Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail


Hockey Challenge 2014

Recent Articles


Thoughts from win over Tri

How many times over the last five years have we seem one team just completely dominate the first 5 minutes of a game.  Just come out of the gate, drop of the puck, and completely show a team how the night is going to be.  The answer to my question I dont think could be counted on two hands, you would need three or four.  But for the first time in a VERY LONG time, it was the Birds doing the dominating.  That seriously had to be the best five minute stretch I have seen this team play in a good number of years.

To me though, an even better indicator was how the next 5 minutes went.  Not quite as dominating, but very close to it.  The last 10 minutes of the period, more of the same.  Shots at the end of the period were Seattle 17, Tri City 8.  But really, at least two of the Tri shots were clearing dumps.  And on top of that, Seattle played shorthanded for four minutes of the first.  On one of those penalty kills, Tri didn't get one scoring chance at all.  I thought the domination continued for the rest of the game.  Not quite as good as the first, but very close.

Now, it was not all positive for Seattle.  Mumaugh did have to come up very big on a couple Tri shots throughout the game.  There were a few too many point blank shots where he had to make HUGE kick pad saves.  If you really want to be picky on the goalie, the first goal, he dove across the net to get a back door shot, and slid too far, so when the puck went off the post near side (which is the only place the puck could get past him), the entire net was open for the rebound.  And the second goal was a bad angle shot that he should have had.  Like I said though, you would have to be really picky to say anything bad about his game.

Speaking of goaltenders.  Howe much does Eric Comrie of Tri remind Seattle fans of Calvin Pickard.  Making so many big, string saves.  Not leaving rebounds, eating pucks when needed, and basically single handily keeping his team in the game.  If not for a his play in the first 10 minutes, Seattle is up 3 or 4 to nil (Like that multisport reference to soccer).  Everyone knows Comrie is an amazingly great goaltender, and it showed tonight.

My comment to people during and after the game was this. "What team is this, and can they make sure our normal team doesnt get returned."  This team is playing with so much confidence right now.  But also allowing that confidence is the fact that the team can roll 3 or 4 lines deep, and not have to count on the top line for so much.  Other teams can't match against that number of lines, and one line getting confidence means other lines can feed off of it.

One person I talked to last night had a conversation with Evan Wardly.  They said how much this team needs him back.  This was after the first period.  I guess his response was "Based on that, no they dont".  I know it was a joke, but man it almost is true (note, I am not saying that at all).

And now a few bullet point comments throughout the game

  • Dang my kids were well behaved last night.  Must have been the threat of not buying them the new Skylanders Swap Force that I picked up at midnight last night for them (note, they have been playing it since 8am, and I havn't even heard from them yet)
  • I am still amazed that Barzal doesnt get tossed from the faceoff more, since he turns so much.  But what is impressing me so much about it is he is actually starting with his stick on the backhand side of the dot, spinning his body counter clockwise as he pulls his stick to the forehand side, and then wins it straight back.  He gets incredible force and strength doing this because his body is swinging, but the speed at which he gets his stick across the circle is amazing to me
  •  This may sound like another nit picky comment, but I thought Troock struggled last night a lot.  Lost quite a few battles along the boards, and started trying to do things himself a little too much.  But, knowing what his injury was, I suspect it is still bothering him, and that would lead to the comment more.  Like I said, nit picky comment.
  • As the great Kelowna radio broadcast Regan Bartell says "LIIIIIPSSSSSSS BERG" had a huge game last night.  That forcheck hit he put on to set up his first goal was a huge hit.  It was at the far end from me, but I thought even if it was a totally clean hit (which I have been told it was), the angle the player went into the boards, and the loud noise, I expected a penalty to be called.  And his second goal was a great shot.
  • Speaking of shots, Theodore's goal, dam, wow, dam, wow, I cant come up with more words to use.  What a rocket shot into the upper corner.
  • I spent the second intermission talking and learning about NHL contracts from a player agent that sits near me.  I wont give out any names or any info he taught me, but just wanted to send out a huge THANK YOU for it.  So informative, and the type of behind the scenes education and knowledge I love to have.
  • First chance to see newcomer Adam Henry is action.  I thought he played a game exactly like he was described as.  Good skater, good passer, good defender.  I didn't think he anything particularly amazing, but he did a ton of stuff very well.  Ask my wife, his goal I called before he got the puck.  Where I was sitting, it was straight line from me, to where he was, to the upper corner of the net.  Perfect shot right where it needed to be.
  • Another defender, Ethan Bear.  What a few people said about his game making Forsberg expendable was 100% right on.  He is so calm for a 16 year old, sees the ice very well, and makes the right play 90% of the time.  And you can tell the coaches are willing to put him out there under any condition.
  • It was great to Kevin Wolf in the game.  Had some guys go around him with strong quick moves that a player his size shouldnt let happen.  But he also recovered from those plays well enough to make sure any rebound was cleared out.
  • A shout out the the line that Holub was playing on last night (usually Eansor and someone else).  To me, this is the sign of the team when you can roll this type of energy line, and not only to they not give up scoring chances at the other end, but they generate chances at the offensive zone, and put out so much energy that the opponent gets pinned in their zone, the crowd gets into it, and the team responds.
  • It is so awesome to see an opposing coach have to use the one timeout given per game 5 minutes into the first.  Tri was being so dominated, and the defensemen had been on the ice for so long, he had to use it switch players.  And when they needed it late in the game with the extra attacker, buzzzzzzzzzz, nope, all gone, no setup play for you.


Anonymous said...

This team has been entertaining on the radio. Haven't been to a game yet and it may be a while. The youngest wants to start playing hockey so our entertainment budget may go to him.

Maybe it's the best. As other hockey fans, I am superstitious. The success may be because of a talented team but aided by my lack of attending games.

Go T-Birds!

Unknown said...

Ha. As good reasoning as any. For what it's worth, I was convinced that the T-birds lost every game we attended. However, this year is our first as season ticket holders and they seem to be doing just fine. I guess I'm not bad luck. Hope your youngest enjoys the game as much as my 11 yr old.

Anonymous said...

I was impressed by the play of defenseman Smith. I think he was the best defenseman on the ice against Tri City.
Bear is one of the best 16 year old defensemen that I have seen in years.
I still think Everett may be the team to beat, with a goalie like Lotz.

Unknown said...

Hopefully the game in Tri-city and Portland serves as a wake up call for the team for the rest of the season. It's so much fun to watch them this year.

Kodi said...

I'm still willing to give a pass on our starting goaltending. They need more time before I'm willing to go thumbs up or thumbs down. Do they make mistake.... absolutely but if they can do this year what the whole team hasn't been able to do the last couple of years and improve through the season then I'm not as worried.

My thought was once they decided to go with Myles and Mumaugh they were setting things up for a draft pick later on. I truely believe the Floodell is the goaltender of the future and if these two goalies can be servicable to good tenders throughout the year then one will be traded next off season.

If either of them don't work out then we look at trading for a goaltender at the trade deadline (depending on our record), bringing up Floodell early or trying to lure an NCAA tender.

Again though I'm willing to see how things play out for a while. I think I'm wanting to see how they play after the Christmas break this year before I decide anything =]

WHL Scoreboard