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TBirds drop 2 - Common Theme for both nights

I got home last night from the game in Everett, and was so frustrated that I decided to wait until the morning to do a write up, fearing I would type some things I didn't mean to.  But even with the extra hour added in (oh wait, two young kids believe that hour means an extra hours play instead of sleep), it didn't change my opinion of this weekend.

After reading what I wrote, I have decided I am not going to change it, but throw this out that it might be a bit of an over reaction.

This weekend to me was a complete waste and disappointment of two games.  Two huge games to make a statement against the two biggest rivals.  Two of the four teams you are competing against in the US division (don't look now, but after last night, Tri is only 4 points back).  Two of the other teams listed in the BMO top 10, the WHL writers top 25, and the Barak Obama CHL top 2000 (that's 2145 in Metric for you Canadian readers).  One game on home ice where you have been nearly unbeatable.  One game on the road in a place where you need to show you can win.

With all of those statements above, one would expect a team to get fired up, ready to roll, excited, exploding with emotion, etc, etc, etc.  Instead, what you got was a team that had NO DETERMINATION, NO FIGHT, NO WILLING, NO SACRIFICE, NO HEART, NO PASSION, and NO COURAGE.

In both games, when you should come out firing, instead they were flat, giving up a goal 3:45 in Friday, and a whole 53 seconds on Saturday.  Not a great way to start at all, but great teams shrug that off, and go back to work.  Instead, the Birds decide that getting 4 SHOTS (not scoring chances, but shots) combined in the two first periods of the games) was appropriate.  In Everett, I know one of those shots was a clearing dump by Theodore from his own zone, and I think the other was a dump in from the red line.  On Friday night, they at least had some drives to the net, but all the shots were wide.  Let me just say that again FOUR shots in two games.

So you go into the locker room, regroup, get your heads back in to the game, raw, raw, raw, captains stand and scream "we are better then this", everyone jumps up yelling and swearing, and running for the ice (saw that in a movie, so it must really happen).  If getting 5 shots and 6 shots in the 2nd periods of the two games is a result of this break, then it worked, because that is what they got.  These 2nd periods were basically the same as period one, only Seattle got SEVEN more shots over the two games.

On to the third period.  You are getting totally dominated at both ends of the ice, on the scoreboard, and in your fans hearts.  The only goal you have scored over both of the games in the 4 periods was a single handed short handed work your butt off goal (try saying that three times).  So again, the coaches, the captains, the trainers, the equipment guys, and the janitors gather the players, say "Lets go win this period".  Now, I will say that I honestly feel like Seattle did win both 3rd periods.  Maybe not on the scoreboard, but in scoring chances.  Both Burke and Cotton did need to make SOME good saves (with Burke letting in one goal, but Cotton none).

On to overtime and the shootout.  Oh wait, never mind.

Tyler Tweets

From Friday's game

"Portland has showed up on a mission. Tbirds have no answer so far."

Last nights game
Tyler was not at last's nights game, since got had an offer to go drink beer at a friends house (gee, I'm not jealous or anything.  OK really, if we had won, I wouldn't have been jealous).

"To me... This game has character written all over it. You got your ass kicked last night and you're in a tough building against a good team.  this is when you need to sack up and show what kind of guts you have."

"Wasn't sure Tbirds could play worse than last night but they're giving their best effort to try tonight."

"not hitting. Not finishing checks. No "jump". You name it."

"Instead of rising to the challenge. This team is cowering. Very frustrating."

Common Themes

There were a lot of common themes to both these games.  If you read Andy Eide's recap of the games with quotes from coach K, you will see that he knows what the commonality was".  But, if you don't want to go read them, I will quote a couple for you. "It's willing to be tough with the puck", "We had guys not ready to play", "turnovers in the neutral zone, almost on the first five shifts in a row, You're not even ready to win, you're not even committed to winning", and "We don't have the whole team competing right now".

I will translate to Jon language on those.  "We were not ready and mentally focused from the start of the game."  "We were not willing to fight for the puck at any time during either of the games, when we had the puck, when the other team had the puck, or when it was a 50-50 battle for the puck".  "Some players went out with fight in their eyes, while the rest skated around like all star Bantam players going up against inferior players".

There were five players that I thought gave a ton of effort in the games, and two of those are the goalies.  I could name 7 players off the top of my head that it would have been better to put out an orange cone on the ice instead of them (ok, a little over the top, maybe just TBird trainer Phil Varney instead of them).

The one player that I was most impressed with in both games was Troock.  On almost every shift, he went hard, threw his body into checks, fore-checked, and skated hard.  Unfortunately (and I dont blame him), it appeared he became frustrated and started trying to do too much offensively by himself.

The last common theme I am going to just say and not discuss is penalties.  Way too many unneeded penalties.  Badly timed penalties.  Lazy penalties.

Oh My God, The Sky Is Falling

This was games 17 and 18.  I asked my ten year old, and he told me that 72-18 leaves 54 more games.  The team is still 11-5-0-2, with a .667 winning percentage.  They are still in a three way tie for 2nd place in the US division.  They are still 6-1-0-1 on home ice.

Yes, their BMO ranking will surly drop out of the top 10.  Their EGO ranking will sure get slapped around.  Their confidence will get knocked back to earth.  And my guess, their butts will get bag skated for not putting in the effort.

Tyler pointed this out to me Friday night, if the team goes on a 52 game winning streak to close out the season, then the only reason anyone remembers these two games is because they were the last two games they lost.  If they go on to win the remaining 11 games against Everett, no one remembers Saturdays game.  Same with the remaining Portland games.

To me, these two games were as Tyler pointed out, not must win games.  To me, they were show what you have games.  Show you can compete games.  If they went 2-0, I would be sending in my Memorial Cup ticket order.  If they went 1-1, both close games, it would still be a great weekend.  If they went 1-1, but neither game was close, then oh well, ok, you got 2 points (possible against the best team in the league).  If you they went 0-2, but both games were close, I'd say ok, well, we are close, but not quite there yet.

Where to go from here

But instead they went 0-2, getting dominated in both games.  This is where team leadership, commitment, and PRIDE come into play.  The team needs to prove that these two games were just plain bad games.  That is all, we played terrible.  Turn things around, don't panic, go on a winning streak.  Get back to the basic's of the system, forecheck hard, finish checks, disrupt play, get turnovers, create scoring chances.

Remember that there are three new playerss till trying to fit in and get things down.  Having a full week of practice time should help that improve.

Other notes in bullet point

  • Lipsberg got hurt near the end of the game Friday night.  Coach says "Upper body" but not serious. Guess maybe his pride got hurt then <g>
  • A lot of people I am talking to are complaining about how much coach K messes with the lines.  And I will say that I can not disagree with that.  He seems to change them every game, and in mid game also.  I am not sure if this is an NHL type thing, or just a feeling he has to try and find the best match ups or guys working together.  Other coaches and teams don't seem to move things around as much as he does.  Maybe it is also a way he uses to send messages to players.  Skate hard, play more, take it easy, 4th line for you.
  • Speaking of coaching, I wonder how much of this lack of getting up for games (going back the last couple seasons) rides on the coaches and motivating them.  I personally agree with the benching of a player or even sitting him in the stand to send a message about working hard (no easier way to me to get the message then not playing and being forced to track stats).
  • I wonder how many games Wardly will get for running through and over De Champlain?  What a huge hit.  I know Wardly was trying to fire up the team and crowd, and I can understand that.  But I thought he did take a little run up to the hit (call it charging if you want).  A little scary seeing De Champlain on the ice that long, and clearly not moving much.  As much as I can not stand Portland, I truly hope he is ok.  But next time he decides to have his head down coming up the ice, remember what happened.
  • The Portland team is still dam good.  Like really good up front.  Like really scary up front.  But also beatable (not right now it seems).
  • Loved the argument between linesmen Kevin Boris and I think Leipsic.  Go get him Boris (now wouldn't that be funny to see).
  • Speaking of lipstick (sorry, auto correct, meant Leipsic).  He and Barzal were having a talking match at just about every faceoff.  Why couldn't we get that mic'd up.  Had to have been some great one liners there.  The good news for Leipsic is Barzal is only 1 inch taller so has to be one of the only players he stand eye to eye with <g>
  • And one more thing with lipstick (dam auto correct again).  You have to hate him, but DAM is he a great player.  And on a line with Petan, wow, scary.
  • Met some new player parents over the weekend.  Always great to say hi and hear what they think of the team.
  • Hotel and Tickets are still available from me for Victoria.  Its coming up quick.
  • Last night in Everett was Pink the Rink night for Breast Cancer.  Yours truly once again had pink hair.  Great cause, raise something like $100k off of everything.  And even if the opponent is your hated enemy, there are larger things in life (my step mom beat breast cancer).  See the image below for me and someone who had to bring her standards down to marry me (my beautiful wife Alicia) 


Anonymous said...

I really hope this past weekends games are a wake up call for the birds. Hopefully the 20 year olds set up on& off the ice with leadership!

Anonymous said...

Hoping December didn't come early.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping this lack of direction is about all the changes that have taken place and not a case of messing up the team chemistry. Not only have we added a bunch of new guys, we have also had a bit of the injury bug to go along with suspension. For a team who was just learning how to win, I guess this was too much. Lets hope this week gives them a chance to find their identity. It's up to this group of guys to get back on the winning track. A few spankings never hurt anyone...if they learn from them.

Anonymous said...

Great points about new guys and injuries. They are just learning to play together. Dusting yourself off and getting back up, making those adjustments; those are the things that make a team that will go far. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

I admit to probably over-reacting to the losses this weekend, but...if they'd at least put up a fight and looked like they have so far this season and still lost, then you can't really be annoyed at that.

But this was a completely different Tbirds team this weekend. I hope they get it back for next weekend...that had to hurt their confidence a bit.

Anonymous said...

They missed Connor Honey this weekend. He never takes a shift off and I think that can be a bit infectious for the rest of the team. The Birds better figure out how to get up for big games. They have a ton of them coming up against US division teams.

Anonymous said...

It seems like this has been a theme the past couple of seasons. Lackluster efforts. Coach K always seems to say that so and so wasn't competing, ready to play, etc.

How much of that falls on his shoulders? Shouldn't the coach be responsible for making sure the team is ready to play? Not saying he has to go or anything, just curious what other people think?

Anonymous said...

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Some of the guys are listening to coach. His message is out there. He's not a cheerleader. If the whole team was tuning him out I'd say we have a problem. Maybe riding the bench for a game will wake them up, we sure have enough players! REALLY can't wait until Honey is back. I mean really...with all this talent someone can't just shoot the puck? ANYONE!!!!!

Jon said...

Personally, I wouldnt even have them ride the bench. I would send a clear message and put them in the stands.

Anonymous said...

Just a place to party. Away from home, no parents. Can't be sent to the minors, can't get your pay cut. Worst that can happen is getting traded to Lethbridge. They are teenagers, they already know everything.

Here is what you do. Find out what Portland does for discipline and copy their program. Look at the banners they have (Portland), then look at Seattle's rafters.

Tiradeausaurus Rantus said...

Hey T Birds,

Want to make another trade?

The most recent of the already long and growing list of Cane players requesting trades has left the building for home; refusing to play for his coach and for this organization.

I don't know why our Yak/Sam - Folk/Sheen trade still isn't listed on the WHL's website TRANSACTIONS list, but now our young stud defenceman wants outta here.

We took him 3rd overall, 3 picks before you selected Gropp in 2011 Bantam draft. Offers?

Anonymous said...

Pilon wants out? has he left the team and requesting a trade? or just requested a trade while still playing... GREAT player

Anonymous said...

ya he wants out. Its on the Hurricans website. Thats crazy. Such a good young dman

Kodi said...


Evan Wardley


Four games for charge major and g.m. versus Portland on November 1

Kevin said...

I don't have anything to add about the games, you've pretty much summed it up.

I just wanted to make a comment about the classless people sitting in the last row of section 104. Screaming that De Champlain deserved what he got was as low as you can go. There were other comments as well, but that one struck a nerve with me. Those guys are always screaming stupid things, but you should never root for a player to be hurt.

Anonymous said...


Right on man. I despise the bastards who think they can come to a game and have no regard for player safety. Have a little class and cheer for a kid who is giving his all and just got destroyed, even if he's in a hawks uniform And by the way: always remember how much more he means to the world than you ever will last row of 104.

Anonymous said...


I was sitting near those two clowns in 104 and I agree with your sentiments entirely. Those two are a total embarrassment. Their language and attitude were horrible. One of them nearly got into a fight with the people in the box behind them when some ice spilled out of the box. Glad I didn't have my kids at the game.

Dee Klem said...

I am glad to hear so many fans upset about how some of our "fans" (let's say people in our barn - I don't consider them real fans) reacted to a kid being down. We had another group of idiots in 106 - just behind where DeChamplain was laying on the ice. Sitting in Row 2 was a family with 2 young kids who were Portland fans. I was appalled and embarrassed - unsportsmanlike for sure.

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