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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Monday Matinee

Just a quick update today before the strange 2pm start time to the Thunderbirds game in Spokane today. Some thoughts about the weekend:
  • Obviously, Friday night was a disaster. The Tbirds managed to give up two goals in the first 30 seconds of the game and five goals in the first period before eventually falling to the Kamloops Blazers 7-1. Kamloops is a quality team and losing to them isn't something to be embarrassed about, however the way Seattle played IS something to be embarrassed about. The Tbirds take no pride in playing defense and winning pucks down low in their own zone. Centers aren't covering the front of the net, which is causing the often out-numbered defenders to allow the opposing forwards to own the slot area.  Pickard can only make so many saves and stop so many rebounds.  The lack of defensive pride by the forwards and the lack of strength and urgency by the defense is the single biggest problem facing this team. I have said it before and I will say it again, I think Farwell made a mistake in not trading Pickard to any team for any return. This team just isn't playing hard for him and you might as well give Cotton the time and experience between the pipes. Of course, that didn't happen so you might as well do the opposite and just ride the heck out of Pickard all the way to the end of the season. It will be the job of Coach K to see if he can do something/anything to get some of these guys playing the game the proper way.
  • Saturday night against Portland was a slightly better effort, especially in the 1st period, but things fell apart quickly in the 2nd period as the Winterhawks scored two quick goals to break the game open.  [I will point out again that the game on Saturday night was horribly officiated but it really didn't have much of an impact on the outcome of the game.]
  • The last two games have seen Luke Lockhart on the point during the Power Play. Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I wrote about wanting to see Lockhart at the point on the PP and get guys like Jacobs and Gallimore down on the wings or in front of the net. Heck, I'd love to see Sutter be the guy standing in front of the net with forwards out top. Friday night this configuration looked ok, but by Saturday night things looked pretty bad again. I'm hoping that Coach K gives it a little bit of time to develop, as I believe Lockhart could be very good there provided he is given a chance to settle in a bit.
  • Seattle has now started the month of January with 5 straight losses. Last season, Seattle gained only 4 points in 15 games. In 2009-2010, Seattle earned 5 points in January. What is the deal with January the past 3 seasons??
Almost time to hook the game up to the computer. I hope everyone is enjoying the snow. Let's hope Seattle comes out with a little more urgency today.


Anonymous said...

Hey Tyler,
Do you think that the organization might still be in a bad financial situation? I ask because there seems to be an almost desperate attempt to make the playoffs regardless of how bad the team is, and without much consideration for rebuilding. It felt as though keeping Calvin was solely for that reason. Russ mentioned how the new lease helped out, and we all know about the team's financial woes prior to Kent. Maybe they projected future revenues to include the playoffs every year before they got to Kent, and having missed twice they are once again in trouble. I can't think of any other reason to not trade Calvin. There weren't very many players on this team that anyone would want, so why not trade your best asset and start rebuilding? It would really help with setting expectations if we knew the answer. What do you think is going?

Thunnex said...

Sorry for the poor formatting here.

Honestly, I am not privy to that information but I was told by someone who has been around the league for a very long time that "generally speaking if a team averages 3500 fans a game they should break even".

Last season they averaged 3900 (roughly). So I would think that they aren't exactly swimming in money but they aren't exactly broke either.

Again... this is just pure guessing here.

Anonymous said...

Happy to see the T Birds marketing inside Costco today. 4 premium tickets and a Calvin bobblehead for $64.99. I still maintain the price point on walk up tickets is too high for this level of hockey in this town. I want to see a packed barn every night. Maybe a winning team will bring a packed barn more often but $22 is too high for WHL hockey in Kent. High school students can't afford that ona regular basis. Make every seat in the barn $15 every night and they will have more fans and make more money in my opinion. The Costco move is a good one though.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the 3rd comment, spot on! The Birds everyday walk up prices are way to high compared to other WHL teams, plus the product stinks no playoffs the last 2 years and in jeopardy of not making it this year. The marketing has been great with ticket deals and other marketing but $22 dollars for walk up is a joke.

Anonymous said...

It's time for the GM to let go of his hobby and get expert in charge. We can no longer blame the players, they just don't have 'it' or make it in this league or beyond.

After seeing over 14 games last year and three this year I can say it's not heart that is missing. The part that is missing is talent. This team does not have enough talent to compete with the other teams in is league. I blame Russ and the inability to bring quality players to the team. It is time for Russ to step away from his hobby and higher a professional GM. How many years must we the fans suffer from excuses and rebuilding years befrore it becomes to much. Russ must become a silent owner and let a true GM take control.

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