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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Playoff Hopes Alive in PG

Seattle managed to pick up a much needed 3-1 win last night in Prince George to keep their playoff hopes alive. On the flip side, they probably "ruined" any chance at finishing below the Cougars and gaining the #1 pick in the upcoming Bantam draft. Of course, if Seattle misses the playoffs they will be a part of the WHL Lottery and could still get the #1 pick... but I digress.

Unfortunately, my laptop came back from my latest Las Vegas trip a bit wounded and decided that it didn't like the WHL website or video feed from Prince George.  I wasn't able to watch much more than 10 minutes of the first period, so I can't comment too much on the game itself. As a result, I’ll focus on some bigger picture topics.

Seattle now trails Everett by 1 point for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference and trail Victoria by 2 points with a game in hand. It just so happens that Everett will host Victoria tonight at the EEC in a game should also have a big impact on the playoff race. It goes without saying that any points at this stage in the season are critical and Seattle, Everett and Victoria will all need them tonight.  Prince George is now 4 points behind Seattle and 5 behind Everett and will likely find themselves on the outside looking in. The Cougars are in a must-win tonight against Seattle or their playoff hopes are likely done.

The Massey Ratings still don't like the Tbirds chances, as they are rated 22nd (dead last) in predictive results for the rest of the season. (editors note: this does not include results from last night's game). Let's take a look at the remaining schedule and see what we might be looking at.

Best case scenario -
Seattle at Prince George - W
Portland at Seattle - L
Everett at Seattle - W
Spokane at Everett - at least 1 point
Seattle at Spokane - L
Everett at Seattle - W
Seattle at Porland - L

That would give Seattle 7-8 points and finish 53 or 54 points.

Worst case scenario - 
Seattle at Prince George - L (with PG playing for their season)
Portland at Seattle - L
Everett at Seattle - W*
Spokane at Everett - L
Seattle at Spokane - L
Everett at Seattle - W*
Seattle at Porland - L
* - In this scenario Seattle splits the two remaining games with Everett, doesn't matter which order.

This leaves Seattle with 2 more points and if I add a loser point in there they finish with 48 or 49 points.

Everett: (best guess)
Victoria at Everett - W
Portland at Everett - L
Victoria at Everett - at least 1 point
Everett at Seattle - L
Everett at Kelowna - L
Everett at Tri-City - L
Everett at Seattle - W

This leaves Everett with 52 or 53 points.

Victoria: (best guess)
Victoria at Everett - L
Victoria at Kelowna - L
Victoria at Everett - 1 point
Victoria at Vancouver - L
Portland at Victoria - L
Portland at Victoria - W*
* - I'm saying Victoria gets 1 or 2 points out of that weekend series with Portland

That leaves Victoria 50 or 51 points.

Ok... what does this all mean??

1) Seattle has a very tough road ahead if they don't win tonight. Without a win, they are probably done.
2) Victoria has a pretty difficult schedule the rest of the way and they probably have to win a game in Everett or steal the game in Kelowna or Vancouver to have a shot.
3) Everett's schedule is pretty favorable. They've played well at home lately and they have two games against Vic left at home followed by two trips to Showare that are winnable games. I think Everett has to be considered the favorite to get at least one of these two playoff spots.


Anonymous said...

In listening to the game last night some comments that Tom made during the broadcast stood out to me. "T Birds come out flat in the first 20 minutes" "T-Birds aren't playing with a sense of urgency" "The T Birds don't have any jump tonight"
These group of players just don't seem like they have the heart it takes to move forward as a team, the vets especially just don't seem to step up and our so called stars like Jacobs and Trook are not scoring. Jacobs seems like a ghost, during the broadcasts I don't seem to notice his name called that much by Tom.

Anonymous said...

In fairness, Troock is a rookie. He missed all of last season and a good part of this season with injuries. I can't defend Jacobs, never really been too big of a fan of him. But yeah 2nd worse offense in the WHL and in the bottome five for defense even with an excellent goalie like Pickard. Hoo Yah Russ. In one of his interviews he seemed to blame the departure of Verdino for most of their recent defensive woes (not they haven't had ongoing woes both defenseive and offensive), a real commedian isn't he. I'm so confident in Russ that even getting the number one overall pick leaves me doubting the result.

Anonymous said...

one player cannot do it himself.... we have been saying it for years, there isnt much talent here. if you are gonna rely on lockhart, lund, alos, or pretty much anyone else on this team, you are gonna be waiting a long time for this team to score goals and win games. this team is filled with role players, not enough talent....

Anonymous said...

and unfortunately the biggest lack of talent is the GM

Anonymous said...

Tom is one of the greatest announcers in this league if not in the nation for play by play for hockey. Tom has true talent...go higher Tom! Like a team that is jumping to the ECHL that has a 59 nine year veteran broadcaster that is close to retirement and needs a replacement. The midwest is flat but not that bad.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if Troock is a rookie or not, this guy has tremendous talent and needs to step up his game. Quit going 1 on 3 and pass the puck.

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