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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Hockey Talk? Sure.

Let's talk some hockey shall we? I know lately I've been very focused on the Hockey Challenge (and for good reason in my opinion) but with that behind me we can get back to focusing a little more on hockey.

One last note on the Hockey Challenge. My team still rules the roost. We raised just a hair over $31,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, which was the most of any team for the second year in a row. Overall, the event raised over $170k and I couldn't be more proud to be a part of it.

Seattle welcomes Edmonton to town tonight in the second to last 2 for Tuesday. The Oil Kings are the defending league champions and enter with a stellar 43-15-5 record... but they are coming off of 3 straight losses. They were beaten at home by Regina before leaving for their U.S. Division tour and they were beaten  in Spokane on Friday night and hammered by Tri-City 8-1 on Saturday night. They will be in Portland tomorrow night so you have to wonder whether they will be pissed off and treat this game like a tune-up or be looking past Seattle to the showdown with Portland tomorrow night.

Seattle has been dropping important points lately... so stealing a point or two from a team like Edmonton would actually go a long ways in the battle for the 7th seed.

I actually kind of expect the Tbirds to play well tonight. They typically have played better at home against quality teams outside of the conference.

Things get pretty tough for Seattle from this point out...

Edmonton tonight.
At Kelowna Thursday.
At Tri-City Friday.
Home for Tri Saturday.
At Spokane.
Home for Prince George.
Home for Everett.
Home for Tri.
At Portland.
Home for Portland.

I wouldn't want to be looking for points on the final weekend of the season playing against Portland twice... although Portland may have the top seed in the league locked up at that point and they will probably rest some guys.

We haven't checked the Massey Ratings in a while. Let's take a look.

Seattle checks in at 18th. Ahead of Regina, Brandon, Prince George and Vancouver (the team they just lost to 4-1 on Sunday).  14th in Offense, 20th in Defense.

This team clearly misses Connor Honey.  The team seems to noticeably play worse when he is out of the lineup.

Also... the number of penalties have to be reduced. These past couple of games they have been killing themselves with dumb penalties. Sure some of the calls aren't very good but they also can't ALL be bad. It's not as if Seattle is the only team that has to deal with the WHL officials.

In the past 2 games... they've surrendered 5 Power Play goals. That can't continue.

This team is just maddening because they can't seem to be consistent about anything. Once night it's the offense, one night it's defense, one night the effort is good, one night it sucks. One night it's goaltending, one night they can't hit the net... etc.... Put together just a couple of complete efforts and they can make it to this 7 seed and offer everyone a glimmer of hope.


Anonymous said...

Contrary to the dru ken idiots, I think it was a good game played against a GREAT team. I would have enjoyed it much more without all the loud, uninformed "fans". I didn't expect them to win and the score and SOG Don't look good, but I think they hung in and played hard - could have been more consistent, but effort was there.

Unknown said...

I don't call it "two for drunken tuesday" for nothing :) I wouldn't hate to see the $2 beer go away.

I'll agree I thought the team played pretty well. It was good to see them come out in the first with some jump. I thought Holub and Wray put together some nice shifts. The big difference was Edmonton buries their chances and Seattle does not right now. That is a heck of a team.

I hope they get Honey back really soon, they don't have enough talent to lose one of their top end guys.

Hopefully they can review some tape of their earlier games against Spokane and Tri-City and remind themselves that they played both of those teams pretty tough in the early part of the season.

Anonymous said...

I think that the points made above are correct, which makes it especially frustrating when thinking the whole thing through. They did give Edmonton a good game, if the objective is to keep solely to keep the puck out of your own net. Unfortunately, there's that offense 'thing'. The reality is that as fans we know in our heart of hearts that even though we have 13 active forwards on the roster, 9 of them realistically aren't going to don't stand a chance of doing anything with the puck when they possess it. You'll always have these 9 guys getting ice time:

Hickman-0 goals, 2 assists in February
Elliot- has appeared in 56 games, has 3 points to his name this season
Johnson- 1 goal, zero assists in last 13 games
Wray- 26 games, zero points
Sheen- 6 straight scoreless games
Swenson- 10 straight games without a goal
Kambeitz- 1 goal, 2 assists in February
Sanvido- 2 goals, 0 assists in February
Holub- 0 points in his last 17 games

This season will be remembered for the lack of offensive production. We were supposed to have Troock as a top weapon. We were supposed to have Alos, we were supposed to see Lockhart progress over his 19 season. If you could see inside Farwell's head and see his 2008 draft day thoughts of what Sanvido would be in 2013, you'd probably find out the expectation is that he'd be twice the player that he is. Things simply didn't pan out at all in terms of the forwards, and the future cupboard looks bare if they can't get those draft picks signed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:03 nice to see you are such a stats guy. If you look at the team stats you will find that 7 teams have scored less goals than the birds but only Vancover and Brandon have more goals against. Offensive production or lack of defence?

Anonymous said...

We knew going into this that we had a young Defense that was going to give up some points. We also knew that Glover wasn't going to be the next Pickard. We didn't know that Troock and Alos were going to be gone, and that 9 Forwards would be giving us virtually zero chance of generating points. On the upside, we are getting good scoring production from Theodore, which helps that goal total that you mentioned. I guess it's the preseason expectation vs. reality thing, but this team needed more points around the developing Defense of the future in order to compete and they and didn't get that production.

Anonymous said...

With that young defense it is hard to generate offense when you are stuck in your own end or fishing the puck out of your net. With every goal you let in you need to score two to gain the lead that is why alot of teams stress defence first

Anonymous said...

I agree, and I also add that I think that they've done a nice job of building a Defense for the future.. But in order to win this season, they still needed more players on Offense to step up and make the most of their chances. 2.4 goals per game since January 1 for Seattle? There's no way that they stood a chance to win with such a high GAA.

Anonymous said...

The offense has been inconsistent because of guys in and out of the lineup. Delnov just before Christmas, Lipsbergs at World Jrs., Honey with injury twice now, Hickman missed a few games and Troock most of the season along with Alos. When they had all their forwards healthy (for like 2-3 games) was when they played their best.

Anonymous said...

Every team deals with injuries and more teams send players to world juniors than us. So that means nothing. All around they just aren't good. I'm glad Theodore scores goals playing that much on the pp you should. What worries me is he is by far the worst at keeping it out of the net he should be defending. Still 17 it's understandable. The thing that gets me is every great team you see come in has crisp tape to tape passes and the ability to one-time a pass into the net. We can barely complete passes without icing the puck. And when we get a pass off we cradle it set up then shoot right into the goalies chest or just whiff in general. Really we just don't have the talent or passion to be a winning team anytime soon

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