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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Seattle vs. Portland - Game Thread

Seattle will put their 7 game win streak on the line tonight at home against what will be a depleted Portland Winterhawks team.  Portland will be without several of their players who are away playing for their respective countries. Team Canada players Taylor Leier, Nic Petan and Derrick Pouliot are away and I'm pretty sure they will be without Oliver Bjorkstrand (Denmark) and Layne Viveiros (Austria) as well.

Seattle has a golden opportunity here to take advantage of a depleted Winterhawks lineup and extend the winning streak to 8.

The danger, of course, is that Portland still has a very skilled and talented roster even without these 5 players and this will be looked at as an opportunity by some players to excel in expanded roles. If Seattle takes Portland lightly tonight they might find themselves behind early.

Added Note: Portland is now 21-0-0 when leading after 2 periods and just 1-5-2-2 when trailing. They are also 16-1-1-1 when outshooting their opponents. The formula is pretty simple... get a lead early and you can probably beat Portland. Fall behind and you are in trouble. In the same breath... Seattle is 14-0-0-1 when leading after 2 periods. There is a very good chance the winner of the game will be leading after 2 periods.

I will be doing radio again tomorrow around 1:45 with the Weekend Warriors show on KLAY 1180am. You can stream the broadcast online here or you can pick up reception centered around Lakewood but extending as far north as Edmonds and possibly Everett. We will hopefully be discussing an 8 game winning streak and some of the other story lines going on right now.

A couple of articles of note today:

Kelly Friesen spoke to Shea Theodore about being left out of the Subway Series and the World Junior Camp. Jon had already discussed this a while back.

The SB Nation blog Defending Big D has an article today on the prospects of Branden Troock playing his way into an entry level contract. They point out that Troock has to be signed before the 2014 NHL Draft or he will re-enter the draft.

Lastly... The Spokane Chiefs held an "Ugly Sweater Contest" on twitter this afternoon posting a picture of all 4 jerseys of their U.S. Division rivals. What ensued was predictable and amusing. You'll have to go to their twitter here to check it out.


Anonymous said...

No excuses tonight. Hawks down 5 of their top 6 or 7 players. Watch for Paul Bittner for the Hawks. Just a hunch...

Anonymous said...

With Lipsbergs gone it would be huge if Connor Honey could play tonight.

Anonymous said...

Anyone think the Birds should go after Bertosak?

Anonymous said...

What's Honey's injury anyway? He's been out for weeks and all I've seen is "Upper-body."

Sparrow said...

Honey has concussion symptoms, took Troock a while, hopefully after Christmas I heard, we sure do miss him in the lineup, he would be a difference maker

Thunnex said...

I have no inside information but I'm beginning to be really concerned about this "upper body" injury. Seems to me like he would have been back by now. I hope we see him soon.

Anonymous said...

I kinda figured concussion, myself, since they can't seem to put a return date on it and they're playing the nature of the injury pretty close to the chest.

Back on topic, I don't know what exactly has gotten into this Birds team, but they're playing the best hockey I've seen them play in five years of following the team.

Unknown said...

I think our goalie situation is solid right now. From a stats perspective Mumbaugh is right behind Bartosak in GAA and SV%. Both Myles and Mumbaugh are performing better than Glover did last year. Will the lack of playoff experience bite them in the playoffs? Who knows, can't get the experience until you play.

I hope Barzal and Gropp are ok for tonight, I didn't see them playing in the third (looked like we were rolling 2 lines at the end of the game).

I liked the way Spencer played, I thought he should have gotten an assist on Troock's UA goal.

Speaking of Troock, he's an animal. 10 points in the last 5 games. I hope they keep him with Delnov and Gropp, they play really well together.

Let's do it again tonight, you gotta take advantage of Portland right now.

Anonymous said...

Bartosak is a Euro. In order to trade for Bartosak, the T-birds would have to get rid of either Lipsbergs or Delnov. No way that happens! Just get healthy! Can they talk Holub into coming back?

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