- 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.
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.
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.