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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Back in the W column

Seattle comes from behind to get a 4-2 win over the Swift Current Broncos last night.  I honestly wasn't very impressed with the effort but I also had to leave for my own game with 10 minutes left in the game and I wasn't able to see the 5 minutes of the game where they actually played hard.  (Maybe I should leave games early more often?) These are the types of games that drive us fans crazy.  Why can't they just come out and play with the same energy on a consistent basis? Why can't they play with that swagger and chip on their shoulder that they showed during the winning streak? Quite frankly... I don't have the answers to those questions.  What I do know is that when this team plays with energy and a physical fore-check, they have the ability to beat just about any team in the league.
  • I want to clarify my thoughts on Marcel Noebels.  I don't think Noebels is being a selfish player.  I think there is a very clear distinction between a guy trying to do “too much" and a guy who plays selfishly.  Marcel Noebels cares. He definitely wants the team to succeed and I think he would be the first one to say that he isn't happy about the -15 sitting next to his name.  If anything he might care TOO much, which is why I believe he is trying so hard to force the play to make things happen.  I have faith that he will figure out that balance between laying back and forcing the action.
  • What an interesting night for Shea Theodore.  Earlier in the game he was really struggling. There was a shift on the PP where he must have given the puck away 3 or 4 times and actually needed Dave Sutter to bail him out a couple of times (which is amazing, more on that in a second). Then he winds up sending a wrister home for the game tying goal after a great face-off win by Tyler Alos and getting the first star of the game.  Just goes to show the types of inconsistencies that will show up more with talented 16 year old players.
  • Sutter.  I've spent a lot of words writing about Sutter and I think it's for good reason.  He is inconsistent and he is a lighting rod for complaints by Seattle fans. I can't really defend his play lately and it reached a point last night where I might be starting to change my mind a little.  I think Sutter has loads of potential. If I were an NHL team I would definitely be looking at him as an under the radar free agent signing.  One moment Sutter will blast a slap shot, hustle back to save Theodore and make some very smart decisions with the puck. The next moment he might make a terrible decision with the puck, nearly fall down, turn the puck over and get beat around the outside... which is exactly what happened on the first Broncos goal.  I really believe that with another couple years of working on his skating and his decision making abilities you could really have an impact player.  The problem is... Seattle can't really afford to wait two or three more years since he is 19 years old. A maddening problem.
  • Chance Lund with a greasy game winner. I love seeing guys park in front of the net and pick up greasy goals.
  • Evan Wardley made his season debut and did so as a winger.  After what I would call a nervous start he looked like he was able to settle into the game a little bit. Having a guy who can play a little bit of forward and some defense can be valuable.
  • Alos had a big face-off win that got the puck to Theodore for the game tying goal and finished the night +1. He's starting to come around.
  • Calvin Pickard was his usual solid... but I bet he would like that first goal by Taylor Vause back.  Pickard was beaten 5-hole and while it was an excellent shot by Vause, that isn't the type of shot that goaltenders like giving up.
  • Quick word about being an idiot.  Yes, I am an idiot... what's your point.  I appreciate the kind words of in my "defense".  Seriously, they aren't necessary but they are very much appreciated.  A year and half ago I probably would have let things like that get me down... but these days I honestly couldn't care less. If you're calling me an idiot, well that means you're still reading what I write which is good by me.
Seattle moves into a tie for 6th place in the Western Conference with 23 points in 24 games. They will have a chance to get back to .500 when they host the Tri-City Americans on Friday night followed by a trip to Portland on Saturday (so it won't be easy).


Nikan said...

So you left 10 minutes early and missed all the fun...


it has to happen eventually. :)

I'll wade in in the Sutter debate since it's all the rage. I left the Sutter bandwagon a while ago, not because he's a bad player but because I realized I was comparing him to what else was on the ice. That's been a very low bar.

I appreciate that his shot has seriously improved and his skating has been improving but the mental aspects of his game lag behind. I want to see better vision and passing from a 1-2 defenseman.

I think he may come along in time but I'm not so sure that will happen here in Seattle.

I hope he can continue on and grow so that some day I can be watching a game where he strips Brooks Laich of the puck somewhere in an NHL playoff game. Then I can be a happy Seattle fan that screams "Go Birds" and everyone else in the bar looks at me funny.

In the end they're just kids so I don't get too hung up on things.


Anonymous said...

Good perspective, Nikan. I think a lot of people lose sight of the fact that they're just kids...not that I don't find Sutter to be insanely frustrating. :) Frankly, I can't imagine having to do what they do - go to school, live away from your family and friends, etc, not to mention all the travel and practice. Throw in the fact that most of them won't make the NHL - would be hard to stay motivated, if you are a teenager.

@Tyler - I was going to defend you, too, but I have a strict "don't feed the trolls on the Internet" policy, especially pussies who dole out insults under the moniker of "anonymous". I look forward to your recaps after every game.

Mr Tell13 said...

Hey Tyler,

Great post as usual. I am really puzzled by the Sutter critics. What are people expecting (or comparing him to)? Even if I am a big fan of his play (I guess I do see a big upside), he does make some mistakes, I do like the fact that he is progressing and improving. His pass out of the zone is usually pretty good.
The ting that gets me is that complaints seem to be only on him, and really that I have a hard time with. I do get that his mistakes are more obvious than most because because they lead to goals but still. One exemple: during the last game when Sutter turned the puck over for the first goal, i counted at least 6 other occasions where d-men (other than Sutter) turned the puck over in the d-zone, no one around me complained about that.

Thunnex said...

Generally speaking, I have experienced the same thing and that is why I've been so puzzled by the whole thing.

I can't help but wonder if there are "other" things that are influencing the reaction that people are having towards Sutter.

Jon said...

most of my criticisms of Sutter come from the fact that he exemplifies more than any player on the roster the inconsistencies of the team. There is no steady performance, it's all peaks and valleys. And maybe that's the biggest issue with the defense.

Kodi said...

I also notice the remarks about Sutter more than any other player on the team but to me it seems like every year there is someone who gets it more then others. Last year it was Dillon, the year before it was Schappert, and next year it will be someone else. It will be very unfortunate if it is because of "other" reasons though.

My major complaint with Sutter is more about style of play. He tries to do everything with his stick as opposed to pinching off people coming in to the zone and it drives me CRAZY! I mean we know he can be physical because he shows glimpses of it and I just wish he would do that more.

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