Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail


Hockey Challenge 2014

Recent Articles


Portland just bigger, faster and stronger

Didn't really have time to get a game recap up yesterday but there wasn't much entertaining or good to write about Saturday's game anyway.

Seattle goes down 6-1 on Saturday night. Portland just flat out looked bigger, faster, stronger and more hungry. I've said it before here and I'll say it again... I think Portland is a team to watch out for come playoff time. I personally think they are better than Tri and I definitely think they are better than Everett. Last night in Vancouver, Ian Curtis even gave them a 51 save effort in a 3-1 win. If they get goaltending like that... look out. I just think the reason they aren't higher in the standings is because they are still learning how to be consistent night in and night out and quite honestly that could hurt them come playoff time too.

Wait... isn't this a Tbirds blog? Oops... sorry.

Point is... this Portland team is going to be very good for a couple of seasons and if there is a team out there that Seattle should be afraid of, its going to be Portland.

I loved the fact that Seattle finally showed a little bit of heart at the end of the game getting into a few fights and sending a message to Portland that they aren't just going to be pushed around... problem was they probably lost each one of the fights with Ramsay probably earning a draw. For the most part, the Winterhawks are just flat out bigger than Seattle and that might be something of a concern for Seattle going forward.

Let's take a quick look at the average size of each team taking out the goalies.

Seattle has an average height of 72.43 inches, which is roughly 6'.5" and weighing in at 187.43 lbs.

Now Portland... the Winterhawks check in at an average of 74 inches, 6'2" exactly and 194.28 lbs.

A difference of nearly 2 inches and 7 pounds. The weight probably isn't very significant and I must also mention that the weights that the teams report, that then get placed on the WHL website aren't always super accurate so let's throw that out and just focus on the height. A 2 inch difference is pretty significant over a sample size of 21 players.

You take into account the fact that Portland is also NOT a very old team and wow that team looks scary for the next couple of years. Next season they will lose Francis, Schneider, Doyle and Sbisa... so you can't ignore that loss of talent. Seattle will lose Rai, Nielsen, Schappert.

Should be a very interesting couple of years with Portland being pretty solidly ahead of Seattle at this point.

Back to the game...

Pickard had a rare off night. Not very often I have to say that so I guess I need to point that out. He had trouble with his rebound control for most of the night and on a couple of chances he wound up in trouble for it. Having said that... as it usually is, hockey is a team game and the rest of the team wasn't really givng Pickard much of a chance to do better. Sometimes when your goaltender is kicking out rebounds, your team defense needs to help him out and clear out loose pucks and shut down attackers looking for rebounds and Seattle just didn't do that.

The list is just not good...

Schappert -1
Ramsay -2
Dillon -3
Aasman -2
Muth -2
Fleming -1

The bad defense was pretty much across the board and this unit has got to get better in the next year if this team wants to hope they can take a step forward.

Only TBirds that didn't have a minus night, Rouse and Gallimore.

So Seattle spends the next two days licking their wounds and gets ready for what is likely the most critical week of the season.

Wednesday at Kelowna is a must win, Friday at Spokane (GAME IS ON FSN!!), Saturday at Portland and Sunday back at home against Kelowna.

Can Seattle still make the playoffs?? The short answer is maybe but the climb is going to be really tough. 10 points behind Kelowna with 2 games in hand, the Tbirds are going to need a lot of help from Kelowna in order to catch them.

Let's look at a few scenarios.

Kelowna has a win percentage of .460 with 22 games remaining. If they stay at that exact level they wind up with 66 points (I'm skipping the math for you guys).

Seattle currently has 36 points with 24 games to play. In order to wind up with 66 points they need to earn 30 points out of a possible 48. Thats a win percentage of .625. Let's put this in chart form.

Kelowna record over their remaining games - What Seattle needs to do...

11-11, .500, 68 points - 16-8, .667, 68 points
10-11-1, .477, 67 points - 15-8-1, .646, 67 points
10-12, .460, 66 points - 15-9, .625, 66 points
9-12-1, .432, 65 points - 14-9-1, .604, 65 points
9-13, .409, 64 points - 14-10, .583, 64 points
8-13-1, .386, 63 points - 13-10-1, .5625, 63 points
8-14, .364, 62 points - 13-11, .542, 62 points

If we take Kelowna's last 10 games and use that as a recent marker they have 8 points out of a possible 20 (.400). So IF Kelowna were to go 8-13-1, basically 17 out of a possible 44 points... Seattle would need to "only" go 13-10-1 (27 out of 48 points) in order to catch them.

In order for any of this to even make sense, Seattle MUST go at least 3-1 in their 4 remaining games against Kelowna. A 2-2 split in those 4 games would then require Kelowna go go 6-11-1 the rest of the way and Seattle 11-8-1. THAT is a tall order.

Impossible? No. Difficult? Extremely.

One last point...

I want to get this out there and publicize it every single day until Friday. Friday I will be helping "host" a Tbirds viewing part at Gators in Kent. We're going to try to get a bunch of Tbirds fans together for a rare opportunity to watch the Tbirds on television together, have some drinks and make a little noise when (if?) the Birds score in Spokane.

1 comment :

tbird117 said...

Yeah Portland is going to be very scary next season. Should be the favorites to take the division down. As for this season I'm not that sold on them. We match up terribly against them and they should beat us. But Sbica or not the defense is just average and the goaltending is poor. Not to say Curtis can't have a good game now and then, but really playing a bad Seattle team I counted 3 pucks he left on the doorstep to be cleared by the defense, and 7 post/crossbar shots all of which he was down and beaten on. If they had Mucha in net still I would have to give them an edge over a lot of teams. If Portland doesn't lose some of there young players early to the NHL/AHL or have any significant injuries I would have to think you will see this team in a WHL Finals in the next 3 years.

As for the T-birds we are basically in the same position P-land was 2 years ago. Next year I can't imagine us winning more than 20-25 games again. But in 2 years I think we can be competitive however to remain competitive we are going to really need to draft better and be consistant at it. I think Tyler even broke down the bad drafts that caused the current situation. There is a reason why the Rockets, Hitmen, Giants, Tigers ect. always have success and this is it.

WHL Scoreboard