Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail


Hockey Challenge 2014

Recent Articles


Another season in the books

(I couldn't quite get this finished yesterday so the context is a little out of sorts)

Another Seattle Thunderbirds season has come to a close with a 4-3 overtime win over the Vancouver Giants.

Seattle played well at times but gave up far too many scoring chances and shots on goal as Calvin Pickard made 51 more saves to pick up the win. Seattle led 3-1 with just 1:30 to play in the game before goals by Neil Manning and J.T. Barnett tied the score. Barnett's goal was his 21st of the season and came with just over 6 seconds left in the game. Tbirds had too many chances to clear the puck, including one play by Ryan Aasman behind the net where he should have just pounded a hard rim that might have cleared the zone and ended the game. Oh well... all's well that end's well right?

One thing I can't stand... are hockey fans that constantly yell "shoot!!" from the stands every time a player has some open space to work with. Having said that... all the "shooooooot!" people have some pretty legitimate frustrations with this team. For whatever reason, this team just doesn't take nearly enough shots and that is something that must change if they are to score more than the 172 goals that they scored this season. It isn't just the number of shots that needs to change, but the type of shots as well. Anyone watch basketball? Anyone ever play basketball? Anyone ever heard on television the concept that coaches don't mind players taking shots if they have rebounders under the hoop? The concept is somewhat similar in hockey... especially on the PP. Shots don't always have to be snipers or rockets, sometimes they just need to hit the net with traffic in front or around the net and this is something the Birds really need to improve upon.

Calvin Pickard obviously had a pretty incredible season, but not quite record breaking.

WHL Goaltending Records:

Minutes Played -

4,228 - Steve Passmore, Victoria Cougars, 1991-92 (71 games).
4,069 - Ed Dyck, Calgary Centennials, 1970-71 (66 games).
4,069 - Kevin Nastiuk, Medicine Hat Tigers, 2003-04 (68 games).
4,003 - Shane Bendera, Red Deer Rebels, 1999-00 (72 games).
- Danny Lorenz, Seattle Thunderbirds, 1988-89 (72 games).

3,688 - Calvin Pickard, Tbirds, 2009-10 (62 games).

Calvin's nearly 3700 minutes is impressive but not quite enough to get him on this list. Playing in all 72 games would get him pretty close to #2 on that list but I doubt we see him do that next season.

Most Saves -

2,562 - Passmore, Victoria, 91-92 (71 games).
2,469 - Jack Cummings, Vancouver Nats, 1971-72 (64 games).

2,017 - Pickard (62 games).

Let's hope he doesn't need to threaten this record anytime soon.

One thing Pickard might have a shot at is some of these career records.

Games Played -

245 - Kurtis Mucha, Kamloops/Portland, 2004-10
233 - Kyle Moir, Swift Current Broncos, 2002-07

In two seasons, Pickard has played in 109 games. Let's assume he only plays two more seasons (because let's be honest here, there is about as much chance of me getting signed to a pro contract as Pickard has of playing his 20 year old season in the WHL).

If Pickard played two more seasons and logs 60 games in each he would wind up with 229 games played. He's right in the ballpark. If we really push it and he plays in 65 games each season he winds up with 239. Going to be pretty tough for him to catch Mucha unless for some reason he plays as a 20.

Minutes Played -

13,708 - Mucha, Kamloops/Portland, 2004-10
12,774 - Moir, SC Broncos, 2002-07

Pickard has 6,382 minutes through two seasons. Playing at around 3700 minutes per season the next two seasons would leave him at 13,782. This might be a number he could actually get to. Even if we assume his minutes lighten a little bit to 3600 per season he would end up at 13,582 which would be good for 2nd all-time.

Most Saves -

6,958 - Danny Lorenz, Seattle, 1986-90 (224 games)
6,908 - Mucha, Kamloops/Portland, 2004-10 (245 games)

Pickard has 3199 saves in two seasons. One would have to hope this number will go down with a decrease in shots (we can hope right?). This season he made 2017 saves, let's give him 1800 the next two seasons. That would leave Pickard with 6,799 saves, good for 3rd all-time.

This of course would all be accomplished in just 4 seasons where Mucha has played in 5 seasons.


Anonymous said...

I didn't like seeing the T-birds give up the 3-1 lead. But I do like seeing them regroup and win it in OT. I liked the way Jacobs and Alos played at the end of the season. I look for a lot of players to take a big step forward next year.

Tyler, I'm thinking it is a bit hard to get rebounds with your 3rd forward hanging out at the blue line playing a 3rd defenseman in the offensive zone. I'm hoping the T-birds learned a lot from the opponents this year. All year long I watched opponents skate to the slot and stop in front of the net on the rush, get the puck to the middle of the ice instead of the boards. It seemed that the T-birds skated past the net a lot on rushes where they can't get a rebound and a lot of the time the puck handler seems to skate into the corner on the rush instead of taking a shot at an angle that might yield a fat rebound.


stbird said...

Nice to see us finally win an overtime game. I can't remember the last time that has happened.

Did you see that Sumner was named assistant coach for the Canadien mens U-18 tourney in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus. HA HA all you "fire Sumner, he's no good" people. Some higher ups obviously think he is a good coach.

Anonymous said...

Sumner only got it because all the "good coaches" are in the playoffs and no one else wants to go to Belarus!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that Pickard was the only player on the team! Give it a rest!

Thunnex said...

Really? Seriously? haha... I just don't understand the axe you have to grind with me. Calvin Pickard was by far the most noteworthy player from this season. All I did was mention that. You act as though I have completely ignored the rest of the team the entire season.

Have I not talked enough about your favorite player?

Tell you what... you tell me who you would like to talk about and I'll tell you what I think.

WHL Scoreboard