Friday, May 26, 2017

Tigers Deal Schneider

http://tigershockey.com/article/tigers-send-schneider-to-calgary

Medicine Hat, AB — The Medicine Hat Tigers announced on Friday morning that they have traded goaltender Nick Schneider to the Calgary Hitmen. In exchange for Schneider the Tigers will receive a 2019 4th Round Bantam Draft Pick. 
“We would like to thank Nick for his contributions both on and off the ice,” stated General Manager and Head Coach Shaun Clouston, “We wish Nick all the best in Calgary with the Hitmen.”
Schneider is coming off a 2016-17 season which saw him appear in 47 games and post a 32-11-1-0 record with a 3.43 goals against average and an .886 save percentage. Schneider finishes his Tigers career appearing in 133 games overall and recording 74 victories since being acquired from Regina in 2013-14.
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Thoughts
As suspected the Tigers Dealt one of their Overage Tenders in Nick Schneider. Schneider is signed by the flames. Calgary acquiring him very likely means that the Flames will send him down to play Junior for another year.

The Tigers Initially acquired Schneider in a deal with Regina in 2014. In that deal The Tigers received Schneider and a 3rd round pick(Ryden Fedyck), and traded away Daniel Wapple and Logan McVeigh.

This brings the Tigers Overage Count to 8. I've added Bullion back to the Likely Overage category because his status isn't completely written in stone.

His tenure with the Tigers started very impressively, but ended on a bit of a sour note.. He came out of the gate as an amazing backup tender winning his first 11 starts.  He won a contract with the flames after his 1st year with the Tigers as a backup goaltender. The following season he struggled a little with the Tigers going through growing pains, hence the Tigers aquired Austin Lotz/Mack Shields. 

 Last season the Tigers also needed some goal-tending depth going into the playoffs and their backup acquisition Michael Bullion ended up becoming the starter.

Unlikely  Overagers(8)
John Dahlstrom(Import)  -Drafted unsigned

*unlikley to do having other quality OA forward Imports
----------
Likely Overagers(6)
Michael Bullion
Mark Rassell*
Zach Fischer*
Brad Forrest
Kristians Rubins(I)*
Ty Schultz
Jordan Henderson


* Likely candidates
Rubins will probably be out at the start of the year, so one of Forrest/Schultz/Henderson will likely start the year here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tigers Ship Away Overage Bradley

Medicine Hat, AB — The Medicine Hat Tigers made their first move of the 2017 off season acquiring 99 born goaltender Jordan Hollett from the Regina Pats. In exchange the Tigers agreed to send 97 born forward Matt Bradley, 2018 2nd Round Bantam Draft Pick and a 2019 5th Round Bantam Draft Pick to Regina.

http://tigershockey.com/article/tigers-acquire-hollett-from-regina

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Thoughts
I think I like this move. 

I feel like the Tigers acquired Hollett to become their starting goaltender next season. They gave up a bunch to get him. It potentially frees up an OA spot if Hollet can prove to be a starter.

Matt Bradley is also going to a team that has a memorial cup spot next season, so I Imagine he would be quite happy with that scenario.  

If Hollett isn't starter material the Tigers do have options and won't have to decide until the OA deadline. It creates competition, depth, and flexibility which is never a bad thing.

Regina
Since Bradley is drafted but unsigned, I wonder if Regina has talked to Montreal on what their plan for him was. I'm wondering if their assurances that he will be back. If Montreal lets him go, their is a bit of risk for him in the Free Agent Pool. I think he will be back, but you never know.

Tigers Overage Scenario
I think the Tigers really hope Hollett can be a starter, as this could strongly help them out with their top 6 next season by keeping an extra point per game forward. It would make a lot of sense.

For that reason I think their Overage Situation has changed to the following.

Unlikely  Overagers(10)
John Dahlstrom(Import)  -Drafted unsigned

Nick Schneider - Signed 
Michael Bullion
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Likely Overagers
Mark Rassell
Zach Fischer
Brad Forrest
Kristians Rubins(I)
Ty Schultz
Jordan Henderson


Fischer, Rassell, Rubins seems like an excellent OA combo
Guesstimated Roster
Max Gerlach(19 Mason Shaw(19) Fischer(20)
 Rassell(20) James Hamblin(18)  Import(18/19?)
Tyler Preziuso(18) Josh Williams(16)   Ryan Jevne(19) 
Ryan Chyzowski(17) Gary Haden (18)

Kristians Rubins(20) Dylan Macpherson(19)
David Quenneville(19) Dalton Gally(19)
Cameron MacPhee(18)

Hollett
McGovern

Forrest
Schultz
Henderson
Bullion
Schneider

Since Rubins maybe recovering from surgery, they could easily keep an extra OA Defenceman until Rubins returns.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bantam Draft Day

Check Down below for a Review of the 2011 Bantam Draft Class
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Initial Thoughts of the Bantam Draft
Wow, The Tigers took players all the way back into the 14th round. that is unheard of for them.

 They must have had a few names that were ranked much higher on their lists or they cleaned house from older prospects and had extra room.
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The Chart Courtesy of The Medicine Hat Tigers Website
http://tigershockey.com/article/2017-bantam-draft-recap
NamePositionHometownHeightWeightRoundPick Overall
Garin BjorklundGGrande Prairie, AB5’111471st21st
Scout TrumanFLethbridge, AB5’51372nd43rd
Ryan WatsonDDelta, BC5’91493rd65th
Noah DanielsonCOlds, AB5’8.51604th87th
Brett MeermanRWBlackfalds, AB5’8.51555th110th
Kadyn ChabotCLethbridge, AB5’7.51606th131st
Austin DycerDYorkton, SK5’8.51498th175th
Brayden KaptyDCoalhurst, AB5’9.51329th197th
Stephen RosierFCalgary, AB5’717110th219th
Tyler BatesDCalgary, AB5’715011th241st
Samuel DeckhutCSan Diego, CA5’5.512412th263rd
Talon ZakallDKamloops, BC5’914013th285th
Davis ChorneyCNipawin, SK5’1118014th307th


Draft Strategy
 Normally Goaltenders are highly volatile and it is why we don't see a lot of them picked in the first couple rounds. Their are lots of past examples of goaltenders taken early not panning out.

However with the elimination of the ability to take goaltenders in the import draft, goalies seem to be slowly creeping up the list in the draft order. The past couple years a few of them have been taking in the 1st rounds, and it is not uncommon to see half a dozen selected after the 2nd round.

 If you are a team with a late first round pick like the Tigers and their is a goaltender that you've watched and really like, it makes a lot of sense to take a stab at the best goaltender available, and that is what they did.

Stick to their strengths in last position
The Tigers are good at finding the smaller players with talent, later in the draft, so in a draft where you pick 21st out of 22 teams it is understandable to retreat back to what their strengths are and why not a lot of bigger bodies were selected. They are essentially trying to keep up with the pack and hope they find a couple gems in the later rounds.

Unfortunately for us, we won't really know how well or how poor they did, until this draft is long forgotten, and we are sitting here 6 years later going OMG that seemed like yesterday.

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Reviewing the 2011 Bantam Draft
It seems like yesterday Blake Penner the hometown kid was picked in the first round.
In this draft the Tigers had the 18th pick in each round out of 22 teams.

First Round 
Blake Penner

Third Round
Chad Butcher 
Round Four
Nathyn Mortlock
Alex Mowbray

Round Six
Zac Robidoux Goaltender
Steven Owre

Round Seven
Michael McEachern

Round Eight
Josh McCulloch

Round Nine
 Nolan Martens

Round Ten
Patrick Normandeau

Round Eleven
Matthew Donnelly

Summary
Nothing for them after the 7th round

Blake Penner - 3 year utility/3rd line player.
Chad Butcher  WHL ALL-Star
Nathyn Mortlock Depth 8-9th defenceman (released, and played for regina)
Alex Mowbray -  4 year 3rd line player (released and played for spokane as an overage)
Steven Owre - WHL Allstar
Zac Robidoux - 3rd string goaltender Traded to Lethbridge for a 3rd round pick.

2011 Draft Grade: A
In an average year you want 3 core players, but the Tigers found 2 allstars, 2 3rd liners, 2 players that had cups of coffee in the whl.

If the Tigers had had a top 5 draft pick, I'd say this draft would have been average. However they had the 18th pick and for that this draft is pretty outstanding and a big reason why this past season the Tigers had top of the line talent regarding their overage positions.




Sunday, April 30, 2017

Next Season

Key Off-Season Events

May 4th - WHL Bantam Draft
June 1st - NHL deadline to Sign 2015 Draft Picks
June 21st Golden Knights Expansion Draft
June 23/24 - NHL Entry Draft
June 28ish  CHL Import Draft (Can't find an exact date)

New NHL Team
This season their will potentially be 50 more contract spaces(most likely less) available with a new NHL team. At this point the Vegas team doesn't have an affiliate AHL team, but their GM has said mentioned that they are only looking for spaces for 6-8 players with an affiliate.

Next Season
Losses Guaranteed
Clayton Kirichenko
Steven Owre
Chad Butcher

Eligible Overagers(10)
John Dahlstrom(I)  -Drafted unsigned
Matt Bradley   -Drafted unsigned
Mark Rassell
Zach Fischer
Brad Forrest
Kristians Rubins(I)
Ty Schultz
Jordan Henderson
Nick Schneider - Signed
Michael Bullion

June 1st is NHL signing deadline for Dahlstrom/Bradley


Likely Losses
John Dahlstrom  - While he is eligible to come back, and could be sent back. Chicago has a lot of room in their minor league system.  Also with the Tigers heavy OA roster, it makes sense to spend that OA spot on an equally good offensive player while re-drafting the Import spot.  For that reason I feel Dahlstrom is unlikely to be a Tiger next season, even if he does get sent back.

Uncertain
Matt Bradley - He is drafted, Will he be signed or re-enter the draft? If he is signed, will he be back? If he comes back will the Tigers keep him? So Many questions.....

Montreal has a busy off-season with their AHL prospects. They tend to pump their AHL and ECHL affiliates with players and this season 11 contracts are expiring.  I'm not really sure what will happen to him.   My first instinct is that he may be back; However we will wait and see if Montreal will sign him, as that could change his story.

Nick Schneider - He is signed and he is talented, but I feel like he lost his focus entirely this past season. He has had an NHL contract for 2 years in a row, and played in a bundle of AHL games. He knows he can play at the next level.  I almost wonder if he met a girl and combined that with an NHL contract in his pocket, meant that he wasn't really as focused as he could have been.

He hasn't been able to prove he is a WHL starter material because he hasn't been able to play a full season as a starter.  He is a guy that I think would benefit from a change of scenery because the Tigers have given him the starters role 2 years in a row, and 2 years in a row the Tigers had to acquire goal-tending help.When he is on top of his game he is a really good goaltender,

The Flames have some strong AHL goaltending depth that are RFA's at the end of the season; however, their top 4 tenders are not signed as of yet for next season. The flames also just signed World Junior goaltender for Team USA in Tyler Parsons who likely leapfrogged over Schneider on their depth charts.

My initial instincts are that Schneider will be sent back. I feel that if he is sent back to the whl he will be traded.

Likely To Be Back, Potential for NHL Interest
Kristians Rubins
Zach Fischer*
Mark Rassell

I'm slightly nervous with these 3. I feel that all 3 will  be good enough to get NHL entry Level Contracts by the time they graduate the WHL.  I feel that all 3 players would benefit playing 1 more year of junior before going pro.

Zach Fischers' situation is also unique.. I would consider him a  "newAge" prospect. He wasn't even a consideration for the NHL in his draft year with injuries (35 games played with 13 pts). He sprung up into a physical power forward. For that reason he may generate substantial interest.

 I think their is good potential  he gets drafted in his 2nd year of eligibility. I also want to toot my own horn because last summer I kinda predicted a big point increase.  http://tigerturf.blogspot.ca/2016/04/next-season.html   


Mark Rassell  - I think he will get a camp invite this summer and a few teams will be keeping an eye on him. I think if he has another strong season(40+ goals) he will earn an entry level deal following his overage season.  I think most NHL would want to wait and see how he performs. If one team comes along and loves his game, their is an outside chance something could happen, but I expect he will be back and look to have a standout year.

Kristians Rubins - He suffered a shoulder injury just before christmas and played through the season. I felt he wasn't as good in the second half, and his shoulder could be a very good reason why.  He is having off-season surgery and may be out for the start of next the season. For that reason if the Tigers decided to keep him he will be back.

I kinda feel that all 3 should be back with more uncertainty towards Fischer.


Other OA Eligible To Come Back.
Brad Forrest
Ty Schultz
Jordan Henderson
Michael Bullion

Forrest/Schultz/Henderson - Man next year could be stressful for these 3. Their may not even be a spot for them to compete for with the Tigers. If the Tigers get unlucky and have a few guys plucked out they are very strong backup depth options.

If the Tigers decide to make any early off-season moves it may involving 1 or 2 of these 3.

Watching Schneider getting pulled quickly and often towards the end of the year, if the Tigers give the goaltender an AO spot I feel it would be bullion.

Estimated Depth Charts (Bullion, Rubins,  (Br,RaFi)
I'm going to call the 3rd OA spot BrRaFi because of the difficulty and uncertainty of Bradley, Rassell, Fischer.

More on the Overage Debate further down.

Returning Defence
Kristians Rubins(20) Dylan Macpherson(19)
David Quenneville(19) Dalton Gally(19)
Cameron MacPhee(18)

Cole Clayton(17)
Layne Matechuk(17)
Daniel Baker(16)
Ryden Fedyck (16)
+prospects

Defensive Comments
I feel that the strength of this group will depend on Rubins or an equivalent #1 Dman.  If Rubins doesn't return, the depth and experience is average. If Rubins or equivalent does come back I think this group has potential to be above average.

Rubins and Macpherson should be a solid  #1 pairing. They also have a deadly PP Quarterback with Quenneville. Macphee and Gally bring physical presences.  I don't think it is quite championship material but it is a decent mix.


Returning Forwards
Max Gerlach(19 Mason Shaw(19) BrRaFI(20)
Josh Williams(16) James Hamblin(18)  Import(18/19?)
Tyler Preziuso(18) Gary Haden (18)  Ryan Jevne(19)
Ryan Chyzowski(17)

Josh Mcneil(17)
Baxter Anderson(17)
Dawson Heathcote(17)
Jaxon Steele(17)
Jalen Price (16)
Henry Rybinski (16)
+ Prospects

Forward Comments
The Tigers will have a very solid Top 4. (Shaw,Gerlach,brRaFi, Hamblin). Knowing the Tigers, they probably want to dress an impressive Top 6.  Their are multiple ways to do that but It will be tricky.

Jevne/Preziuso to anchor the 3rd line, fill in Haded/Chyzowski/Williams and it gives a very solid 3rd line and start of their 4th lines.


Potential Scenario
Offense First (Find a Top 5&6 to fill the Top 2 lines)
This scenario won't work if more than 1 of the BrRaFI combo don't come back.

5th Spot (Re-Draft Dahlstrom's Spot)
If they can find another Dahlstrom that would give them a Top 5. Easier said than done

6th Spot
Their are multiple ways to do this, but they are tricky. It would also involve keeping 2 OA forwards
1) Finding a new non OA starting goaltender.  (2F,1D overagers)
2) re-draft the Euro D spot.  (1G,2F overagers)
3) Aquire one through the trading of their extra O/A players
4) Go with a Top 5 and then hope that a forward like Prezusio stands out.

Imports
Since both current Tiger Imports are 20, the Tigers will be eligible to draft 2 new Imports. They may go into the year with an attempt to draft 2 very strong imports and just seeing what they can get and going from there.

Who knows maybe they draft 2 forwards in anticipation that they keep rubins, and have 2 forwards battle for 1 spot. Or maybe they go with 1D, and 1F and just see what training camp brings.


Summary of Thoughts For Next Season
I feel that next season the Tigers won't have a down year, but how well they do will really depend on how their off-season plays out. Right now their is potential from 3rd in the division to an unexpected Dark-Horse.

Brief Look at the Central
Calgary I need more time on their roster. First glance they look pretty average. Great top line depth

Red Deer if they loose Musil, and Spacek they will have offensive issues. I feel that they will have a down year if they loose both.

Lethbridge is interesting. They will have a very similar team to what they are dressing in the playoffs, minus Tyler Wong, potentially estephan. Their defensive core may be the same. If Estephan comes back one would expect they will have a real solid team.

Edmonton is still quite young and need some more time to develop some more depth/experience to their roster.

Tiger Extra O'A
They could very well have a short time to deal some very quality OA's next season. But we will see what they do at the CHL Import draft.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Canes End the Tigers Season with Game 7 OT Win

Pre-Season

Hurricanes
Pre-season the Hurricanes were picked as early season favorites; however, problems in their dressing room changed their season drastically.   GM Peter Anholt stripped their core roster down and completely rebuilt the team, trading away 8 key returning players. Anholt was even fined during the season for public comments regarding players that he traded away.

As a surprising result the Hurricanes went from a team floundering, to one of the hottest teams in the league during the New Year. Despite 3 losses to the Tigers in the second half, the Hurricanes pulled off a .721% winning percentage and were the hottest team in the league down the stretch.

Tigers
Pre-season the Tigers were slated as the underdog competitor to Lethbridge  We knew they would have a top caliber offense and goal-tending coming into the season. The question mark was on their defensive side of the game as it was pretty abysmal in their previous season of missing the playoffs.

With the acquisitions of their 19yr old imports their was simmered hope that by seasons end they could compete with the top dogs!

  The regular season turned out incredibly well. The Tigers went through some growing pains mid-season when Kristians Rubins went down with an injury and Nick Schneiders hot start turned into getting pulled multiple times in consecutive games. Yet those were yet some minor flaws during a season where the Tigers plowed through their opposition with 3 scoring lines and scored a remarkable 350 times this season. Who needs defense?

The Tigers only had 1 less win than in their WHL championship record setting season of 06-07.
This team turned into and were considered heavy favorites for the first 2 playoff rounds.

Series Preview
Despite the Close distance and the longtime rivalry the Canes and Tigers have only met once previously in the playoffs. In the '90-91' season both teams were powerhouses in the conference and the Canes pushed the Tigers out in the 7th game during round 3.

This season was similar, however The tigers had soundly beaten the Canes3 times during the second half. The Hurricanes also had a whole line out with injuries. It was 3 Scoring Lines of the Tigers Vs 1 Scoring Line of the Hurricanes. On paper This was a series that should have been over before it started.

Hurricane Injuries
Unfortunately or fortunately for the Hurricanes they became victims of the injury bug. The bug hit them hard as their previous 7 game series with Red Deer took a big toll into their series with Medicine Hat.

During the series among the key Hurricanes man games lost to injury included: Ryan Vandervlis missed the final 2 games, Overage Zak Zborosky missed 5 games, Overager Matt Alfaro missed all 7 games, Zane Franklin missed 5 games,  Calen Addison missed 5 games

Hurricanes were forced to dress 5 affiliate players including 15 yr old Dylan Cozens and he picked up 5 points in 6 games.  Koletrane Wilson, Connor Lyons, Shawn Harke, Jayden Davis also saw icetime.

Why the Games Aren't Played on Paper
Call it poor coaching,  unable to take advantage of an injury riddle opposition, pure Hurricane Will, flawed hockey strategy, or just bad luck.  With the Canes having 5 regulars out of the lineup (2 of them Overagers) this was a David vs Goliath match-up.

The Tigers stormed out of the gate demolishing the Canes in the first game.  Lethbridge Hurricanes Captain Tyler Wong, directly and honestly came out publicly and ripped his team for having an embarrassing performance and it changed the outcome of the entire series. Tyler Wong's determination and will encapsulated their entire team, and they emerged victorious in the battlefield of Skill vs HardWork.

Wong & Estephan Show
The whl doesn't count minutes played in their stats, but if they had I wouldn't be surprised to see Hurricanes Captains Tyler Wong &  Giorgio Estephan above 27-28 minutes a game with the 2 overtime games that were played. That is pretty much unheard of at the forward position.

These 2 Players combined for virtually half their offense, scoring 12 of the Hurricanes 26 goals during the series. The stamina and strength these 2 showed picked everyone up on the Hurricanes bench and they played with ferocious determination to stall an opposition team that was lathered in offensive talent.

I hated him during the series but you can't help to become a big fan of Tyler Wong after all the hardships he went through with lethbridge the previous seasons. He put this years team on his back and lifted everyone else up. It isn't easy having affiliate players getting ice-time and beating  PointPerGgame 18-19 yr old WHL veterans but through his leadership and the Hurricanes strong coaching that is what they were able to do.

Hurricane Interviews
 I watched the webcast and saw 2 interviews from the Hurricanes which I felt summed up how they won.

Rebel broadcaster Cam Moon interviewed Head Coach Brent Kisio with an in period interview after the Tigers went up 4-3 during Game 7. He simply stated that his team will come back, that is what they do.

Moon also interviewed Hurricanes Captain Tyler Wong and I think Tyler Wong said it best. He directly and honestly said (paraphrasing here) the Tigers cheated offensively and Lethbridge hopes to take advantage of that. He was true to his words.

The Hurricane Captain  generated a 3 on 2 shorthanded rush after the Tigers cheated offensively with 4 forwards and a defenceman. Perhaps the Tigers were a bit Unaware of their defensive responsibilities, thinking goal scoring and not defensively on a powerplay like their mindset has been all season. But the Canes generated a 3 on 2 shorthanded rush, that led to Tyler Wong scoring the series Clincher and game winning heartbreaker.

Series Thoughts
The series was so close, the Tigers came so close to winning.  It was both very fun and very nerve-racking to watch. The type of hockey that you wonder if the players just acted out a scripted show between 2 longtime rivals.

 The Canes outworked and out-willed the Tigers with less than half their talent. They pulled the old strategy of strong goal-tending, collapsing down low, preventing prime chances in the slot, clearing rebounds and let the Tigers shoot themselves in the foot with their tendency to cheat offensively and being a bit too panicky on defense.

Lethbridge managed to reduce the Tigers strength of speed and pretty passing plays in tight to generate chances.

Props to the Hurricanes. I thought eventually a team would expose the Tigers defensively, but I didn't think the Canes had near the team to do it especially with a number of core players out of the lineup. I am still in shock and disbelief that the Hurricanes won

I felt the canes managed to expose the Tigers outdated hockey philosophy that mobility and speed will win games. It may overwhelm mediocre teams in the regular season, but the playoffs are a different story.

.The canes showed that they had the unsung heroes with the emergence of 15yr old Dylan Cozens.  Their grit, team-play, and hardwork of Tyler Wong and CO hung on for dear life and managed to outlast the attrition to injuries and skill of the Tigers team.

Tiger Overagers
As a longtime fan I feel so sorry for some of the overagers on this team. One minute they are battling in game 7 with expectations of at least another playoff round or two and the next second their junior hockey careers are over.

Steven Owre, Clayton Kirichenko, and Chad Butcher were all huge parts of this team. It still feels like yesterday when we were discussing in the comments how we thought both Owre/Butcher would turn out to be very good players after their 16 yr old years.

Clayton Kirichenko had an amazing year and improved leaps and bounds. IMO he turned out to be the best defenceman on this years squad hands down, and I would be shocked if  he isn't offered a pro deal. His game took off in the second half and I think he is worthy of a 3 year pro deal.

Brief Season Review

Tigers acquired 2 key pieces at the traded deadline in Michael Bullion and Jordan Henderson. Both players arrived on Hot streaks and it felt like the Tigers had solved some pieces to the puzzle. However by round 2 their Hot-Streaks had slowed  and they ran into a team determined to never say die.

Overall I'm slightly disappointed with the Tigers season. I think a successful year would be a 3rd round appearance. The Tigers were more talented than a round 2 exit.

The Tigers should be proud of all that they accomplished in the regular season. It is remarkably hard to win more than 50 games a season.  However in terms of overall satisfaction it leaves a bittersweet feeling.

Now this in my personal opinion, but I feel like they need to adapt their hockey philosophy and take a better look at their defensive side of the game.  They have the speed game down pat but I feel their coaches need to do a better job of teaching their players defensive smarts, positioning in the defensive zone and recognizing potentially dangerous situations. I feel that it has always been the Tigers biggest weakness and I feel that this weakness has cost them dearly the last couple seasons.

As a Tiger Fan who demands excellence, I am disappointed that I feel like this is the 3rd year in a row where they have slightly under-performed when it comes to their overall potential and talent level.

We enjoy and are greatly appreciative in the fact that the Tigers are competitive year after year, and that they have missed the 2nd round of the playoffs only twice in the last 15 years.

However is that what us fans really want? Second Round exits in the playoffs? It has now been 10 seasons since the Tigers have reached the WHL Final.

As a Tiger Fan I'm thankful for all the coaches have done, but I want a championship....
-TigerTurf



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SERIES TIED 2-2

Tigers take a 3-2 OT win in game 4.
WOW, WHAT A GAME

That was a grind it out battle. The Tigers played really well, but were really unlucky in the first period

 First goal the Canes player actually lost the puck, and the Tigers accidentally kicked the puck right to Estephans' tape in the slot .

Second goal was a change up. Bullion was expecting a hard shot, but the shot was partially blocked right at release by a tiger stick. IT was a tricky shot.
---

 It feels like the Tigers changed the momentum of the series with that game. They were able to match the intensity of lethbridge, then they picked up their game. 
I thought The Canes legs started slowing during the second half of the game and the Tigers were able to get more chances after that.

Game 5 @ the Canalta Centre on Friday, cannot wait!!

Canes Take a 2-1 Series Lead

Thoughts
I re-watched the game and thought the Tigers played a pretty good first half of the game. Their defensive game I thought was a lot better than in game 2. Unfortunately it was their offensive game that suffered a little bit.

Hurricanes were 2/4 in the PP while the Tigers were 0/1. They need to be better disciplined and get their power-play clicking.

Bad-Luck Call
Kristians Rubins had a weak interference called against him. Unfortunately it was that bad call that changed the momentum of the game.

 A canes player basically cut Rubins off, slowed down and fell over on light body contact.
 Hurricanes managed to generate a lot of momentum off that powerplay and scored twice soon after.

Bluelines
The canes are attacking the Tigers at the blue-lines.  Almost every time the Tigers come up the ice they have 3 players at each blueline attacking the puck carrier. Hopefully the Tigers can notice this and have their players spread out or activate their defenceman to get through the muck.

The Tigers generate a lot of speed coming out of their zone from their own blueline and the canes have a good strategy  to try and slow them down.


Activating Defenceman East & West
One thing that the Tigers are really good at, that has disappeared a little, is with their east/west passing in the offensive zone.

The Tigers didn't do a good enough job going around the horn D to D and back down low to open up passing lanes and getting the canes out of position.

The canes were pretty content collapsing down really low giving up the point sometimes and the Tigers didn't do a good enough job to generate chances off that.

Faceoffs in Hurricanes zone.
They have a set play going where upon puck control their forwards are taking off down the ice near the boards for long stretch passes to get out of their zone. I guess that is a fairly common play but the Tiger forwards need to be aware of that and try and get into the middle of those passing zones to make those passes difficult.

Wishing the Tigers best of Luck in game 4!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tigers Off To Round Two

Brandon's playoffs only lasted 6 days. The Tigers knocked them out with a commanding 4-0 sweep of the series.

The Wheat Kings limped into the playoffs and were without their star Nolan Patrick for the whole series. Brandon was also without Tanner Kaspick for game 4, and lost veteran defenceman James Shearer early in the game.

Despite those key losses game 4 was Brandon's best effort.

Brandon thought they had tied game 4 with a buzzer beating goal; however, luckily for the Tigers the Buzzer had gone off about 1 second beforehand.

Game 1: 7-2 Tigers
Game 2: 5-3 Tigers
Game 3: 6-2 Tigers
Game 4: 3-2 Tigers

Tigers averaged 49 shots a game during the series.
David Quenneville led the way in points picking up 3 goals and 9 points during round one.

For the first time in a while everybody was healthy for the Tigers and it led to the scratching of veteran defenceman Brad Forrest only seeing 1 game of action in the series.


Round 2
The Tigers will now await the winner of the Red Deer Vs Lethbridge series.  The Series is going to a game 7 which will be played Tuesday night in Lethbrdige

Friday, March 17, 2017

Schneider Sent Home

Duncan McGovern is the backup tonight.

Lethbridge announcers just mentioned that the Tigers sent Nick Schneider home. At this point I haven't heard anything else about this situation.

Schneiders last game he let in 4 goals in 8 minutes after Bulllion was pulled against Red Deer. This situation is bizzare.

Edit: The MH News article stated it was for medical reasons.
http://medicinehatnews.com/sports/local-sports/2017/03/18/triple-digits/

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tiger Clinch Central Division & Will Play Brandon in Round 1

Brandon In Round One
Looks like the Tigers first round opponent has been decided. Red Deer defeated Calgary last night and Brandon defeated Moose Jaw.

As a result the Eastern Conference Playoff Picture is almost all set, with just Calgary and Saskatoon fighting for the 8th spot where Calgary has a big 3 point lead with 2 games remaining.

Eastern Conference
Regina Vs Calgary/Saskatoon
Moose Jaw Vs Swift Current

Tigers Vs Brandon
Lethbridge Vs Red Deer

Moose Jaw and Swift Current face each other in the final 2 games of their regular season.



Remaining Games - Potential 2nd Round Preview
Tigers have 2 games left against Lethbridge which are meaningless for both teams in the regular season; however, these games could set the tone going into a prospective Round 2 match-up should both favorites win their respective First round series.

Playoff Schedule
Game 1: Friday March 24th, in MH
Game 2: Saturday March 25th in MH
Game 3: Tuesday March 28th in Dauphin
Game 4: Wednesday March 29th Dauphin
Game 5: Friday March 31st, in MH
Game 6: Sunday April 2nd, in Dauphin
Game 7: Tuesday April 4th in MH