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Hockey Challenge 2014

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A bag full of thoughts.

I have not posted lately, so here is a lot of thoughts that have been roaming through my head.

This weekends games

On Friday, I completely disagreed with coach.  He liked our play in the first two periods, I didn't.  I thought we had very little passing that was working.  We are especially afraid to take shots the were open.

On Saturday, I thought we played a very good game, just couldn't get that early goal.  And the bounces just didn't seem to go our way. 

Coach starting to get a little frustrated

In the past couple of game reports, Coach K has used some choice and carefully thought out wording to describe the officiating and the league's discipline.  I don't recall seeing or hearing him do this before.  Is this maybe his way of working the officials.  If so, it doesn't seem to be working.

2 things I think this team is missing

1) A 2nd line that can score consistently.
2) Confidence.

The power of one goal

What would one extra goal a game mean to this team.  Score one more goal turns the 1-0 Everett loss into a tie or win.  It turns a shootout loss to Spokane into a win.  It turns last nights OT loss to Kamloops into a win.  Well, that's anywhere from 4 to 5 points.  4 points would move them from a .455 winning percentage to a .636.

This is one reason why I am not worried about the team.  Youngest team in the league, in most games, only giving up 3 goals a game.  It is just like Coach K said at the beginning, this team will get better and better as the season goes on, and maybe a few of those one extra goal per game start going in.

What I am worried about

One thing I am worried about is the teams home record.  Granted, one OT loss, one SO loss, one very close loss to Kelowna, and a one goal loss to Everett.  What do all those games have in common, one goal (see above).

Of course the other thing that has to worry everyone is giving up the first goal in all but one game (I think that is the stat).  Always playing from behind is never a good thing.  But, also a positive can be taken out of it.  In most of those games, they have come back to tie or take the lead.  That is a great positive for a young inexperienced team.


This team love to pass.  I think this is one way you can tell the players are lacking some confidence.  How many times have players decided to make a risky pass when they have a great shooting chance of their own?  Of course, I would rather have this then a bunch of puck hogging "me-first" players.

I love how this team is starting to stick up for each other.  Quite a few times over the past week, players were having liberties taken against them, bad hits, scrums, and every player on the ice comes flying to to help out.  Even look at both of new defenders (can you call them new still, with all the playing time), right there in the middle of things.  Heck, even Barzal was starting to the get a little physical over this last weekend.

The new guys

Speaking of new defenders, how much locker room credit did Allan get. Get off airplane, meet with coaches, play 50% of a game.  I am sure when he heard he had been traded, that is what he predicted was going to happen.  I really like his passing.  Very hard, crisp, usually on the stick, and more times then not to the right player (making the best move).

Ottenbreit, I love the way he plays physical.  He is not afraid to step in any situation.  Another great pickup in a trade that Farwell has pulled off.

Irresponsible reporting

Take a read of this article.  Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the Wardley hit and suspension, how can anyone claim this is anything but a sensationalized piece of writing with a goal of getting a writers name out and more clicks on a webpage.

The choice of wording is questionable at best. Particularly, the last paragraph where it basically says the best thing for Petan to do is rest and make sure he is 100% fully recovered and there is no need to rush him coming back.  I guess a couple days on the bus fixes everything.

Hypothetical situation

We all know Ethan Bear is out with an upper body injury, and that he was held out of the game where it appeared he took a punch while on the ice.  He sure was bleeding heavily.  Let's just say that hypothetically, his injury actually started when he got checked from behind by Bjorkstrand the game against Portland.  I am by no way saying this is the case, as there is no way Seattle puts him back on the ice if he was hurt.  But lets say the check from behind started the injury process, then Wardley is sitting out 7 games, in part according to the WHL website as "The hit resulted in an injury to opponent".  But Bjorkstrand is playing while Bear is injured.

WHL Website

Everyone these days is ripping the new WHL website apart for having problems working, or even showing any information.  I for one am going to praise them.  In the computer development terminology, there is a term called "beta testing".  This is the process of finding bugs and issues while a product is in development. Normal companies might have 1 or 2 testers.  The WHL managed to get a few thousand of these people to work for free.  Cue the sarcasm.


During the game October 3, Seattle played in Portland, and I did not attend.  So as usually, I brought up the game on the net.  Since I dont appreciate listening to the play by play pair in Portland's side of the game, I tried to get the away audio.  But for me, there was no drop down selection ability.  I checked with three other fellow viewers, and it was all the same for them.  In the press release dated September 18th, it stated "Fans can still take advantage of the live support chat option, accessible directly from theWHL LIVE site, which instantly connects viewers to a customer support team member to resolve any issues."  So I decided to use this to find out why.  I tried 2 different times, and both times, no customer support person ever joined the chat window.  So I sent them a support email through their system, and got an email back with my ticket numebr, and a message saying would get back to me very shortly.  Funny thing happened Saturday night, October 18th.  I got the response.  It explained that they were sorry I missed the game "which I never said, and did not miss it", and that is was caused by an issue in the venue.  They have offered me a free live game.  So it took 15 days to offer me a free game, and not deal with the actual issue.  I guess nothing changes with the WHLLIVE.


Unknown said...

I think having 3 of the top 5 defensemen out is really wearing on the team.

It looked like Bear's visor broke on a punch and seems like that might be how he got the cut. Hopefully he is back soon.

Hopefully with birthdays and surgeries winding down I can start going to games regularly. I've only been to 2 of the 5 home games so far and it seems like this year will be a roller coaster ride, but I think it will set up good things for next year and the future.

Anonymous? said...

Everett and and Tri do not seem that strong to me. Based on the way Portland is struggling and the fact that Spokane is entirely beatable this US division may be the weakest in the league. Could be an interesting year. Last year a so-so pats team took the east division title and I have a hunch that the US winner this year will have a similar point total to that 85 point finish.

To be clear I am not advocating for a big time move this year but the birds could have a shot at a division title if they could bring in the right guy(s). I have to wonder what a guy like Klimchuk or Petan would do to our current offensive woes. Thoughts?

Unknown said...
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