Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tigers Thrash Canes 9-3

Thrashing in the Hat
It's been a while since we were able to witness a thrashing like that. The Tigers in the past have typically been a small speedy team. This season they are just as fast but have a better mix of size and speed.

I'm pretty sure we saw more big hits in the first period than we did all of last year. Rubins and Gally Both 6'5 Monsters were standing up on the blueline and crunching guys all over the place.

Missing Players
The Canes this weekend were without their top line  Burke, Estephan, and Wong. They were also missing newcomer offensive defenceman Brennan Menell.  Compared to the Tigers who were missing their starting goaltender, John Dahlstrom, and David Quenneville.


Zach Fischer
Zach Fischer had 3 goals tonight. Last season his 3rd point was on February 23rd. It's great to see he has continued his strong play from the end of last season.

The Butcher
Chopping up opponent defenses, The Butcher recorded a 6 point night and brought memories back reminiscent of Tyler Ennis. He was dominant.

New Defenceman
It's only 1 game but I was highly impressed with Rubins, Gally, and MacPhee. Rubins and Gally had the ability to stand up at the blueline and throw some big hits.  I thought Rubins showed a very strong skating ability for a player his size. Rubins Impressed me a lot and looks like he has the potential to be a top pairing guy.

James Hamblin
He looks like a completely different player this year. His speed was on showcase and looks like a guy who wants to get drafted into the NHL.

McGovern
Looks pretty big and mobile in net. Seems like the Tigers found themselves a good young tender.  Their were a handful of close calls and McGovern was able to keep most of them out. Joey Frazer on the radio mentioned he thought he seemed quite similar to Tyler Bunz.


Weekend Games
The Tigers outshot the canes 83-38 in the two games. Both teams were missing key players but I think that is a pretty good start to the season. The Canes are the pre-season favorites and the Tigers looked very good against them.

Improvements
I thought their were times where the Tigers forwards were a bit scambly in their own zone. They were bunching up and hesitant on which players to take. Their were occasions where the Canes spread out in the offensive zone and had periods of pressure that the Tigers could have protected against it better.  Later in the Home Opener the Tigers were better, but they also had a big lead.

Next Up
The Tigers are home to Saskatoon on Friday, then Travel to Swift Current on Saturday.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Season Opener

Their is a wave of excitement over the Tigers this season. They have a lot of returning players, and some new quality imports that should pack quite the scoring punch. They have a future potential NHL goaltender, and their defence is much improved.

Reading some of the review around the league, nobody besides Tiger Fans expect the Tigers to make some noise in the central.  The WHL's own website is saying the Tigers "Should find a way back into the playoffs"

The WHL Broadcasters polls put the Tigers in 3rd.  It seems The Tigers will enjoy starting the season in the underdog role.

First Period
The Tigers looked a little nervous in the first period. Their passes and teamwork wasn't quite jiving. In the first 5 minutes they gave up a couple scoring chances on bouncing pucks. the Hurricanes had 2 early chances in the slot missing the net and McGovern made a solid save on the 2nd attempt.

The Tigers were on a powerplay and veteran Matt Bradley took a bad and unnecessary penalty. He slashed  a Hurricanes player after the whistle on the ankle after receiving a light push. It negated the powerplay.

A few moments later Off the faceoff,  16yr old and future star defenceman for the Canes Calen Addison put a wrist shot on net to the far side. Duncan Mcgovern didn't see it. 1-0 Canes

The Tigers managed 2-3 quality scoring chances, but Stuart Skinner stopped them all. The Tigers had some very good zone time on a powerplay but failed to score.

The Hurricanes had the edge with puck possession and would go up 2-0 late in the second period. Off the rush Young Cale Addison would feed a puck to 20yr old Ryley Lindgren. Lindgren put a weak shot on net, but the puck somehow found a way through McGovern. McGovern likely wanted that one back.  2-0 Canes

Tigers outshot the Canes in the Period, but the Canes out-chanced the Tigers. The Tigers didn't appear to have any set line combos and were using multiple combinations.  Kristian Rubins had a ton of ice-time and looked pretty good on the back-end in the first period.


Second Period
The Tigers were a lot better this period. I thought they controlled the play for the majority of the period. Their were a ton of whistles, lots of off-sides,icings, goalies covering the puck.

The Tigers would get on the scoreboard on the powerplay. Kirichenko fed a cross ice pass to Matt Bradley, who corralled the puck then fired a wrist shot underneath the glove of Stuart Skinner.
2-1 Hurricanes

The Tigers had a few periods of intense pressure.  Unfortunately right after a Tiger chance the Hurricanes had a rush up the ice. Ryley Lindgren fed a cross ice pass, and Brady Reagan put a stick on the puck, and it went right through McGoverns' five-hole.

That was a real tough goal for the Tigers as they had a lot of momentum going and had the canes on the ropes. They outshot the Canes 17-7 during the period, and outshooting them 30-15 overall.

Third Period
Brad Forrest coughed a puck at the blueline, and took himself out of the play and the Canes had a 2 on 1 Jordy Bellevrie would centre a pass and it went in off of Rubins. 4-1 Canes

The Tigers would get back in the game with a powerplay goal. James Hamblin had a big hit at center ice and the Canes Igor Merezhko tried to start a fight and would get a 2 minute rouging penalty.

On the powerplay  From behind the net Mason Shaw fed a pass out to Ryan Jevne at the corner of the net. Jevne's shot would find the far side of the net.
4-2 Canes

Tigers outshot the Canes 42-20

Summary
The Tigers didn't have a very good first period. They put themselves behind early and played catch up the rest of the game. Despite the fact that the Tigers outshot the Canes, I felt the Canes had better quality scoring chances. The Tigers played a lot better after the first period and won the puck possession game in the last two periods.

Unfotunately they had a difficult time converting that puck poession time into prime scoring chances as most of the Tigers shots were at distance. McGovern stopped some very high quality chances, but unfortunately would have liked to have 1 or 2 goals back.

Both teams will be right back at it Saturday night for the Home Opener in Medicine Hat.

Season Opener

Their is a wave of excitement over the Tigers this season. They have a lot of returning players, and some new quality imports that should pack quite the scoring punch. They have a future potential NHL goaltender, and their defence is much improved.

Reading some of the review around the league, nobody besides Tiger Fans expect the Tigers to make some noise in the central.  The WHL's own website is saying the Tigers "Should find a way back into the playoffs"

The WHL Broadcasters polls put the Tigers in 3rd.  It seems The Tigers will enjoy starting the season in the underdog role.

First Period
The Tigers looked a little nervous in the first period. Their passes and teamwork wasn't quite jiving. In the first 5 minutes they gave up a couple scoring chances on bouncing pucks. the Hurricanes had 2 early chances in the slot missing the net and McGovern made a solid save on the 2nd attempt.

The Tigers were on a powerplay and veteran Matt Bradley took a bad and unnecessary penalty. He slashed  a Hurricanes player after the whistle on the ankle after receiving a light push. It negated the powerplay.

A few moments later Off the faceoff in the Tigers end 16yr old and future star defenceman for the Canes Calen Addison put a wrist shot on net to the far side. Duncan Mcgovern didn't see it. 1-0 Canes

The Tigers managed 2-3 quailty scoring chances, but Stuart Skinner stopped them all. The Tigers had some very good zone time on a powerplay but failed to score.

The Hurricanes had the edge with puck possesion and would go up 2-0 late in the second period. Off the rush Young Cale Addison would feed a puck to 20yr old Ryley Lindgren.

Lindgren put a weak shot on net, but the puck somehow found a way through McGovern. McGovern likely wanted that one back.  2-0 Canes

Tigers outshot the Canes in the Period, but the Canes out-chanced the Tigers. The Tigers didn't appear to have any set line combos and were using multiple combinations.  Kristian Rubins had a ton of ice-time and looked pretty good on the back-end in the first period.


Second Period

Tigers Aquire Jake Morrissey

http://tigershockey.com/article/tigers-acquire-goaltender-morrissey

Not  a trade just a free agent pickup. This is just purely a depth move to have a backup tender while Schneider is still at flames camp. Morrissey will likely be sent down after Schneider's return.

Season Starts Today In Lethbridge


Players At Camp

David Quenneville - Tweeted today that he would be watching and cheering on the Tigers. The islanders have split into 2 groups and Quenneville is still up their.

John Dahlstrom - Still up in Chicago

Nick Schneider - Obviously he is not back yet, as the Tigers picked up a free agent until he returns. The Flames camp is split into 3 groups and have scheduled Ice-Time all the way until next monday evening, so he will not return in time

Returns
Kristians Rubins - he has returned from Winnipeg and will be in the Tigers lineup
Chad Butcher - I believe he got called to play in the Edmonton Oilers Rookie game against the Alberta Golden Bears on wednesday. The paper says he is back in town.
Bradley - Has returned already

For the Tigers First Opponent - this list of players isn't 100% official

Lethbridge Players In Camp
Egor Babenko, Arizona Coyotes, 2017 - Back in Lethrbidge
Brayden Burke, Calgary Flames, 2017 - In Flames Camp will not play
Giorgio Estephan, Buffalo Sabres, 2015 - In Buffalo Will not play
Brennan Menell, Philadelphia Flyers, 2017 - Away at Camp
Brady Reagan, Ottawa Senators, 2017 - Back in Lethbridge
Tyler Wong, Toronto Maple Leafs, Free Agent - In Toronto Camp

It looks like Lethbridge is missing most of their players still.

NHL Training Camps
Most Main Camps start this week. We should see players start trickling back early next week as first rounds of cuts are made.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tigers At Camp

Last Edit: Sept 20th  2:00PM
Players Returned: Matt Bradley 
Away At Camp: Dahlstrom, Butcher, Rubins, Quenneville, Schneider


Camp Timelines
Sept 14th - Rookie Camps Start
Sept 21st-23rd - Main Camps Start
Sept 23rd - WHL season Opener In Lethbridge
Usually AHL Camps open on Sept 28th-30th weekend

Not all camps open on those above dates, but the majority of them are within a day or 2.
Their is a real possibility that some of these players will miss the opening weekend because Main Camps start within a day or two of the WHL season opener.

John Dahlstrom -  Since he was NHL drafted out of Europe, is technically eligible to play in the AHL at 19 and Chicago does have room in Rockford. One thinks that because he switched leagues and attended Tiger Camp that he is cemented with the Tigers for this season; however, I am curious about his AHL eligibility
----------------------------
Here is a master List of all the Tigers at Camp, and I'll keep updates on their progress.


Matt Bradley - Montreal (2015 5th Round, 131st Overall) Sent Back to Medicine Hat
Canadians Rookie Camp Tournament
Sept 16 -  N/A
Sept 17 - 1 Goal
Sept 18 - N/A
-----------------------------No Boxscores to report. ----.---

John Dahlstrom - Chicago (2015 7th Round, 211th Overall)
Traverse City Prospects Tournament|| Stats Page
Potential games
Sept 16th DNP
Sept 17th - 1 assist, 1 shot, +1
Sept 19th - 1 Goal, 2 Shots
Sept 20th
------------------

David Quenneville - New York Islanders ( 2016 -7th Round 200th)
Potential Games VS Flyers Prospects
Sept 21st
-------------------------
Nick Schneider - Calgary Flames (Signed)
Young Stars Tournament|| Stats Page
Sept16 - DNP
Sept17th - DNP
Sept19th - 1 Goal Allowed on 10 Shots, Played Half the Game.
Sept20th
------------------

Kristians Rubins - Winnipeg Jets (Free Agent)
Young Stars Tournament|| Stats page
Sept16 -DNP
Sept18 - +1, 2 Shots
Sept19 - DNP
Sept20th
---------------------

Chad Butcher - Edmonton Oilers (Free Agent)
YoungStars Tournament||Stats page
Sept 16 - 2 Shots, 2 PM
Sept 17 - 1 Assist, +1, 2 Shots, 2 PM
Sept 19 - DNP
Sept 20
--------------------------

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tigers Deal Nick Heid

The Tigers traded 19yr old Defenceman Nick Heid to Prince Albert for a 7th round 2017 Pick
http://raiderhockey.com/article/raiders-acquire-heid-from-medicine-hat

Nick Heid was acquired for a 4th round pick from Portland last season.

Defence(10)+1
Kirichenko(20) Schultz(19)
Rubins(19) Quenneville(18)
Gally(18)  MacPherson(18)
Forrest(19)   Cole Clayton(16)

Layne Matchuk(16) Cameron Macphee(17)
Conner Clouston***

Why the Tigers Made this Deal
From the depth charts above it's evident that the signings of both Dalton Gally, and Cameron MacPhee has led to increased competition of the back-end.

They are still pretty full back their.  If they want to keep a 16 or 17 yr old, they either go with 8 Dman, or another move is coming.

Prince Albert Perspective
I like this deal If I'm Prince Albert. Heid was a bit under-rated and apparently had a good growth spurt in the off-season as they list him as 6'4 194lbs.   A 7th round is pretty cheap value when we look at the Tigers acquiring him for a 4th.  Heid is easily capable of 3rd line minutes, and depending how he improves into next season could prove to be a very solid 2nd line option.

Roster:
The roster has been updated on WHL.ca. However it still only lists 2 goalies which still seems suspect.

I believe their have been a few cuts, as a few players on twitter have expressed their thanks for the training camp which is an indication they have been sent down. Usually in the past the Tigers have sent most of their 15's down after last weekend as school starts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tigers Pre-Season Roster

Update September 2nd
Cole Clayton is on the whl roster sheet against Lethbridge. So That makes the 40 man roster 100% completed.

Update September 2nd - Tigers Sign Defenceman Macphee
http://tigershockey.com/article/macphee-signs-with-tigers
--------
Update September 2nd
http://medicinehatnews.com/sports/local-sports/2016/09/02/pre-season-starts-tonight-in-coaldale/
4 Goaltenders are confirmed to still be in camp
----------

Update September 1st
(Heathcote,Steele, Matechuck) Have been added.
---------------

According to the MH News Article the Tigers will be taking a 40 man roster into preseason
http://medicinehatnews.com/sports/local-sports/2016/08/29/youth-shines-in-intrasquad-showcase/



Known Roster
------------
Forwards(18)
Dahlstrom(19) Owre(20) Butcher(20)
Gerlach(18) Bradley(19) Shaw(18)
Rassall(19)  Preziuso(17) Fischer(19)
Hamblin(17)  Jevne(18) Fantillo(18)
Gary Haden(17) Josh Mcneil(16) Baxter Anderson(16)
Ryan Chyzowski(16) Dawson Heathcote(16) Jaxon Steele(16)
Alex Mowbray(20)**

Defence(10)
Kirichenko(20) Schultz(19)
Rubins(19) Quenneville(18)
Heid(19)  MacPherson(18)
Gally(18) Forrest(19)
Layne Matchuk(16) Cameron Macphee(17)
Connor Clouston** Cole Clayton(16)


Goaltending(4)
Nick Schneider(19)
Duncan McGovern(16)
C.J. Wedening(17)
Isaac Labelle(18)

15's (5)
Jalen Price
Henry Rybinski
Josh Williams
Daniel Baker
Ryden Fedyck



Friday, August 19, 2016

Tigers' Training Camp

Posting For Visibility

http://tigershockey.com/article/training-camp-schedule


DATE TIME EVENT
Friday August 26th 8:00am – 8:45am Goalie Session
9:00am – 10:00am Practice – Team Black
11:00am – 1:15pm Scrimmage – Team White vs. Team Orange
5:00pm – 6:00pm Practice – Team White
7:00pm – 9:15pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team Orange
Saturday August 27th 9:00am – 10:00am Practice – Team Orange
11:00am – 1:15pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team White
5:00pm – 5:45pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team White
6:00pm – 6:45pm Scrimmage – Team White vs. Team Orange
7:00pm – 7:45pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team Orange
Sunday August 28th 12:00pm – 2:15pm Black vs. White Game


Training Camp is open to the Public this season!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dahlstrom Commits to the Tigers

Edit: Saturday 23rd - added defence comments & rest of the Ages

http://tigershockey.com/article/tigers-sign-import-dahlstrom

Looks like more good news for the Tigers next season as John Dahlstrom has agreed to play for the Tigers. So it looks like both Euro's from the CHL Import Draft are both coming over. Scouting Reports say  Dahlstrom has an uncanny ability to put the puck in the net.

Updated Depth Charts

Goaltender
Schneider 19
Rommelaere17/McGovern
Prospects&Invites



Defense
Kirichenko 20 Schultz 19
Rubins 19 Quenneville 18
Heid 19 MacPherson 18
Forrest 19
Clayton 16
Matechuk 16
Prospects&Invites

Clouston20*

Forwards
Bradley19 Owre20 Butcher 20
Gerlach18 Shaw18 Dahlstrom19

Rassall19 Fischer19 Jevne18
Chyzowski16 Preziuso17 Haden17
Mowbray20*
Hamblin17
Fantillo18

Anderson, 16
McNeil,16 
Heathcote16

Ganie 17
Prospects&Invites

Thoughts
Gotta give props to the scouting department, as they have stocked the cupboards very well the past couple seasons. The Tigers look to have some pretty impressive depth, especially at forward.  Of course you never like to trade guys that can make a whl team, but If I'm an opposition team looking to improve I'm keeping an eye on the Tigers forwards that fall down on their depth charts.  Their could very well be whl calibre rookies not making the team because of the firepower up front. It should make for quite the battles in training camp.

Forwards
This forward group has the makings & capability of a championship squad that will only get better as the season progresses. They have enough depth where guys like Rassall, and Fischer will be playing 3rd line minutes but could probably play on most teams 2nd lines. Last year the Tigers were in the middle of the pack in terms of scoring, and they didn't loose anyone. They gained another year of experience, and they gained a scoring import. They can score by committee, and I'm extremely excited about their potential for next season.  They could very well sit near the top of the league in goal scoring. Their is potential for 8-9 guys to score 20+ goals.


Defense
The defense seems questionable on what their strength will look like. Their top end depth  is unproven to playing 1st line minutes. We will have to wait and see what Rubins can bring to the back-end. I don't expect him to be a #1 guy, as he was projected as a good talent but wasn't drafted. (Similar to Platanov of last year).  I could see the Tigers looking at acquiring a guy that could play first line minutes later at the deadline if they are in a position to make some noise. I think their defence could be anywhere from below average to above average.

WIll Quenneville improve to a point where he isn't a defensive concern against opponents top lines. Will schultz come into his own and prove he can play top line minutes. How will Kirichenko fare with stanton gone. Will Mcpherson step up and become someone you can't take out of the lineup. Forrest has excelled in pre-season, will he turn the corner and become a breakout player. Does Heid become steady eddy on the back-end. He was someone oft overlooked last season, but was decently sound in his own end.  To be honest I'm not 100% sold that clouston is the odd man out for over-agers He brings a lot of intangibles to the lineup. He is big, tough, plays a simple solid game, and is very aggressive with no fear.  Kirichenko might be able to bring a 2nd round pick in return.  If that is the case do the Tigers deal him, knowing they could possibly be looking for a non overager later in the year?  They would need his replacement to play first line minutes, however if Rubins can bring what clouston did last season, perhaps that changes things as well. 

Goaltending.
Schneider  was very strong at the end of last season, and ended up with 9 games  of AHL experience. The Tigers will boast a very strong #1, they will need to find a quality backup tender and get him some games so that next season the Tigers aren't going in with issues.

Overall
This team has some great potential for this season. The Central is up for grabs next year, their are no bona fida contenders. The Tigers have potential to make some noise with a very quick turnaround season.

Late Edit: I mispoke about bona fida contenders. Lethbridge looks to have a very solid team

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kristians Rubins


The Tigers 1st round pick 15th overall in the CHL Import draft has decided to Join the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Kristians Rubins  exercised a clause in his contract for the CHL and has decided to Join the Medicine hat Tigers this fall.

http://www.vik.se/artikel/fxpnaiqcl-4a8i1/ 
(The article is in swedish)

Rubins will be in his 19 yr old season. The 6'4 216 lb defenceman will be a welcomed presence with the graduation of Ty Stanton in the off-season.

I Imagine the Tigers hope he can fill a 1st line role and partner with Kirichenko on the top line. We will have to wait and see on what he is capable of.

I haven't heard any word yet on John Dahlstrom their other pick.