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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Morning After

Sigh... I had to sleep on that loss last night before I was able to write anything. Needless to say it was a very disappointing loss and it's one of those games where you just aren't going to feel better by saying "well we still earned a point". You didn't really earn a point so much as you threw away 1 point and gave 2 to a divisional opponent... that's a 3 point swing.

As mad, upset and frustrated as I was last night my cooler head has prevailed and realized that it IS only one game. It was a tough loss but hockey, like most sports, is a marathon and not a sprint. One game does not define a team, but it might tell us something about them.

What does it tell me? It tells me that this team is still pretty young and quite frankly hasn't enjoyed a lot of success in the last two seasons and they are probably still trying to learn how to win. Remember last season when Portland took the "league by storm" and surprised the league after 3 horrible seasons? They wound up with 91 points and a winning percentage of .632. With a winning percentage of .614 Seattle isn't very far behind what that "surprise" Portland team did last season.

My point isn't to argue that Seattle is "just as good" as last year's Portland team... but merely to illustrate that teams on the rise typically don't rocket straight to the top. This team is still learning how to win and they just aren't there yet. Teams that are "winners" don't lose games like last night... they find a way to hold on down the stretch and they get the job done. This team hasn't learned how to do that yet. They have to go through games like this in order to figure out what NOT to do. Call it... growing pains.

- Burke Gallimore missed in the shootout going high glove side and just missing over the bar and off the glass. Gallimore has a tremendous shot and has converted on a couple of those... but I've seen way too many misses. Time to mix in a deke somewhere or start cashing in on 3 out of 4 of those shots.

- Way too many shots against. Seattle just can't give up 59 shots and expect to win. I always feel like the shot clock at ShoWare center favors our superstar goaltender, so I'm not certain that 59 shots is accurate... but either way there was a lot of shots. Way too many shots. The Americans are the same team that put 58 shots on Pickard in his epic 58 save shutout last season so the 50+ total isn't a fluke.

- The bright spot? Colin Jacobs. For most of last season and this season I have felt like Jacobs has tried way too hard to be the star that everyone thinks he can be. At times his forced play was detrimental to himself and the team. He forced the action, tried to dangle around multiple defenders and has been pushed into being a Quarterback of the PP despite looking uncomfortable doing it. I'm hoping that last night was a turning point for Colin and his career. He picked up two "garbage" goals by hanging around the net in good places and played a solid team game to go along with his usual hustle. I was very impressed with his game last night. Hopefully, this is one of those games where a player "clicks" with what it takes to be successful.

- The nightly chants of... "Doooooty, Doooooty..." keep getting louder each game.

- Quick note on the Checking From Behind penalty that Dillon got last night with 30 seconds to play in Overtime. I know the league is trying to crack down on these "types" of hits and I think that is absolutely the right thing to do. Players have been taking too many liberties with defenseless players and one of these days a player is going to get seriously hurt and we can't have that. Dillon's check was not one of those hits. From my vantage it looked like the offensive player saw Dillon coming and turned his back at the last minute to protect the puck. Referee Steve Papp even appeared to see the hit, think about it, remember that the league is trying to crack down and then raised his arm. It's a tough call and I'm not saying this to criticize Papp. I'm just not sure we should be allowing players to turn their back on the check knowing that they will either protect the puck or draw a penalty.

- Noebels was back with Lockhart last night. I kind of called that one didn't I?

Last but not least. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. It certainly has been an interesting year in the life of this blog but we're still going strong and I want to thank all Tbird and WHL fans for sticking with me.

Seattle gets back to work tomorrow night in Everett before returning back home for Calvin Pickard Bobblehead Night on Saturday against Kootenay.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Tyler. I always love you insight and I agree Colin had a great game last night. Liked seeing that line back together. Did Thom ever get a name for them?

Anonymous said...

I think you hit the nail on the head on this team Tyler. As a fan, it's hard to take a loss like that. But I'll take it over what we saw last year any ol' day!
From our view it looked like Dillon left his feet, so the call wasn't a surprise. We liked the lines back together last night. Jacobs, Alos and Elliot seemed the best of the three. What the heck is the deal with the 4th line only getting a couple shifts a game? Seems to me we saw a lot more of the 4th line early in the season. Gives the other guys a chance to rest??? That's the only excuse I can come up with for the way tri took over at the end of the game. It's a hockey night, hope they can find some finish in EveRATT.
Thanks for the blog and giving us a place to vent..uh, talk about hockey!

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