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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.


Anonymous said...

We agree with all you said about Sark. And often use that comparison to this team. They need to be believe they can win. They also need to come together as a team and start working together. Really hopeful this will happen on the road swing.

Anonymous said...

I'm also hopeful of their upcoming road trip. That seemed to really make them bond last year, so hopefully that'll happen again this year.

It's so strange how they can come back from Friday night, with two shorty goals on the SAME FREAKIN' PP and pull out a win, but Saturday they were just lifeless.

Curse you Kevin Sundher!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Not sure what you mean by "seemed to really make them bond last year" since they were pretty awful after that road trip last season. Their second half was terrible. That road trip will be rough as Portland and Everett are finding out. The Central Division is pretty good outside Lethbridge.

Anonymous said...

Wow. One night it's Kevin Sundher, the next it's Brendan Gallagher. We sure know how to make players look like Mario Lemieux out there.

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