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Raiders smack Tbirds...

Not really sure what to say about the game last night. I spent the last two days trying to defend this team to a certain extent, telling everyone to be patient and my message this morning still stays the same.

As painful as last night was to watch, we still need to remember that this team is the 2nd youngest team in the league and you're going to have nights like last night where they just play horribly for a while and then have spurts where they look pretty capable.

The back-checking in the first period was just horrendous... no pride by the forwards getting back and finding the open skater and Prince Albert, a team who quite possibly will miss the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, took advantage 3 times in the 1st period and once in the 2nd period.

If I were Calvin Pickard, I would have been really upset. This team just isn't taking pride in keeping the puck out of the net and doing the things it needs to do to get it done.

The Jacobs-Parker-Rai line has to be broken up... that line just isn't working. It's hard being tough on Colin Jacobs because we expect way too much out of a 16 year old but he had a really tough night and Prab Rai is still trying to do way too much in the offensive end and not enough work getting back and protecting the net. The three of them combined for a -7 on a night where Sena Acolatse was +3 and had a fantastic game.

Memo to Brenden Dillon... there are new fighting rules. Hopefully he knows that now...

The good news is that the Tbirds once again showed that they can rally and play better and get themselves back into the game and give themselves a chance to win... scoring twice after I had to leave for my own game and pulling the game to within a goal at 5-4 before giving up the empty net goal.

I can't really speak to what the goals looked like... or what the action looked like after I left but I know they started to play a little better in the 2nd period and a little better to start the 3rd before I had to leave.

All in all... pretty much the same story. Some good, some bad... some ugly and ultimately a loss. The first period might have been some of the worst hockey we've seen out of this team this season. Perhaps right up there with the 3rd period down in Portland.... proving that this team has to play on the edge all the time to be successful.

These boys have to WANT to work hard... winning isn't going to just come to them and you can't just pick and choose when you want to work or even a team like Prince Albert (not that PA was terrible... they just aren't great) can make you pay on the scoreboard.

Tbirds are back in action Friday night in Everett before returning home to face PG on Saturday.

One last note... $2 Tuesday's were a hit... The Tbirds should definitely keep doing that. 3,000 on a Tuesday night in this economy is a victory in my book. It was fun to arrive close to game time and see that the parking lot was full and I had to park pretty far back in the park and ride.


Anonymous said...

yes the Jacobs-Parker-Rai line has got to go! and who on earth selects the stars of the game? Come on people.... Parker! Okay I give him credit for the goal + assist but overall I think he was still -4 for the night. What about recognizing some of the others that were very deserving?

Kodi said...

Something you didn't mention and it might be because you had to leave was that the t-birds pulled Calvin with 7:30 left in the game.

They played with 5 forwards and 1 defender (less forwards as while we had someone in the box).

My initial thought was pure horror with this but after they devoted to keeping the puck in the PA zone it was great. When they scored the 4th goal with 2:30 left they put Calvin back in and pulled him again with 1 minute left.

Thunnex said...

Correct... I forgot about that because I only heard it on the radio in the car.

Seems as though they started to play with some desperation after the goalie was pulled.

Jon said...

Dillon's move was completely bone headed. We had an odd man rush coming down the ice and it gets negated.

Schappert looks terrible still. He is making errors I expect a 16 or 17 year old to make, not a 20 year old.

Anonymous said...

I only wish that the TBirds could play with the desparation of keeping the puck in the offensive zone with the goalie in the net as they did when we didn't have one in. Maybe looking at the game tapes they can see what they did is as difficult to play with that many players as the zone gets crowded so certainly we should be able to control it with only the required well yes -7 for the top line (supposibly the top ine) is unacceptable. Sena, Sili and Wells are pulling their weight and working hard, maybe not getting the results yet but they will....I cannot beleive they even double shifted Sena a couple of times last night and he still came out on the + side and then sat Sili the last 5 mins and put out Jacobs (yes I agree I hate to be hard on him)...but come on...

Thunnex said...

I have to say honestly I have never understood why Schappert takes so much flak. He is a solid stay at home defender and I honestly don't see these "mistakes" that everyone talks about.

Playing defense is a demanding position. When a forward makes a mistake, it means you just don't score. When a defender makes a mistake, often it ends up in the back of your own net. So mistakes are magnified... and with that being said I didn't notice any glaring mistakes that Schappert made last night.

I think fans tend to be really hard on any defender who isn't named Hickey. The same used to happen to Scott Jackson to a certain extent. Jackson was also a solid defender who took a lot of abuse, probably because he just wasn't #4.

Thunnex said...

FYI... Schaps was +1 last night on a night where the team gave up 5 even strength goals.

Anonymous said...

I agree the Rai/Parker/Jacobs line isn't working and needs to be broken up. All three fly towards the offensive zone at every opportunity but they look like they're skating up hill on the back check. At times it looks like they want the other guy to do all the hard work on the back check, in the corners or along the boards, so they can save all their energy to try to score. It doesn't help the team to score 2 goals and give up 5.

Kodi said...

The problem that I have with the defence is this:

Schappert: When we are in the offensive zone he has a big problem with letting pucks get past him and the opposition has been in place to capitalize on it. Jackson used to have the same problem (which annoyed me too) but over his last year you could see him making adjustments to prevent it from happening by putting his skate behind his stick so if the puck flew over the stick it would bounce off his leg and stay in the zone.

Dillon: He just looks lost half the time and he continously gets beaten by the other team. You can notice this by the countless penalties that he gets. I just haven't seen the improvements from his freshman year that other players have shown.

Warg: Love his size but again I feel that he isn't keeping his head in the game. Examples are the last two games where he has caused 5 on 3 situations. Last night it was the Delay penalty for hitting the puck out of the zone and the game before the hit trying to defend his captain (honorable but stupid)

Haber/Fleming/Muth: I haven't seen anything from them to say anything negative or positive. They are young so maybe I am giving them the benefit of doubt but I haven't seen any huge mistakes or extrememly bad decisions

Ramsay: I am enjoying this kid. I think this was a good pickup so far. I enjoyed watching him try to bring it in the zone yesterday and make a play. I need to give him more time though before I have a true opinion on him.

Chaffin: When in the game I think he has been great. I think he is much improved over the years the only problem is he he hasn't stayed healthy. If he does though this will be a huge season for him.

Anonymous said...


I have to agree that Schaps is taking alot of the flax....whether or not he is not playing up to his potential, off to a little bit of a slow start, he also has alot of young guys in front of him and playing along side him, so of course he will take the brunt of the blame. He is good with it because right now he is the defensive leader and with that come the flax and I think he understands. He is not only the defensive leader but right now probably the glue holding the team together....a great leader on and off the ice

Anonymous said...

I agree with the JPR line. At what point do you change the pp? Not only are they not scoring they don't seem to be generating good looks. It doesn't help either when you can't keep the puck in the offensive zone for starters.

Anonymous said...

I think they had to do some quick adjusting to the three stars selection after the T-birds got the game within one. Apparently the three star ballots are collected from the media with about 5 minutes left. On radio, they said they had two Raiders players and one T-bird (Acolatse) as their stars.

Anonymous said...

Hickey certainly did a lot for everybody.... Scott Jackson took heat mainly because he was so hyped and never really stood out. The guy would get a star of the game in a 6-0 loss. For checking a guy who was already falling down. As for Schappert he gets abuse for being 20. Is he that good, not really. But Warg is 19 and spent time in NHL camp and this guy looks more lost than Schappert..... The only thing the T-birds have going for them this year is goaltending and it's hard to ask a 17 year old goaltender to play flawless for 72 games.... It will be a long year I don't know why everyone is getting so angry, we knew it was going to be bad. All WHL teams go through this.

Anonymous said...

I'm resigned to a long and bumpy season with such a young team so I'm trying to focus more on the improvements.

I thought Sena played well last night and his assist was a beautiful pass on a breakaway which is something we haven't seen from him before.

I also see a lot of passes toward the crease that are just slightly off timing wise. I have to believe that timing will improve and we'll start to see some goals off of those as the season progresses.

Unknown said...

To me, schapps and warg are our 2 best defenders, doesn't mean I like it or them, they have there problems, all players do, especially at there age. So what if schappert is 20, that's it, he's only 20, he isn't a chizzled nhl veteran and to me, that's what people think he is, he's still a kid. His game has holes, but so did hickeys game. The difference is schappert isn't flashy or anything, like tlyer said, he is a stay at home defender. That's what he has been the whole time he's been here. I like his play, but on any other team he would be an average 2nd or 3rd line dman. My problem with warg is he can't keep his head in the game, which makes him make mistakes. He is very frustrating for me to watch. I like the fact he sticks up for his teamates, but he always seems to do it at the wrong time ie: see the last 2 games. Not to mention he did it a lot last year. To me he is a solid 2nd line dman, when his head is in the game.

Which leads to my problem, this team doesn't have a solid number 1 dman, let alone a halfway solid number 1 dman. Warg and schappert are not, I like ramsey and I like chaffin, but they aren't either, haber is ok, muth is young, fleming hasn't played enough and dillon is slow, stupid, and lost. I don't like to get down on kids, but truthfully, this might be the worst group of defensemen I've ever seen in seattle. There isn't one player to me, who has a complete game back there. My hope is muth will become one. I was really hoping our defense was going to be stronger, I really liked crema, and what happened with carlson??? I thought he would be here this season and he was supposedly a top prospect.

This year was over when it began, we should of all known that was going to be the case, the offense is week, defense is week, and the goaltending can only be as strong as the defense. I've been saying it all along, its time to rebuild around players like muth, pickard, jacobs, elliot, wells sivester, parker and alos. And move on from the jakes, the prabs the wargs and the dillons.

Thunnex said...

Quick note...Carlson was drafted 4th overall by the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL.

I have to assume that the Tbirds did not see him factoring into their plans and he opted to sign with Des Moines. He is listed at 6'2" and 200 lbs.

Personally I liked his game when I saw him in camp last year and I was a little surprised they didn't keep him last year.

Anonymous said...

Carlson probably doesn't want to lose his college eligibility, I'd guess he's still on the T-birds protected list.
Chris said he doesn't like to get down on kids? But he calls Dillon stupid??? Then he spells the word weak, w-e-e-k....twice Who's stupid?
You may not appreciate Dillon as a player but to call him stupid is highly uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, that's week! LOL

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