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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Notes from a Happy Monday

Calvin Pickard is your WHL Goaltender of the week. This is the second time this season that Pickard has taken home such an award. Hopefully this time Calvin can take home the CHL Goaltender of the week.

I will say again... I don't really get too worked up over these awards but it is nice to see players rewarded when they deserve it.


Latest Massey Ratings are out and (surprise!) the Tbirds were the biggest mover in the league for the week.

Seattle moves up from 21st to 15th overall.

Offense is still ranked 21st but they have created a gap between themselves and Prince George while closing in on Chilliwack and Lethbridge in that measurement.

Defense moves up to 10th in the league.

Seattle fell all the way to 20th in home ice advantage... but I had better explain that one before anyone gets confused. The "HA" measurement in the Massey ratings is used to show the difference in a team's performance at home versus at home. Thus... being low on this list isn't really such a bad thing. For a while... the Tbirds were #1 in HA, which meant that more than any other team in the league they played better at home than they did on the road. That's what 0-7 on the road to start the season will do that to you.

So a ranking of 20th in home ice advantage now just means that the Tbirds have performed pretty equally at home and on the road.

So far the Tbirds have played the 3rd toughest schedule in the league and if you take the current rankings of their remaining opponents they will have played the toughest schedule in the league by the end of the season.

This is largely due to the fact that the U.S. Division is maintaining as the toughest rated division in the WHL.

Big this week will be to see if the Tbirds have truly become a different team or are merely riding a hot streak. You don't need to win in Kennewick tomorrow, but you need to compete and be close. Then you need to beat Kamloops at home on Friday and probably beat Everett at home on Saturday as well.

More stat dumps...

Seattle has moved up to 16th in Power Play and maintain near the top in Penalty Kill at 3rd.

Amazing... with this 20-3 stretch... the Tbirds have still been outscored 84-59 on the season.


Anonymous said...

Lets hope they show this kind of play at home. We need an exciting win like Portland had against us to start getting some fan support back.

Unknown said...

I personally think the defense has been strong all year. With the exception of dillon. Which is funny cause wasn't he at one point the highest rated nhl prospect for the tbirds??? Watching the last 2 games he is so timid with the puck, its like he's scared to have it. The difference between him and warg, or schappert or even chaffin is there confidence with the puck. That was very clear in everett. Next game, watch for that. I will say dillons physical game has improved. But the defense as a whole has been impressive. All season in my eyes. The problem has always been the offense in both zones. Not getting back, not getting the puck out of the defensive zone. Its too bad but the defense really got a bad rap for that. Now that we are winning face offs, thanks too nielsen and rouse, and our forwards are getting back and playing some d, our defense is finnally being able to show how good they are. There's good leadership back there and it shows. Hopefully the offense can keep it going, cause this team can end up being very dangerous a lot sooner than people thought.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what your gripe is with Dillon. He's played physical and I've never seen him timid carrying the puck out of the defensive zone and I love the way he jumps up to join the rush. He's a +1 and his d partner, Ramsay is a +3. Meanwhile Warg is a -8 and Schappert's a -5. I do agree the defense suffered because the forwards were not backchecking very well the first month of the season.

NWDubFan81 said...

In regards to Schappert and Warg, they both consistently play against the opposing teams #1 lines, and while I'm not a big fan of Warg, that certainly has something to do with the +/- numbers.

And as far as Dillon, he looks pretty bad with the puck, from what I've seen. Its not so much that I see him blindly throw the puck up the boards resulting in a giveaway, but more that when he has uncontested control of the puck, he tries to make a cute play and it rarely works.

Anonymous said...

I'll take Dillon all day any day,
does he make mistakes-yes...who doesn't. The defense in general had a rough start for many reasons. Some not their doing- over the course of the past 10 games I only see #5 getting better and better. Maybe that's why he starts practically every game lately. This kid is 18 and I look for great things from him over the next couple years.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say the defense has been strong all year like above... But you can see the improvement each week as we allow not only less shots, but less quality scoring chances. I do wish we were a little tougher, teams are obviously zeroing in on getting contact on Pickard anytime they get. Granted we don't want to take stupid penalties, but the T-birds are going to have to send a message sometime.... As for the offense the biggest improvements have been Rai and Acolotse stepping up. Rai is constantly bashed on here for showing no emotion and looking like he doesnt care... Yet he is consistantly the best offensive player on the ice every night for us. And Acolotse IMO should be our captain right now, he leads plays hard and isn't afraid to step up for a teammate. Which is what I would like too see more of from the current captain.

Anonymous said...

Dillon is 19 now. They said on the radio the other day, I think they were in Kamloops or Chilliwack, but it was his birthday and they said he was now 19.
As for +- numbers, Warg and Schappert may constantly play against the top lines of the other teams but the reason is because they are out there to stop them from scoring. And with so many road games the home team usually matches their top line against our 3rd defensive pair. Muth is -18, Fleming -8. Dillon's +1 says alot when there are very few + players on this team right now.

Unknown said...

I think I said what my gripe is with dillon. Look, I was a dillon fan when he was 17. I agreed he. Played well for his age with great size and vision. But has never progressed since. As for schappert and warg, they play more than dillon, they play more against top lines, they play on the power play and on the penalty kill. Dillon doesn't. And really, in my opinon, he's a third line defender, and is benefiting playing along side ramsey. I honestly hope that his game gets better, cause it would be nice to have a solid 5 to 6 defenders.

NWFubFan81 said...

Speaking of Nielsen and stepping up for teammates, Ramsay had to clean up his mess on friday in Kamloops when Nielsen checked Smith from behind into the boards...

And as far as Dillon's improvements, I didn't make it to the Chiefs game, and I haven't gotten a chance to watch that game or saturday's game in Everett yet, so I will reserve my judgement.

And yikes, Muth's at -18, and he is -14 in the last 11 games.

Anonymous said...

Okay boys so I would have to say that whoever this chris guy is knows what he is talking about. Dillon can't skate nor handle the puck he is so scared with it and he seems to just make rash decisions when he has it... also hats off to Haber he has been really good this year and I think he deserves some credit...

Anonymous said...

Calvin is CHL goalie of the week.

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