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Hockey Challenge 2014

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I can handle stupid...

My biggest complaint about Sunday's game against Chilliwack was the complete lack of hustle and effort by most of the roster. Last night against a very good Saskatoon team, the Tbirds only really played one "good" period of hockey but at least they played "hard" for 3 periods... and I can live with that, for now.

Seattle digs itself a hole it almost was able to climb out of last night. Falling 4-3 to the East Division leading Blades. It's easy to pick on the Tbirds for the penalties at the start of the game but I really didn't think either one was really that bad. Especially the Warg penalty. That call was atrocious by an officiating crew who had a terrible night. That kind of pushing and shoving happens every single time the puck is frozen by a goaltender and Montsion/Byblow decided that the time to call that was with Seattle already down a man.

Ok... side rant about the officials. I hate complaining about officials but wow it seems like I wind up doing it a lot more than I probably should. I guess it is only fair to complain about the officials having a bad night if we're going to complain about teams and players having bad nights. That crew last night had a horrible night. The first call of the game, an interference call on Dillon, I am fine with as long as you are going to uphold that same level of enforcement for interference the rest of the game. Of course... they didn't. In the 3rd period Lockhart is interfered with in a way that was just as bad and just as far away from the puck as the Dillon call and they let it go. They miss an obvious high sticking on Ramsay and then drill him with an Unsportsmanlike Conduct (which was deserved but Ramsay was rightfully upset). They screw up the roughing call on Warg that led to a 5 on 3 for the Blades... and it wasn't just against Seattle... I'm not that biased. The holding call on Morin was also really soft.

In addition, Digby raised my ire as well. Look buddy... you're a linesman, your job is to call offsides and break up scrums. There isn't a single person in the arena who was there to see you and how well you can police faceoff circles. Twice Digby interrupts a faceoff to push wingers back when they weren't even inside the faceoff circle. God complex just a little bit? Power trip just a little? Look guys... your job is to go unnoticed and you failed at that last night. Just like Seattle, I hope you bounce back with a better effort on your assignments tonight.

Ok... back to the game.

Seattle just couldn't dig themselves out of the early hole but it wasn't for lack of trying. For the most part I really liked what I saw from their effort. They may not have played very smart in the first two periods, they may not have played very well in the first two periods... but they played hard and eventually hard work is rewarded and it certainly was in the 3rd period.

A few observations.

- Chance Lund... nice to see you. I've only been waiting 88 games to see you do something like that. Forget the goals (but really how could you). Lund flashed some speed last night I hadn't really seen and even if the first goal had been stopped my Morrison as it should have been I was very impressed with the speed. The second goal, just as good if not better because he went to the net hard like he should. When you are as big as Lund you have to use your size to get to the net and he did that in a big way on that 2nd goal. A fan pointed out to me lately that Lund has been playing much better and honestly I hadn't really seen it... but boy I sure did last night. Welcome to the show Chance Lund... can't wait to see more of that.

- Let's not get too carried away with the game that Branden Troock had last night... but boy he sure did look pretty good. He looked nervous early and I saw on one play he didn't really go after the puck as he should have trying to avoid getting hit, but he seemed to quickly get over that and showed some nice awareness to go with an ability to shoot the puck. Troock nearly scored on his first ever shot in the league but was instead rewarded later with his first point when Lund knocked in his rebound in the 3rd period. It will be nice to see this kid develop over the next couple of years. I'm not sure we have seen a 15 year old debut like that since, gulp, Thomas Hickey... Again... let's try not to get too far ahead of ourselves.

- Attached to the last comment. The best line on the team last night was Lund-Alos-Troock. Alos remains one of my favorite players on this roster because of the way he hustles all over the ice and his willingness to throw his body around despite a relatively smallish frame.

- Prab Rai is still really good at hockey.

- Speaking of my favorite players. Let's talk about Scott Ramsay's night. Starts a fight 23 seconds into the game because he is a tough guy and wants to get the team going. Unfortunately, both him Dziurzynski (I will not type that again) lost their balance and fell before any real punches could be throw and in the process Ramsay wound up hurting his hand... doesn't play the rest of the period but gets patched up and returns for the 2nd only to get high-sticked (the missed call) gets a penalty yelling at the Referee, goes off again to get patched up, returns before the period ends and goes straight on the ice (good move Rob) and basically plays a double shift. The cap to my Rammer night would have been a rematch with the player who will not be typed again. By the way... Ramsay was +1 and is +6 on the season which is tops on the team.

- Honestly I didn't see the hit Rouse laid on the Saskatoon player to draw the Major for CFB because I was looking for Ramsay and said untyped player to start a rematch but I was told it was a good call. I guess they got one right last night. I'll dial up the replay today and take another look. This would logically put Rouse out for tonight's game in Portland. Look for Troock to definitely be in the lineup again and possible a Tutt sighting? or more likely Mitch Elliot.

Seattle heads down to Portland this morning for the annual New Years Eve game that starts at the strange time of 8 pm. As a reminder, the WHL is allowing fans to watch the crappy Insinc game feeds for free over the holidays so everyone can go to and watch the game tonight. Hey, I can't really complain about free even if the video quality still sucks.


Kodi said...

Acouple of notes and these are just my opinion

The Rouse hit, we saw this from the other side of the ice an we noticed the player was already 3/4 of the way own by the time he reached the boards. Was it a penalty? Yeah probably. Was it a major with the mandatory league review? Probably not.

The the call on Warg was a soft one you shouldn't be smacking someone in the face with your stick when you are on the penalty kill. Time and time again he does things like this and I was suprised he wasn't benched, I probably would have.

When all the bad penalties were beginning to happen when we looked over, Rob and Tuner stood there with there hands crossed. Only the special announcemnet was yelling out. I know Rob is more of a quiet coach but last night he should have pulled one of his standing on the boards moves and stood up for the team instead of staring at the video screen for reviews. If Rob would have gotten kicked out for staning up for the team I would have supported that move 100% and I think the kids would have respected that as well.

stbird said...

I have not seen the replay of the Rouse hit, but I sit in section 105 and from what I could see Rouse hit the guy near the short side face off circle and he lost his balance and went into the boards kinda funny. Once again I think the idiot refs make a call because of the result of the hit instead of the actual hit. Was it a minor penatly? Maybe. But to me it certainly was not a major one.

Unknown said...

I'm in section 111 and saw the Rouse penalty. Minor for sure, but in my opinion the refs reacted to the acting job by Klassen and not the actual play itself, which resulted in the major.

Anonymous said...

Standing up on the boards and getting kicked out would prove what? He apparently got their attention behind closed doors in the locker room during the intermission without having to resort to any drama on the bench, plus he stayed in the game.
What is/was the "special announcement" that was yelling out??

Kodi said...

Getting kicked out isn't the primary point but showing emotion and standing up for your team is. You see it in all sports. I have no idea what your background is but look at coaching in the history of seattle sports. Which coaches did you like the best and which ones did you like the least.

Lou Pinella and George Karl are my to favorites. They brought emotion to there respective benches an no they didn't get kicked out of every game they had absolutely zero problem standing up for their players and letting them know that they are working for them. One of a coaches job is to protect his players (as well as the captain) and granted Ramsay got swiped in the face and wouldn't keep his mouth shut it's both the coaches and captains job to play mediator to difuse the situation.

My point is and was though that there wsa zero passion coming from the bench for two periods. Showing some which we all know Rob can do is important from time to time. Granted the team played a great 3rd period it was more of desperation hockey then anything else. As for becanic I have no idea what he was yelling out I sit on the other side of the arena but the passion he has I enjoyed. Hell he could have been yelling that he got his kids hello kitty cell phones for christmas for all I care atleast he was showing emotion.

As a fan I want to see emotion and I want to see the team playing the way they can and the coaches directing. You would think that it's not a hard thing to ask for.

Mike said...

From what I understand Tutt has a minor injury so he may not get the call tonight because of that.

Also the team was NOT passionless last night in the first two periods they were outplayed.

Rob was very vocal and was arguing with I mean Byblows the entire game. What good would it have done to get a technical and give up a 4th pp goal??

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