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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Game 36 Recap

I should have known better. I really should have known better than to press my luck and attempt to witness two straight wins in Everett.  A dreadful performance turned in by the Thunderbirds last night in front of 3,743 (absolutely no way, I estimate no more than 2,500) fans in attendance at the EEC. Everett has always been rumored to over-report their attendance. I cannot imagine how Russ Farwell could have watched that game last night without walking away feeling like a handful of players should be cast away to other teams around the league, if he could get any kind of value back in return.  Where-o-where should we start on this one
  • How about the Power Play? Horrible. Seattle was 0 for 5 on the Power Play which included a 5 minute PP to start the 3rd period.  Not only were they barely able to put 1 shot on goal during the first PP, but they also allowed Josh Winquist to score a shorthanded goal. I know that Colin Jacobs is a skilled forward, but I don't understand the strategy behind Jacobs anchoring a point on the PP. How long before people realize that Jacobs isn't a "dangler", rather he's a power forward with a good shot and hands who should be glued to the front of the net.  Could someone please politely ask Ryan Gibbons to take a short sabbatical from his officiating to teach Jacobs how to park in front of the net? I don’t mean this to be a slam on Jacobs either, he is a very respectable player with quality skills, but I just don't think they are being utilized properly.  2nd question: Why is Luke Lockhart (the smallest player outside of Connor Sanvido) our player front of the net player on the Power Play? I have plenty of issues with Marcel Noebels, but I'd rather see him on the point with Lockhart and Gallimore on the wings with Jacobs parked in front. Then again... what do I know?  I do know with absolute certainty that the Power Play was dreadful last night and Seattle had plenty of trouble just getting set up in the zone much less creating scoring opportunities.  They had one PP in the 2nd period that was relatively decent and had a couple of scoring chances, but once it was clear that they couldn't convert on those opportunities, things seemed to completely fall apart.
  • The two goals last night by Troock and Noebels were both scored on fine individual efforts. Unfortunately, that also describes the current problem with this team and both players.  Both guys are trying to do way too much (again) and it only results in bad hockey and poor results.  Trying something 10 times to have it work once each game is not a confirmation that you are doing things correctly. Move. The. Puck. Troock also added two hooking penalties and Noebels had a goaltender interference call.
  • Seattle just seemed lifeless last night. Especially after they failed to convert that 2nd period goal. Frustration appeared to set in and players had no jump or desire to succeed.  I know it is a long season but these kids hadn't played since Saturday, so energy should not be a factor. There is no excuse for the type of effort we got from most of the lineup.
  • I don't want to lump everyone into the same category. The line of Justin Hickman, Tyler Alos and Chance Lund is, in my mind, the most effective line on the team. That line doesn't score a lot of goals but I would take 4 lines just like them and take my chances. I also thought Brad Deagle played a generally solid game. He was out for both Seattle goals and finished +2.
  • Shea Theodore and Jared Hauf look tired to me.  I refuse to be overly critical of the play of 16 year old players, however both players have struggled lately. There is/was solid reasoning behind each of them getting a game off from time to time.  It is very difficult for 16 year old players to come in and play 60-70 games in their first year in the league.
  • I'm beginning to seriously question the motivations of a handful of players on this team.  Too many players look like they have little to no desire to play good quality Major Junior Hockey.  I've never understood how this happens and quite frankly I don't really care. Either you want to play or you don't and if you don't want to play, let's get you a change of scenery and get some players in here who want to work hard and want to win.
Seattle gets a day off to contemplate their gameplay before hitting the road to face Tri-City, the top team in the CHL on regional television. Yikes.  Also, a reminder that I will be live chatting tomorrow night during the game, so pull up a computer next to your television and we can gather to chat about a (hopefully) better performance from our Tbirds.

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