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Hockey Challenge 2014

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So close... yet so far away...

At times the Tbirds seem so close to breaking this losing streak... and at other times it becomes very clear just how far away they are from the Portland's of the WHL.

Seattle ties the score at 2-2 tonight behind goals from Rai and Gallimore (again) but can't get over the hump as Salmon misplays a puck that gave Portland the lead right back at 3-2 before Sbisa fired in a PP goal to give Portland a 4-2 lead that essentially sealed the game.

I still like a lot of what I saw. The effort was there, the scoring chances were there and they were still in the game for most of about 50 minutes tonight.

A few observations:

- Michael Salmon gets a free pass tonight. He hasn't seen real game action in a long time and he was making his Seattle debut in front of 10,000 people on the road against a pretty good Portland team. So again... he gets a free pass. Unfortunately, he played like a kid who was nervous and allowed himself to get way too deep into his own crease and you just can't play like that and be successful in this league. If he plays like that.. he won't be any good... but I think a lot of that was due to nerves and I thought he actually looked quite good in warm-ups. I think if given a chance to shake off the nerves and play a few games here and there to spot Pickard he actually could be a pretty valuable backup. I know that isn't exactly the highest praise in the world, but let's face facts, nobody is going to take significant playing time away from Pickard... So all you need is a backup who can do a capable job a 10-12 nights a season and I think Salmon might be the guy who can do it.

- This team is pressing hard. Too many scoring chances that end in poor shots because this team is just trying so hard to break this losing streak and get pucks in the net. At some point I think this team will realize that it has nothing to lose and they will stop squeezing the sticks and pucks will find their way into the back of the net.

- This Burke Gallimore kid... yeah... he can score a little.

- That Prab Rai guy... really good at hockey. Not too many times in this league do you see a goalie just get flat out beaten on a shot he can clearly see from a player at the top of the circle and that is exactly what Rai did.

- Bonsor looked good tonight at times. Played aggressive and physical... I liked what I saw.

- Fleming played up front tonight.

- Colin Jacobs should really get more credit for what he is doing right now. His stats haven't been great but he is basically helping QB the top PP unit as a 16 year old. So he was out there when Seattle gave up the short handed goal. I still liked what I saw and I can see him getting better with each game. A summer of lifting and conditioning should do amazing things to his game.

Ok I'm tired... I'm going to bed.

See you all tomorrow night. Let's hope the "rest" helps Pickard dominate tomorrow.


Todd said...

Overall, the team in place now is much more fun to watch (since all the trades were completed) than the team that started the season. Everybody is working hard. Not totally coming together yet but you can see the future with this group. Glad to see the comment about Colin Jacobs. It seems he has really come on in the last few weeks. He looked very frustrated earlier this season and was taking questionable penalties. If he continues to play as he has over the past few weeks, his stats will take care of themselves.

Wayne said...

Not much of a pass! I enjoyed watching the new kid in net. He came up with an additional 5 saves with the same number of goals as Pickard had in their last meeting against the bigger faster Portland team. Too deep in his net at times .... perhaps but it didn't help that Rai tipped the third goal into his own net when the kid went to smoother it (or was that the 4th?)Anyways interesting game. I don't think our shots on their net had quite the same quality, which is unfortunate. We are grinding and fighting for the puck, yet we seem to be lacking the finess at the end of the play. Loosen up on the wood and I think it will come. Disapointed in the PK, leading to 2 shorthanded breakaways in the first, glad Salmon was able to shut him down on one of them. Good Luck to the Birds tonight! We need to break this streak!

Louie said...

Your assesment of what the T-Birds or any other team needs in a back up goalie is way off! You need both goalies to be able to play on a regular basis and be able to give the team a chance to win. Let's face it, any number of things can happen to your starter such as illness, injury, trade ect. If you let your back up ride the bench all year and not get ice time, he will not be game ready and will not be able to carry the team if he has to take over for an extended period of time. You could send your season into a down hill slide if you don't have the back-up ready to take over. My guess is that, if Salmon is only going to get 10-12 games a year and the fact that he is also 17 with the prospect of being back-up his entire whl career, he will look for a trade himself. Only some regular icetime will tell you what kind of tendy he will turn out to be. Keeping him game ready would be the T-Bird's best 'BACK-UP' plan!

Thunnex said...

Tough to comment from the game but I will try. Normally I would totally agree but in this situation I have to respectfully I have to disagree. I just think you have here in pickard is a special talent who can play 55 to 60 games a year and you take your chances. You can't really plan for injuries and if pickard gets hurt you just need a capable backup to fill in. I see your point. I just think with pickard you throw out what 'normal' is.

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