Sunday, October 6, 2013
Time for panic?
Here we sit - 7 games into the season. The 'Hawks are 4th in the division & 7th in the West. They have given up more goals than anyone else in the league to this point. The 'Hawks D corps lost half of thier regulars, as well as the winningest playoff goalie in WHL history.
Many folks are concerned that the D corps aren't good enough. I agree with the sentiment that not getting Veviros into more games over the last 2 years is showing right now, although I think he's been making a great effort so far. You could make the same argument for Josh Hanson, who is struggling right now. I feel that its a confidence issue with Hanson, so the best thing is to keep throwing him out there to work through it.
Its early in the season, and we are working with a small sample size. Visually we aren't necessarily seeing what the numbers are telling us. Garrett Haar has 9 points in 7 games, and is +9. Hanson is currently (-1). I'd have guessed he was more like (-5). You don't go out and get Cederholm to fight dudes, but when he figures out how to get the other guys lid off - watch out:
Sure, I think I understand the game. I'm guessing that you have conficence in me as well, since you're reading this. You probably think you know the game as well. The guys that really know the game do it for a living: NHL scouts.
Right now, the 'Hawks have 3 drafted D men: Pouliot, Haar, & Cederholm. That's half of your back end - guys that NHL teams have invested in.
Many WHL fans feel that Kelowna has the best group of defenseman in the league right now, and I'm one of them. They also have 3 drafted players on the back end.
Seattle looks to be much improved, and they have one drafted defenseman. (side bar - thier all time drafted list is just a graveyard of players who never turned out. depressing.)
Everett has 2 drafted D men: a Euro that went in the 1st round, and Betker in the 6th - who the 'Hawks gave up in the Jones trade.
If I'm reading things right, the Am's have no drafted D men - of course they have had 4 dudes drafted since Chet Pickard. That is also sad.
The Chiefs don't have any D men on NHL prospect lists either. They've had 4 guys drafted since Jared Cowen, counting Kicthon twice & Darren Kramer once.
Assuming the Oil Kings don't get Griffin Reinheart back, they don't have any drafted defenseman.
Completing that exercise, folks that evaulate players for a living believe in the defenseman that the 'Hawks are playing. It could be as simple as letting guys like Haar & Cederholm get used to this league, and thier teammates - not to mention fellow rookie Texeria. We've also only seen Pouliot for 2 games.
One could look at the near future like they are trading a 1st rounder for Shane McColgan, Paul Bittner, and Dominic Turgeon. It doesn't improve the back end, but the defense corps may prove to be good enough to win games as is. Its also worth mentioning that the 'Hawks have scored more goals than any team so far.