Friday, September 20, 2019

Opening Game In Lethbridge

I can't believe in this day and age the WHL still uses a potato to broadcast whl games. I wish they could provide better quality. 1080P shouldn't be too difficult in this day and age. /EndRant


Thoughts
I thought overall the Tigers play looked quite scrambly, but they got a lot better as the game went on. Willie D was saying pregame that he wished he had a couple more exhibition games. 

I was pretty impressed with the Hurricanes providing they were down at least 3 and potentially a 4th key veteran and they had a ton of new faces in their lineup. There was only 7-8 names I recognized from the previous year. I thought they played pretty well.

The Hurricanes scored the games first two goals and the Tigers didn't really turn on the jets until their first powerplay in the 2nd period. 

Unfortunate Goal To Go Down 3-1
The Tigers were pressing pretty hard and had a big edge in territorial play until they ran into an unfortunate hiccup. On the powerplay, A blocked shot/pass was chipped over a jumping Tiger defenceman at the point and 17yr old Jacob Boucher was sent in on a breakaway and buried an impressive shot past Mads Sogaard. At that point in the game, it was 3-1 hurricanes and it was a bit unusual to see Mads Sogaard looking angry.


The ComeBack
It was started by the new Import Jonathan Brinkman. Brinkman made a beautiful play out of nothing. It was a 1 on 4 and slipped past a couple hurricane defenders wide and sent a pass out to Lockner who just skated into the zone and was unguarded.  Lockner one-timed it past Tetachuk in a bang-bang what the hell just happened type of play.

A minute later it was the Tigers turn for a lucky bounce. A shot by Trevor Longo at the point and Ryan Chyzowski was battling hard in the slot for positioning on the rebound. He outmuscled his man down low and was able to slap the backhand passed an outstretched Tetachuk. TIE GAME

Moments later the Tigers had a pair of breakaways but Tetachuck stood tall. What a turnaround

OT
The hurricanes had the better of the chances but nothing was solved.

Shootout. 
The first 4 shooters all scored. Hamblin, Kemp for the Tigers, D-Jay Jerome and Dino Kambeitz for Lethbridge.  Zach Stringer was stopped by Sogaard and Chyzowski was able to pot the winner. 

Player Thoughts
Brett Kemp stood out for me. After the first period, he was routinely dangerous in the offensive end. He made a beautiful no-look, behind the back pass, out front to Cole Sillinger for his first regular-season goal. 

James Hamblin was also good, but perhaps a bit of a slow start out of the gate.

Jonathan Brinkman - He impressed me.  He is very slick and seems like the playmaker type that will make things happen. I loved his first game. Imports sometimes get off to very quick starts, followed by a lull. I look forward to seeing some more games from him but I was really impressed. Really good puck control and an ability to make some plays in tough situations. 


Parker Gavlas - I'll need a few more viewings. He seems solid, but I feel like he could be a bit stronger on the puck at times.  He was involved in a fight after a strong hit, he got a couple punches in, lost his footing momentarily and overpowered his hurricane opponent quite quickly. I think he should be a decent fit on the 2nd line.

Brown & Preziuso - I was a bit disappointed because I didn't notice much of an improvement from either. They didn't look any-more dangerous than last season with perimeter outside plays.  Preziuso had a lot of shots and some outside speed, but I do expect a bit more from a 20.

I think ostir deserves a game in the lineup.

Sillinger - Looked very strong on his feet. You can just tell he is going to be an impact player because he wins the majority of the small battles and he is exceptionally strong on his feet for a 16.

Defense - It was sometimes hard to tell who was on the ice due to the poor potatoe quality webcast. After a bit, I could start to see who was who. I don't remember seeing any major gaffes, although I'm sure if you watch video there are things they could do better. I think they gave up a few odd-man rushes from players not knowing how to recover, but I think that onus is more on the forwards.

Goaltending - Mads had a tough game because the Hurricanes were in his face the entire time they were in the offensive zone. Hurricanes were doing a great job at just skating in front of him as a shot was taken. I felt like only 1 shot really beat him clean. The 2 other goals were a mass of players in front of him where a shot ping-ponged around the scrum. 

Krebs looked bigger than the 5'11 167lb's he is listed at.

After the first game here is my armchair coaching lines I like
Brinkman Hamblin Kemp
Sillinger Chyzowski Ostir
Brown Lockner Hopwo
McCarry Anderson Wilms/Danielson

Backer Clayton
Longo Gevlas
Krebs/Agyeman/Watson Van Impe

Who do you like?

Sunday, September 1, 2019

2019-2020 Overall Review

East Division

Central Division

Goal Scoring Index
My estimation of goals scored per team. Shows the offensive potential of each team.

1. Calgary 285
2. Edmonton 273
3. Medicine Hat 252
4. Winnipeg 250
5. Brandon 236
6. Prince Albert 227
7. Saskatoon 226
8. Lethbridge 212
9. Regina Pats 203
10. Red Deer Rebels 181
11. Moose Jaw 173
12. Swift Current 169

Tier Strength
Tier A - Top talent with limited weaknesses
Calgary
Edmonton
Medicine Hat


Tier B - Strong Core with weaknesses in 1 or 2 areas.
Brandon
Winnipeg
Saskatoon
Prince Albert
Lethbridge

Tier C - Missing playoffs At best a Wildcard Shot
Red Deer Rebels
Regina
Moose Jaw
Swift Current 

East predictions

1. Saskatoon
2. Brandon
3. Prince Albert
4. Winnipeg(W)
5. Regina
6. Moose Jaw

This section has been holding me up and I honestly don't know how to rank them. 1-4 in the East are potentially very close.  I'm going to be wrong here. Each team has a weakness and it will depend on how they shore it up. I'm going to give myself until the start of the season in hopes some OA questions get answered. Feel free to put your thoughts in the comments to help me look at something I may be missing.

Edit: September 19th:

I've locked in my predictions and changed it up. I'm going with Saskatoon in the top spot because I think they will go all out in trades. I don't necessarily think they are the top dog atm, but I do think they are most likely to add.  

Winnipeg I've moved down a bit because I don't think their back-end is as strong and I don't think they will try to push for this season, whereas I could easily see Brandon and Prince Albert beefing up their rosters for this season if they are in a position to do so.

 Central Predictions

1.Calgary
2. Medicine Hat
3. Edmonton
4. Lethbridge (W)
5. Red Deer
6. Swift Current

1-3 Will be close but I like Calgary the most. Edmonton will have a strong team next season as well.


1-12 Rankings
This is what I'll rate myself at the end of the Year. 

1. Calgary Hitmen
2. Medicine Hat Tigers
3. Edmonton Oil Kings
4. Saskatoon
5. Brandon
6. Prince Albert
7. Winnipeg
8. Lethbridge
9. Regina
10. Moose Jaw
11. Red Deer
12. Swift Current


Calgary Vs Lethbridge - Calgary
Edmonton Vs Medicine Hat - Medicine Hat (Homer Pick, gotta do it)
Saskatoon Vs Winnipeg - Saskatoon
Brandon Vs Prince Albert - Prince Albert

Saskatoon vs Prince Albert - Saskatoon
Calgary Vs Medicine Hat - Calgary

Saskatoon Vs Calgary
Eastern Rep - Calgary Hitmen

I still have some work to do, but I feel my pick for Eastern Conference is Calgary.
This eastern conference held me up and after deliberating for a few days there are still unanswered questions. I will be firming this up before the season starts. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Tiger Talk

Just a post to show up at the top. Haven't been able to get out my predictions yet, planning on this weekend.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Regina Pats 2019-2020

Forwards

Riley Krane(19)(.38)
Dawson Holt(20)(.36)
Austin Pratt(20)(.75)
Garrett Wright(18)(.41)
Ty Kolle(19)(.44)
Duncan Pierce(19)(.4)
Carter Massier(18)(.17)
Cole Dubinskiy(17)(.19)
Logan Nijhoff(18)(.29)
Haydn Delorme(19)(.13)
Blake Allan(18)(.1)
Robbie Holmes(20)(.5)
Drew Englot(17)(NA)
Danil Gushchin(17)
Regina is one of those teams I didn't follow very much last year. The teams I don't follow very much are usually the teams I get wrong.

Regina has had some bad luck before the season has begun. 3 players have decided to not join the team. Sebastian Streu(20) has signed in Europe, Koby Morrisseau(19) has decided to play MJHL and their Import Pick Danil Gushchin(17) is looking to stay with Muskegon in the USHL, (the team he played with last season).

Before learning of those players not coming back, I was initially thinking that Regina looked to have an above-average offense.  

Right now I count 3 near PPG players (Holt, Holmes, Pratt) as well as 4 more that will hit the .5ppg+ mark. The players I have marked as PPG players, 2 of them are volatile in hitting that. Holt and Homes points have varied during the past couple of seasons. 

I would list their offense at about average. If they had gotten everybody to come back and their import to report I would have listed them as slightly above average.

Defenceman

Kyle Walker(19)(.28)
Ryker Evans(18)(.24)
Nikita Sedov(18)(.28)
Tyson feist(18)(.17)
Steven Zonneveld(18)(.17)
Makai Mitchell(17)(.04)
Sam McGinley(17)(NA)

I know very little about this group, so I feel a bit out of the loop on writing anything here. They are a bit young with only 1 19yr old. 

 These players are either listed defenceman or late-round draft picks. If I was going to make a blind guess I'd be more likely to side on the case of below average over above average because of their ages and draft positions. Their GM does have above average skill for recognizing younger talent though.

 I understand kyle walker will be one of their mainstays at the point while Sedov and Evans are more of the offensive type. Grabbing a veteran is a short term fix but could be a difference in them making the playoffs.

Goaltenders

Dean McNabb(19)(.875)
Max Paddock(19)(.896)
Mathew Pesenti(18)(NA)

I'm going to list this group as a slight notch above average. Paddock had memorial cup experience as a 17yr old. Regina should be a little better than last season so I expect a plus .900 save percentage. 

Draft History


Year/DOB
Age
Notes
Pos
2018(2003)
16
No 1,2,3
Late
2017(2002)
17
No 1,2,3 Ex 4th
random
2016(2001)
18
No 1,3, Ex 4th
Mid
2015(2000)
19
No 2nd, Ex 3rd
14th
2014(1999)
20
No 3,4

This doesn't look too good for their immediate future.  This says they should be in the basement this season and for the next 3 years after that. I'm actually impressed with their offense for such a lack of draft picks, but they seem to be in a similar spot recovery wise as swift current.

Import & overage

Danil Gushchin - It looks like he is going to stay in the USHL to play hockey. There was an article in Regina's newspaper about it. Muskegon does have a lot of returning players and was on top of the USHL last season so I could see how it could be difficult to snap him away to a team in the WHL that isn't expected to challenge. It's a tough blow for Regina as they had the 7th overall CHL import pick

Sebastian Streu has apparently signed a contract in Europe
Koby Morrisseau who was shut down last season due to concussion issues has signed with the Dauphin Kings MJHL.


Initial Thoughts
I feel like they will be better than last season. I think at best they are shooting for a wildcard spot. My initial thoughts say better than Moose Jaw and could compete with Brandon &  Lethbridge for one of the last wildcard positions.

Next Up
WHL Eastern Conference Review - This may take me a few days to Finalize.