Thursday, May 9, 2013

Edmonton V Portland: Games 3 & 4

 **** Game 3 ****


game 3 highlights

sights and sounds

post game presser

Buzzing The Net 3 stars

photo essay

real time fan discussion

Obviously all are important, but I get the feeling this period is important in a "they can't win the series here but they can lose it" sort of way

pretty much 

if they haven't learned how to hold a lead by now, all hope is lost 

Can't agree with that. Obviously, I am hoping the Hawks get 'er done - but if Edmonton finds a way, it depends on how Portland responds tomorrow if that happens.

Evan Daum, in the Oregonian:
 Rattie's first-period score not only gave Portland an early two-goal cushion, it also etched the Alberta native's name deeper in the WHL record book. The goal, which came less than four minutes after Leier opened the scoring at 4:39, was Rattie's 47th career playoff goal, tying him with 1980s Medicine Hat Tigers sniper Mark Pederson for the WHL all-time lead.
"It's pretty cool. I've been lucky enough to be on this team three WHL championship appearances, and I can't say enough good things about the organization and the players I've played with," said Rattie of tying the record.

"Crash" Cameron
 Maybe they had no ‘puck luck’, but the Edmonton Oil Kings fell 3-1 in Game 3 of the WHL finals at Rexall Place — and 2-1 in the series — to the Portland Winterhawks at Rexall Place on Tuesday night.
The Oil Kings banged away to the end of a frantic third period, but it wasn’t enough of the right stuff to come back from a three-goal deficit in the first period.

Terry Jones
 “We can’t spot Portland a lead like we have the last two games. They’re too good a hockey club. We have to do what we did in the third period in the first period,” he said of the team — outshot in both games in Portland for the only times in the entire playoffs — but not in this one, thanks to a 20-6 barrage to try get back in the game.
Chris O'Leary
 With each goal, the Oil Kings looked more lifeless and the crowd grew more silent. Just when Edmonton started to generate something positive — Michael St. Croix’s swing at an airborne puck was a fraction of a second off — Oliver Bjorkstrand sprung loose for a short breakaway at 15:48. His backhand move beat Brossoit for his second goal of the series.
John MacKinnon
 In the second period, the Oil Kings took three needless penalties that prevented them from mounting a consistent offensive push.
They were fortunate there weren’t one or two more penalties. Two or three times, winger Henrik Samuelsson seemed to get away with a cross check, a hold, a punch to an opponent’s head.

**** Game 4 ****


game 4 highlights

post game presser

photo essay

real time fan discussion
Roadies: Portland now 8-1 on the road in the 2013 playoffs. Overall, the Hawks are 27-10 on the road in playoffs in the Mike Johnston/Travis Green regime that started in 2009-10. Overall, regular season and playoffs in 2012-13, the Hawks have won 37 out 45 on the road.
John MacKinnon
 The Edmonton Oil Kings are on the brink of being deposed as Western Hockey League champion, a state of affairs that has unfolded with swift, poised efficiency by the Portland Winterhawks.
If the Oil Kings are dethroned — and they are now in a 1-3 hole in the best-of-seven series against Portland — there will be no dishonour in losing to an opportunistic and very talented Winterhawks team that is making its third straight visit to the WHL final.
Chris O'leary
 The horn blared, the game ended and Henrik Samuelsson made what looked like the loneliest strides he’s taken across the ice in his two seasons at Rexall Place.
The Edmonton Oil Kings were on the wrong end of a 2-1 score against the Portland hyWinterhawks on Wednesday, and trail the Western Hockey League final 3-1.
Perhaps no Oil Kings player felt the walls closing in on him more than Samuelsson. The Phoenix Coyotes prospect took a high-sticking penalty at 19:04 of the third period in a one-goal game while the Oil Kings were trying to pull goaltender Laurent Brossoit (19 saves) from the net to make one last desperate attempt to tie the best-of-seven series.
Terry Jones
One year to the day since Rhett Rachinski scored in overtime in Portland to tie the series 2-2, there was no distant replay, no deja vu, no do-over.
The Edmonton Oil Kings quest to win the west for a second straight season now becomes a longshot, down three games to one and with two of the final three games of the best of seven WHL final in Portland.

"Crash" Cameron
“Obviously they called it a good goal. Great skill by him,” said Carruth.
“I felt good the last couple of nights. When I didn't see pucks or happened to be out of position, guys blocked shots. Or I got lucky and they missed the net.”

I've been saying that the key to this series is secondary scoring - and the 2nd line struck twice in Game 3.  I suppose you could look at Rutowski's powerplay goal (the Game 4 winner) as secondary scoring - as he's not wearing 28, 19, or 8 - or you could look at it like he was on the 1st PP unit.

The way the 'Hawks have been starting games this series sure makes you feel like they are really clicking.  The team which scores first has won every game - there hasn't even been a point where the game was tied, other than 0-0.

Its been a strange series in regards to the powerplay.  In Game 4, we saw Portland's 2nd PPG of the entire series, and Edmonton's lone goal came just after a penalty expired - keeping an 0-for-29 streak live.  They haven't got one on the PP in their last 7 games.  I'm pretty sure that you can't win a playoff series with an 0-fer on the PP.

It has to be frustrating for Preston Kopeck to be out - with what appears to be a cast on his wrist.  However, the 'Hawks have been really fortunate all year in regards to injuries, and are healthy scratching a batch of guys who would be playing major roles on most WHL teams, so dressing Turgeon in that spot seemed to work out fine.  I'd like to think that getting a few shifts in situations like this will be great for Turgeon's development moving forward.

As an overage with an NHL contract in his back pocket, Carruth has been as good as you can ask of a goaltender.  Sure, he's got help - but he SHOULD have help.  Through 2 months of playoffs, he's sitting at a 1.61 GAA - that's insane.  He's one shutout shy of the single playoff season record of 6.  Dude came within a couple feet of scoring a goal.

When you looked at Nathan Lieuwen in one net, and Carruth in the other - most fans felt that was edge Kootenay.  You could say the same about Laurent Brossoit last final series.  I don't think you can say that in 2013.  Carruth is the best performing goalie in these playoffs, period.

I've had fun watching road games at McGillacuddys - including when Ollie scored as well as the Rattie goal.  The staff looked at me a little funny with my camera set up like that, but I thought it could be interesting.

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