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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Weekend Update

The subject line is in honor of Seth Meyers final Weekend update on "Saturday Night Live", or as I have now started calling it "Sunday Morning On Demand".

I am writing this Monday morning and let's be honest... there probably isn't a sports fan in the city today who even cares. Some PED taking, loud, rude, testosterone filled babies stole my thinking.  But enough about Tyler's twins (that really are cute).

The SEAHAWKS won the Super Bowl.  Let me write that again.  The SEAHAWKS won the Super Bowl.

To Scott Eansor and Danny Mumaugh, its ok, the Bronco's could still beat the Mariners at baseball (or really any sport I am guessing).
To Seth Swenson, you got the teams in the Super Bowl right, but guess the result was the exact opposite of what you said would happen.  I know you have a game Wednesday night, but the parade is over at 1pm, giving you enough time to get back to Lethbridge in time.  Need money for airfare?

The last thing I will say about the Hawks victory.
To my friends and fellow TBird fans (and you know who you are), I'm glad you got to go, and I'm glad you had a great time.  And if you think you are excited about the Hawks winning, just wait until the Birds win their first championship and see me excited, crying and happy.

OK, back to the Birds now (oh wait, a Hawk is a bird isn't it).

The common theme to this weekend 

It just happen to be the same as last weekend.  Penalty Killing.
Blocked shots, hard work, fighting through players, getting sticks on pucks, big saves.
I have an idea for Seattle to make the theme be something else next weekend.  STOP TAKING STUPID PENALTIES.  Quite a few calls this weekend were lazy, not moving your feet, frustration type of calls.
Those have to stop.  You give top teams too many power plays, you might as well give them the game.
And for anyone that points out the Seahawks were the most penalized team in the NFL this season, and still won the championship, I will deduct 5 million made up points from your account.
The TBirds have given up 11 Shorthanded goals.  That is second worst in the league (behind only PG who has given up 13).  How is it possible to have given up so many?

Friday nights game.

Had a nice easy drive up to Everett with no traffic.  Everyone must have been in NYC for the Superbowl (which the SEAHAWKS won in case you didn't know).
I thought overall the game was even, and the score and shot counter showed that.
However, if not for some amazing saves by TBird goaltender Kozun, Everett could easily have won this one.
The way both teams were playing, it was a fight for the middle of the ice.  Getting any passes through that area was next to impossible.
And forget about skating with speed.
Seattle really needs to learn that a period is 20 minutes in length, not 18.  All three periods, Everett dominated the last two minutes, and in each period, almost came away with a goal because of the hard work.
First goal by Barzal was soft, soft, soft.  Cotton would have wanted it back for sure.  Not even sure how is trickled in, but it went it.
Second Seattle goal was a Power Play goal where the puck finally made it's way over to Gropp who had been parked on the back door for an easy tap in.
The only goal Seattle gave up was a rocket Power Play goal from sniper Winquist (wow what a shot he has).
As mentioned above, Everett could easily have had a few more had Kozun not come up big.  But the same could be said about Seattle and Cotton.
Listening to the Everett post game show, they said Kozun STOLE the game from them.  I wouldn't go that far, since Seattle did have about the same number of chances at the other end.
I got the lucky honor of sitting next to hopefully a future WHL player.  If he or his father happen to be reading this, great meeting you.

Saturday nights game

What I think has to be the best example of penalty killing this team has seen in quite a while.
Here is a little chart Starting at the 9:15 mark of the first period
5-4 PDX - 09:15 to 11:16
5-5 EVN - 11:16 to 15:36 (3 shifts, 4:20)
5-4 PDX - 15:36 to 17:36
5-5 EVN - 17:36 to 18:40 (1 shift, 1:04)
5-4 PDX - 18:40 to 20:00
5-4 PDX - 00:00 to 00:40
5-5 EVN - 00:40 to 03:37 (2 shifts, 2:57)
5-4 PDX - 03:37 to 05:20
5-3 PDX - 05:20 to 05:50
5-4 PDX - 05:50 to 08:37
5-5 EVN - 08:37 to 09:56 (1 shift, 1:19)
5-4 PDX - 09:56 to 11:56

So, for that range of 22:42 playing time, Seattle played even for 9:40.  That is 580 seconds out of 1362 seconds.  That is 43% of the time.
Think about that for a minute.  For over one period, Seattle was playing short handed over half the time.
Now, lets get rid of that 4:20 at the beginning, and go from the start of the next penalty, 15:36.
That drops it done to 5:20 of even strength (320 seconds), out of 16:20 (980 seconds).  That is 33% of the time.
So for almost an entire period, Seattle was playing short handed for 66% of the time.
This is against a team that is 4th best in the league on the power play at home, hitting at 26.2%.
Just reading these numbers, a fan would assume Portland scored 5 goals, 6 goals, quite a few goals.
And that one came 30 seconds into a 5 on 3.
That is what I call amazing.
That is players sacrificing their bodies blocking shots, getting sticks in passing lanes, getting sticks on shots, fighting to get the puck down the ice and changing, and big goaltending.
I will not comment on any of the penalty calls in the game, because most of them I couldn't see (See my rant below).

For all that great news, the Power Play was just the opposite.
Seattle gets its first Power Play early in the 3rd, trailing 1-0.
Scoring on that, and the game is tied, and the momentum is clearly in Seattle's side.
Instead, they give up a short handed goal, killing any momentum, putting them down two goals, etc, etc.

Not much else to say about this game because of the special teams play.
During the period, when playing 5 on 5, I thought Seattle played very well.
They had chances.  They controlled play at times.  The didn't give up many chances on their own end.

Looking forward to this weeks game

4 very difficult games, but all should be won.
Everett will want revenge for the loss Friday night.  There are still LOTS of great seats left for the game, and it is a 2 for Tuesday.  No reason not to fill the Show.
Back to back games against one of the teams you are fighting for home ice and a playoff spot.
Point wise, Seattle has dominated Spokane this weekend.   On the ice, the games have been a lot closer.  Spokane has a road game in Kootenay Tuesday night so both teams will be playing the same number of games.   No excuse not to continue to put Spokane in the review mirror.
Then looking ahead just a little further, Kelowna on Monday in wine country.  Seattle made Kelowna look bad last week in Seattle, so they will want to reverse it.

A programming note

Friday nights home game is being broadcast on ROOT sports.  Since I am involved in the broadcast, I ask that everyone not at the game watch it.  And everyone at the game watch the reply later that night.
If you do a drinking game, taking a shot of alcohol every time you hear my name, your mouth will stay nice and dry (and your bottle untouched).

Now a rant

The WHL Live computer feed

How can a league the quality of the WHL continue to put out such a bad experience in a product fans pay for?

The tag line they use "NEVER miss a game".
I guess they can still use this, because you could see the game, just not the PLAY.
The cameraman couldn't figure out how to move the camera and show the play.
Any time the puck went into the corner, you couldn't see it because the camera didn't follow.
As the puck progressed up the ice, the camera would follow along behind the play.
When the camera was actually showing the play, the camera was not in complete focus.
At the end of the game, fans were standing up, and half the camera was blocked.
You would think a team like Portland would have enough money and resources to make sure this type of stuff does not happen.

They have advertised that you can now get the away audio feed and listen to your own broadcaster.
Well, I guess Thom now sounds like fuzzy static, with the occasional beep.

I use my Windows 8 tablet to view the games.  So I don't have a keyboard or mouse connected.
When you go full screen, you cant leave it without doing a lot of work, because there is no "NOT FULL SCREEN" button.
If you want to change the audio feed, forget about it, buttons too small.  Want to adjust the volume, forget about it, buttons to small.

On the the WHL scoresheet website.

At one point during the 2nd period, I wanted to know the current shot counter.
The Winterhawks tweeted they were 17-0, and I thought that it seemed very high.
So I go to the online scoresheet, and it shows shots as 12-8, and that PDX had 1 shot in the 2nd, and goal.
I have seen the system they use to update the online system.  It is web based form, very plain screen.
So they had the time to enter the goal and the penalties, but changing the PDX only shot counter, guess that might take too much time.
Portland is by no means the only team to have this issue, so I will not call them out specifically.


Anonymous said...

I don't have any working knowledge of the software used to update the online game sheet but one could reasonably assume that it automatically adds a shot to the team scoring a goal. It would be silly to write a program that didn't do that for you.

Erica said...

I could go on for DAYS about the WHL feed. So much so that I'm almost positive, at this point, that we won't be buying it again next year. We buy it as a STH so it's significantly reduced, but for the roughly $50 it costs for all of the away games, I'd expect to at least SEE most of the game. I get that they're tapping into the broadcast that the various arenas have available so you see a lot of the crowd and promotional type stuff, but what you're describing from the Portland game is astonishing.

We use our iPad to watch the game (rather than our nice big screen that's connected to a PC) because the video quality is so horrid that it at least looks like PEOPLE playing hockey on the smaller screens. That's when you can get it to play consistently and not have to keep pushing the play button because it randomly pauses itself - and thus putting you behind the game in real time so if you're following along on Twitter, you're screwed.

Last year's playoffs during game 7 when Luke Lockhart scored the tying goal with 7 seconds (or whatever it was) in the game and the feed stopped about 20 seconds before that about sent me thru the roof. And at that point, you're paying for individual games (the package doesn't apply to post-season) at 6 or 7 bucks a pop. I don't pay that for a MOVIE online!

I realize that they'll never make improvements if they don't see it as a revenue stream, but they're making it verrrrrrrry difficult for me to justify spending the money when it's practically like just listening to it on the radio. Only it makes me want to punch someone because I paid for it.

Erica said...

Wow, I actually did go on for days. Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

Jon, I also am surprised by how many tickets are left for Tuesday, lets sell that game out and keep the celebration going! They should have Canadian Luke Wilson drop the puck before the game!

Anonymous said...

Jon, Please do not continue the Negative Hunnx banter.... you are under Let's go birds... but all Hate messages. This blog prides itself on hate tbirds Give it Up

Thunnex said...

Hahahaha what???

Erica said...

I don't even know what message Anon 5:57 is trying to communicate.

Kodi said...

That drugs are bad?

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