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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Loser Points

I travelled down to Portland Friday night to take in the Birds and Hawks at the Rose Garden. It's always nice watching a game at the Rose Garden, it makes things seem just a little bit more important and it helps that Winterhawk fans have been packing the arena for games against the Tbirds.

Seattle was not at their best in this game but played well enough to earn a road point against what looks like the best team in the U.S. Division right now and that kind of effort should be commended. Calvin Pickard was on his game stopping 42 of 43 shots but I want to make a comment about the type of shots that he was facing. Last season, Seattle gave up a lot of shots but more importantly they gave up far too many quality shots and quality chances. Friday in Portland I saw a Seattle team that gave up 43 shots but many were kept to the outside and the mistakes that we saw the Tbirds make last season just aren't happening as often this season. Fewer breakways, fewer odd man rushes and fewer guys being left wide open on the doorstep. The difference between the two is slight but the results are showing in the win column and in Pickard's GAA.

In my mind the difference in the game was decided by the special teams, as Portland was far more dangerous on the Power Play and finally cashed in on a ridiculously good shot from Ty Rattie from a near impossible angle. On that note, I'm very impressed with Ty Rattie. In addition to his impressive goal in regulation, he cashed in his shootout opportunity with a really nice backhand over a sprawling Pickard. With the goal Friday, Rattie now has 9 goals and 23 points to go with a +12 rating in just 13 games… oh and as a 17 year old. Very impressive.

I continue to be impressed by the play of this team. They have played Portland very tough and the Winterhawks have run over just about everyone else in the league up to this point. Right now this team is trending much closer to the 4th-6th range in the Western Conference than the team that I thought might struggle to make the playoffs.

Ramsay is out again with status unknown.

Hickman has been skating and I imagine that his first game action will happen pretty soon and by that I mean in the next couple of weeks.

Troock is still not even with the team… which I have to imagine is a very bad sign for whatever injury he is battling.

Tomorrow night is a 2 for Tuesday game. Which means $2 beers… which means long concession lines.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I predict lockhart with a goal!

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