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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Tbirds bland in loss to Spokane

Spokane jumps out to a 3-0 lead last night on their way to the 3-1 victory at the ShoWare Center.

Main observations... I just thought Spokane
did a solid enough job on defense to keep Seattle from really getting very many solid chances on James Reid and while I wasn't really blown away by how Reid played he was above average/solid in the victory.

The shot totals last night were equal at 38 but that really does not tell the truth story of the game. Spokane
's fore-check was really solid for most of the night and had many more dangerous scoring chances than the Tbirds. Most of Seattle's shots came from the outside or from tough angles and with the few chances they had, they were not able to capitalize. In addition, Spokane's defense is really solid, even without team Captain Jared Cowen. They must have had at least 6-10 blocked shots and never really allowed Seattle the time and space to truly create.

's game seemed out of rhythm all night. Hard for me to explain but they often got caught on long shifts because of their inability to break the puck out of the zone, they changed at weird times, they made strange poor passes at bad times... they just seemed "off" all night. The 38 shots were very misleading.

along with Brandon, is probably the hottest team in the league right now and Seattle didn't really do anything to slow them down.

Couple of individual notes… Colin Jacobs is really struggling right now and his frustration is showing. My prediction for a breakthrough from him isn't really happening but I don't think we have any real reason for concern. I say this all the time and people tend to not want to believe it... but excelling in this league as a 16 year old is very difficult for a variety of reasons. Jacobs is going through a natural phase of struggle and I have no doubt that at some point the light will turn on for him and he will turn the corner.

Another guy struggling right now... Jonathan Parker. Only 6 points in 13 games for Parker and it really appears to me that he is trying way too hard to make things happen on his own rather than use his teammates to help set him up for scoring chances.

On the positive side... That is a Spokane
team that is going to be pretty tough come playoff time. They have experienced players and a really solid defense even without Cowen and well... you didn't get blown out by them... that's positive right?

I never get tired of pointing this out. Calvin Pickard was very good in net again last night, making at least a half dozen stops in situations where I almost assumed Spokane would score.

Story of the Week time:

As some of you know... Equipment Manager Jason Berger tried to stop a puck with his face last night on the bench. Jason is ok, but I will have a running story of the week where Jason will be providing you guys with daily updates on the status of his shiner.

Post Game:

Day 2: The morning after.


Unknown said...

I agree with your comment about how Jacobs is struggling right now. It was clear last night he was having some issues. I saw quite a few missed or weak passes and hits, which totally disrupted the offensive drive, which he tried to make up for but only ended up looking frustrated. I hope you're right and he has a breakthrough soon!

I'm curious about your opinion on how Dillon is doing in the line with Warg and Silvester out. I see him giving solid hits with some great speed (which I NEVER saw from Warg), and he's playing the point well. Seeing him in the starting lineup with Schap gave me some defensive hope. Your thoughts?

I also noticed a lot of hustle from Sentyurin. He was quick up and down the ice, had some nice moves around defenders for a couple shots on goal, and wasn't afraid to take on guys twice his size (some of the times ending up on his ass). Hopefully he'll get bigger and increase his speed and still keep his puck handling skills.

Thanks for the updates about Berger. Seeing him being helped off the ice by Nielsen was scary!

Anonymous said...

I agree Dillon looks really solid- Parker has moved around a couple lines lately- he'll find his grove soon see this in the NHL the time.

Not worried one bit about Jacobs- these 16 year olds have a woping
90 day resume in Majors:)

Anonymous said...

Jacobs needs to learn how to use his teammates, he tries to be flashy with the puck. He will be fine when he realizes that this isn't Texas where he can go around 3 guys without a problem. The stupid penalties will disappear as he gets more experience. As for Sentyurin you have to be impressed with the hustle and the emotion that he has been playing with he certainly stepped up. I'm just wondering when some of the other's will join him in playing that way.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tyler! Berger gave us a good scare. Relieved to know he's ok, and now has a really AWESOME hockey story to share!


Thunnex said...

I think Dillon has looked ok. Solid but not spectacular. His -3 rating is impressive when you look at the rest of the team and when compared to the -24 of Muth.

I would love to see him add just a hint of offense to his game and I still think he can be even more physical.

Unknown said...

My thing with jacobs is he seems to be trying to do way to much. I wouldn't mind seeing him on a line with rai and nielsen, or rai and wells. Let him play with some vets where his responsiblities are less. I will be honest, I really like him with rouse, and I really liked the rouse jacobs and lund line. But when he plays with the younger guys, he seems to put pressure on himself, and he tries to do too much. I know playing with older players like rai, wells, or nielsen, would maybe give him higher expectations for himself, but at the same time, the load would be less for him, pressure would be off cause teams wouldn't really key on him as much as a rai or as a wells.

Also, about dillon, I will admit, I'm not a fan, at all of him. But I will say I have been somewhat impressed with him with warg being out. Not to much with him running the point on the powerplay, but with his even strength and shorthanded play. He seems more confident with the puck.

NWDubFan81 said...

Something I notice about Dillon that is really frustrating, is that you often see him carry the puck through the neutral zone with a head of steam, but it never seems to turn into much. He will either lose the puck at the blue-line, or dump it in. Hardly ever do you see him take it to the net or pass off for a scoring chance. There's obviously nothing wrong with a good ol' dump in, but any player can dump the puck in.

As far as Warg, I feel that while he is very strong physically, and pretty good in his own zone, he is terrible in the neutral zone. So often he will make an ill-advised pinch or step up for a hit in the neutral zone that will create an odd-man rush (anyone remember Craig Olynick?). I think we are seeing this less lately because he has been playing with Schappert, who has been rushing the puck a lot more, thus forcing Warg to be the last man back.

So in summary, I think that Dillon is good in the neutral zone, but not very good in the other two zones. Whereas Warg is good in the defensive zone and competent in the offensive zone (13 assists) he really struggles in the neutral zone. Seems like his added mass this year has helped him down low, but has also caused him to get caught more often.

As far as Jacobs, I wouldn't mind seeing him play on the top line with Rai as Chris mentioned, but it seems like that has been our best offensive line as of late, and I don't know if I would want to break that up.

Anonymous said...

t-birds Bland?? That is a understatement, there was no emotion in the boys what so ever, they did not bring it on Tuesday.

Thunnex said...

I actually think that is a perfect description. I did not think they were horrible but I did not thing they were good.

Definitions: "exhibiting no personal concern or embarrassment" and "not irritating, stimulating, or invigorating".

I think that fits pretty well actually.

stbird said...

Just thought you all would like to read this article about Calvin on the NHL website, it's a pretty good one. And it talks about the 57 save shutout. You will have to copy past cause I don't know how to do a link.

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