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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Yeah it's a little slow in Tbirds land right now.

I heard a rumor that the Tbirds might finally get an answer on Mikhail Sentyurin by tomorrow but I have no factual evidence that this is true. Let's hope we'll finally get to see him on the ice soon.

Thomas Hickey was reassigned to Manchester of the AHL the other day by the Los Angeles Kings. Should I start a rumor that maybe the Kings will send him back to Seattle? Nah that would be just cruel.

I did want to put out a reminder to check out Mick White's stuff over at Kent Valley Sports. Mick and the rest of his "team" really do an awesome job doing photographic coverage of everything... and I mean everything Kent sports including the Tbirds. His link is over on the left... don't forget to check it out.


Boyer Traded

Saskatoon is reporting that they have acquired Jeremy Boyer from the TBirds.

The disgruntled forward heads to Saskatoon in return for Stefan Burzan and a 3rd round pick in the 2010 bantam draft.

Considering the situation that Seattle was in... to either trade him or have him sit out, I think this is a pretty darn good return for Boyer.

Story can be found here

I imagine the Tbirds will have a story out shortly.

EDIT: Tbirds story here

Rough weekend for the Birds...

Last year after 5 games the Tbirds were 0-5 and this season they are 1-4...

Last year after 5 games the Tbirds were outscored 29-10 and this season they have been outscored 20-8...

So why does it feel so different?

Well for one... last season the Tbirds started the season with 5 straight road games. 2 in Prince George (which is always a bit of a difficult road trip), one game at Tri and we now know that Tri was a good team, one game at Everett where the Tbirds have always had trouble, and one game at Vancouver who up until the playoffs were nearly unbeatable.

This season the Tbirds have had 3 of their first 5 games at home. Remains to be seen how good Portland is, but indications are that they will at least be a playoff team. Everett might sneak into the playoffs and Chilliwack is probably on the borderline as well and I'm not certain how great Vancouver will be this season.

If Seattle has an illusions of being a playoff team (and I said this going into Saturday night) they had better get it going in a hurry. They have games against Tri-City (2), Spokane, Everett, Prince George, Prince Albert and Brandon before getting going on their extended road trip to begin a stretch where they will play 12 of 13 games on the road. If you go into that road trip at... oh... 3-8 or 2-9... they could wind up pretty solidly behind the proverbial "8-ball" before we even get to December.

The defense hasn't exactly been good but the real problem is the inability by the Tbirds to get the puck out of their own zone and that falls as much on the forwards as it does on the defense. I just don't see the desire in these players that is needed to win. I'm not saying that if they just tried hard... they would suddenly be the top team in the West.... but they aren't going out there selling out their bodies to win. The first two periods on Saturday were actually much better, and it just fell apart in the third.


No I'm not...

I'm not commenting on that third period last night... the rest of the game wasn't bad but that third was ugly.


I guess I can't avoid it any longer...

I've been totally avoiding this all day (and last night) but I suppose it is time to get some of these thoughts out and see what you guys think. Lots of questions and very few answers.

I'll just put this out there... It's going to be a long year Tbird fans. I try to be optimistic, I really do... but there just aren't any reasons to be optimistic right now. This team can't score. We knew this might be a problem at the beginning of the year and the hope was that the Power Play might help offset some offensive issues and maybe they can continue to improve the PP and that might still come true.... but right now it's really hard to see that happening.

Why does this team appear to be such poor passers? Is it a lack of skill or a lack of concentration? or more likely a combination of both.

Defensively... Seattle isn't horrible, but they aren't very good either and they make a couple of mistakes (at least) per game that on most occasions will wind up with a puck in their own net. Chilliwack isn't good people. They may not be the worse team in the league, but they aren't good and they pretty well handled us last night... at home.

Through 4 games the Tbirds have been in ZERO fights and they are 1-3. My question is... why?

2200 fans at the game last night... I'm not here to sugar coat it, that's not good, that's bad. Again, why? What am I missing here? Why are the fine citizens of Kent not taking to this time more? You can't say it is because they are bad because the casual fan had no idea what this team would look like before the season started. Is it ticket prices? Is it lack of advertising? What? I'm so confused... and a little frustrated.

Seattle is in Portland tonight and I fully expect Portland to blast them. The Winterhawks played the Ams tough last night in Tri City and had the game tied with a little over 6 minutes to play. Seattle needs something good to happen and it needs to happen pretty quickly. Remember that last year's team got off to a 2-8 start but they mentally always had the advantage of knowing that they had 29 home games in the 2nd half of the season. This team doesn't have that crutch to lean on.

They need to get it going in a hurry or this thing could start to get away from them quickly.


Tbirds Road Trips

The booster club is organizing some road trips this season and I was asked to spread the word about the information.

The first opportunity is coming up on October 10th as the Tbirds go to Spokane to face the Chiefs. Price is going to be $60 per person and that includes round-trip transportation and a ticket to the game. For further information please see the Booster Club desk outside Section 106.

They will also be doing some future trips... November 8th to Chilliwack, November 15th to Vancouver and December 31st to Portland.

Beach moving back to the U.S.

The U.S. Division just got a whole lot more entertaining this morning. Kyle Beach has been traded by Lethbridge to Spokane in exchange for 19 year old defencemen Mike Reddington and 17 year old Landon Oslanski.

Spokane's first visit to ShoWare Center is November 6th.


Let's talk predictions...

I didn't get a chance to really get this up last week because I have been out of town so much in the past couple of weeks but I'm back and it is time to really dig into the season here and start kicking the tires on the 2009-10 version of the TBirds.

Disclaimer: This article is too long to proof so... excuse any mistakes.

Shall we start with the hot button issue?


Seattle boasts a strong coaching staff led by Rob Sumner who has put together a record of 192-131-3-34 in 5 seasons as the Head Coach of the Thunderbirds for .585 winning percentage. Despite starting last season 0-5 and 2-8 in their first 10 games, Sumner guided the Tbirds through a difficult schedule to finished above .500 for the 5th straight season. If you're looking for someone to blame for your various frustrations about the team, you're going to have a very difficult time pointing the finger at Sumner.

John Becanic was added to the staff this off-season after being let go by the Everett Silvertips, where he served as their Head Coach for two seasons after serving as an Assistant Coach before that. Despite finishing under .500 last season, Becanic guided the Silvertips to 11th in Power Play in 08-09 and 7th in 07-08. He will be looked upon to help improve a Seattle Power Play that finished 12th and 16th the past two seasons.

Turner Stevenson returns to the bench for his 3rd season and brings an atmosphere of toughness to the team to go along with a fat Stanley Cup championship ring to the table to speak for his credibility.

Jim McTaggart also returns to the Tbirds to work with defensemen. McTaggart also creates an atmosphere of toughness to the coaching staff having averaged 171 PIMs in 4 seasons in the WHL before also playing 71 games in the NHL and accumulating 205 PIM's in just those 71 games.

Coaching is a strong spot for this team. The coaching staff is filled with experienced coaches who have had various levels of success in Major Junior hockey and the NHL. While a few other Head Coaches can boast of better post season success not many WHL benches are as complete as the one that Seattle has.


This group lacks in top end experience but does contain some potential future stars who will spend this season getting much needed experience.

Prab Rai and Lindsay Nielsen lead the group and will both need to have big seasons to keep Seattle from struggling to score. Rai is a gifted skater who is among the fastest, if not the, fastest in the league. A fantastic passer who had 45 assists in 07-08 added a scoring touch to his resume last season chipping in 25 goals to go with his 45 assists in just 61 games. His 72 game projection would have nearly made him a 30 goal scorer to go with nearly 50 assists. The supporting cast isn't quite the same this season but so it might be unreasonable to expect Rai to make another statistical jump past last season but you can safely pencil him in for 40 assists and 20 goals as the absolute basement for his production.

Nielsen is the ultimate character guy. Already named the Captain of the 09-10 Thunderbirds he is said to have an unmatched work ethic in practice while being a excellent 2 way player on the ice who can win a lot of face-offs and is one of the bets penalty killers in the league. Limited last season by injury his 72 game projection would have put him over 20 goals and 20 assists and given the same reasons as Prab Rai probably shouldn't be expected to surpass 20 goals and maybe 30 assists.

The rest of the group is led by mostly young players and question marks with a few players looking for breakout seasons.

Colin Jacobs is the uber talented 16 year old who needs to take care not to fall into the hype machine that surrounds him. His talent level makes it extremely difficult to project his season numbers but it wouldn't surprise me to see him score 25 goals and add 25 assists (and this was what I thought before he had 4 points in games over the weekend). Current projections of 48 goals and 48 assists likely cannot be maintained but the sky is the limit. Let's put him at 30 and 30 and hope for the high end.

Jon Parker, Brenden Silvester, Charles Wells and Luke Lockhart make up the list of players looking to breakout. Parker enjoyed a solid rookie season getting to 17 goals and 22 assists and should be expected to push 20 goals and maybe 30 assists this season. Silvester and Wells possess big time speed and will also be looking for a breakout campaign. In the new hockey world these players should excel at the more wide open game. Silvester should have little trouble doubling his totals from last season and might be able to push 15 and 15. Wells was hampered by injuries again last season and I truly believe needed another full year to recover from his previous knee injury. In only 56 games he totaled 5 goals and 10 assists and would have projected to nearly 20 points. A double up of those points might be too much to ask but 10 goals and 25 assists would not be out of the question and his 3 assists over the weekend get him off to a good start. Lockhart made himself a fan favorite last season with his complete disregard for his body by crashing repeatedly into defenders on the forecheck. Lockhart had 5 and 10 last season on a line that wasn't exactly known for their scoring (LeBlanc and Cloud) and I fully expect to see him double those totals this season to 10 and 20.

Sena Acolatse gets his own paragraph because I'm honestly not quite sure what to think about his season. Acolatse started the season as a defensemen and made the transition to forward after having trouble on the back line. He possesses a big heavy shot and has the toughness to be an excellent forechecker. I would also place him in the top 5 enforcers in the league and one of my wishes would be to see Doty and Acolatse get into a 2 on 2 with a couple other tough guys. Can Sena take a step forward with a full season up front? Can he get to 10 goals and 20 assists? better? I'm honestly not sure.

The rest of the crew are question marks. Alos has the hustle and determination to be the 09-10 version of Luke Lockhart and has previously scored in bunches in his junior career. Doty is a tough guy who has yet to fight in the first 3 games of the season and I fully expect that to change. Lund was highly regarded as a bantam, but quite frankly has yet to show much at the WHL level. Elliot is a 16 with big time size at 6'5", but this season will be a learning experience for him.

Last season the Tbirds scored 222 goals. Given what we know... that number has to come down in 09-10. I'm shooting for a range of about 175-195 goals scored for the Tbirds and no team made the playoffs last season with fewer than 188 goals. Tbirds scored 6 goals in 3 games over the weekend and puts them on pace for 144. That either needs to get a little bit better or this team is in serious scoring trouble.


This group is deep but also loaded with questions.

Jeremy Schappert returns (until traded to Brandon? ok just kidding) for his 20 year old season and will anchor the group with 19 year old Swede Stefan Warg. In my opinion, Schappert takes far to much heat from Tbird fans and has grown into a pretty solid stay at home defender. There is a reason why the coaching staff chose him as the team's most improved last season. Schappert is never going to score at 20 goal pace like a Thomas Hickey and won't even approach the nearly point per game that Hickey brought but he will not spend a lot of time in the penalty box (only 32, 14 and 15 PIMs over the last 3 seasons) and has been very aggressive in the preseason and into the first 3 games joining the rush and looking for opportunities to score.

Warg returns for his second season with the team. After a horrible first half of the season Warg improved so much that his final stat line of 1 goal, 16 assists and a +1 rating doesn't even give you an impression of the first half of the year. Warg is an intimidating defender who must rely on his size to punish opposing forwards looking to crash the net. With a pretty big shot I would definitely expect him to improve on his lone goal that game in the final regular season game.

The rest of the crew is one giant question mark. Steve Chaffin and Brenden Dillon have both shown improved aggression and confidence early in training camp and preseason but Chaffin is already on the shelf with an injury suffered in warm-ups. Dillon and Chaffin were -11 and -12 last year on a team where Thomas Hickey was +37. The most obvious sentence in this article is... that must get better.

Brad Haber, Erik Fleming and Mitch Berg all return this season looking for more playing time and success. I look for Fleming to hopefully emerge from that group but has not played yet due to injury.

Tanner Muth and Jared Crema are the newcomers. Muth has a very bright future but will struggle as a 16 year old until he gets things figured out. Muth already has taken a few penalties and I would expect that to continue on and off throughout the season. He has already shown the instincts that made him a 2nd round bantam selection and we might only need to wait a year before he becomes a solid part of the defensive rotation. Crema played in the BC Major Midget league last season and showed a scoring touch with 10 goals. He has also yet to play with an injury.

This group is deep... but already banged up and lacks top end offensive talent. Last year this team gave up 234 goals and as a Tbirds fan you had better hope that number comes down slightly. For the sake of illustration if the team scores 175 goals and gives up 235 their differential is obviously -60 goals. Everett made the playoffs as the 7th seed last season with a -60 differential.


Calvin Pickard and Jacob DeSerres return this season as goaltenders 1A and 1B (if there is such a thing) but the situation is a bit different this year. Last year it was assumed that DeSerres was the starter and that Pickard would push him. This season it is pretty clear that Pickard is the starter and DeSerres will push him. When healthy DeSerres has the talent to be a #1 starter so having two guys with the quality that Seattle has is a big plus. Last season Jacob seemed to be hampered by injuries that never fully healed and he appears healthy once again this season.

Pickard is one of the most talented 17 year old goaltenders on the planet. His skills and instincts are excellent and his teammates love playing for him. It could be a long season for Seattle and if there is any goaltender who has the ability to shake it off and stay focused it is Pickard. One night after giving up 9 goals at home to a Portland team that won only 19 games he made 24 stops on the road in Portland to preserve a 4-3 overtime victory. If that doesn't tell you a little something about this kid's mental "make-up"... it should.


Ok... if you started the article here... well I can't really blame you but I would recommend going back to read the breakdown to see how I came to this.

I'm looking at Seattle having a scoring range that looks like this. I think Seattle is going to score somewhere around 165-195 goals. 195 is obviously optimistic and 165 would be worst case basis. I think we're looking at giving up anywhere from 225-275.

So let's look at the low, the high and the middle of those numbers.

If Seattle only scores 165 goals and gives up 275... you're looking at roughly 20 wins, 45 losses and about 7 games in the overtimes (obviously these are estimates here).

If Seattle scores 195 goals and gives up 225... you're looking at roughly 30 wins, 30 losses and 12 games in the overtime. Quick explanation... the closer you are to scoring as many as you give up... the more overtime games you are probably going to see.

Now for the middle point... 180 goals scored 250 goals against... we're looking at 26 wins, 38 losses and 8 overtime losses which is good for 60 points.

At 60 points the Tbirds are absolutely on the edge of the playoffs. 60 points was good for 8th in the West last season and was out of the playoffs in the East.

So I'm calling for Seattle to wind up anywhere from 6th to 9th in the Western Conference. Pay special attention to the games that go into overtime and shootouts. This could be the year where getting that extra point or not getting that extra point might make the difference between making the playoffs and being on the outside looking in.



and then that happened last night...

What can I really say about last night... Seattle played with little to no passion, little to no execution, little to no concentration and Portland looked fast and hungry skating their way to the 5-0 win.

The lone bright spot... I thought Jacob DeSerres was pretty solid in net and at least tried to give his team a chance. 4 of the 5 goals were not his fault and quite frankly the one that slipped through him I didn't have an angle to see if he was screened on the shot. Trouble was... the Tbirds left him hung out to dry on numerous chances and the Winterhawks cashed them in.

I know the Negative Nancies around here will probably disagree with me (that's fine) but I thought probably 70% of last night was Portland being much improved and about 30% Seattle just playing crappy. Make no mistake... Seattle can play better but that was a Portland team who I think is ready to make the jump... quite possible that Portland winds up in the top 4 seeds in the west when it's all said and done.

Tbirds back in action up in Vancouver tonight to finish out the 3/3 weekend. I would expect to see a much better effort tonight against the Giants.

btw... I will have a few articles coming up this week. One on predictions for the Tbirds... I honestly haven't seen anything this weekend that changes what I thought about the team on Thursday and some talking points on the new fighting rules.


Game 1 Recap

For 50 minutes the Thunderbirds seemed to beat back the doubters, rolling on energy and emotion to a 4-0 lead over the Silvertips on Friday night. For the final 10 they may have given them something to bark about... but the Tbirds held on for a well earned 4-3 victory over their norther rivals on opening night in front of a crowd listed as 4010. That number seems low to me and the crowd looked closer to 4500-5000 but what do I know.

Calvin Pickard was the star of this game stuffing Everett on numerous attempts throughout the game but his 24 saves in the 3rd period were the difference. Tbirds came out with fire and emotion to start the game and carried that over into the 2nd period building their 4 goal lead but they appeared to tire in the final 10 minutes and sloppy turnovers lead to a couple of Silvertip goals to pull them to within one before Pickard shut the door over the final 7 minutes.

Some highlights outside of Pickard's night....

Colin Jacobs had a fine game scoring a goal and helping on two others. It is becoming quite easy to expect too much from this kid. At times he looks far beyond his 16 years and at times he plays exactly like a rookie in this league should play. This bodes incredibly well for his future this season and beyond and he was paired on the top line with Nielsen and Wells.

Easy to get spoiled watching Prab Rai and though his numbers ended up looking somewhat bad at -2 he is a real game-breaker with the puck on his stick. I think his goal ended up hitting all three posts in going past Simpson.

Silvester had a nice game... I think he is a strong candidate for a breakout year and though I try not to always link the two together I think Wells can probably fall into the same category.

Defense played well for most of the game keeping most of the shots to the outside where Pickard could easily see them but we have got to more effectively move the puck out of the defensive zone.

This will be a story line to follow for the entire season... but again I liked the new look of the power play and even though neither of the goals came on "set plays" they generated chances and wound up cashing in on 2 of 6 chances. If the Tbirds can dramatically improve their PP rate over the past couple of seasons I don't think they will have as tough of a time scoring as people might think.

Game 2 is tonight against Portland and this one might be even more interesting for several reasons. Jacob DeSerres will get the start in net and whether he stays in Seattle all season or gets traded it will be very important for him to prove that he is over last season, healthy and ready to go. I personally think there is a really good chance he bounces back and has an excellent season. Also... should be really interesting to see what Portland looks like. The Winterhawks have scored a lot of goals in the preseason and many think this is the year Portland makes the leap back from the bottom of the league standings and back into the playoffs. It should be an interesting night to measure where Seattle is compared to Portland.


Warg returned...

On the day of the opener the Tbirds defensive core got stronger. Per Tbirds on their facebook they are saying that Stefan Warg has been returned to the team.

Also something that didn't really get publicized by the Tbirds... likely because it is subject to changing but they have posted the roster and right now it doesn't include Sentyurin who must still be waiting for paperwork in order to be able to play.

Of the guys that were on the bubble it looks like Crema, Berg and Muth are the defenders and Tutt, Doty, Elliot and Alos are the forwards. I'm expecting fireworks from Doty tonight.

So Seattle will be nearly full strength tonight for the first game. As of this post there are still just under 2000 tickets available for the game tonight. I suspect that they will get a pretty good walk-up crowd along with some ticket sales today that will probably push them over 5000 but this has to be a disappointment to not be able to sell out the opener against Everett on a Friday night.


Media Coverage...

I'm really mad at myself over yesterday's "rumor" so let's just try to move on and forget about it.....

Little bit of media coverage for the Tbirds before the season opener tomorrow night at ShoWare Center.

Tbirds announce Lindsay Nielsen as team's captain for the 2009-10 season. This really isn't a surprise as Nielsen is known for his excellent work ethic and the example he sets for all players on the team. I could not think of a better captain for this team than Lindsey Nielsen... whether that translates into wins... we'll see.

Jim Riley has his season preview over at the times and you can find that here.

Kent Reporter posted their season opener preview today. The Reporter really needs an official blogger for their website... wink... wink... hint... nod... ok, nevermind. You can find that here.

Mentioned in that article is the "party on the plaza" tomorrow and Saturday for the first two games where you can get food, beer and music before the game... which is awesome.

I've been out of town a lot the last 10 days... so I haven't had a chance to comment on this but I don't really care for the new jerseys. I think they are ok... but that little off-color swatch behind the laces really bugs me.... and I'm sorry Kent.... I'm really sorry to say this... but... "power laces" wow that is a dumb idea and they are ugly as sin. I really hope by "worn on special occasions" they mean opening night and then Jason Berger will be seen burning them out by the dumpster on Saturday morning.

Sumner was on KJR today with Ian Furness and he was on NWCN on Tuesday.

Also while I was gone the WHL clarified some of the new rules on fighting. I HATE these new rules. It would be easy to fire off some sentences here but I'm going to wait until next week to write up an article so I'll save it.

See you all tomorrow... should be a fun weekend, W's or not.

Umm... oops?

Yeah so... I think I was wrong on that trade.

Right now it doesn't look like any trade was made...

So here I am eating a little crow... I apologize to the fans. I had what I thought was a decent lead and it made sense so I figured I would throw it up.

So I got it wrong... I'm sorry. I'm better than that and I'll try not to let it happen again. I wouldn't be surprised if a trade like this eventually happens but right now it appears that it is nothing more than a rumor.

Sorry guys... I messed up...


I have reason to believe that Jeremy Schappert and Jacob DeSerres have been traded to Brandon. I am assuming we will hear details of the trade in the morning. I could be getting completely misled about this but I believe it to be true.

Details in the morning....


Rai returned...

Quick update from the road...

Some good discussions going on in the comment section... I think that's a good thing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I honestly can't understand why anyone would either watch or not watch a team based on the team's General Manager... but hey everyone is entitled to do what they want. I question why it's necessary to make that opinion public though. Why not just do it... at the end of the day I couldn't care less why people either do or don't want to follow the Tbirds.

The real big news today is that Prab Rai was returned to Seattle. We always want the best for our players and I would have loved to see him crack Manitoba... but for selfish reasons this is heeeeeuge for the Tbirds. Thats right... not just huge... heeeeeeeeeeeuge... and even more so because it comes before the start of the first game of the season. I'm a little surprised that he was returned so soon but it is very good news for the Birds.

All for now... only 2 days to go...


9 days left....

Posting is going to slow down a little bit her until the start of the season. I have some places to be and things to do leading up to the season. At this point.... there really isn't much else to report on coming out of camp besides the last of the cuts and I will try to update on that when I hear it.

I think it is very interesting how a lot of people on the "white board" are pretty much picking the Tbirds to finish 5th in the division after what they have seen in the preseason. I won't have much time to write a ton of articles between now and next Friday but I will be all over the season opener on Friday and Game 2 on Saturday against the Winterhawks. Opening night is not nearly sold out and that is really a shame... I really hope everyone will rally their friends and sell the thing out.


Sanvido and LaChance reassigned...

Rumors ran around me yesterday about this news and it has now been confirmed by the team.

Connor Sanvido and Justin LaChance have been reassigned by the club. Sanvido was the TBirds 1st round bantam pick in 2008 and just wasn't quite ready to make the jump to the big club. I think he still has a very good chance at growing and improving and making an impact for the Tbirds down the road. There are several examples of kids that just aren't quite ready as 16 year old's who come back and make an impact down the road. The most recent and obvious example is Kellan Tochkin for the Silvertips who did not make the club as a 16 year old and came back last year and was arguably the rookie of the year as a 17 year old.

LaChance was a 7th round bantam draft choice and was trying to make the club for the second year in a row. LaChance is another kid who might still be able to contribute down the road for the club and my understanding is that they are keeping him listed as well.

The Tbirds are going to have some additional information about the roster and who is and is not left in camp so make sure you stay tuned to the official website for more information.


Well then...

On the heels of last nights 5-1 loss to Everett, Seattle loses 3-0 today to Spokane at the Everett Tournament.

These are just preseason games and nobody should get too worked up about them but Seattle looked tired and bad today. Only 15 shots on goal and they rarely threatened. It might have actually been the most boring hockey game I have ever watched. The defense did not play horrible and both Jahraus and Pickard were fine, splitting around 27 saves on 30 or so shots between them.

Couple of bright spots... Charles Wells appears to be back as he flashed some impressive speed today. You hear it talked about in sports often that a player that undergoes a significant injury like Well did often takes longer to recover mentally than they do physically. The knee has been ready to play for more than a year now but perhaps Wells is just now getting back to trusting his body and his legs.

Tough day for Tanner Muth who didn't play too well... but I think the kid still has a ton of promise and these are the days you're going to get sometimes with 16 year old players, I'm not really worried about him at all long term.

Referees are in fine regular season form already as Colin Jacobs got decked from behind by a Spokane player in front of the net and proceeded to get a "Diving" penalty for his effort. If that was a dive, that was one of the best acting jobs I've seen in a while.

Seattle gets back to practice before their final preseason game next Saturday at ShoWare Center against the Everett Silvertips before getting ready to open the season.


Seattle Prince George Exhibition Wrap

First off... I didn't read through every single comment but I urge everyone to go check out the "replay" of the live blogging that the TBirds did from Comcast today, you can find it here.

Good stuff there... quite frankly the more of that we get, the less I have to do, which in my book isn't such a bad thing.

Tbirds win today 3-2 over the Cougars. I didn't think Seattle played a particularly pretty game, but I think this game provided the blueprint for how Seattle is going to win this season.

By the way... this is one of my favorite days of the year, nothing like getting out of work for about 4 hours to watch a little hockey where you can sit anywhere you want at Comcast and I didn't hear one single cowbell. Plus it means that the start of the season is coming up quickly. I hope Seattle keeps getting these 11:30 am games on the Friday of the Everett tournament.

- DeSerres in net for Seattle to start, Priestner starts for the Cougars.

- I quickly jotted down the lines I saw... Sena - Jacobs - Parker with Schappert - Muth. Wells - Nielsen - Troock with Chaffin - Fleming. Elliot - Alos - Doty with Haber - Berg and Sanvido - Tutt - Lachance is the final line. DeSerres and Jahraus were dressed, Pickard was a scratch.

- Early penalty to Elliot for tripping lands him in the box, PG with a late flurry of shots turned away by DeSerres but overall a pretty strong kill for Seattle with Fleming making a nice pinch that springs Parker for a short-handed break but the puck rolls off his backhand and wide of the net.

- Nice pass by Sena from behind the net to Jacobs who just misses wide. Acolatse is wearing one of the "A's" today with Nielsen wearing the "C".

- Tbirds get a little sloppy here in the middle of the period and Prince George is getting a majority of the shots.

- Alos with a nice strong fore-check and even though he didn't cause a turnover he finishes off a nice check along the end boards.

- PG penalty to #26 (I didn't grab a roster) for elbowing and the Tbirds go on the PP.

- Parker, Acolatse, Tutt, Schappert and Muth out for the PP.

- TBirds quickly cash in as a shot from deep by Acolatse is blocked right to Parker who corralled it with his skates before taking another shot/pass that finds its way over to Tutt on the doorstep for the wide open goal and the TBirds lead 1-0.

- Seattle penalty to Brad Haber for hooking with 6:49 left to play in the 1st.

- Tbirds kill the penalty without any real threat.

- PG penalty to #25 for roughing as he took issue with Doty and went after him... but Doty kept his cool for the most part and Seattle winds up with a Power Play.

- First period ends with Seattle up 1-0. PG controlled the action most of the period but the Tbirds were dangerous at times and cashed in the special teams goal to grab the lead. I'm going to figure out a way to illustrate the "new" Seattle power play and give you guys an idea what it looks like by next week.

- 2nd period starts with two penalties on Seattle. Sena gets one for checking from behind. I thought it was more unfortunate than violent as the player turned his back as Sena went to hit him, oh well. Alos then gets another penalty as PG was on the Power Play but it was a good penalty at the PG player was alone in front of the net.

- Seattle kills off the 5 on 3 with DeSerres playing a big role.

- Misplay by PG in their own end with Seattle pressuring leads to a scrum in front of the net where Elliot finally bangs home a rebound past Priestner for the 2-0 lead.

- Acolatse works the puck deep into the PG zone before feeding Jacobs at the hash mark where he places a perfect pass to Parker in front of the net who buries it 5-hole and the Tbirds lead it 3-0. This line of Acolatse, Parker and Jacobs has looked very comfortable together today.

- Jahraus replaces DeSerres who makes 23 saves and does not allow a goal. DeSerres had a little trouble controlling rebounds at times today but overall looked healthy, in control and solid in making his 23 saves. He was without question the reason why Seattle led 3-0 here at the mid point of the game.

- Muth over the boards for a delay of game penalty.

- Jahraus makes several solid saves here and the penalty it killed.

- Shortly after PG is on the board with a goal by #19. Shot was a good one through traffic and I'm not sure there was anything Jahraus could have done.

- PG penalty to #23 for holding of the stick.

- Period 2 ends with Seattle on the PP. PG leads in Shots 31-17 but the Tbirds have been very opportunistic and lead the game 3-1.

- Start of the 3rd period.

- PG penalty to #15 for delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass.... at the other end of the ice. First time I have seen that one happen in person.

- Seattle fails to convert on the PP but I really do like the new look of the PP, players are calm and seem to understand what they are doing and how it works. I mentioned that I will try to diagram what they are doing at some point next week but I can give a short description here. 2 D at the top with an overload of 2 forwards to the strong side, one about half way up the zone, one in the short corner and one player occupying the front of the net.

- PG pulls to within a goal as #18 scores an easy tap in as Jahraus made the initial save through a screen but the rebound squirted out to an unmarked #18 at the far post. Seattle needs to be careful here as they have led the entire way but PG has done the majority of the attacking.

- Seattle penalty on Parker for boarding, 6:16 left in the game.

- Nice work by Tyler Alos on the kill and eventually the PP is erased with a goaltender interference penalty on #27 of PG. Alos has really impressed me today and I can't see how he doesn't make this team.

- Final minute of the game and Sena Acolatse, who has also had a very strong game, blocks a shot from the point that hobbles him before getting back out to the point 15 seconds later for another block. What an effort by Sena giving up the body in the final minute of an exhibition game.

- Seattle wins 3-2 and improves to 2-0 in the preseason... PG leads the final shot total 37-22 but the Tbirds got pretty strong goaltending from DeSerres and Jahraus and some opportunistic goals to pick up the win. Seattle looks much more comfortable and dangerous on the PP so far and while I don't want to get too excited about things two games into the preseason you have to be encouraged by what you see and if this team was able to make a leap forward in the PP department they might not have as much difficulty scoring as previously thought.

Final Note... I will not be going to the game tomorrow night against Everett as I will be watching the Huskies hopefully upset LSU so if you have a comment or report, feel free to shoot it my way. I will be back up in Everett on Sunday for the 3rd and final game.

Game Coverage...

We're entering a new age of Tbirds hockey and quite frankly everyone should be very excited about it.

The Tbirds are going to be covering the exhibition game today via Twitter and live chat. I'm not quite sure where you'll be able to find the live chat but the story is here so I imagine it will be somewhere on the website.

This is a really nice addition and something that I will probably be doing for some road games.

I'm headed up to Everett myself in a little bit and will have some overall general observations about the game later this afternoon.


Roster Update...

Ask and you shall receive...

I don't know if this is 100% accurate but I think it is close...

Goaltenders (4): Jacob DeSerres (19), Kyle Jahraus (19), Calvin Pickard (17), Nick Enegren (17)

Defensemen (9): Mitch Berg (18), Steve Chaffin (18), Jared Crema (17), Brenden Dillon (19), Erik Fleming (17), Brad Haber (19), Tanner Muth (16), Jeremy Schappert (20), Stefan Warg (19)

Forwards (18): Sena Acolatse (19), Tyler Alos (16), Jacob Doty (16), Mitch Elliot (16), Colin Jacobs (16), Justin Lachance (17), Luke Lockhart (17), Chance Lund (17), Lindsay Nielsen (20), Jonathan Parker (18), Prab Rai (20), Connor Sanvido (16), Mikhail Sentyurin (17), Brenden Silvester (18), Tyler Sybil (17), Branden Troock (15), Brennan Tutt (16), Charles Wells (18)

New Jerseys...

Rumored for a long time... it has now been officially confirmed by the Thunderbirds that they will indeed be switching over to the new RBK Edge jersey style along with the rest of the 60 CHL teams.

The new jerseys were put into play in the NHL at the start of last season (I think, right?) and the CHL has now followed suit a year later. Be interesting to see what they will look like. I wouldn't count on any major changes but a few stylistic tweaks might make or break how the thing looks.

EDIT: NHL has had Edge jerseys for two years...

A public event and unveiling will take place next Wednesday Sept. 9th, in an event at the ShoWare center at 10am. The official release can be found here.

Another cut...

Got a tip that Kaydon Trumbley was cut from the team yesterday. It was believed that Trumbley asked the Tbirds to trade him or give him his outright release. Trumbley is an 18 year old this season.

As far as I know... this puts the Tbirds down to 31 players before the start of the exhibition tournament on Friday.

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