is again good for 4th in the Western Conference and Seattle defeats 5th place Kelowna in Round 1 in 7 games, 4-3. The Tbirds then lose 4 games to 1 to the Tri-City Americans team that just finished winning the U.S. Division with 108 points... a team that was just flat out better than them.
So lets recap here...
In 4 full seasons as Tbirds coach... Rob Sumner has gone:
Overtime or Shootout Losses: 32
Straight Win Percentage: 54.51%
Series Wins: 3
Series Losses: 4
Of those 4 losses... one to a Portland team who was equal in the standings, 1 to a Memorial Cup Champion, 1 to a WHL Champion and 1 to a team that led the league in points in the regular season with 108 points.
The point is this...
Sumner has had a winning record every season he has been here, he has one Division title and 3 our of the teams 4 playoff exits can be directly attributed to losing to a better team and a 4th that could be argued and was a 1 goal loss in a Game 7.
I know the team is off to a bad start and there are plenty of things to be worried about on the defensive and goaltending end... but these are not a direct result of coaching. Rob Sumner cannot go play for these guys, they have to go out and get themselves fired up and motivated to turn this thing around and start flying around the ice and crashing the net and I can promise everyone that Coach Sumner isn't just conducting practice with his hands in his pockets wishing and hoping the team will just magically play better.
Personally... I think Sumner has built a good enough record with this team that even after a bad season I wouldn't even entertain the notion of replacing him after this season. The team would have to have two horrible seasons before I even thought about it.
So feel free to call for his head and hope and wish that we had a different coach... but you won't find that message here and you won't find anyone in the front office ready to replace the coach.
I broke a bunch of things down by period and the only thing I really came up with is that maybe Jake DeSerres has not played as poorly as we think he has in the 1st period of games.
Shots by Period and Average.
1st - 92 shots, 8.36
2nd - 106 shots, 9.64
3rd - 108, 9.82
Goals by Period and Average.
1st - 8, 0.73
2nd - 9, 0.82
3rd - 8, 0.73
Shots Against and Average
1st - 139, 12.64 (that is a lot of 1st period shots)
2nd - 111, 10.09 (improvement)
3rd - 91, 8.27 (wow much better)
Save Percentage by Period
1st - 88.5 %
2nd - 87.4 %
3rd - 82.4 %
This is interesting... as the goaltending appears to get worse as the team gets better. This number might also be moved by the fact that in Vancouver the Giants scored 3 times on 3 shots in the 3rd period.
5 on 5 scoring For and Against
1st - 3 GF, 11 GA (ugh)
2nd - 7 GF, 14 GA (not much better)
3rd - 5 GF, 9 GA
Minor Penalties by Period and Average
1st - 20, 1.82
2nd - 22, 2.00
3rd - 32, 2.91
One might think that maybe the goaltending has been influenced by the increase in penalties in the 3rd... but check out the next one.
Short Handed Chances (or times Short Handed) by Period and Average
1st - 18, 1.64
2nd - 19, 1.73
3rd - 21, 1.91
So the Minor Penalties haven't resulted in more PK's
How often does a Minor Penalty result in a Power Play for the opposition
1st - 90.0 %
2nd - 86.4 %
3rd - 65.6 %
A much higher number of the penalties in the 3rd period are coming in offsetting situations.
Penalty Killing by Period
1st - 66.7 %
2nd - 94.7 %
3rd - 81.0 %
Power Play Chances by Period and Average
1st - 20, 1.82
2nd - 9, 0.82
3rd - 20, 1.82
Power Play Conversion Rate by Period
1st - 25.0 %
2nd - 22.2 %
3rd - 20.0 %
These are actually pretty solid numbers on the Power Play... the 5 on 5 action is what is really killing the team. They have surrendered 11 goals Short Handed and have scored 11 on the Power Play.
All in all... I would say there is some pretty compelling evidence that the team has played just as poorly if not worse than Jake/Calvin has played in the 1st periods.
This team has to get off to better starts as they typically close games strongly.
Also... A word of note to fans who always yell "shoooooot" all game long when the team is looking for a "good shot". The shot totals go up from the 1st to the 3rd period and the scoring doesn't... so keep in mind that while sometimes more shots on goal will produce more goals there isn't necessarily a correlation between shooting more and actually scoring more.
I don't think there is any way to sugar coat this loss at all. The Tbirds showed a few stretches where they looked like the team we thought they would be at the start of the year but far too many stretches where they looked downright ordinary, slow and generally unmotivated during a home game.
While I do think Kelowna is still a quality opponent, with Luke Schenn looking like he is going to stick in Toronto and Tyson Dowzak signing with the New York Rangers, this team is not the same team we thought they might be at the start of the season. You simply cannot lose a home game to a team on their second night of back to back road games and call yourself anything other than a 2-8-1 team right now. I'm not trying to go out of my way to bad mouth the kids or the team but I have to call it like I see it and right now this team is either under achieving or simply just not that good. I still believe they are just under achieving.
A few bright spots in the game....
I thought at times Greg Scott looked simply dominant. I remember last season thinking that Jim O'Brien was the consistently fastest game skater the Tbirds had and so far from what I have seen Greg Scott is faster. On numerous occasions he simply skated around and past Kelowna defenders and I thought the 3 stars of the game were totally wrong and it was simply ridiculous that he wasn't one of the three stars. In the first 10 minutes of the game Scott had 3 big hits, drew a penalty and then drew the assist on the goal during the Power Play he created.
Calvin Pickard again looked very good and solid but also looked like a 16 year old goaltender at times. Yes... I know he miss played the puck in the 1st period that gave the Rockets a 2-1 lead but he also made 27 saves and kept his team in the game and gave them a chance to win, which is all you can ask of a goaltender. On the flip side... he looked like a rookie on the goal by Colin Long... but Long is also the reigning #2 scorer in the league. I also thought the goal (ahem, shot) that was reviewed in the 2nd period certainly looked like a goal from my vantage point (I could totally be wrong about that) and that was a big break for Seattle.... but most of the time Pickard controlled rebounds and came up with a few huge saves to keep Kelowna at bay at times when they could have buried the game. This is where the struggles of Jake DeSerres is really killing the Tbirds. Pickard is playing admirably but a team just cannot lean on a 16 year old goaltender and expect to contend. The problem is that at 2-8-1 this team doesn't have much wiggle room to wait for Jake to get his confidence back.
Also good... the Tbirds continue to get really good shifts out of players like Luke Lockhart, Brenden Silvester and Colin Haas.
Lindsay Nielsen was a scratch tonight and I also did not see him in the stands (on the bench?) so I'm curious to know about his status.
I thought the 3 stars were way off base and I thought stars were more deserving for Dylan Hood for Kelowna and Greg Scott for Seattle. Long obviously did score a goal, O'Brien had a nice goal and Boyer had a nice assist on the Chris Cloud shorthanded goal so I'm not saying they didn't have some nice moments.
Tbirds get right back to action Wednesday night in Kamloops before heading to Spokane on Friday and back home for Everett on Saturday... so things do not get much easier.
I realize this is another road game against a good team... but your #1 goaltender gives up 4 first period goals and 6 overall up to this point.
How long do we wait to pass judgement considering the circumstances of the schedule?
Kent, WA, Ocotber 16, 2008 - The Canadian Hockey League today announced Seattle Thunderbirds goaltender Calvin Pickard has been named the ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week.
Pickard, a 16-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is in his first WHL season. This past week he posted a 1- 0-0-1 record with a 0.480 goals-against-average and a .978 save percentage. His 20 saves on Saturday, October 11, backstopped the Thunderbirds to a 4-0 road win against division rival Portland Winter Hawks. With his first WHL career shutout, Pickard was named the game's first star. On Sunday, October 12, he made 24 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss against the Chilliwack Bruins and was named second star of the game. Calvin is the younger brother of 2007-08 WHL and CHL Goaltender of the Year Chet Pickard.
Maxim Gougeon of the Rimouski Oceanic went 3-0-0- 0 this past week including a 4-0 shutout win over the Montreal Juniors to represent the QMJHL nominee for the award this week. Peter Di Salvo of the Barrie Colts was the OHL nominee. Di Salvo made 32 saves in a big 3-0 shutout win over the Sudbury Wolves on Friday night. The 17-year-old Di Salvo was named the first star of the game with his second shutout of the season.
Celebrating its 134th anniversary, ADT Security Services, Inc., a unit of Tyco Fire & Security, is the largest provider of electronic security services to more than six million commercial, federal and residential customers throughout North America. ADT's total security solutions include intrusion, fire protection, closed circuit television, access control, critical condition monitoring, electronic article surveillance, radio frequency identification (RFID) and integrated systems. ADT's web site addresses are www.adt.com or www.adt.ca.
2008-09 ADT CHL Goaltender of the Week
Oct. 14 - Calvin Pickard, Seattle Thunderbirds
Oct. 7 - Olivier Roy, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Sept. 30 - Andrew Engelage, Windsor Spitfires
Sept. 23 - Jamie Tucker, Vancouver Giants
The T-Birds take on the Tri-City Americans on Friday, October 17, in Kennewick at 7:05 p.m. They are back home on Saturday, October 18, to face the Kelowna Rockets at 7:05 p.m. at KeyArena.
T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825. Purchasing a season ticket will ensure fans can attend the T-Birds first game in their new home, the Kent Events Center.
I'm working on crunching some numbers about the first set of games. Obviously they have not gone well for the Tbirds but there were signs this weekend that this team is getting back on track towards surviving the difficult road schedule to start the season.
In news from around the league.
Everett had put in a bid to host the 2010 Memorial Cup, but it was awarded to Brandon. I think a Cup will eventually make it to Everett but it is pretty understandable that there is more advertising dollars available in Canada for the Cup than there is here in the states. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a Cup to come back to Seattle, though with the new building there is at least a chance. Alan Caldwell has reported that Brandon was the first city to present their proposal and after they did Everett and Brandon both decided not to and endorsed Brandon.
The sale of the Winterhawks was approved by the Board of Governors though the sale is not quite final. Personally... I have quit chanting "Portland Sucks" at games because it just isn't fun to do so anymore, so I hope this sale gets the Winterhawks back on track to being competitive, so that the rivalry can get back to what it once was.
Today is the O/A deadline for all teams to be down to three 20 year old players. Some moves have already been made today and Tri-City and Calgary still have deals to make with 4 players.
Chilliwack finally scored to tie the game at 1-1 with 2 minutes left in the game and scored the only goal in the shootout to pick up the extra points.
Seattle killed numerous penalties in the 2nd period and it sounded like the Bruins were the recipient of a little home cooking.
All in all... I think it was a disappointing weekend to come away with only 3 points out of a possible 6 but there were signs that the team is improving. At 2-6-1 all hope is not lost and I am reminded again that the Tbirds really only need to survive the first half of the season before spending virtually the entire second half of the season at home.
The game tonight was relatively uneventful despite being an important win for Seattle. Prab Rai had two goals, Greg Scott added a shorthanded breakaway goal and Calvin Pickard picked up his first WHL victory and shutout in the same night.
My comments about the game last night in Everett are far more important.
Ugh... first off... I hate going to Everett... some beast of a woman who appropriately had a cowbell hung around her neck (too mean?) taunted me in my Glen Goodall jersey before I had even sat down and I then proceeded to watch the Tbirds come out flat, see Jake DeSerres give up a ton of rebounds and the team give the game away in the first 20 minutes.
Look... Everett is a tough place to play even though the fair weather fans (already?) of Everett couldn't even sell the house out for a Seattle game on a Friday night. Still... 7100 people clanging cowbells after being down 3-0 early in the game is pretty tough to come back from. I still can't figure out why the defense is playing so poorly... I know the defense was obviously better in Portland tonight but come on... its Portland. DeSerres played poorly but his defense did not help him out on more than one occasion. The defense has to start getting better... that's the bottom line. With Hickey back... this defense has to be at least average to decent, not average to horrible and I still believe things will turn around.
Seattle nearly got back into the game as they cut the score to 3-2 on a sweet end to end rush by Hickey and then had numerous chances before Chaffin took and unfortunate extra penalty in a scrum with everyone's favorite Silvertip Kyle Beach. Everett took advantage with the Power Play goal, the 4-2 lead and never looked back.
I know this sounds strange and would have sounded a lot more prophetic earlier today... but this team will improve and I think they can dig out of this hole. The game tomorrow night in Chilliwack is a nice chance to get 2 more points and finish the weekend with 4 out of 6 points on the road.
Everett looked great in the first meeting against the Tbirds but we all know that Everett will not be contending for a WHL Championship this year. A win tonight by the Tbirds sets the stage for 5 or possibly 6 points this weekend with games in Portland and Chilliwack to follow. Portland, as we know, is still in the grips of rebuilding and Chilliwack was a decent team last year that lost scoring champion Mark Santorelli to graduation (where he is currently assigned to Milwaukee with Ian McKenzie) and Oscar Moller, who for now, remains with the Los Angeles Kings.
It has been well documented how the schedule sets up for Seattle in the first half of the season... but weekends like this provide an opportunity for the team to chip away at the daunting road schedule and grab some early season points. With Greg Scott and Thomas Hickey returning to Seattle I would be really disappointed if this team comes away with less than 4 points for the weekend. It is time for this train to pull out of the station or I fear that at some point it becomes derailed for the entire season over the road schedule.
I'm curious to know if anyone has any suggestions about the blog... I can't promise that I will follow any of them but I do promise to read and consider all of them.
Different look? Different content? etc...
If you think I stink... haha... here is your chance to let me know.
The deal is not as lucrative as the previous 20 year 10 million dollar deal that the city of Kent had with Amiga last year. That deal was voided after the city of Kent said that Amiga failed to complete the terms of the agreement.
Story can be found here.
If Scott is indeed coming back to Seattle... the Tbirds would have 4 O/A players and would have a decision to make on one of them before the deadline which I believe is in about a week and a half.
EDIT - CONFIRMED
Greg Scott is returning to Seattle. The link to the Press Release can be found right here.
Hickey is coming back to Seattle... while we all were rooting for Thomas, we are all happy to have him back as well and we know he has a very bright future.
Thomas has only played in two exhibition games for the Kings and those came in the first two games of the exhibition season. That made me guess that he would be sent back to Seattle today... however... the Kings have made some moves that would indicate that they are prepared to start the season with Hickey and give him a chance to see what he can do since they can always call up an older player from the "A" if/when they decide Hickey is not ready quite yet.
So my guess was wrong and it looks like we might have a wait possibly a lot longer before knowing about Hickey's status.
I'm not going to B.S. you guys, my loyal readers... My wife and I had to attend a charity event over at the EMP tonight and we were only able to take in the first 10 minutes of the game because they didn't drop the puck until nearly 7:30. The charity is a very important cause to our friends and family and I encourage people to visit the website at www.hearseehope.com. Hear See Hope raises money for research into a cure for Usher Syndrome. I won't spend any more time writing about it but we are very proud to support this cause.
Back to hockey... Jeremy Boyer is the only one to score in the shootout and the Tbirds get a huge 3-2 win over Spokane.
Boyer also scored in the first period to give the Tbirds a 1-0 lead that was erased by Mr. Drayson Bowman who scored twice to give the Chefs (no spelling error there) the 2-1 lead. Lindsay Nielsen then tied the game at 2-2 in the 3rd period on a feed from Boyer and the game eventually landed in the shootout.
Jacob DeSerres had 30 saves and more importantly stopped all 4 of Spokane's attempts in the shootout.
The Tbirds are now 1-5 but have a tough 3 in 3 road weekend coming up starting in Everett Friday, down to Portland Saturday and back up to Chilliwack Sunday. Crazy... but those are 3 winnable games.
The good news is... that team actually won the U.S. Division that season and finished with 94 points. Not only that... but they started the season 1-6-1 before turning things around and winning the division.
The lesson her is that 5 games is only 5 games and it is still really early in the season.
Having said that.... This is a team that has made defense their trademark under Rob Sumner and the defense is absolutely horribly right now. I don't know what the Los Angeles Kings are doing but if Thomas Hickey isn't going to make the opening day roster he needs to come back to Seattle right now, this team is totally lost without him. The strange part is... I have this feeling that when/if Hickey comes back you can automatically plug him in for 30 minutes of ice time or more and I could see this team running off a series of wins. I know that sounds crazy... but I compare it to baseball where a team gets their closer back from the DL and everyone else falls back into their proper roles on the team. With Hickey back... the minutes are spread out a lot more appropriately and everyone can calm down and fulfill their role without the added pressure.
My point...? Yeah it is bad... it's real bad and my guess is that some people in the front office are a little freaked out by this start.... BUT.... there is no need to panic and there are 67 games left to turn things around and this team might look entirely different with Thomas Hickey back in the lineup.
Relax people... the Tbirds finally come home tomorrow night... come out to Key Arena to see Guyle Fielder and see the final home opener at Key Arena and hopefully the boys will turn things around against what I think is the top team in the WHL the Spokane Chiefs. Home ice or not... if the Tbirds win tomorrow night... it will be a big win.
1) We have known for some time that the biggest reason (other than talent) that Hickey could end up staying with the Kings is the fact that they were very thing on the blue line. Most who speculated thought that there was possibly one or perhaps two spots left on the roster with Thomas competing with Drew Doughty to make the final roster. Well, the Kings the other day acquired veteran defenseman Sean O'Donnell from the Ducks which one would think locks up another one of those spots.
2) In addition to the added competition for a roster spot, it appears to me that Hickey has only seen action in 2 of 4 possible games (the Kings have played 5 but the first set of games were played with a split squad, is this baseball?) and he did not log any action in their most recent game last night.
This would lead me to believe there is a strong chance he is coming back and perhaps sooner than later. I don't think this means they have ruled him out... I'm just thinking at this time they are probably leaning towards sending him back to Seattle over keeping him on the roster. All of this of course could be thrown out the window if he plays again tonight.
The question is... if they are leaning towards sending him back to Seattle, how long will they make the Tbirds twist in the wind waiting for him to come back? My best guess at an answer... they won't make them wait much longer.
Here is my over under... I think if he doesn't play again tonight (unless he is banged up... and if he is I couldn't find it anywhere) I think he comes back on Monday the 6th which is the day after the last exhibition game.