Sunday, March 31, 2013

Everett V Portland - Games 4 & 5

Video highlights from game 4.

This is the game story from the O for game 4.

Here was the live chat from game 4.

Game 4 in pictures:

its always tough to get a skyline shot, even from a stopped car in traffic

2nd nicest ballpark I've been to (KC#1)

I met my friends at the Angry Beaver - a hockey bar in the Greenlake district of Seattle.
 This place was filling up, with everyone wanting to watch a particular NHL game. 
None of them had any idea that junior hockey exists,
with both local WHL teams engaged in really interesting series. 
Cable Box.  A really nice barn.

across the street - name escapes me

great seats, great view.  spendy.

I HATE the phony Zamboni.  makes ours look pretty classy.

De Leo has fans everywhere

3,000 in a building that seats 9,000

I've always wanted one of these
I don't think I'd ever realized that they have duplicate sets of banners in there:
 The official WHL ones, and they made bigger ones on the other side of the rink. 
Seems a little cheezy to me.

seems like the 'Hawks should be selling Leipsic wigs. 
if you have a jersey, go find a wig - its a good look.
I had a good look at that cowbell that just missed a ref's head.  Only missed by about a foot or so.  Not good.
On the way out of town

  ******  GAME 5 ******

Photo essay - its a real small sample size, but the puck isn't laying flat on the ice in any of those photos.  Seems like we never have good ice.

Austin Lotz given the #2 star in the entire CHL.  Of course that poses the chicken-and-egg of 'do we make the other goalie look good' OR 'does the other goalie stand on his head against us every time'

Watching the 1st goal again, it looks like Hanson goes down to block the shot, but doesn't really commit all the way, and ends up screening Carruth - pretty much a worst case.  The D man either has to block the shot, or let the goalie see it.   Winquist has 6 goals in the series, which is pretty damn good.

Rough night for Hanson part 2:  that second goal was really unfortunate.  Carruth's 5 foot pass goes off of Hanson's skate, and right into the vacated crease.  #4 ended up -2 on the night, although there were a total of 4 'Hawks who weren't minus players in this game.  I'm a big backer of Hanson, who is a smart kid.  That being said, I'm on Team Kirill and when you have good players you want to get into the lineup anyway, you might be quicker to healthy scratch a guy and get Vorborev some ice time.  Should be interesting.

The 3rd goal was a nice breakaway move by Petryk going to the backhand.  Of course that play came off a rush the other way with Rattie & Leipsic on a kind of 2 on 0 rush, where #28 had the puck, but #8 had a step on him.  Rather than take his chances, Leipsic dished to Rattie, who couldn't hold on to the pass - it was late, as they were too close in to the goalie by that point.

 That clear breakaway was part of a period where Carruth saw 4 shots.  You always hear about how a goalie wants to see shots - he wants the work.  Not 2nd and 3rd chances, not breakaways, not screens - but he wants to see shots and feel the puck.  It has to be hard to stay in the game as a goalie that's seen periods of 4, 5, 1, &, 4 shots this series.

One way for a goalie who isn't getting much work to stay sharp is to play the puck on dump ins, and we all know that the 'Hawks faithful are uncomfortable with that (see goal #2).  I wonder if we have forgot the puck handling game that Carruth had in game 3?  I watched that game online, and he was really good.  Many feel he's the best puckhandling goalie in the WHL, but I suppose its human nature to hold onto the times it goes wrong, since that's the only time it makes the stat sheet.  (Semi-related note:  how many of Burke's games this year did he only see 20 shots?  Sure seems like a majority of the time off the top of my head.)

This has been a bizarre series statistically.  The powerplay has been frustrating everyone in these losses - yet it was at 40% last night, and is at 39.3% in the series.  The 'Tips PP is at 12.5%, so the PK is pretty close to where they were in the regular season as well.  (The Thunderbirds PP is at 0.0%)

What's most interesting about game 5 is how widely peoples opinions vary.  Between postgame interviews, the regulars in the live chat, online commenters, etc - there are many interpretations of how that game went.  I read that to mean if there was any glaring concerns that the 'Hawks need to address, it would be more apparent to all.  I think they had good chances, all 3 periods.  I'm not even sure how much Lotz made a difference as much as pucks were hopping over sticks and going wide.  I don't think you want to change much if you are the 'Hawks, except for those defensive lapses that the 'Tips have capitalized on.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Everett V Portland - Game 3

Lets start with the video highlights.

Scoresheet here.

The 'Tips strike first.  More or less a 3-on-2, with Rattie on the back check to pick up the trailer, and doesn't quite get there.  I suppose that's not why you pay him the big bucks, but you wonder if he could have done a better job to get back on that play.  Not a lot that Carruth could do on that play.

Now that Petan goal - we've seen that one a few times this season.  Nice cross ice pass: Leipsic hits him on the tape from the left faceoff dot to the right circle, and Petan gets the one-timer off they way he wanted to.  If I'm a 'Tips fan, I want to know how that pass was allowed to get across - looks like all 4 on the PK were in pretty tight, but 2 of 'em had just picked themselves up off of the ice - and they looked discombobulated.

Rattie burys a tic-tac-toe goal next.  I'm not sure if you can really fault any of the Silvertips on this goal: those three hockey players are just too damn good.  Petan brings the puck into the zone, and defenders begin to close.  Drops it to Leipsic, not in the best shooting position, dishes to Rattie who isn't going to miss that one very often.  2-1 'Hawks at that point.  Rattie has now scored goals in every game of the series.

Petan wires a wicked wrister top shelf.  I had to watch that one a few times to tell what happened: looks like its a combination of using the defenseman as a screen, a sneaky fast release on the shot, and picking the top corner, far side.  This kid is a 17 - he's going to be centering this top line for TWO MORE YEARS.

De Leo comes in hot - he's all the lone 'Tip back can handle.  At the last second, he dishes to Rutowski on the back side: wide open net from 3 feet out.  As has been the case to this point, Lotz being left out to dry.

De Leo again into the zone with a head of steam, and the D man on him thinks he's got it under control with a stick check, sweeping the puck into the corner.  All Chase does is find the puck, and hit Bjorkstrand in the slot for a beautiful goal.  No wonder Paul Buker wanted to do a story on De Leo.

End of the 2nd period.  Everett brings out Cotton to start the 3rd, giving Lotz a rest.  Makes a lot of sense - the game is 5-1 at this point - but this may have played a major role in this game.

At 6:25 of the 3rd, the 'Tips come into the 'Hawks zone on a rush.  Portland has guys hard on the backcheck, but for all intents and purposes this is a 2-on-1, and Winquist does a real nice job of using Rutowski as a screen and gets a wrist shot past Carruth.  Mac never even moved on the shot, which leads me to believe he didn't see it at all.

What got fans worried back in the Rose City was the goal 0:21 after - I think you have to give a ton of credit to Petryk for knocking down a routine Petan clearing pass from the right corner.  This allowed Petryk to hit Leedahl right in the slot who buried his chance.  You can't leave guys wide open in the slot, nor can you cough up the puck like that.  That being said, it just looked like an outstanding play from both 'Tips.

All the sudden its a two goal game - until the worst goal I've ever seen.  I've been watching the game religiously for 19 years.  That was the worst goal I've ever seen.  Pouliot just dumps it in from center red, and somehow it goes in.  Everett may have had something cooking at that point, and that goal just killed them.

The 'Hawks got the 7th goal (TOUCHDOWN!) on a powerplay - looked like the 1st goal, actually.  Bottom of the left circle to the right side hash mark, one timer, this time Petan setting up Leipsic.

Some are concerned with giving up 3 goals on 13 shots in this one - and 1 on 11 shots in game 2.  Carruth is currently sitting at  2.690 GAA /  .855 save  %.  I would argue that this series has been statistically flukey, as Mac has seen 55 shots through 3 games.  That's less than Lotz saw in game 1.  Its not like the low shot totals are because the 'Tips are pinned up in their own end - they are getting zone time, they are on powerplays and such.  They are going to get chances, and have capitalized 8 times so far.

Loosing game 1 may have been the best thing that could happen to this team.  You get some adversity early, get that sour taste of loosing.  Giving up those two quick goals in game 3 may also be some medicine that you needed to take.  Time will tell.

Looks like the O sent a reporter to the game - its almost like having a beat writer.  There's even a picture gallery!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Seattle V Kelowna: what the hell is going on?

After watching the highlights of game 1 - that just looks like a lot of fun.  Regan Bartel, voice of the Rockets, always has opinions.  Many observers thought that the loss of captain Colton Sissons would hurt them, but this may be a little early for them to struggle - especially after the Rockets won the BC Division.

Thom Beuning is the voice of the Thunderbirds, and he's got opinions as well.  There are several popular Tbirds blogs, like Andrew Eide's and Tyler Hunnex's site.

 As far as I can read from the game 2 highlights - a 1-1 tie after 60 minutes is pretty much a coin flip in junior hockey.  Its a high scoring league, in a game with deflections off of sticks, skates, goal posts, officials, etc etc etc.  I will say that the OT goal looks to be the prettiest of the bunch, which is nice: so many OT goals are just garbage.

Should be interesting how this series shakes out.  The Rockets need to win 4 out of 5, which is about how their regular season went.  Same with the way the Thunderbirds season went, where they only need to win 2 out of 5.  Kelowna won 2.167 games for every game that Seattle won this year, and if they can keep that up they will be fine.  Tuesday night in Kent will tell quite a bit about this series.

Everett V Portland - Game 2

this one was actually a goal, but wasn't called as such

Well, game 2 was a little different than game 1 - wasn't it?

Lets look at the highlights.

They start off with the Rutowski goal, which is as simple as drive the net and pick up the rebound (and don't get caught deep as the D man).

Lots more saves by Lotz.

More good examples of how you can do whatever you want to Leipsic with no fear of penalty.  I don't know why I think it will reset each game - you'd think I would know better.

That MacPherson goal was a nice shot for sure.  He benefited from two big Minnesota boys camped out in Lotz's kitchen - which offers glimpses of the future, hopefully.  I was making an effort to count his shifts, and I may have missed some, but I counted 4 shifts for MacPherson in this game.  Even after he scored, he didn't get more ice time.

There's plenty of reasons they don't let me behind the bench, but I don't get that.  The 'Hawks have more good players than there's ice time for, and have maintained a delicate balance all year of lineup changes.  Personally, I'm on team Kirill:  I'd like to see Vorborev in that spot, at least on a rotational basis.  If you are going to play MacPherson, that's fine, but then play him then.  It looks like the 'Hawks are going to lean on him as a 19 next year (they will be replacing 3 D men) - so get him some experience now.  If you can't give him a regular shift against the Silvertips, what does that mean for later rounds?

How 'bout that open ice Iverson hit?  Nice and clean.

Classic momentum swing on that Rattie breakaway goal.  Hard working penalty kill, then Rutowski steps out of the box, puck comes right to him, sends in arguably the best sniper in the league all alone.  That was a NHL shot against a WHL goalie.  You love to see the PK get rewarded like that.

The Everett goal was disappointing.  There's reasons that shutouts are rare, but the 'Hawks were in a good position to battle for one in game 2.  Its easy for me to say, but Jones & Wotherspoon are too good to allow the opposition to walk in from the corner like that - powerplay or not.  Its still only one goal, but it sure seemed like they could have shut down that play before it started.

The Pouliot PP goal tells the tale of several powerplays from this game.  Good things happen when you get pucks on net with simple plays.  Pretty sure all Lotz could see at that point was 28 right in his grill.  This play immediately brought me back to the middle of the 1st, where the 'Hawks had 1:30 of 5-on-3 time.  If memory serves, the 'Hawks were sitting on 6 shots on goal at the expiration of that powerplay - I'm not sure what they had to start it, but in my book you should get 6 shots in that 1:30 - not half of a period.  There has to be something more complicated than us everyday fans understand to powerplays, but we just want to see them shoot the damn puck.  Shoot the puck.

In the regular season, this team had the #10 PP at home, but the #2 PP on the road.  I'm not sure how they did on 2 man advantages, but we may have a skewed view of how the powerplay works due to the 5% difference when we don't get to watch them with our own eyes.  After two playoff games, the PP is clicking at 27.3% - which is hard to bitch about.

The "O" had some sweet pictures of this game.  Paul Buker's piece pointed out that the 'Hawks set a franchise record for least playoff shots against.- which is always a good time.

We had a nice discussion about Fredrik Olofsson, who was in attendance on a recruiting trip.  He had a pretty good year on Dominic Turgeon's old team.

The Everett paper does a live blog - which might be fun to drop by sometime.  Nick Patterson is their beat writer, although I get the impression he didn't come down for the first two games.

We'll be chatting during game 3 right here.  Our gracious host, Dylan Bumbarger would love to have you swing by.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Everett V Portland - Game 1

photo courtesy of WHL memes

I think its as easy as a couple defensive breakdowns + a hot goalie.

Video highlights here.

Scoresheet  here.

The obvious thing is that there's a lot of "SAVE BY LOTZ" in there - he had plenty of opportunities to shine.  He's in his draft year, and got some love from Central Scouting in November.  Yahoo! had him as the #1 star across the entire CHL.

I seem to remember at least two chances for Rattie in the 1st period that he should have buried that didn't make the highlight package.  Both times a lesser player wouldn't have scored, but we've seen Rattie feast on bad angle shots and bang-bang plays for years now.

I thought that Petan played really well defensively.  The play in the third where he banged a rebound off of the glass behind Carruth was a particularly nice play, as the conventional wisdom would be to advance the puck, which was the danger zone in this instance.

You look at the goals against the 'Hawks, and its hard to fault Carruth on any of them.   The first 'Tips goal was a rebound that kicked off of Rutowski's leg and in.

The second goal found Petan & Pouliot in the same spot, and just between you and me - Pouliot flamingos a little bit on that shot.  Its easy for me to say from my cushy Rose Garden seat, but there's a lot of hockey players who would rather attempt to block a shot like that than flamingo.  I wonder if Steve Kariya will bring that up today.

The 3rd goal was just a 3rd effort rebound goal by Kohl Bauml.  It went in 2 seconds after the powerplay expired, for what its worth.  Carruth makes the save, then the save on the rebound - get him some help. 

The game winning goal was off of a nice rush - looks like Seth Jones may have been victimized a little.  I know he's been on the big stage, winning several gold medals, but this was his first playoff game in major junior after all.

Lastly, there are several instances of hits on Leipsic & Rattie in that highlight package that the fans wanted calls on, and I'm with them.  Seems like you can do whatever you want to Leipsic and rarely get called.  I think that's largely due to reputation. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome to town, Travis Huntington!

Travis Huntington is the Director of Broadcasting and Public Relations for the Silvertips, as well as their PXP man.  In a previous life, he served in the same capacity for the  Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League - and he was named CHL broadcaster of the year for 2011 & 2010.  

I like Huntington's work.  Of course, I was fortunate enough to see his predecessor Jon Rosen take his head phones off, turn around, and exchange pleasantries with Winter Hawk fans sitting behind him during a game some years ago, which was fun.

Anyway, here's Huntington's claim to fame:

It is my understanding, from the Marek VS Wyshynski  podcast that they still get "THAT WILL TEACH YOU TO RUN KEN CARROLL" references on the puck daddy blog.  Side note:  Todd Vrooman gets comments read on air from time to time on that show.

Mostly I heard this incident mentioned this week, and thought "I know that guy...." in reference to the epic PXP work, and felt it was worth sharing.

Seth Jones: spotlight on one shift

Seth Jones has had lots of hype for quite a while, and after watching a full season in the WHL - I think its warranted. 

Lets focus on one shift of the 72 game season.  This is from a game that was meaningless for the 'Hawks, as they already had the regular season championship tied up.  Seattle had playoff positioning to play for, and they played pretty well.

At 3:05 of the 3rd period, the Winterhawks found themselves killing off a lengthy 5-on-3, with their best PK forward in the box.  Early in the shift, Jones took a shot which dropped him.  This kid is so smart, he simply altered his PK strategy to match his limited mobility.

The Thunderbirds held the puck in the zone long enough, that Jones was back on two legs by the end of the shift, but it still jumps out how he was as good on one leg as most guys are on two.

I formally apologize for the video quality - its pretty spotty streaming these games in the first place, then a sketchy screen capture operation, with the hat trick of youtube compression - but here it is.

Watch #3 in white:

Kid is good.  He's gonna look real good in an Avalanche sweater next season.

Mike Johnston: standing ovation

Mike Johnston was suspended in November of 2012.  The next game, a long standing ovation was given during the pre-game player introductions.  This has continued all season, and this is from a game about a month after the suspension (cameraphone footage):

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

End of regular season talk

'Round these parts there has been talk all year about how the loss of draft picks is going to affect the 'Hawks moving forward, and every fanbase spends the end of the regular season to look at what they have for next year.

Here's how the Winterhawks were built:

Top line:
Brendan Leipsic    2009 R6. (112th)
Nic Petan               2010 R1.  (16th) 
Ty Rattie                2008 R1.  (2nd)

2nd line:
Oliver Bjorkstrand    2012 Import Draft #26 overall
Chase DeLeo            2010 R9. (192ond)
Taylor Leier              2009 R2. (24th)

Checking line:
Adam de Champlain  2009 R10. (200th)
Taylor Peters              2007 R4. (68th)
Preston Kopeck          2010 R3. (60th)

4th line / rotation players:
Paul Bittner             List player
Dominic Turgeon   2011 R3.  (64th)
Joe Mahon              List player
Keegan Iverson       List player
Joey Baker              List player
Alex Schoenborn    List player

Defense corps:
Troy Rutkowski
       List player
Seth Jones                Trade (2009 R1. 11th EVT)
Josh Hanson             2009 R8. (156th)
Shaun MacPherson   List Player
Tyler Wotherspoon   2008 R2. (23rd)
Kirill Vorobev           2012 Import Draft #57th overall
Derick Pouliot           2009 R1. (1st)

Mac Carruth              List player
Brendan Burke          2010 R3. (49th)

Seth Jones currently is the only player aquired via trade.
Here are the players traded for Seth Jones:
2011 2. (42) C  –Tyler Sandhu
2011 4. (86) LW - Mitch Skapski
2009 3. (59) D Reece Wilcox
List player    D Ben Betker

The 'Hawks are banned from the 1st 5 rounds this spring, and don't have a 1st round pick until 2017.  When they were picking guys like Sasha Golin ('03), Colton Sceviour ('04), and Thomas Frazee ('05) - its not like they were exactly using their 1st round picks effectively anyway.  When they took Frazer McLaren ('02) or Riley Boychuk ('06) - you could argue that it would have hurt not having the opportunity to select those players.  Brad Ross ('07) is an entirely different animal.

Now, the last 3 times the 'Hawks have picked in the 1st round they came up with Rattie, Pouliot, and Petan - which are 3 of the main reasons they are where they are this year (and last).  Any one of those players not coming to Portland, and we are looking at a radically different team.  Of course the first thought is to credit (free) Mike Johnston - although the Petan draft was his first - I suppose drafting #1 & #2 overall isn't as tricky.  Yahoo! gave some love to MJ earlier this year on this subject.

All  you gotta do is find a Ryan Johansen (7th round) once in a while (easy, right?).  If you can deliver 2nd rounders like Taylor Leier ('09), Tyler Wotherspoon ('08), Joe Morrow ('08), Brett Ponich ('06), Kurtis Mucha ('04), or even Keith Hamilton ('08) - then who needs 1st round picks?  Tyler Sandhu was also a 2nd ('11) - an asset which could pay huge dividends in Saskatoon this spring.

Looking forward a year - the 'Hawks bring back 5 of their top 6 forwards.  Think about that for a second.  We may have seen the future during tournament time, when Rattie was away they plugged Paul Bittner on the line with Petan & Leipsic.  All Bittner did was score the game winner in 4 straight games - as the youngest player in the league.  When inserted on the top line for the last 2 games of the regular season, Bittner scored goals in both.

They're loosing 3 defensmen & a goalie, but there should be help on the way.  Might have to go back to winning 6-5 games, which is always fun..

Most 'Hawks fans are high on Kopeck, Turegon, Iverson, Bittner & Schoenborn for the next few years.  Two 3rd rounders is all they have invested in a group that could be a huge part of a great forward group.  The 'Hawks have done a great job of picking up American kids who are overlooked by WHL clubs.  You don't need many of those coups to overcome the loss of some draft picks.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Scotty Munro trophy presentation: nothin' but a good time

First off, I got some new inspiration for this project today.  Just gotta keep, well, you know.....

I think that most around the WHL thought that Ron Robison would get booed delivering the regular season champion trophy to the Winterhawks captain, and we found out before hand we would be half wrong. 

The other half?

Some would argue that there simply wasn't the opportunity to BOOOOOO - and there may be something to that.

Mike Johnston was watching from home.

Word on the street is that the Booster Club had asked fans not to boooo, and to keep things on the positive, but I haven't seen that online anywhere and doubt that the message got out very well.  Many fans are just waiting for the next trophy to be brought out on Rose Garden ice:  one that Robison has to deliver himself.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

You should listen to Todd & Andy's postgame

Its getting to be that time of year where Todd Vrooman & Andy Kemper expand the radio coverage of the Portland Winterhawks.  They often add time to both pre and post-game shows, and bring in additional help - mostly Scooter - which is great.  There is a lot of tradition with this crew.

What to do if you attend the games, and you miss a good portion (or all) of the postgame show getting back to the car?  One effective method is to use your fancy phone.

I've had success with an app called Tune In.  I've ran it on the Android platform as well as on an iPhone.  This app streams the radio feed online - so its crystal clear.  The key to this operation is that there is some DVR features on there:  you can "rewind" up to 30 minutes of radio.  Right at the final buzzer, open up this app and set it to KPAM.  When you get to the car, plug 'er in and start the postgame over and listen on the way home.

If you were the type who has a radio and listens in real time, you could use this method to see what the other team's radio guys had to say about the game.  There's presets, and I know for a fact that you can load up virtually every other western conference's stations on there.

This is also a decent app to do pre-game, if you have some headphones or earbuds.  There's a delay, so you loose some of the last few moments right before faceoff - and its useless to listen during play.

Happy listening!

Bonus: a look at the early days of Todd on the mic

What kind of guy throws punches from the bench?

 Just another Thunderbirds / Winterhawks game on a Friday night.

Thanks to the Joe Mahon Fan Club for this image:

What did it look like on video, you ask?

 As of this posting, there is nothing in supplemental discipline listed, but we all know how this league is run.....

That Jesse Forsberg - 'Hawks fan favorite. Many of us wondered who would become the next Kyle Beach or Brendan Shinnimin and find a way into fans hearts, and right now its looking like Forsberg:

Gotta love that exit.  Pretty interesting getting the color from the bench prior to this one - indicating that the 'Hawks weren't interested in this sort of thing at this stage of the game.  Its nice having a TV feed.

Also, is such a good resource - they do a bang up job over there.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Playoff goaltending: worst case scenario

 Winterhawks fans watching / listening to the game in Victoria on 3/12/13 had some concerns with Carruth being replaced in the 3rd period, due to some sort of injury.  The video doesn't tell you much, the play at hand is where it appears the Royals score their second, but under review it hit the crossbar.

a nice piece about the maturation process that we've been fortunate enough to see over the past 31/2 seasons - with some bonus coverage of his understudy.  There is no mention of injury, which isn't very surprising, but it could be a good sign.

I'd think that most fans feel that Burke would be just fine playing in the first round (EVT or SEA) - should be no problem.  Burke's had a hell of a year, and he's proably well ahead of where Carruth was in his 17 year.  If the NHL draft rankings are an indicator that you like, some have Burke as high as the 2nd round, where as Carruth went 5 spots from the bottom (7th round) - but has earned an NHL contract.

Of course, for a run to a WHL Championship you need to ride the goalie that is the best that you have in the present - and that's the veteran.  What would the second round look like if Carruth's not available?  Barring a major upset, the 'Hawks would get the winner of TC/SPO.  How did this years series go with each team, from a goalie's perspective?


 Portland V Spokane 2012/2013 goaltending stats

31 Carruth, Mac    1 60:00    44  43    2 W

31 Carruth, Mac   3  60:00   40  37    0 W

31 Carruth, Mac   2  60:00    26  24    0 W

31 Carruth, Mac   4  59:29    37  33    2 L

31 Carruth, Mac   4  65:00    30  26    0 SOL

31 Carruth, Mac   0  60:00    36  36    0

31 Carruth, Mac   0  60:00    26  26    0 W

31 Carruth, Mac   3  60:00    31  28    0 W

31 Carruth, Mac  8 GP  2.11 GAA  0.937 SV %
1  Burke, Brendan  N/A

What jumps out here is that Burke hasn't seen the Chiefs all year (with 1 game remaining) - so that's kind of a "known unknown"


Portland V Tri-City goaltending stats

1  Burke, Brendan 2 60:00  26  24    0  W

31 Carruth, Mac   0 60:00  15  15    0  W

31 Carruth, Mac     3 58:46  13 10    4  L

1 Burke, Brendan  1  60:00  26  25  0 W

1 Burke, Brendan  3  60:00  46  43  0 W

31 Carruth, Mac    3  60:00  32  29  0 W

1 Burke, Brendan  0  60:00  25 25   0 W

31 Carruth, Mac      5 45:01  24 19 0  L
1 Burke, Brendan    1 14:59   8  7 0

1 Burke, Brendan  4  59:28  32  28   0  L

31 Carruth, Mac      4 GP  2.95 GAA  0.869 SV %
1 Burke, Brendan    6 GP  2.59 GAA  0.933 SV%

What's interesting here is that Burke's numbers are actually quite a bit better against TC - and there's a bigger sample size to work with there as well.

In the long run, who the hell knows what any of this means, but I thought you might find it interesting. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oil Kings playoff tickets: all the games you can eat

Right here you can get yourself the whole Oil Kings playoff run for $99/seat.  Seems like a pretty good deal to me.  Last year they had 11 home games - which is $9/game.  I think I gave about $24 or so last year.

Hell, even if they get beat in the 1st round (lets hope they do) that's only $33 per game.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Patrick Wiercioch got beat up

Patrick Wiercioch is a name that brings certain feelings when I see it come up.  Mostly, frustration with his choice to go NCAA rather than WHL.  

The Medicine Hat Tigers invested a 2nd round bantam pick (#38th overall).  Then, the Winterhawks felt like trading some dude named Michael Sauer for Wiercioch.

Now, I've never seen any quotes from the player about why he chose the route that he did, but perhaps that college degree was important to him.  I'm not sure that 2 years of school gets you much, but what do I know?  He certainly didn't learn how to fight, as we found out tonight.  When you have an instigator penalty AND zero punches thrown - you just kind of look dumb.

Then again, if I'm going to be bitter about everything that went wrong during the Goldsmith/Donovan era, that's a lot of crap to wade through.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kale Kessy scares me

     I'm not real sure I knew much about this guy before this season, but he terrifies me more as time goes on - seems like a serious injury to a star player waiting to happen.

Rap sheet:     

09/24/12   Kale Kessy     Medicine Hat     12 games for checking to the head major and g.m. versus Lethbridge on September 22
                  • The checking to the head penalty was for an elbow to the head of the opponent
                  • The opponent was injured on the play
                  • The player is a repeat offender          

03/12/12   Kale Kessy     Medicine Hat     One game for game misconduct at Lethbridge on March 10
11/28/11   Kale Kessy     Medicine Hat     Four games for checking to the head major and g.m. at Red Deer on November 26

10/07/11   Kale Kessy     Medicine Hat     Five games for double minor for cfb at Victoria on October 6

12/21/10   Kale Kessy     Medicine Hat     Two games for four minute cfb versus Lethbridge on December 18

11/02/09   Kale Kessy     Mecicine Hat     One game for boarding major and g.m. versus Seattle on October 31

Somewhere there is another 1 gamer that I didn't see in my digging through the WHL archives. 


As  a 'Hawks fan, I don't want anything to do with this guy.  I hope he and/or the Blazers get knocked out first.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Winterhawks VS The Pipeline Show

The Pipeline Show is a twice weekly show on 1260 AM in Edmonton, AB.  I think its a pretty good show, and I listen to every episode.  They cover the CHL, as well as NCAA hockey.  They have a blog, too.

They led off their 2/11/2013 show talking about how they wanted to interview Nic Petan, but weren't given the opportunity:

(I isolated the relevant piece for that youtube: the whole segment is here)

There's been lots of discussion weather the Winterhawks are being petty by restricting access to the leading draft eligible scorer in the entire CHL.

Here's the Pipeline Show's coverage of the initial accusations - you decide if any of the offenses mentioned were what the Winterhawks were found guilty of:

(full segment here)

Pipeline Show blog post here

This might be a good time to check what the offenses Portland was found guilty of.  Here is the Winterhawks statement

The WHL's statement is right here.

While the WHL didn't want any sort of transparency whatsoever, Ron Robison was drawn into some interviews:

(full segment here)

Pipeline Show blog post here

You be the judge:  are the Winterhawks justified being upset with the Pipeline Show?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Welcome Steve Kariya!

I've been fortunate enough to drink beer with Steve Kariya.

Most Winterhawk fans are just learning about the existence of this man after he was hired as an assistant coach for the remainder of the season.

One may wonder if Steve feels a connection to David A. Stewart (the other dude in the
Eurythmics), Andrew Ridgeley (the other dude in Wham!), or Andy Summers & Stewart Copeland (the other dudes in the Police).  I would imagine being a Kariya would have "other dude" status.

When I lived in Kansas City, we had the Triple-A level prospects of the Vancouver Canucks.  Halfway through the 2000-01 season Kariya joined the KC Blades.  We were pretty excited to see a player with his last name perform his craft. Dude went 15 G / 29 A / 44 P - in only 43 games.  Sadly that was the end of the KC Blades, and those 'Nucks farmhands headed for the prairies of Manitoba.

There was a bar in the basement of Kemper Arena, and after the game some of the fans would congregate there for a beer.  Often times the players would stop by and have one with you, which presented a unique opportunity to interact with them.  I liked that, although it seemed that one should be mindful of the line of casual conversation and yet giving the players their space.

Should be interesting to see how his coaching debut goes.  Especially if you consider the vacancy that will soon be left by Travis Green taking the head coaching job for the Everett Silvertips in this offseason.

BONUS:  Ron Callan spoke with Steve on Hawkey talk:

Nic Petan: Heel Turn?

Kerry Eggers, who covers the Winterhawks on occasion, wrote this piece aptly titled "Winterhawks gearing up for WHL title run".  I for one, found a Nic Petan quote interesting - not your typical hockey response:

“We have a great chance,” Petan said. “In the playoffs, there are no nights off. You lose and you’re out, right? So you have to come in prepared.
I know we are the best team in the league, for sure. We’re the most skilled team offensively and defensively. We have speed, a veteran goalie, veteran guys everywhere. Our biggest thing is our hard work. We’re the hardest-working team in the league.” 

Seems to me that we've seen many developments over the season (and the few seasons prior) which the Winterhawks are the heels (in wrestling terms) - the villains - the guys with the black hats.  I'd add this quote from the WHL's current leading scorer to that list.