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11.21.2014

A sad day has arrived...

Many of you have no doubt noticed the dwindling frequency of my posts over the past year. I knew this day would eventually arrive and sadly I think I have realized this week that the time has come for me to take an extended hiatus from Let's Go Birds.

For 1035 posts (this one being 1036) I have sincerely enjoyed writing about the hockey team I grew up watching. For the better part of 8 (mostly frustrating and ultimately disappointing) seasons I have attempted to break down games, players, transactions and just about anything that has happened to the Seattle Thunderbirds (at least the stuff I think that matters).

I could fill up this section with the excuses I have for taking a "break" and the fact is that none of you will likely care (and shouldn't). Occam's razor is loosely interpreted to mean that the simplest of explanations among competing hypotheses is the one that should be selected. Well... my excuse is that life has simply gotten in the way.

Trust me when I tell you that my passion for Tbirds hockey has not changed. I enjoy watching the game and the team as much as I ever have. My absence from games and my lack of time to write have drained my motivation to provide quality content beyond the most obvious and mundane observations. I was never going to be able to operate Let's Go Birds in a half assed way and my lack of both quantity and quality has compounded my frustrations with trying to keep things going.

I'm not even sure I'm doing a very good job of explaining myself right now.

This isn't necessarily a retirement.

Perhaps, at some point down the road, I will pick this up again and get things rolling. Perhaps I won't. I'm really looking forward to the next time I get to watch the team play and not have to worry about analyzing what is going on and whether I have something intelligent to write about.

My one true regret will probably be the donations to the Ronald McDonald House that I will miss for the Hockey Challenge each year. So do me a favor... keep donating to a great cause on my behalf. I can promise that each year I will still find the time to raise money and play a little hockey for The Challenge.

Finally. From the bottom of my heart... I want to thank everyone who has ever read this blog and followed what we do. I want to thank Jon for trying to help me keep this thing going and trying to pick up the slack for me when his time allowed.

It has been a pretty fun ride. Thanks for letting me be a part of things and building this blog into what it was.

13 comments :

Dave said...

Thanks for your work. Like you, I found my passion for hockey through the Breakers. When the team moved to Kent my attendance at every game dwindled to one game a year. However, I still kept up with the team though your blog. I appreciated you knowledge, common sense and understanding of how the game needs to be played. Sorry to see you go, thanks, again.

-Dave in Poulsbo

Thunnex said...

Dave, I really appreciate the kind words.

Dee Klem said...

I will sure miss your posts and your insight. I want to continue to support you during the Hockey Challenge so be sure to grab my email next time you are at a game. Thanks Tyler!
Dee Klem

Thunnex said...

Thank you Dee. You know where to find me.

hockeyhound said...

The problem with the situation in Seattle is you have a dinosaur as a coach and will not adapt to the new winning ways of hockey. I stated quite early in the year that we would not make the playoffs this year playing this style of hockey and right now things don't look good. Coaches advancing to the next level are ones who play a puck possession game, a transition game , and also believe in their players . I never hear anything positive from this guy and in return players will not respect him . This is a team with the right coaching could do well in the second half. Good luck Russ finding a new coach with a positive attitude and winning ways!

hockeyhound said...

The problem with the situation in Seattle is you have a dinosaur as a coach and will not adapt to the new winning ways of hockey. I stated quite early in the year that we would not make the playoffs this year playing this style of hockey and right now things don't look good. Coaches advancing to the next level are ones who play a puck possession game, a transition game , and also believe in their players . I never hear anything positive from this guy and in return players will not respect him . This is a team with the right coaching could do well in the second half. Good luck Russ finding a new coach with a positive attitude and winning ways!

Unknown said...

I will REALLY miss your insight about the games, Tyler. Being a pretty new hockey fan, I loved hearing the more "technical" stuff about the game from you on your blog and really enjoyed (most of) the discussion in the comments, as well. That said, I totally understand! You have to pay attention to the important things in life! Erik and I will definitely continue to support you in the Hockey Challenge. Thanks for everything!

Montague Pei said...

Kudos to Hockeyhound, as he has hit the nail on the head as far as coaching of this team is concerned. As I had mentioned a while ago, and it keeps on continually is the refusal of this coach to properly develop a young team.

Instead of develop ALL his players, he continues to panic to get points by using his first and second lines to the point of exhaustion. The third and especially fourth line get very limited ice time.

He uses his first line players to play regular shift, power plays and believe it or not, his penalty kill. How can these guys have legs left in the third period. In order to be fresh, you have to use all your lines.

As well, the penalty kill should consist of other players, not your first liners.

In junior hockey, you have to develop players. I was so thrilled at the beginning of the year to see a young team. Understanding that this year could be tough, but to use this year as development, a step to two powerful years coming up.

Instead of developing, he panics and tries to get points...wrong approach.

Before more damage is done and players tune him out, changes must be made.

Good Points Hockey Hound..you had a good post..

Junior Hockey Fan from PEI

Jon said...

Montague Pei, last time I tracked ice time, I didn't get a chance to post the results (due to the paperwork I wrote it on getting recycled, dam that cleanup).

So how about Saturday night, you help me track that stat (since it is hard to track multiple players by self).

I am not in disagreement with your points, just curious to get data to back it or refute it.

Mr Tell13 said...

hey Tyler, always appreciated the postings.

Now,
as far as the comments about Konowalchuck, I will say first that I find him very middle of the road as a coach. Nothing spectacular, but not bad by any mean.
I think that at some point, some of the responsabilities do fall on the players. One of the knock on Rob Sumner was that he never played at the Major Junior level or above. Well if players can't look up at a guy who played almost 800 games in the NHL and think that he "might" know what it takes....

As far as the other comments on the top lines playing too much, especially on the PK, I think that if you take a hard look at the 3 major junior leagues, you can see the tendency that top players DO play all phases of the games and are succesful at it.
Since we do not have TOI from the WHL we can always look at the short handed goals as a reference to see what players score the most goals in that situation (and I understand that its not a perfect picture of teams PK units, but we can go on the assumption that you probably spend some regular time on the PK if you score a SH goal)

http://www.whl.ca/stats/show/records/249/4

If you look at the majority of SH goal scorers, they are top liners on their respective teams. The same is true with the OHL and the QMJHL.

I would even go back to last year's SH goal ranking and so on.
One thing that you notice in previous years is that the only coach to move up from the WHL (some guy from Portland) has his own top players seemingly spending decent time on the PK units.

gocanucks said...

Coach K is doing the best that he can with what he has to work with. We have a allot of young gents this year so it's just going to be one of those years. Hopefully when barzal gets back in January we can gel and make up points that we have lost.

Thanks Tyler for the blog and your service to RMD House.

Montague Pei said...

Okay, where do I start now? It appears that some either don't understand Junior Hockey. I'm 70 years of age, lived across Canada in cities where they was Major Junior Hockey, the Ontario Hockey League, watching games in London, Kitchener, Sudbury and North Bay. In the Quebec league, watching Halifax Cape Breton, Moncton and Charlottetown, where I am now. And when I was in Vancouver, watching the Giants, and for a brief time, the Chilliwack Bruins. During the time in Vancouver which was recent, I witnessed many games at the Burnaby Winter Club and noticed that the T-Birds drafted a few of the players from there, so I became a follower of the Seattle Thunderbirds.

This is the background. So in watching the T-birds and how they plan to develop a team, I became concerned. In many other leagues, the cycle of junior hockey is apparent, which some exceptions such as the London Knight, but they do plan for the future.

When you have a young team with the average age, about 17.. and only a couple over agers, no 19 year olds, you know that you will not really compete for a championship the first year.

This first year is a developmental year, it is a year where you find out this group of players are going to be successful, their strengths, their weakness, what or who have to be upgraded. This prepares the team for the second and perhaps third year of competing not only for the division and league championship, but to go for the Memorial Cup, the ultimate prize.

Now to get to names, which I don't wish to do. A guy like Hickman will not be here next year, so try some other players with the first line with Barzel and Gropp.

By tiring out your "first line" players on the PK, and who ever said that other teams use PK to score goals does not know hockey. PK is a art that is developed, you focus on defense first and if an opportune time arises, they take advantage.

You mix all players on lines and roll all your players so you know their strengths, where they have to improve. The o/a's you already know what they can do.

In fact, I would stay away from playing Hickman on the first line and develop a line that will stay in tact for this year and the next two years.

Develop a PK, that will work and improve this year and still be available for the next two years.

And lastly, you need management and a coach to foresee the plan for the future. You need them to suck it up and take a few loses in this year. Who knows, maybe by doing this everything will gel and they will be successful.

Playing guys on regular shift, power play and PK, only tires the legs. When tired, and if you have played the game, those shots you take, are not powerful or are they accurate, just in case you wish to know why the lack cashing in on scoring opportunites.

Not to mentioned a 20 year old goalie, and not developing the younger goal tender, who can be an up and comer.

Just my observation from the not so good internet games that I subscribe to and watch when I can. So I can't help you with the stats as I'm four hours away in the other end of the country.

So, that's about it for now, I do hope that something clicks and some changes are made, because I would hate to see a good team become a dis-interested team.

hockeyhound said...

Living n the Quebec area and seeing those teams I can bet that the style they play is completely the opposite of what the TBirds play. Dont be fooled by what you see on the feed . Winning teams do not play a dump and chase game, only teams that panic do, or teams with coaches that played that style and still think that is the only way to play.LOL

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