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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Results Based Analysis Is Dumb

If you didn't attend Seattle's 4-1 victory over a very good Red Deer Rebels team last night at the ShoWare Center you might have looked at the box score and believed that it was a pretty good, quality win for the Tbirds. However, that's why we must combine what we see with our own two eyes with what happens on the stat sheet. The victory last night probably won't go down as the blue print that coach Rob Sumner is looking for in a typical win but they won't argue with the results. The quality of the Tbirds play wasn't nearly as good as the final result would have indicated. Am I being too tough on this team? Maybe… but I don't think this is a crappy team that is just trying to hang on. I believe this team can be pretty good they just need to learn how to bring it each and every single night.

Notes from last night.

  • Calvin Pickard was outstanding once again stopping 46 of 47 shots. His most important work came in the 1st 35 minutes of the game as he stopped all 18 shots he faced in the 1st period and another 15 in the 2nd period when Red Deer swarmed the Seattle net. Seattle found itself in early penalty trouble and thanks in large part to Pickard the Rebels weren't able to cash in on the PP until late in the 3rd period on their 6th and final opportunity. Seattle simply can't continue giving up 40+ shots per game and expect the wins to keep coming. Earlier in the season Seattle was able to keep a lot of the shots to the outside and less dangerous areas… but last night the shots were dangerous and Pickard managed to keep the puck out of the net. The Tbirds are doing a decent job of getting the puck cleared after initial shots but the chances are far too dangerous right now.
  • I hate complaining about officiating… but wow that was a poorly officiated game. Simple horrible on so many levels. The worst of them being the last two calls. The USC diving call on Colin Jacobs was absolutely ridiculous and Dave Sutter getting an extra roughing penalty for the scrap with Daulton Siwak. The result of which was a Matt Dumba Power Play goal breaking the shutout bid at 13:17. I can't honestly come up with a reason why Sutter got the extra 2 minutes and it wound up costing Pickard the shutout.
  • Speaking of Dumba. The 4th overall selection in the 2009 Bantam draft already looks very polished as a 16 year old. He quarterbacked one of the 2 Red Deer PP units and his goal was a well placed blast that beat Pickard on the PP. Kind of reminded me of a right handed Thomas Hickey.
  • Nobody wants to fight Jacob Doty. I'm thinking he might have trouble getting to 50 fights.
  • Gallimore with another solid night getting the PP goal that he neatly tucked into the corner with a wrist shot after receiving a nice feed from Marcel Noebels and adding a nice individual effort that barely caught 16 year old Rebels goaltender Bolton Pouliot leaning and beat him under the blocker.
  • Give Rebels captain Colin Archer credit for continuing to get pummeled by Mitch Elliot but continuing to stand up and hang in there until finally the fight was called on fatigue. Elliot must have thrown a near 20 punches and did not take kindly to Archer getting in a couple of shots with the referee between them. The flying punches knocked Archer to the ice two different times… both times he got right back to his feet and continued to take what Elliot had for him.
  • I can't really exaggerate how overwhelmed Seattle was for the first 35 minute of the game… but they were able to weather the storm and once they got the Power Play goal from Gallimore they appeared to get things going a little bit from that point forward.

Seattle hits the road for their next 6 games beginning with Brandon on Saturday. The good news for Seattle is that they will wind up spending less than 2 weeks on the road. The bad news is… that means they will wind up cramming 6 games into 8 days. Quite the stretch. Expect to see Michael Salmon get his first game action at some point during the trip. My best guess for the goalie rotation:

Saturday, Brandon – Pickard

Sunday, Moose Jaw – Pickard

Tuesday, Saskatoon – Pickard

Wednesday, Prince Albert – Salmon

Friday, Regina – Pickard

Saturday, Swift Current – Pickard

At least… that's how I would do it if I were coach… as usual… what the hell do I know.


Anonymous said...

Doty is kind of a bad ass - I don't blame anyone for not wanting to fight him!

Man, they totally dodged a bullet in that first period...that was rough. That was one game they totally didn't deserve to win and thanks to Picks, they did. But what the hell, a win is a win!

Anonymous said...

Some Red Deer fans were upset none of their guys got a star. They actually said if Pickard had gotten all 3 they would be fine, but based on the stats they felt they should have had at least one. Thoughts?

Thunnex said...

Honestly, I think the 3 stars are dumb. It's completely subjective and means nothing.

Having said that. I would have to agree somewhat. I thought Bonsor played fine but I didn't think he stood out to me so I would have been just fine with Dumba as the 3rd star or Nugent-Hopkins, who is one of the most dangerous playmakers in the league and created a few pretty decent chances for the Rebels.

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