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Hockey Challenge 2014

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He still writes here?

Yes, I still write things here.

First off I want to thank everyone for their donations to my team for the Hockey Challenge. Our team collectively raised over $40,000 and the challenge as a whole raised over 200k. That is a monster number.

Perhaps more importantly my American IEB team defeated the fascist Canadian IEB team to salvage what was otherwise a pretty crappy weekend of patriotic hockey. My teams are still undefeated in the Challenge, thank you very much.

The team hasn't played very well lately and that has dropped their lead to only 4 points over the Spokane Chiefs for 4th place (and home ice in the first round) in the Western Conference. Some of the doubters and the Russ Farwell detractors have come back and that is understandable. It is much easier to be upset about things when your team is only 3-2-0-1 in their last 6 games than it is to complain about things when the team is on a 7 game winning streak (as they were in January).

I'm saving some of my thoughts until right before the playoffs, when I will have a bit more time to write and really analyze things but I don't think there is really much reason to be concerned about a slight lull in the schedule.  If you thought this team was prepared to win the WHL Championship with the trades the team has made this season... I have some land I would like to sell you in Nevada, call me.

This team is better. It is improved. It is interesting and It is a hell of a lot more fun to watch than the versions we have seen for the past 4 or 5 years but it isn't winning the WHL Championship.

If another year without a WHL Championship banner means another year of disappointment and that means further indictment of Russ Farwell... well I can't strongly argue against you but you simply cannot deny that this team is far more interesting to analyze and discuss than the teams we've had over the past 5 seasons. This is a team that "could" make a run. That doesn't mean they will and I will outline my thoughts in a couple of weeks but this isn't a team that is likely to get swept in the first round of the playoffs (did I just jinx it?).

Last year the team nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in WHL playoff history and thrilled us in a 7 game series. But let's be honest... that team wasn't going to win their next series had they been able to close out the Kelowna Rockets. This team has a non-zero percent chance of winning their second round series and that makes things a lot more fun and interesting.

Anyways... thanks again to everyone who supported me in the Challenge. I nearly met my goal, finishing with $1850 of support. Next year we top $2000!


Anonymous said...

With Portland's win tonight over Spokane they have tied the league record for the longest winning streak in league history in one season which has stood since the sixties. Would be great to see the birds put a stop to it tomorrow. Neither Lets Go Birds or ESPN have mentioned that Vulcan and Pederson have been called up. Maybe a message to some vets that they better get it in gear.

Unknown said...

So Tyler, that property in Nevada, is it waterfront? :)

The great thing about sports is the emotion it gives you. There are times when you look at your team and think they will never lose again and there are times when you wonder if they will ever win again. This season has been a whole lot less of the latter than in past years. Hopefully they can get back to how they were playing in November for the playoffs. I don't really see how you can be overly critical of the GM this year. You have players from several different drafts contributing.

I'd love to see Pederson and Vulcan get some playing time. I don't know if you need to send a message to players to work them in, but I think they can probably get into a couple of games each and get some more game experience in addition to the practice time.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who watch the NHL Network, EJ Hradek will be in the house tonight for the Seattle Portland game, gee I wonder why?????? Just kidding of course, but hopefully a full house for the game tonight, looks like about 850 tickets left.

Anonymous said...

I doubt there is a message being sent to vets with these call ups. It is standard operating procedure for most WHL teams this time of year to bring up top prospects. Until Seattle clinches home ice for the first round I doubt you see either Pederson or Vulcan getting ice time outside of practice. Their seasons are over back home. Since they are signed players, Seattle can bring them up for the rest of the season to practice with the club. They did that a year ago with about 6-7 prospects, including Ethan Bear but only Kolesar saw any real playing time and that was only because Hickman and Honey got suspended late in that playoff series with Kelowna.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but I'd rather see Honey and Eansor back on the ice then one of these young 15 or 16 year old prospects right now. The return of those two injured players will have more impact then a couple of youngsters getting 1 or 2 shifts in a game.

Unknown said...

WHAT A GAME! That is how the T-birds need to play every night.

Anonymous said...

Just checking in to see that all is right in the world. T-birds beat Portland handily and the "coach sucks, GM sucks, players suck" crowd nowhere to be found...back hiding under their rock, ingesting their valuum.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope there isn't a letdown tonight

Anonymous said...

Good news- Ensor off the injury list

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