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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Final Weekend of the Season Preview

The lack of posts lately is killing me and I'm sorry for not getting things posted more regularly. I'd give you excuses but... nobody cares.

First things first: Seattle has won two straight and has put themselves in a position to make the playoffs but the situation is still tight and very much up in the air. Sunday night, Seattle got a goal with 5 seconds left in Overtime to beat Everett and earn a very important 2nd point. Tuesday night, Seattle played one of their most complete efforts of the season in beating Spokane 3-1. The physical play of the Thunderbirds was impressive and the way they played is how they should have been playing all season long.

So where does that leave us?

Victoria pulled off an upset last night in beating Portland at home. The win put Victoria into 7th place with 53 points and only one more game to play (Friday, home vs. Portland again). Everett lost in Kelowna and really blew an opportunity to put themselves in good shape for the playoffs.  With the loss, Everett now has 52 points and 2 games remaining (Friday in Tri and Saturday at Seattle). Seattle... suddenly "might" control their own destiny for the playoffs. Seattle is 2 points behind Everett with a trip to Spokane tomorrow night to play on Root Sports before their head to head showdown with Everett on Saturday.  I don't want to completely ignore Prince George who has 48 points and 2 games remaining. There is still a scenario where PG could sneak into the playoffs.

So let's play the "what if" game

I'm expecting a good effort out of Seattle tomorrow night against Spokane and I also expect a close loss. I expect that Everett will lose in Tri-City tomorrow night.  That would leave Seattle 2 points behind with arguably the most important Thunderbirds v. Silvertips game in the history of the rivalry*. Prince George loses in Kamloops tomorrow and they are eliminated and Portland rebounds and beats Victoria in Vic.

Victoria finishes with 53 points. Everett has 52 and Seattle 50 points. If we assume that Seattle is going to lose in Portland on Sunday evening (which isn't a stretch) that leaves Saturday's game as the key to not only Seattle's playoff hopes but also the path to a winner-take-all tiebreaker game at Showare Center on Tuesday next week.

The tiebreaker system does not apply in the event that two teams are tied for the final playoff but the tiebreaker system does apply in determining who would host the tiebreaker game. If Seattle and Everett wind up tied for the final playoff spot... the Tbirds will host Everett on Tuesday of next week.

We will know a lot more after the completion of games Friday night. Seattle should have a pretty clear picture of the points they need to get this done.

All of the speculation about what the Tbirds might do next year...... Let's save that for next week (or beyond) and I will cover all of that when the season is over.

* - Calling Saturday's game the biggest game in the history of the rivalry is a bit of a stretch but Everett and Seattle have never met in the playoffs and they have rarely battled for a single game that had more on the line.  Of course... if the game is followed by a tiebreaker game on Tuesday it will quickly get surpassed in magnitude by the tiebreaker game.


Anonymous said...

Regardless of how they played all season this year...

I thought last year's race for the playoffs was exciting...holy CRAP, it's got nothing on this year!!!

Anonymous said...

If the scenario plays out as you say, what do you do if you are Coach K Saturday night and it's tied late in the game. I think you have to pull the goalie. I think the odds are better of scoring a goal vs Everett with the risk of empty net than going down to Portland and getting a point or two. You can't get let Everett get a loser point. What do you think?

Thunnex said...

I think you you have to act like you trust your team to go into Portland and win the game. I think mentally you send a message to your team that you don't trust them and you aren't very confident in them and that can be a very dangerous thing to do to a team.

Anonymous said...

Plus, why give up the guaranteed point? A bird in hand....

Dean said...

Number one important game of the season and the family is sick and the wife would kill me if I dragged them to the game; hockey fan or not. Win it for my 6 and 4 year old T-birds....let them see at least one more game this season. Oh, yes, I hear the whip.

Anonymous said...

To all of those who said this team did not have talent, I think they have shown that they do. Look who showed up last night and look what the result was. As many have said, this team needs their leaders to lead and to make that effort that is REQUIRED to compete at this level. Here's to hoping they bring it.

Tyler, thanks for the work that you do.

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