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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Considering how the season has gone so far and how the Tbirds had looked before Friday... this weekend has to qualify as a huge success.

Seattle played well Friday before losing essentially a one goal game to Spokane, played another pretty good game down in Portland only to lose in a shootout after leading for 59 minutes of the game (more on this later) and another nice effort last night in Chilliwack in a game that actually was quite important for early in the season.

The win in Chilliwack was big not only for the lack of success on the road but because the Bruins are currently sitting in the 8th spot in the Western Conference and Seattle does not have very many head to head opportunities to gain on them in the standings.

The clear key for the Tbirds will be whether this new level of play will now become the standard or whether this team is just going through a decent stretch of hockey before falling back into their old habits. If this team can play the way they did over the weekend I believe they can catch Chilliwack for the 8th spot.

Couple points of emphasis...

- Nice to see Sena Acolatse on the scoreboard twice (EDIT - three times) this weekend. His goal on Friday was an absolute rocket and is exactly the type of situation the team is looking for with Sena manning the blue line on the Power Play. The goal obviously is to get him set up for that shot more often on the PP. Credit to Rouse, Lockhart and Jacobs on that play for some nice action to set it up... especially Colin Jacobs who made the unselfish play to fake the shot and make the extra pass to Acolatse for the blast.

- What's not to like about this Rouse kid??? He wins faceoffs, he plays pretty solid in his own end and has now chipped in 8 points in 11 games to go with a -2 rating.... and he could have had more as James Reid robbed him on the doorstep right before the goal by Acolatse. Rouse was a big part of that goal and wound up with no points to show for it.

- Nice to see Prab Rai with a good game last night. Rai had 4 points and was +1 for the weekend. When he is going good this team will be a lot tougher to beat.

- Also a really good weekend for Jeremy Schappert who had 5 points and +2. Schappert now has 11 points, 2 points away from matching his career high from last season when he had 3 goals and 10 assists. Schappert had been very aggressive early in the season looking for chances to chip in offensively but had not enjoyed a ton of success until this weekend.

- Ah yes... THE Portland situation. Tell you what... I didn't get a chance to see the game so I'm going to go purchase the archived game footage and devote a separate posting specifically to the situation. So I will hold off commenting on this until later today or tomorrow.


stbird said...

Sorry to correct you but Sena had three goals for the weekend. One in each game.

Go Birds!

Thunnex said...

You are so right... I missed that. Good call.

Mr Tell13 said...

Does anybody else see the Deserres / Rouse trade as a awsome move by Farwell? Considering that yes Brandon got what they wanted, but unless Hayes breaks down bad (you never know)Jacob is going to be #2. For a guy that no matter how talented he is at his job, he plays less than 50% of the games. For that we have this young playing that after about 10 games shows up to be one of the top 2 centers of this team.(sarcasm on) Not bad for a GM that needs to be fired. (sarcasm off)

Anonymous said...

As much as I hate to say it the end of the Portland game was just a fluke well designed play that happened to work... Was there time left it's really hard to tell but really shouldn't let a team get that opportunity... If the T-birds have really any gripe it's more with Zalaski mid 3rd period, when he gave Portland 2 powerplays they didn't deserve then decided to eat the whistle on 2 obvious tripping penalties. But when can you do there is a reason Zalaski is still just a WHL official. Personally Portland outplayed us and deserved exactly what they got. And I'm glad for it the Portland/Seattle rivalry is going to need games like this too get fans back in the seats for both teams. With the Hawks' being so bad the past few yeas, and us now being terrible this year.... Games like these actually mean something.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what game you watched but Portland didn't outplay Seattle. The T-birds earned their 3-1 lead. I didn't feel they earned the PP that lead to their 2nd goal. But, had Wells scored into the empty net instead of hitting the post the last few seconds wouldn't have mattered.

Anonymous said...

you are partially correct. Yes, Seattle did earn their 3-1 lead and played well the first two periods... then in the third period Portland really took it to Seattle and "earned" their victory!

Anonymous said...

Well it's the kind of the game the T-birds need to be in. We have taken actually quite a few leads or have been tied going into the 3rd and call it lack of talent or experience we can't seem to get over that hump to finish a game out. Which generally seperates the good teams from the bad... But seeing how the team is very young learning how to win these games late will help in the coming years.

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