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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Make that 3 and 0

With 6 points, your TBirds are the #1 seed in the Western Conference.
That's home ice all the way to the Championship.
Spokane has the same record, but I guess we get first because, well because, SE comes before SP.

Last nights game

As you know, I started the season questioning the character of the team after those two losses to Everett.
Last night, the team showed me character.
Answering back twice after Tri scored.
Not getting down because of the penalty kills.
Not folding up and sending it in when Tri came on strong.

And speaking of character.
For the third straight game, no one was wearing the "C".
One would assume that means Hickman will get it starting tonight, but that is a huge assumption, just because he hasn't played in the three games.

This team has still not played their best hockey yet.  They have not strung together 60 full minutes.
The last ten minutes they went into some sort of defensive trap / shell.
Why oh why oh why.
They almost got away with it, but finally it caught up with them with a bad clearing attempt over the glass results in a penalty.

There were stretches of the game where players stopped working hard.
Either Lipsberg and Holub got hurt, or got benched starting in the 2nd period.
I suspect benched because both had 1 shift very late in the game, after sitting most of the period.
I actually thought Holub had a good first period, but maybe coach didn't think that.
Lipsberg I didn't notice much in the first.  However, he does get the shootout winner, so maybe made up for it a little.
Coach has once again shown he is not afraid to sit guys if they are not playing the system.  It must be nice for him to actually have the depth to do this.  You don't buy into the system, you will be replaced by someone that will.

Bullet notes from the game

  • Theodore made his return tonight, showed the skating and puck handling that he had last season.
  • Once again, Troock looked a beast out there.  His line could easily be the top line in the Western conference they way they are playing
  • I thought Tri was really trying to stretch the Birds out, two or three times hitting on homerun passes to break a skater in behind the defense.
  • Huge hard shot by Honey on his goal.  My guess is Comrie would want it back.
  • Speaking of Comrie, I thought he was fighting the puck all night, leaving rebounds where he normally doesn't.  But in the shootout, he was all calm.
  • And speaking of another goaltender, how about Myles for Seattle in the shootout.  Stops three of five.  Oh yeah, crossbar stopped two of two.  But he is very smooth, forcing the shooter to make the first move.  It appeared towards the end, Tri caught on to the fact he wasnt coming out of the net, and started going high quick shots instead of making moves.
  • Foulk and Honey both left the second period at the 10 minute mark with Trainer Phil.  Honey came back 2 minutes later.  Foulk not until 2 minutes to go in the period.
  • Tough break for Ethen Bear on Williams goal.  Losses his stick, then doesnt take Delnov's, and I think the puck went off him to a wide open Williams.
  • What a move by Swenson on his goal.  Dips back and forth around two defenders, amazing flip pass to Barzal, and gets the rebound and puts in a really tough angle backhand over everyone.
  • Those two shots off the post in the shootout by Tri were two of the harder crossbar shots I have seen in a while.
  • Forsberg took warm ups, but of course did not play.

Tonight will be another great test early in the season.
Portland has struggled in their last two games.
They have given up 10 goals in those games.
Leipsec will be sitting out for a three game suspension.
The way the Birds are playing, they have made it very difficult for me not to take the drive down to PDX and watch.  But with 5 cm (like that Canadian readers) of rain expected today, the Husky game on TV, the fact I went to Vancouver on Wednesday, I am 99% sure I am staying home and watching on the big screen.


Unknown said...

Really enjoyable game last night. It looked like they swapped Lipsburgs and Kolesar in their lines. I thought Lipsburgs was fine earlier in the game, seemed to have a lot of energy and was battling for the puck. He seemed to be having some problems controlling the puck.

I'm loving the Troock-Delnov-Honey line. Troock is a beast out there, I love how he was lowering the shoulder and knifing between the D and the boards and taking the puck with him. I think its going to be a long season for opposing defensemen trying to play him.

I wish the T-birds weren't being so generous with the parting gift of one point to their visitors, hopefully they start getting the wins in regulation. But getting the two is very nice.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an effort in Portland. Team must have looked at their 3-0 record.

Anonymous said...

I though the birds were past performances like last night? 10-4 really? There is no excuse for play like that, let's hope it is a wake up call . Coach k's comments were " playing shellfish" and " guys playing for themselves and not the team".

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