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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Just too short...

Tbirds are just too shorthanded right now. You take a team that already wasn't real good to begin with and you take out 3 defensemen and a winger and the net result is you get outscored 9-1 in your last two games. Seattle just doesn't have enough there right now to be very competitive with these solid WHL teams. When you have 3 forwards playing on defense because you are THAT shorthanded... I just don't know what to say.

I certainly understand why fans are frustrated right now... nobody really enjoys losing (and you can certainly include myself in that group) but I honestly don't understand all the constant whining and complaining I hear about in the stands right now. Look folks... if you're actually going to these games right now expecting the Tbirds to win, then shame on you for not having proper perspective of what is going on with this team right now. This just isn't a team that is built to win right now... it's built to allow guys like Tyler Alos, Colin Jacobs, Tanner Muth, Brendan Rouse... etc... to get as much playing time as possible while also "trying" to stay competitive and win games.

One of the players that gets (I think) the most venom thrown in his direction is captain Lindsay Nielsen. Yeah guys... that's the guy you want to point the finger at. The guy who in the last two nights has moved from his normal forward position to the blue line because of injuries and has only been your best defensemen on both nights going a combined -1 while the team was outscored 9-1. In two nights your team was a net -6 and your captain steps in and plays a position he doesn't normally play and if not for the first goal tonight would have been perfect. Honestly, I just don't understand it. Do Tbird fans really believe that a player who scores points is the only way to be a quality hockey player? In baseball, do we only like a player who hits 30 homeruns even if he plays first base and can't field at all? Winning comes from the combination of scoring and preventing the opposition from scoring. A player who does both is great... but a player that does one pretty well can still be a solid player, whether it is baseball or hockey. Is Lindsay Nielsen an elite player in this league? Probably not. Do you still need players like Nielsen who backcheck, play solid defense and have the versatility to play both forward and defense? I think most coaches would say yes. I know I'm not going to win this argument with the people who don't like Nielsen's game so we'll just agree to disagree. Just put me on record for being a guy who doesn't understand the venom that fans are throwing this guy's way.

One last night... I said this a few times but I think it is worth mentioning again. Tyler Johnson is a pretty awesome hockey player. He does a ton of things right and his snap-shot sniper goal over Pickard was a thing of beauty. I will say it here again, I think Johnson is the true MVP of the Western Conference.

One more game tomorrow and only 8 days left in this truly brutal season. Almost time to break out the golf clubs.


Marc74 said...

Yes, the T-birds are very short handed, I think they are greatly missing the physical play of Dillon and his ability to move the puck up the ice while the team changes behind him. Schappert and Flemming are also big loses.

I think Neilsen has been playing well. He isn't exactly the type of player I'd want out of a 20 year old, but his ability to step in and play on the blue line is invaluable right now. Though the T-birds really need a few guys with the strength to know opponents off the puck. Last night and tonight there has been way too much puck control by the opponents.

I'm guessing none of the 15 year old D-men they drafted last year are ready to come up for a couple of games? I looked and I think they were 4 round or lower picks so it might be a stretch to have one play as a 15 year old. It would really be nice to see them able to suit up 18 skaters.

Can some one tell me what the T-birds are trying to do when they are in the offensive zone, I notice last night and tonight that they are leaving one of their forwards up high at the blue line while the other two try to cycle the puck. This doesn't seem to be a very effective way to generate offense. I could see employing this strategy up by one or two goals.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Tyler. We left last night saying the same things. I don't get people. I chalk it up to just not knowing what is going on. But the fans around us saying all this garbage are season ticket holders. You'd think they would understand the game better. Guess not.
Are you going to do a question answer segment with Rob after this season is over? Really enjoyed that last year. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Could it be Sumner was a dman and knows nothing about offense and knows nothing about developing offensive skills.

tbird117 said...

Tyler I think you do a great job of getting news out to people and you are passionate about this team. But these subjects are what drives me crazy about the "blog" universe here. Why waste time complaining about fans opinions of players?? If you don't like what people say about Nielsen or anyone else is that really something you want to devote time too? I know you have been around a while as well and really what about hockey has changed? If this team was good people would still have negative opinions about certain players. We are hockey fans we all do this. I think sometimes you guys forget that some people put a lot of money and time into watching this team. And a season like this is going to frustrate people. Is it really something to complain about. If I went to a hockey game and fans weren't upset it wouldn't be a hockey game. Season ticket holders are still there every game for this team holding out hope that they can see the team come together and put in an effort like tonights game..... The season is almost over, here is to more news and less fan bashing we are all in this together.

Thunnex said...

I thought I had made it pretty clear... but I suppose I didn't. I really don't care what other fans think, I just don't understand it.

Quite frankly I couldn't care less what other fans think. I am however human... and just like people care whether Nielsen sucks or not I care a little bit about defending a player against an opinion I don't share.

So I totally get where you are coming from. I think there is a lot of validity to what you are saying. I guess I'm just asking fans to have some perspective about things and try to raise the level of discourse and understanding/knowledge about the game.

If I'm not here to provide what I believe is intelligent insight, opinion and knowledge about the team... what am I here for? Why am I doing this?

I started this blog because I felt that Seattle hockey fans didn't really have a place that provided coverage and analysis of the team. A coverage and analysis that really did not exist.

So please don't take my stance as being a bashing of fans. I have tried really hard to encourage people to state any and all opinions. I may not agree with some of them... but I'm not going to run around calling fans stupid if they think Nielsen sucks. I'm just simply going to say "I don't understand" and try to make a case for why people might want to re-think their position.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Tyler. Being a new fan of hockey, I don't understand a lot of the subtleties of the game. I do, however, understand a good effort when I see it and games like last night against Tri-Cities are the reason I keep coming back. Even if they don't win, which I've resigned to being the case most of the time, as long as they play hard and make it a good game, I'm happy to watch the younger players get some ice time and experience.

It's good to see them putting in the effort like they did last night, especially when they have absolutely nothing to play hard for except pride in their game. It's exciting to look forward to next season, when they get a clean start and do have something to play for!

Anonymous said...

didn't we have this same convesation last year they guy can't coach there is nothing to debate.

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