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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Game 33 Recap

I have very little time to write today so let's bang this out.
  • Much better effort from the Thunderbirds in Everett last night despite the fact that the outcome wound up being exactly the same. The passing was crisper and Seattle generated more scoring chances than they did on Tuesday night.
  • What a night for Luke Lockhart.  He has struggled all season in the point total department despite playing his usual gritty, defensive-minded, and hustling style of hockey. His shorthanded marker towards the end of the first period gave Seattle the lead and was one of the best individual performances of the season.  He followed that up with a rebound put-back goal in the 2nd period and finished the night with the only goal of the shootout to give the Tbirds the win.  It was a great night for Lockhart, and I just hope he has a few more of those before the end of the season.
  • Calvin Pickard was mostly solid in net again, but made a rare and costly mistake in the 3rd period that allowed Everett to tie the game with 5 minutes remaining.  I was sitting at the opposite end of the ice, so I still can't tell exactly what happened, but it appeared as though Pickard gloved the shot from Ryan Harrison, and then dropped it in his own net. A rare mistake for Pickard and he followed it up by stopping JT Barnett, Ryan Harrison and Kohl Bauml in the shootout.
  • Pickard is also closing in on some WHL history.  Finishing the night with 12,095 minutes played in his WHL career has placed him 8th on the career list. Pickard can jump past Evan Lindsay and Steve Passmore and into 6th place if he starts Friday night against Moose Jaw and plays more than 54 minutes.  At that point, he'll have his eyes set squarely on Danny Lorenz for the franchise record of 12,634 minutes played and also 3rd all-time in WHL history.  Kyle Moir and Kurtis Mucha remain after that and he needs 1,614 minutes played before the end of the season to pass Mucha.  If he averages 59 minutes played per game he would need 28 games played in Seattle's remaining 39 games to have the record.  That's a pretty safe bet. If you sprinkle in roughly 6 starts for Daniel Cotton, Pickard would break the WHL record against the Silvertips at home on March 11th.
  • Cason Machacek, sniper.
  • Playoff Watch 2012: It's been a while.  Seattle sits in 7th place by points and 6th place by winning percentage. Last season, Everett was the 8th seed with 67 points and it may not even take that many to get into the playoffs this season. Conservatively, let's say 67 is the magic number... the Tbirds need 36 more points in their final 39 games to be playing meaningful hockey past the 2nd weekend of March.  Vancouver currently sits in 3rd place in the Conference. I would love to see Seattle get the 6 seed and face the Giants in the first round. I know, I know... we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.
Players and fans will get one day of rest to regroup as the Tbirds will host the Moose Jaw Warriors.  The Warriors might be a tired bunch as they played at home LAST NIGHT before hitting the road to get to Kent before Friday's game.  Google Maps says it’s about 19 hours by car.  Yikes.


Ugly Win for Tbirds

When does a win feel like a loss? For me, it was last night as the Thunderbirds managed to get a 2-1 shootout win over the Everett Silvertips in front of a sold out crowd of 6,150 at ShoWare Center.  I really disliked how the Birds played last night and I think it is really going to be a challenge for Steve Konowalchuk to break some of the bad habits that continue to show up in some players. Normally I wouldn't be too worried about the first game back from Christmas break but the problem isn't the effort level, the problem is the way our "best" players are playing the game.  We might as well get straight to the bullet holes...and fair warning that this isn't going to be pretty.
  • We might as well start on a slightly positive note.  Good tilt between Mitch Elliot and Josh Caron. Caron is one of the few true heavyweights left in the league and I can't remember ever seeing Elliot lose a fight... until last night. Credit Elliot for taking on the 6'4" Caron and he hung in there and landed a few good shots, but he definitely received more than he landed, and as a result you would have to solidly give the win to Caron.
  • The Power Play was horrendous with Seattle going 0/4 with the man advantage. They had all kinds of trouble just getting the puck set up in the offensive zone. Once they did, they had trouble getting shots to the net. It was interesting to see Laroque get some time on the PP as well as to see Honey out on the point during at least one shift.  Honey actually made one of the smarter "under the radar" plays I have seen in a while: as he heard Pickard banging his stick to signal the end of the PP, he quickly reacted and shifted to get a 2nd defensemen on the ice for even strength.
  • Ok... truth time.  Burke Gallimore looks completely bored out there and seems completely disinterested unless he has an offensive chance. Obviously, that is just an observation (and I could be wrong) but I think a lot of fans would agree.  I don't think it's for lack of caring on Gallimore’s part, rather I think he has some chronically bad habits.  In addition to his lack of defense and general hustle outside of an offensive chance, his shots are missing the mark.  Gallimore (along with pretty much the rest of the team) is shooting to snipe and missing the net a lot. Smarter shots are needed. I don't know how to describe on paper what I mean by that... but shooting high and wide of the net with two players crashing the net isn't a smart shot.
  • Marcel Noebels:  I had kind of hoped that going to the World Junior Division I tournament might get Noebels back into the "team concept" and force him to quit trying to do so much on the ice and to use his teammates.... I was wrong. Back to the same #15 we saw early in the season. What happened to the Marcel Noebels we saw last year who played with humility, fire and passion.  Is he too comfortable after being drafted? Too much self induced pressure? No trust in his teammates? Arrogant?  Your guess is as good as mine.  If he keeps playing like this, his -17 rating is going to be -34, which is a crying shame to waste his talent.  Look guys and gals... there isn't a big mystery why Gallimore and Noebels are -16 and -17. Stats can sometimes be misleading but when you lead the team in scoring and you have the worst plus minus rating, you aren't playing good hockey (defense).
  • Branden Troock.  Let's build a little stew.  Take a base of #15, sprinkle in a little #22 and mix in a little "17 year old potion" and you have yourself a Troock Pot (wow that was bad) a lethal mixture of not so great hockey. Troock tries too hard to dangle and do too much on almost every possession, refuses to use his teammates effectively and the result is 11 points in 27 games for a kid who (in my opinion) is much more talented than that stat line. He might have some time to think about it now after leaving the game with a wrist injury.
  • How badly does this team miss the steady play of a guy like Brendan Rouse?
  • Kyle Verdino was out with an injury last night while Dave Sutter was away at the WJHC with Team Switzerland, allowing Evan Wardley to step in on defense.  I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.  He was physical and gave Coach K some solid minutes last night and was rewarded with his first WHL point as he spun and threw a shot towards the net that caromed right to a wide open Gallimore at the bottom of the circle for the goal.
  • Also positive, I continue to like the way Colin Jacobs is playing.  Last season I felt like Jacobs was playing similar to the way Noebels is playing right now and I think Jacobs has completely turned his game in the right direction. If Jacobs can continue doing the little things like back-checking, going hard to the net, getting pucks to the net and using his teammates effectively, I think he could be in line for a very good second half.
  • Luke Lockhart continues to work hard but really isn't anywhere to be found. I can't help but feel like he is completely wasted on a line with Noebels and Gallimore.
Look, two points is always two points... but not all two points are created equally. Everett has won only 6 games all season (2 on the road, one was at ShoWare) and they were without their best player in Ryan Murray. If this team thinks they are going anywhere they needed to come out and absolutely bury the Silvertips in front of a crowd that was just begging to be entertained. Instead, we were blessed with more selfish hockey by talented hockey players who don't seem to be getting it.

Seattle is in Everett tonight for the back end of the home and home. I'll be heading up to Everett looking forward to seeing (hopefully) a very different team tonight.


Tbirds hit Holiday Break

I wasn't able to attend the game on Saturday night due to a Holiday Party, so I don't have very many thoughts on the 3rd period collapse on Saturday except that it looked bad on my phone.

I was able to catch the game on Friday night via webcast.  The biggest takeaway from the weekend is that Tri-City is a damn good team. The Americans have now won 8 straight and have only lost 2 games at home all season. Seattle looked poised to pick up 2 points on Saturday night but completely melted down in the 3rd period.

Tbirds are off until Tuesday the 27th. I want to wish everyone a very happy Holidays. The players will spend the week at home and hopefully come back refreshed and ready to gear up for a playoff run.

One final note.  I have updated the banner at the top of the page to reflect the new date of the Hockey Challenge 2012.  I will once again be raising money for the cause and I will provide additional details as I get them.


Game 29 Recap

No witty titles today. I'm tired and cranky and today is honestly one of those days where I would rather not write anything... but I think it is important to always try to get something out for you guys to read to keep everyone coming back and staying informed. So here goes.

  • Seattle picked up the 3-0 win last night over the Vancouver Giants getting 3 goals in the final 4.5 minutes of the game to pick up their 13th victory of the season and move them within 2 points of getting back to ".500". 
  • The Tbirds started slow again and spent much of the first period having trouble getting the puck cleared from their own zone.  One thing that consistently puzzles me about the Tbirds is the lack of forwards moving through the middle of the ice on their breakouts. It appears as though they are actively avoiding the middle of the ice and forcing things to the outside. I don't know if this is an intentional tactic or if the players just aren't executing the way they are being told.  Either way... at times Seattle is having a ton of trouble getting the puck out of their own zone.  It got better as the game went on, but the first period was pretty rough.
  • Seattle got better in the 2nd and had some pretty legitimate scoring chances that were thwarted by Giants goaltender Adam Morrison. One of the biggest scrambles came when Morrison appeared to break the skate strap on one of his goalie pads, forcing backup Jackson Whistle into emergency service.  The 16 year old held his own despite losing his stick for about 30 of the 95 seconds he was on the ice. I thought Morrison was excellent for the Giants and if it weren't for the world class snipe by Branden Troock the outcome may have been different.
  • Speaking of Troock... he broke open a scoreless game with a frozen rope over the shoulder of Morrison and into the top corner.  Troock has been trying to do way too much lately picking up right where Marcel Noebels left off after leaving to play for Team Germany. Sometimes trying to do too much will occasionally get you into good scoring chances and Troock buried a big time goal with the game on the line last night.
  • Solid game from Cason Machacek, who I haven't written very much about unless it was a penalty or a fight. Machacek picked up an assist on the goal by Luke Lockhart and finished with a +2 and perhaps most importantly 0 PIMs.
  • Officiating was solid last night, kudos to Brett Iverson and Mike Campbell.  They weren't perfect... but I don't ask them to be perfect. I expect to not notice their impact on the game and let the players mostly decide the outcome and they did that.
  • Pickard was, of course, solid in net for the Tbirds but the defense deserves a lot of credit for keeping the dangerous chances to a minimum.  Even Pickard admitted in the post game show that he only needed to make a "few good saves" which is probably just a statement of humility with a sprinkle of truth. The defense kept shots to the outside and cleared rebounds from the front of the net.
  • This group of forwards is starting to look extremely deep and you have to wonder what is going to happen when Rouse and Noebels return.  My guess? Wardley and Doty probably become healthy scratches most nights while the 4th line becomes Mitch Elliot, Connor Honey and Sean Aschim (or something like that). That's a damn good "4th line".
  • Braeden Laroque was a HS last night.
Seattle now sits alone in 8th place on raw points but they are actually 6th in point percentage.  The conference is pretty weak this year and the Tbirds might be able to ride that all the way up to the 5th or 6th seed (catching Spokane will likely be tough).

Seattle travels to Tri-City on Friday night to start a home and home series that will continue on Saturday. Tis the season of holiday parties and I will miss the game on Saturday. Look for updates on Friday night as I will be watching the action from the friendly confines of my home television.


Game 29 vs. Vancouver

Tbirds take on the Vancouver Giants tonight at the ShoWare Center. Let's talk about the 4-3 shootout win last Saturday against the Victoria Royals.

  • Seattle did a much better job getting pucks to the net on Saturday night and wound up with 37 shots on goal (overtime included) and the result was 3 goals. That isn't exactly setting the world on fire but it is an improvement over what we have seen previously. Getting nine power play chances doesn't hurt either and Seattle probably should have put the game away long before the Royals comeback if they could have converted on at least one more of their chances.
  • Tyler Alos had a fantastic game with a goal, an assist and a +2 rating. Alos is a really good kid who has started to play better lately and I have a feeling that these points will do wonders to his confidence and might springboard him forward. He was also sporting the "A" on Saturday and certainly represented it well.
  • Colin Jacobs also had a nice game getting a Power Play goal on a give and go with Kyle Verdino.  It hasn't happened yet but I expect the Tbirds Power Play to see an uptick with Jacobs healthy. What I notice most about Jacobs this season is that he appears to be having a lot of fun playing the game again.  In the past couple of years he has seemed frustrated and almost angry at times. Two games is hardly a sample size worth talking about but it's really nice to see him smiling so much.
  • The turning point in the game was the 5 minute "solo" Fighting Major after coming to the defense of teammate Burke Gallimore. The penalty gave Chilliwack Victoria a 3 minute power play and they were able to convert 3 times to tie the score.  By the way... Hickman also received a Game Misconduct, which is automatic in a "one man fight" situation.  I love the idea of Hickman sticking up for Gallimore but it just might not have been the right time to do it. The tripping penalty looked a bit ordinary to me except for the fact that Gallimore's momentum caused a big crash into the end boards.  Obviously, if Seattle had been able to kill the 3 minute Power Play we wouldn't have even need to talk about it.  Good intentions, poor outcome... it happens.
  • Following up on the Connor Honey situation. Honey registered his first WHL point, getting an assist on the Sean Aschim goal. Neate Sager from Yahoo Sports Canada has some additional information with quotes from Russ Farwell about the whole situation.  It's a good read, find it here.
  • Campbell Elynuik received a one game suspension for his Boarding Major for his hit on Shea Theodore from Friday night.  Taylor Crunk received two games for his Cross Check to the face Major that he laid on Tyler Alos on Saturday night.  Cody Beach received a one game suspension for the "accumulation of embellishment penalties". That isn't Tbird related at all... I just found it funny.
Seattle is now sitting at 17th in the Massey Ratings, just ahead of Lethbridge, Prince Albert, Victoria, Kelowna and Everett. Offense is still the most glaring weakness as the Tbirds sit at 21st in the league in the raw offense metric, ahead of only... your... Everett Silvertips.


Honey and Jacobs

A few quick thoughts on the 1-0 loss last night to the Prince George Cougars.
  • I spent a lot of time focusing on Connor Honey and Colin Jacobs last night.  Let's start with Honey. Honey came out on fire in his first shift and threw a big hit that was called Interference by our Maestro of Ceremonies Jason Nissen. Looked an awful lot like a clean check to me with the puck sitting just two feet away... something that happens... oh I dunno... 30 times a game? In any event, his first shift ended with a penalty but I didn't mind the penalty at all.  I loved the aggressive nature and the willingness to go out and throw your body around.  He also wasn't afraid to shoot AND get the shot on net, which is something this team is sorely lacking right now.  There was a stretch in the middle of the game where I didn't feel like he had very many shifts with all the penalties that were going on back and forth but overall I really liked what I saw. Seattle is starting to build a very interesting 1994 group with Troock, Hickman, Honey and Wardley.
  • Jacobs.  I liked what I saw from Jacobs but I think he would admit that he was a little rusty. It shouldn't be a problem at all and I imagine after a few games he will get his live game speed going again.  He was up to his usual shenanigans trying to bait opponents into penalties and I thought he was very active circling on the breakouts, something that is needed from more players. Coach K had him on the point on one of the PP units and I think we'll see an increase in the PP production with Jacobs back.
  • Overall thoughts. The first period was all about Seattle racing around and hitting people and it was a fantastic display of the physicality that this group can bring to a game.  Unfortunately, they didn't score... and it seemed like most of the players gave up on the game plan because the hitting nearly disappeared entirely the rest of the game and the result was a big goose egg on the score-sheet. Players have to realize that the game plan isn't always going to work to perfection. The abandonment of the game plan only leads to more struggle and leads to players trying to do too much on their own with the puck. The 2nd and 3rd periods were a classic example of that.  The Tbirds had only 4 shots in the 2nd and 11 in the 3rd (though many of the shots in the 3rd came at the end of the game when Seattle had pulled Calvin Pickard). Hit Hit Hit Hit. That should be the mentality of this team. Hard rushes through the neutral zone but if nothing is there, you chip it deep and make the defense pay the price. Fans hate this.  I heard it for years while Sumner was here "all we do is chip and chase, dump and chase... etc."  There is a very good reason why.  It's because the biggest strength this team has is its size and the ability to use their checking and size to create turnovers on the fore-check.
  • Shots. Shots were a big problem last night (just 24 overall and just 9 and 4 in the first two periods). The Tbirds were getting a ton of shots blocked.  Players are trying too hard to either snipe a goal and often times missing the net or they are just blasting it without any real purpose and things are getting blocked.  Seattle needs more shots on goal where players are just throwing pucks to the net and forcing opposing goaltenders to either catch and hold or steer shots to the corner.  To simplify things... what they need is more shots towards the 5 hole of the goaltender.  Chest, Glove, Blocker... these are all shots that are relatively easy for the goaltender to catch and hold or steer away. Shots on the ice? Somewhat easy to steer away with the stick. Shots in that middle zone, off the ice, below the gloves is where the goalie has to use his leg pads to make the save and those are the shots that create juicy rebounds.  Those... are shots with purpose. They have to get more shots to the net.
  • 3 fights last night and a lot of chippy play. Deagle had a nice fight and I love when players have fights where they are basically saying "I'm not taking anymore shit from you... let's go." Doty finally got a partner in Campbell Elynuik and after a rough start was able to land some pretty good shots towards the end. Last but not least we had Cason Machacek sticking up for Shea Theodore after getting hit from the blindside (and high) from Elynuik. I love Machacek sticking up for his teammate. Unfortunately, because we are saddled with this ridiculous Instigator penalty the Tbirds only enjoyed (and I use that term loosely) a 3 minute Power Play instead of 5 minutes. The WHL website is showing Elynuik's suspension as TBD at the moment.
  • I'm so tired of complaining about officials. It seems like the officiating in the league is at a recent low and I can't figure out exactly why that's true.  Too much turnover, too many new officials? I don't know. There were a bunch of things I thought were incorrectly called last night on both sides but the one I want to focus on was the last one. With a 1:12 left in the game the puck is dump/shot in to Cougar goaltender Drew Owsley. Owsley briefly covers the puck, takes his glove off of the puck and the whistle hadn't yet blown.  Branden Troock races in to ensure that Seattle gets the whistle, setting up a faceoff in the Cougar zone and allowing Seattle to pull Pickard and get 6 attackers on the ice. He HAS to go hard to the net to ensure they get the whistle. Troock races in and stops abruptly in front of Owsley spraying snow in his face.  He HAS to do this because obviously he can't just plow into Owsley at full speed. Referees Nissen and Spurgeon decide that it's worthy of an USC penalty putting Seattle shorthanded and effectively ending the game. What a wonderful idea... let's take the game out of the player's hands with over a minute to go in a 1 goal game by calling something that happens a handful of times per game. As a fellow goaltender, I'm all for protecting goalies, but believe me... this isn't protecting goaltenders.  Throw the book at players who run over goaltenders and let "snow spraying" get policed by the defenders in front of the net. A horrible, ridiculous administering of the end of the game by those two officials.  I hope someone educates them on how silly that was and they learn from it and become better for it. The WHL is a development league for both players AND officials and we must all keep that in mind.  Keeping it in mind... it sure seems like things have been below par lately.
Back at it tonight against the Victoria Royals who hung an 8 spot on Lethbridge last night before heading down to Seattle.


WHL Plays of the Week

I don't usually post these videos (though they are very cool) but I wanted to point this video out for two specific reasons.  One, Pickard is featured at around the 2:30 mark.

The other one deals directly with the officiating from the game last Friday against Tri.  I heard more than a few fans complain about the officials not reviewing the "high stick" goal that was scored.

Well... the first clip from plays of the week is a pretty clear shot that the goal was good.  I give officials a hard time when I feel like they deserve it, so I feel like I should give them credit when they get it right and on this call they absolutely got it right.

Link here.

Back in Action

The Cougars of Prince George are in town tonight to face off against the "new look" of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Colin Jacobs will make his much anticipated season debut, Connor Honey will make his franchise debut, and Mitch Guiel seems to have been reassigned by the team. Let's cover last weekends games first.
  • Friday night, Seattle dropped a tough 4-2 result to the Tri-City Americans.  The game was, in effect, a one goal game and Justin Feser added an empty net goal with less than 1 second to play. Officiating played a big role again as Tri-City was able to tie the game at 1-1 on a 5-3 PP.  Brad Deagle was called for a Cross-Checking penalty after defending goaltender Calvin Pickard after being slashed after the whistle by an Americans player.  The call resulted in the 5-3 for Tri and a tie game. Officials were not the reason why Seattle lost though and they never are. Sean Aschim tied the game with his 7th goal of the season in the 3rd period but Burke Gallimore took a debated High Sticking penalty just 8 seconds later and Tri-City regained the lead 30 seconds after that. Gallimore, Sutter and Noebels were all -2 and Seattle just can't survive most nights with their top players producing like that.
  • Evan Wardley had an impressive fight with Justin Feser early in the game. I loved seeing the passion from Wardley and I figured it would pump the team up, but I didn’t see a noticeable difference in play.
  • Marcel Noebels just isn't a very good hockey player right now. He is a very talented player who isn't playing the game the right way for the moment.  I know it sounds like I'm blasting him, which isn't my intent.   Like I have said before, he continues to try to do too much with the puck.  I think he is not making smart decisions and is not trusting his teammates and tries to force the play.  Good hockey is good hockey and it doesn't change depending on the player.  The talent level of the player affects the results that are produced from playing good hockey. That is why lesser talented players can still be good hockey players and have good results and good players can struggle. That being said, I have faith in his ability.  I've seen Noebels play very good hockey because he is a very good hockey player.  There is a reason why Philly drafted and signed him.  He just isn't focusing on the things that would allow his natural talent to take over and affect the game.
  • Saturday's game against the Winterhawks was a disaster on most levels. Portland was able to score their Teddy Bear Toss goal early in the game, causing a 25-30 minute delay.  Following the delay, they never looked back on their way to 60 shots on goal and a 7-1 victory. I'm not sure the delay really had any impact on the result as Seattle looked flat, tired, intimidated... you name it... it happened. This was complete and thorough domination  in every way. The best thing to do with this Portland game is to put it behind us and move on.
  • Colin Jacobs returns tonight.  At times I have seen Jacobs do the very same thing as Noebels.  A very talented forward, I'm excited to see what kind of energy and purpose Jacobs will bring to the ice. I'm certain he is very excited and anxious to get the season going.
  • Connor Honey will also make his debut tonight.  I find it interesting that the Green Bay Gamblers weekend preview said that he was "traded" to us (not true) and contained a quote from the Coach saying that he "simply couldn't balance school and hockey". He did go on to say that Honey was a "good teammate and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors." Link to the story is here.
For tonight's game I'm going to try something slightly different.  I'm going to try to focus special attention on what Jacobs and Honey are doing on each shift.  Doing this... I'm going to miss some of the main action but I want to get a sense of what we can expect from Honey and how comfortable Jacobs looks in his first action back.


Connor Honey joins Tbirds

Connor Honey has joined the Tbirds.  Honey, 17, was in training camp with the Birds in August but left before the preseason started and did not sign a development deal with Seattle.

I was very impressed by Honey in training camp and I think he can help a little bit immediately.  Average size at 6'0" and 174 lbs his speed and hands were impressive and I think he will have the ability to create some plays right away. I think he steps into one of the top 3 lines, even with the return of Colin Jacobs on Friday and I think he has a chance to stay there even after Rouse and Troock return.

Honey had played 17 games with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL where he had 1 goal and 6 assists.

Official press release is located here.

Tbirds Release

Seattle is set to have two announcements this afternoon. Stay tuned to the official website and the blog for analysis.


Why Seattle should trade for Inglis

Over the weekend the Prince George Cougars announced that they were sending Charles Inglis home to await a trade because he broke team and league rules.

The easy thing to say is that Seattle should trade for him because... well... he's a good player. It isn't quite that simple though. Inglis has now worn out his welcome in two different places, Saskatoon and Prince George. A trade for Inglis would come with some risk.  He may not like it in Seattle, he may not like Seattle's team rules anymore than he liked PG's and if it winds up not working out here his trade value would be nearly nothing after  not working out with now 3 teams.

Here is why it actually might make a lot of sense.
  • The Tbirds are short on truly dynamic forwards. Gallimore is a great shooter, Noebels is struggling, Lockhart is struggling and while Jacobs is ready to return we don't really have any idea who long it will take him to get up to full speed.
  • It probably won't cost you very much.  I'm certain that a few teams will be interested in Inglis, but how much can the Cougars expect to get from a player who would be expected to sit at home the rest of the season.  I can think of a handful of players and draft picks I wouldn't lose sleep over taking a gamble on Inglis.
  • Inglis is from Winnipeg, Pickard is from Winnipeg and both are 19 years old. I have no idea whether they are friends or not and I admit that this is a reach but my hope would be that Pickard would have a positive influence on Inglis and perhaps he would buy into the system. For whatever it's worth, PG has no players on their roster from Winnipeg.
  • If the trade doesn't cost you very much and things don't work out... you could send him home and chalk it up to a gamble that was probably worth it.
  • Inglis also hasn't been drafted or signed and IF things were to work out you might wind up with a very good 20 year old next season.
I don't really expect this to happen but I think there is some solid upside at a very low cost available here and that is exactly the type deal they could make to get better without selling the farm.

I've been too busy to write game recaps... I apologize. Friday was ok, Saturday was brutal. I'll get around to it when I can.  Anyone want to apply for a writing position?? haha.

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