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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Pickard Owns You

Sorry Tri-City but Calvin Pickard owns you... yeah he does.

Really nice win for Seattle last night at the Sho over one of the top teams in the Western Hockey League and once again it was Calvin Pickard who led the way.

I'm not quite so sure that the 55 shots were 100% accurate but I will say this.. The Americans love to just put the puck on net. Don't get me wrong, they had plenty of good scoring chances but they also had a large handful of shots that were basically just thrown on net or slapped on net that Pickard handled easily and held for a whistle. On a night where a goaltender is off his game and is coughing up rebounds that might have worked but on this night, that strategy never really had a chance.

The Ams did have several good chances as well with Pickard committing full scale grand larceny on several occasions. It sure is fun to watch this kid play when he is on his game.

Some other notes from the game.

- Spirited effort my Mikhail Sentyurin and though I really don't care too much about the 3 stars in the building I thought he was robbed not getting a star. Not only does he pick up his first goal of the season and his career ("Noooo channnce goalkeeeeeeper!!!) that hit off either his leg or hip or something before flipping into the net but I thought he was really good all over the ice and he earned the added playing time he saw tongiht. He checked, he flashed some really nice hands, and he really hustled on the fore-check. I loved what I saw out of him tonight and hopefully we see a lot more of it.

- Charles Wells was a beast last night... another guy who got robbed on the stars. Dare I say it, but I think Wells might have taken his speed to the next level... the Prab Rai level. Wells was a flash last night using his speed on numerous chances to just go right around American defenders. He set up Rai on a beautiful cross-ice pass on the PP to give Seattle the 2-1 lead and best of all he was a monster on the penalty kill. If you look strictly at points and plus/minus yeah Schappert and Alos were deserving of stars but I would have given them to Pickard, Sentyurin and Wells.

- Speaking of Schappert... great again tonight with 3 assists and a +2. I don't really agree with the notion that Schappert would bring you back something in a trade. I think he is type of player right now who is worth more to the team playing out the season than whatever small piece you might get back in a trade. Trading 20s in this league is tough and most teams have their 20s set early in the season and unless you are trading for a clear upgrade, you just aren't going to get much back.

- Nice to see Scott "Rammer" Ramsay get a goal. He was +3 as well.

- Jonathan Parker was +4... really? hmmm that one snuck up on me.

- Also nice to see Tyler Alos pick up a goal and an assist. His goal came with the game somewhat decided but I think Seattle may have something with him.

- 2 fights? in one game? at the same time?? Crazy how much the crowd/fans loved that. Anyone at the WHL paying attention? Fighting down, attendance down. I know there are several other really good reasons why attendance is down across the league but taking the fighting out of the game is one that I believe gets overlooked. The casual fan comes to see a couple of fights each game and fighting serves a purpose within the context of the game (some or most of the time, maybe not all of the time) why are we trying to snuff fighting out of hockey?

- Umm... are we calling him Brendan "Roooos" now? I'm confused.

- Prab Rai... ho hum... another 2 points. Yawn... Remember when people were worried about his slow start? He only has 20 points in his last 10 games. I feel so vindicated.

With the win, the Tbirds move up to 12-17-4 good for 28 points and they gained at least one point on all of the teams they are chasing, Everett lost in the SO to Prince George at home (yikes), Kamloops lost in Vancouver, Chilliwack took a beating from Spokane at home and Kelowna lost in Brandon. Tbirds are now just 2 points out of the 8th spot in the West and roughly 7 points back of the 6th spot. Seattle hits the road again tonight but only travels a short distance up the road to Everett to face the Silvertips at the "Cable Box". If you are curious... no I won't be there I have a holiday party to attend but I wouldn't have wanted to tempt the curse anyway.


Anonymous said...

More multiple fight situations will bring more casual fans back to games. The NHL/WHL hockey in general is trying to sell it's sport by taking away one of it's most attractive features. The safety of the players argument is crap seeing how most players want it in the game. It also eliminates the need for cheap hits that really injure players. I wish some of the powers of hockey would listen to it's fans and players for once..... As for the T-birds a pretty decent game for them. I just wish that our defensemen played as tight for Pickard as they do for Jaharus. Too much sitting back not putting pressure on the puck. Then getting lost and losing position. We can't expect Pickard to make 30 + saves every night and win. But hey as much experience this team gains can only make them stronger. The team drives me crazy with it's spotty play, but does and should give everyone hope that we are building a good core.

Anonymous said...

We went to the booster club holiday party on Tuesday - Schappert is definitely one of the leaders on the team. They would lose a lot more than his play if they traded him.

Also, they asked each player what they want for Christmas. Sentyurin said he wanted his first WHL goal. I guess Christmas came early for him. I agree he deserved a star for his play.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately a lot more goalies than just Pickard have owned us over the last few weeks.

The AMS have bigger problems right now than just Calvin stoning them. This team has lost whatever it had in the beginning of the season, they're playing with no confidence right now.

Great Blog, keep up the good work, everyone in TRI loves little Pickard, even if he does have our number.

Trade ya Brett Plouffe and a 4th rounder for Prab Rai?

Anonymous said...

For the Ams fan posting, I don't see the Ams that often but it seems that they either win big or lose big. I think Owsley looked a lot better last year in his backup role than he has this year as the every day guy. I don't think adding another offensive weapon is going to help the Ams through the playoffs. I think they could benefit from picking up a more experienced goaltender to replace or just even push Owsley more could go a long way for them...

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