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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Kevin Sundher wishes he played Seattle every game

Not very many glorious things to write about the game on Sunday with the exception of the impressive volume of alcohol that I consumed over the course of the weekend.  Oh... you wanted hockey coverage? Ok, fine... but don't say I never did anything for you people.

Kevin Sundher put on a show, collecting his first career hat-trick, adding a 4th goal and all coming after he potted 2 goals the night before. Sundher is on pace for 216 goals and 252 points... if he played Seattle every game. Bummer for him.

Overall the game was crap for Seattle. I'm not sure what to tell you.  They gave up a goal early, responded with a Power Play goal but then continued to get vanquished on the PK by giving up the next 3 goals on the kill.  The penalties are troubling in both number and type.  Delay of the Game, Tripping, Tripping, Hooking, Tripping, Too Many Men... These are penalties of the lazy variety.  Roughing you can excuse because guys are playing hard and being physical. The "stick" penalties are killer and especially when you are sitting at 21st in the league killing penalties at a rate of only 70.2%

I'd like to talk less about this game specifically and more about the team in general.

The biggest issue going forward (obviously opinion here) is the ability of Coach K and Coach Rumble to change the culture of the team and in the locker room.  Steve Sarkisian, football coach of the University of Washington Huskies, has talked about talking over that program and needing to change the culture surrounding the players and how they approached games.  They needed to "Expect to Win". But repeating the mantra doesn't just make it true... you need to have tiny victories here and there before players start to believe in the message and truly start expecting to win.

This is what Steve Konowalchuk must do with the Seattle Thunderbirds. We have seen it happen a few times this season in both ways. Friday night the Tbirds fell behind 2-0 on two shorthanded goals and could have easily folded the tent.  Instead... they immediately answered with 3 goals and earned themselves two points.

Saturday nights game was the opposite.  After Seattle fell behind 4-1 the game truly felt like it was over and the team seemed to take on the "here we go again" look.  As the Tbirds improve, and I believe that they will, they will need to conquer the psychological demons that have developed as a result of the past 2 seasons of losing. Games like Friday give fans hope that the players are learning to win.  Games like Saturday are a reminder that results don't happen overnight and that the journal back to the playoffs will be a process.

Seattle is due for a good showing at home and they have already proved that they can beat Vancouver.  They need to bring it on Tuesday before they head out on a very tough road-trip.


One down, One to go

Road trips are always fun.  My wife and I boarded the Clipper yesterday morning with a buddy and about two dozen other Tbird fans yesterday for the two games up here on the "Island". It was nice to see so many fans making the trek up here for the two games.  The game itself was a tad on the boring side for most of two periods, so we entertained ourselves by getting about 2.5 sheets to the wind, setting the stage for a dramatic 3rd period that saw the Royals and Birds combine for 6 goals and push the game into the shootout.  Seattle would eventually win on a Luke Lockhart shootout goal and to even their record at 5-5 (3-1 on the road).

  • Dave Sutter. Sutter is the current "fans complain about this particular player far more than they should for slightly justifiable but ultimately incorrect and misguided reasons... see: Scott Jackson for reference." Some nights I feel like I have to point out all of the good plays that Sutter makes just to counterbalance the fans who point out every single mistake that he makes.  I don't know how or why he has become this player to Tbird fans... but he is and it definitely has something to do with expectations.  Last night I can't really defend him very much.  He simply wasn't very good and he was out for both of the Shorthanded goals early in the 3rd period that could have easily been the outcome in the game. He was also out for the 1st and 3rd Seattle goals and helped Seattle get right back into the game.  You take what you get with Sutter and I think the expectations on him are a little unfair... but it is what it is.  Sutter is far from perfect but he is rapidly improving and he is vastly better than he was at the beginning of last season.  Stay patient people... it's coming along.
  • Nice to see Connor Sanvido get his first goal of the season, the tying goal came on a partial breakaway off a pass from Chance Lund. Sanvido fought off a defender and slipped it past goaltender Keith Hamilton.
  • Brad Deagle had another nice game for the Birds. Deagle and Breaden Laroque both have their consistency issues as well but both have had some excellent games lately.  Deagle's shot from the point sneaked through Hamilton to give the Birds some life after the two quick shorthanded goals. He added an assist on the goal by Sanvido and finished +2 for the night.
  • The Burke Gallimore goal, to give Seattle a 3-2 lead was scored just 13 seconds after the goal by Sanvido.
  • Jacob Doty was much better tonight.  More focus on playing hockey first and let the fights come to him. The fact that he didn't have a fight should not deter him from continuing to play this way.  If he continues to play hard and drive hard to the front of the net and make other teams frustrated by his play... he'll have plenty of chances to fight.
  • Pickard 34/37, 1st star. Yawn... ho hum, just another night.
Seattle gets to enjoy their day here in Victoria (as will I) before getting back to work tonight at the Save On Foods Memorial Arena.  Just a hunch... but I will probably be a few sheets again tonight, so don't expect any mind blowing analysis (isn't that normal??)


Fleming to Swift Current

Seattle has traded Erik Fleming to Swift Current for future considerations in the 2012 Bantam Draft.

The considerations will clearly depend on whether Fleming A) Reports to Swift. B) Sticks with the team. C) How much he plays.

Hopefully Fleming can catch on with Swift and keep his career going.


Fleming and Frank Out

Erik Fleming has been removed from the roster page at the Thunderbirds website. I can't confirm from any sources what exactly has gone down.  I will update when I can.

UPDATE - Erik Fleming and Austin Frank are both gone.  Frank appears to have chosen to leave, I'm not sure exactly what the circumstances are surrounding Fleming being gone.

Frank was known to be a very hard worker but found himself without a spot on the blueline after Seattle traded for Brad Deagle and Braeden Laroque.  He played some forward on Sunday but my guess is that he wants a chance to play defense somewhere.

Fleming, a first round bantam selection in the year that Seattle selected Calvin Pickard in the 2nd round, just never seemed to find a comfortable fit with the Tbirds and unfortunately will go down as another 1st round bust in Seattle's history. Fleming had been sitting out with an injury

Where these guys go from here is not quite clear to me at this time.


Tbirds better than Ambien

Seattle loses to Everett 5-1 last night in what could be their worst game of the season to date.  They lost 5-0 at home to Prince Albert earlier in the season but early indications are that PA is probably a better team than Everett.  Especially a Silvertips team playing without Ryan Murray. This was the type of game that had people calling for Rob Sumner's job... which is why I will maintain once again that I don't think coaching is the primary issue. I'm not blaming this loss on Coach K and the coaching staff, but clearly they will need to continue fighting the battle to get these players to play hard on a nightly basis for 60 minutes.

Seattle started the game with the "jump" that was needed in the first 10 minutes, but completely lost the momentum after a couple of penalties resulted in two Power Play goals for the Tips. From there it was all downhill for the Birds. The game was so bad I wished I could have turned it off. Through 9 games, the numbers are not looking good for Seattle.  Their offense ranks 21st, their home-ice "advantage" is 20th and they have played the 3rd easiest schedule so far. Bullet holes... yes please.

  • The Penalty Kill was completely ineffective for Seattle, giving up 3 goals in 5 chances.  With the lack of scoring the Birds are doing right now they cannot afford to give up PP goals and right now they rank 20th in that department.
  • Kyle Verdino was suspended TBD for some kind of incident on Friday night at Everett. Unfortunately, I wasn't at the game and didn't get a chance to watch, so I have no idea what he did to warrant a suspension.
  • Hard to single out any players for either being good or bad... pretty much everyone played a poor game overall.  Burke Gallimore had a nice deflection goal off a slap-pass from Shea Theodore but neither was very good after that. I honestly can't think of one player I was particularly excited about.
  • Seattle had 7 defensemen dressed and Austin Frank played up front.
  • The Tbirds really need Colin Jacobs back to provide a shot in the arm.  Jacobs is still listed as being out for 1 month. Evan Wardley is listed at 2 weeks, and Erik Fleming is day to day.... aren't we all..
  • I don't care even a little bit about the 3 stars of the game given at the rink, but Gallimore being the 3rd star was an absolute joke. If they need to interview a player, just do it. Why bother even giving out 3 stars when everyone in the building knows they are a joke. Once again though, just to make it clear, I really don't care very much about 3 stars.
  • Seattle travels to Victoria on Friday to take on the Royals.  I will be going on the trip and should have internet access while I'm there so I will update when I can. Victoria isn't very good and Seattle returns home for the Vancouver Giants on Tuesday of next week.  Things will get a lot tougher after that as they hit the road on their trip through the Central Division, where Medicine Hat, Edmonton, Red Deer and Kootenay represent 4 of the 5 top ranked teams in the WHL.  They better get some work done in the next 3 games before they hit the road.
Quick disclaimer: All of the numbers and rankings I use come from Massey Ratings (link to the left).


Game 7 Thread

I have my own game tonight at 8:10 at the Kent Valley Ice Center... about a stone's throw from Showare Center.  As a result I'm only going to be able to catch the first period of tonight's game.

I'll throw this thread up for people to discuss and comment before, during or after the game.


Tbirds beat Blades, demand to be ranked #5 in silly CHL poll

One of the reasons why my writing sucked so much last year (hey I can admit it...) was because the Thunderbirds of the last two years were supremely boring to write about.  That shouldn't really be much of an excuse, but quite frankly I never considered myself much of a writer even before starting this blog a touch over 4 years ago and I still don't really consider myself much of a writer these days. This years team (so far) is so much more enjoyable to write about and it isn't only because of the now .500 record.  Recall that Seattle got off to a good start last year but I really didn't have very many positive things to say outside of the obvious (Pickard rocks, too many shots, defense isn't good, Dillon is a beast... etc.) I got up at 4am this morning to compete in a Bass fishing tournament.  I'm exhausted. I really want to go to bed... but Seattle's 3rd win in a row tonight has my adrenaline pumping just enough to bang this thing out and talk about a great and surprising win for the team. Bullet holes? Yes, please.

  • I just talked about how boring obvious observations are and I'm going to lead with some obvious ones.  Burke Gallimore and Marcel Noebels each notched 2 goals tonight and it was great to see the "usual suspects" chip in with some points. Both have been off to relatively slow starts and there is no way Seattle can continue to win without these guys putting points on the board.  Noebels scored on a breakaway off a beaut of a stretch pass from Kyle Verdino to give Seattle the lead and added an empty net goal to close the scoring. Gallimore had a nifty little seeing-eye sniper in the final two minutes of the 1st period that really seemed to change momentum and also added a sneaky little PP goal, scoring from a sharp angle off a rebound from off the end board behind the net.
  • The story of the game tonight was the Penalty Kill of the Tbirds.  The shot totals were lopsided due to the 6-3 edge the Blades had in PP chances in addition to the Birds scoring within 5 seconds on their PP chance in the 3rd period. Saskatoon came into the game converting on 24.4% of their chances while Seattle came into the game ranked dead last in the WHL, killing just 63.2%.  The 6/6 boosts the Tbirds all the way up to 20th!! and up to 72%.
  • Saskatoon's all-world D-man Duncan Siemens, who nearly made the opening day roster for the Colorado Avalanche, had no points, was -3 and got briefly pummeled by Mitch Elliot. Siemens hadn't been -3 in a game since February 3rd, 2010 when he was -3 against the Prince Albert Raiders.
  • Early in the 3rd period, Siemens, who is also the Blades Captain, stood up for teammate Ryan Olsen by taking on Mitch Elliot for a hit that Siemens didn't like.  On one hand I really commend Siemens for taking on that fight.  He's sticking up for a teammate and he isn't exactly a slouch at 6'3" and 205 lbs.  On the other hand... at the time, the Blades were down 3-1 and now they lose their Captain and arguably their best player for 5 minutes.  Tough call but sometimes those things are worth it when you have to be a leader.
  • Speaking of fighters. Jacob Doty spent more time in the box tonight (10 mins +) than he did on the ice. I shouldn't pretend to speak for Coach K or know what is going on in his head with regards to Doty... but my guess is that Doty is in the proverbial "doghouse" right now and he is going to have to change his game a little bit to get out and start making an impact.  Doty could be a very useful forechecking power forward... but right now he is spending just a little too much time focused on fights.
  • Brad Deagle and Braeden Laroque were great last night in Vancouver... not so great tonight. Overall, I'm starting to like what I see.
  • Verdino with the assist on the Noebels goal and was +2. Easy to forget that this was only his 3rd game of the season but already he has 3 points in those 3 games.
  • One thing Seattle has had for the last two seasons... is size... and it looks like they are learning to use it. Saskatoon has some pretty decent sized players and when the game got tough in the 3rd period the Blades tried to get physical with the Tbirds and Seattle just kept dumping them on their butts. That is the kind of physical presence that will pay off down the road for the Birds.
  • Blades goaltender Andrey Makarov took his first WHL loss tonight.  Makarov still boasts very good numbers at 6-1 with a 2.13 GAA and .934 Sv%
  • Calvin Pickard was up to his usual tricks stopping 43 of 45 shots to earn the win.  Pickard will no doubt lament the puck exchange behind the net that lead to the Blades 2nd goal but overall he was very good and his new trapper was in fine form.
  • The Alos-Troock-Rouse line wound up with no points on the night but had some great chemistry going and had numerous chances.  Those chances will eventually convert into points.
Quite a bit more I could probably say but I'm running out of gas here. Very tough to give out stars tonight and stars are stupid but I'll do it anyways.

Let's Go Birds 3 Stars of the Game:

1. Verdino - #2 was a rock tonight for the Birds, added a beautiful assist and was +2
2. Gallimore - His goal towards the end of the 1st period changed momentum and his PP goal in the 3rd made it very tough for the Bladed to comeback.
3. Michael Burns (Sask) - Burns had two goals for the Blades and nearly tied it.

Honorable mention - Pickard - It felt weird not giving him mention for 43 stops. Hickman - Another solid game with an assist and +2. Dave Sutter - Quiet night for Sutter but be made a couple of very fine defensive plays and he had an assist and +2 as well. Noebels - Gave Seattle the lead and the eventual icing on the cake.


Game 5 Recap

I have to be up at 4am tomorrow morning so I'm going to make this short and sweet.

  • Big win by the Tbirds tonight.  Vancouver has looked like a pretty good team early in the season and they went into their barn and dominated the game for the better part of 50 minutes of the game.  For about 10 minutes of the 3rd period, Seattle lost their way a little bit but they were able to survive and Kyle Verdino buries a long rebound off a Justin Hickman shot to give the Birds the 3-2 win.
  • Great game by Justin Hickman tonight.  Hickman won the battle over two Giant players that led to the puck squirting out to the front of the net where Lund tapped it in for the 2nd goal of the game.  He didn't technically get the assist, but he caused it.  He did get the assist on the GWG as he worked a pass from Verdino into a hard and low shot that kicked out to the right of Morrison where Verdino took care of the rest.  Excellent game from Hickman.
  • Also an excellent game from Braeden Laroque and Brad Deagle.  The newest Tbirds were instrumental in Seattle giving up only 20 shots and Laroque added a PP goal in the 1st period that tied the score.
  • Overall it was a great effort by the Seattle defense. I can't remember the last time the Tbirds dominated the shots on goal in the way that they did (37-20).
  • Chance Lund with another solid game.  He had a great game last week and didn't get a point and was rewarded by the hockey gods with a tap-in.
  • Connor Sanvido had a couple of really excellent shifts that gave the Giants fits, especially on the PP and earned the assist on the 1st goal by Laroque.
  • Shea Theodore has been kind of quiet to begin the season but added two assists tonight and the Vancouver radio guys were glowing about him.
  • Seattle holds Brendan Gallagher to just 1 point on the night... that is how you beat the Giants in Vancity.
  • Kind of a quiet game from Branden Troock but the toe-drag in the 3rd period was absolutely sick and almost wound up being the go-ahead goal.
  • I honestly didn't think Verdino was having a very great game as he had drawn two penalties earlier in the action but his GWG makes everything better... a thing of beauty.
  • Calvin Pickard... must have been bored.  It's ok Calvin, it probably won't last.  He still made a couple of very clutch saves that were needed to preserve the victory.
My 3 stars of the game:
1. Hickman
2. Sanvido
3. Adam Morrison (Van)

I'm off to bed... I apologize for the relative brevity.  See you all tomorrow night as the Birds host the Saskatoon Blades.


Game 4 Recap

Seattle is in the win column with a 5-4 victory over the Victoria Royals on Saturday night.  The game was notable for several reasons so lets get right to the bullet holes.

  • Most important in my mind was the game played by Branden Troock and probably not because he scored 2 goals in the 3rd period, including the game winner.  The most important aspect was that he was checked from behind, head first by Jesse Pauls and had to be helped off the ice to the bench. But, he didn't miss a shift and appeared to emerge from the play without injury.  Justin Hickman came to his defense and promptly checked Pauls from behind right behind him.  Troock recovered enough to score two 3rd period goals, including the winner when the Royal defender coughed up the puck in his own zone.
  • Also notable... Marcel Noebels was a healthy scratch on Saturday night.  I'm just guessing, but Coach K talked about the team needing to play "together" more and it looked to me like Noebels was just simply trying too hard to do it himself on Friday night.  Hopefully this won't become an ongoing issue but everyone knows that Noebels didn't really want to be here this season.  My impression of Marcel is that he isn't the type of player to pout about this and will re-dedicate himself to playing the game the way Coach K expects.
  • I'm pretty quickly starting to believe in Chance Lund.  Lund was -1 and didn't have a point in the game but that is exactly why you can't always judge a game based solely on the stats.  Lund is flashing speed that I never never seen from him. He is pulling away from forwards and skating around defensemen, and not just a time or two... I counted 4 different times he just blew by defenders on the edge and either drew a penalty, should have drawn a penalty or got a chance on net.  This can't just be confidence.  This is a player who is physically faster than he was before and with his size it is becoming a huge weapon.  His finishing skills still leave something to be desired, but the more chances he gets the better finisher he will become.
  • Dave Sutter also had a decent game but is still making some mistakes that need to be tightened up. His goal bounced off a Royals defender and one of the goals against Seattle (I think) was redirected off his skate and into the net.  He is playing with a lot more confidence and I think this season will be another where he will improve a lot as the season goes on.
  • Pickard was excellent again and stuffed several chances that likely would have changed the game.  The mistakes in the defensive end are still glaring and if it wasn't for Pickard things would be even worse than they have been. Pickard struggled a little bit after not making team Canada last year and even though the stats don't reflect it... he is off to a very solid start this season.
  • Scoring was spread out pretty nicely with Elliot, Hickman, Troock, Alos, Rouse, Sutter, Lockhart and Gallimore all getting at least one point.
  • Deagle and Theodore didn't have any points but both were +2.
  • I don't recall Doty seeing much ice time after his 10 minute misconduct. Doty needs to learn to pick better spots for his fights and altercations and until he does... he's going to have his butt parked on the bench.  The 10 he got served no purpose... as he got 10 for jawing Traber.
Seattle gets another week of practice before heading to Vancouver on Friday night and returning home for Saskatoon on Saturday.


Game 3 Recap

Seattle drops to 0-3 with a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the visiting Prince Albert Raiders.

Believe it or not, I didn't think the Tbirds played "that" bad.  Seattle started hot in the first period, posting 21 shots but they weren't able to sneak anything past Raider goaltender Eric Williams.  I counted at least 2 or 3 post shots and the Birds just didn't seem to catch a break.  Adding to the frustration, Williams came into the game struggling a bit as he had given up 14 goals in 3 games. Late in the period, Connor Sanvido was called for Interference, PA cashed in with a pretty backdoor Power Play goal and suddenly the Raiders led 1-0 after Seattle had dominated the 1st period action and it seemed to break the back of the home squad.

Calvin Pickard was excellent again and did extremely well to keep the score from being a lot worse.  Too many breakdowns defensively as Seattle is showing some of the same issues that they have had for 2+ seasons now.

And now some bullet holes... because I'm lazy.

  • Branden Troock played for the first time since his 15 year old season and while he didn't play a complete game, he had some very good flashes.  The most important thing was that he took a few hits and seemed to make it through the game without getting hurt.  That is a huge plus for Seattle going forward.  The overall skill and depth of the team is so much better with him on the ice and playing well.
  • I've seen the comments that Burke Gallimore looks like he is "going through the motions".  I just don't believe that is the case.  I think when players struggle there is a tendency by fans to think they don't care but I think quite simply it just means they are struggling. I can assure you that the veterans on this team definitely care about winning and they aren't just out there going through the motions.  Gallimore has always been a guy who is going to get a lot of his points via the Power Play and Seattle is now 0 for 9 on the PP.  I'm still not worried... but both him and Lockhart need to snap out of it pretty quick.
  • One player who surprised me a lot was Mitch Guiel.  He's a small player but he skates well and has pretty good speed.  Wearing #14, I honestly thought I was looking at the 17 year old version of Charles Wells.  Something to watch.
  • Chance Lund has been off to a good start to the season, scoring in the first two games and I said at the time I really needed to see more of it to truly believe it.  Last night made me wonder whether his good start might be for real.  True he didn't score (nobody did) but Lund flashed some wheels I hadn't seen from him in previous seasons. For a player who is that big to also have some speed is a dangerous combination.
  • The true downside of last night's game was that there were far too many players who I barely noticed making a true impact on the game.  That isn't good and Seattle just isn't talented enough for players to have off nights and that is why they are 0-3.
  • The positive from last night was that they were able to get really good pressure at times and they were downright unlucky to have not scored at all.
  • Daniel Cotton relieved Pickard and played just over 9 minutes, making 6 saves and looking sharp.
Tbirds are back at home tonight to host the Victoria Royals for the first time.



Brad Deagle is in, Taylor Green and Stefan Burzan are out.

Honestly... I don't really get it.  I understand that Green needs to play.  He needs to play and get ice time and it probably doesn't matter where it comes from. But, the team had to go out and trade for a couple of healthy bodies just to field a roster this weekend and suddenly we are sending two of our healthy bodies away.

Green heads back to Port Coquitlam where I have to assume for now that he will play for the Vancouver NE Chiefs again... but I'm not sure.

Burzan's rights were traded from the Fernie Ghostriders to the Kimberly Dynamiters over the summer... so for now I will assume that he will probably be playing for Kimberly.

Brad Deagle, on the other hand, is in.  Deagle, 19, was acquired from Red Deer in exchange for a conditional 7th round bantam choice.  He mesures 6'0" and 188 and played in 55 games for the Rebels last season notching 12 assists and a +12 rating. He also has 3 fights last year.


I'm back... let's do this

I'm back from vacation and I'm pumped to watch some hockey this weekend.  I'm still pretty slammed at work trying to get caught up but I wanted to make sure I got a post up today with some updates and a few quick thoughts. So here come some bullet holes.

  • In case anyone was curious... my softball team went 0-2 at the World Series in Florida.  We played about as bad as we have played all year and the result was deserved.  It was a great experience though... had a lot of fun outside of the actual game results.
  • While I was away the Tbirds added two players.  Mitch Guiel is a short forward from Langley, BC who is listed at 5'8" and 190 lbs and is a 1994 born player.  That makes him the only Tbird I am probably taller than, which also means that I immediately like this kid. Guiel was acquired from Lethbridge. They also acquired Braeden Laroque from Edmonton.  Seattle has a number of injuries right now including Verdino, Hauf, Wardley and Fleming to go along with the suspension of Machacek that was just announced today.  I don't have to crunch any numbers to tell you that Seattle is very short in healthy bodies on the blue line and that necessitated the trade for Laroque.  Braeden, 19, is listed at 6'1" and 198 lbs. He played in 54 games for Edmonton last season registering 2 goals and 4 assists.
  • Already I have seen several people calling for trades and being generally really negative about this team. The team has played TWO games.  I know that it looks like it will probably be another long season in Seattle but I don't think it would be prudent to waive the white flag after two games and go around trading Pickard and Lockhart because we lost two games to Portland that both included empty net goals (yielding a true goal differential of -3 instead of 5).  I'm not very bullish on this team either but holy crap people... give the coaching staff and the players just a little bit of time here.
  • Michael Salmon was re-assigned to the Canmore Eagles of the AJHL.  By all accounts, Michael was a great kid who worked extremely hard on his game and his conditioning.  His departure is bittersweet as he leaves the WHL but will likely get a chance to play a lot more with Canmore.  The coaching staff clearly liked what they saw out of Daniel Cotton, enough to feel comfortable having him backup Pickard at this point.
  • Chance Lund is off to a nice start with 3 points in 2 games. Lund is about the last player I expected to start hot and two games isn't really enough to change my perspective... but hey... a good start is a good start and maybe this is the breakthrough year we have all been looking for out of Lund. His 3 points are already nearly 25% of his total for all of last season. Even better than his 3 points... is the 3 points to go along with a +2 rating, which is best on the team.
  • Burke Gallimore has 0 points and he is -4.  I'm not worried.
  • Luke Lockhart has 0 points and he is -3. I'm not worried.
  • Calvin Pickard has 0 points. I'm really disappointed Calvin... pick it up.
  • These guys are going to play better and get their points, which is another reason why it is way too early to panic.
  • As mentioned earlier the Birds are really banged up.  They easily have the longest injury report in the league right now. Here are the updates directly from the WHL update an additional comments. Verdino, 1 week - I would be a little surprised if he didn't play this weekend. Hauf, day to day - I didn't realize he was this close to playing, so hopefully we will see him this weekend. I heard 6-8 weeks though and this would only put the injury around 4 weeks.  My guess... no Hauf this weekend but possibly by the following. Wardley, 2 weeks - I don't expect to see him for at least 2 weeks. Troock, day to day - Aren't we all "day to day"?? Jacobs, 1 month - I've heard anywhere from the end of October to the end of December. Your guess is as good as mine.  You can bet Jacobs is itching to play. Fleming, 1 week - No idea what happened to Fleming, hopefully it isn't serious.
  • Cason Machacek was suspended for the 2 games over the weekend for being the 3rd man into a fight down in Portland.  Machacek was noted as being a "repeat offender" which earned him the 2nd game.
  • Healthy D guys for Seattle this weekend... ummm... Laroque, Theodore, Sutter, Frank, Green and Verdino? Hauf? Fleming? Wow they are short.
  • I was asked to get this out and I am happy to do so. Scott Ramsay played 87 games for the T-Birds between 2009-20110 before being traded to Medicine Hat.  Scott has a brother, Kody, who was diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma last year. Kody is just 19 years old and has undergone many rounds of chemo, radiation, etc. Currently, he is very sick and still battling this cancer. Kody was hard to miss when his brother was playing for Seattle, he was always loud and cheering for his brother. Scott, his former Billet, and friends believe it is now their turn to cheer on Kody. They have already raised 4,638 dollars for this cause, but are trying to reach $5,000.00 in the next few days. To donate and help them meet their goal in honor of Kody, or to learn more about the organization they are raising money for, please go to I would love to help push them up to that $5,000 mark.

That is it for now. It's nice to be back and into the swing of things.  Let's hope this team can get healthy (and better) real soon.

WHL Scoreboard