Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tigers Win First Ever Game @ The Canalta Center

First Impressions 
This was my first Canalta Experience.  The lineup in the front of the building was massive, so I headed to the back for a lineup that was half the size and fast moving.

 I think it was a poor decision to not let people in until 50ish minutes before game-time, it led to massive lineups in front of the building. I don't expect this place to sell-out continuously, therefore lineups will be shorter, but with sellouts in winter and cold temperatures, these lines will need to shorten and I'd highly suggest opening the doors earlier to help alleviate that. I think with more experience under their belt the staff will also be able to move people quicker as well.

I arrived 45 minutes early and the parking lot was jam packed. I did my pre-scouting and had a good spot that allowed a quick exit so I'm not going to give out my secret:P but I"ll give you a hint that the back way had virtually no lineup to get out and was likely faster heading to the #1 and avoiding the mass of cars going down the box springs road.

Inside
I was absolutely blown away. The rink has a professional feel. The clashing of sticks and pucks even sounded like an NHL arena. The sound perhaps could have been a half notch louder, but not having the exact same songs play that the old arena had, was refreshing.

The glass along the boards had a lot of give compared to the old arena so hopefully that will reduce some injuries.  The open floor concept was neat. The arena was brightly lit, and had an NHL calibre jumbotron. Replays after highlight reel plays. A video tribute to Bob Ridley, Kisscam, the works. Shaw was broadcasting the event, so I wonder if "The works" and replays will still be there on non televised days.

 I think in the first intermission virtually everyone was out to explore. It was very difficult to move around. People standing in the middle. No real flow.  Concessions had long lineups, it was difficult to maneuver past the 50-50 booths. The 2nd floor was neat, you could look down on the hoards of people struggling to get past each other on the main concourse.

 The second intermission had a little better flow, but I guess one can expect the lineups to be longer when 6000 people are in this building. The official attendance was 5947. 1941 more fans than the 4006 old arena could hold. It will be interesting to see if the new Arena consistently breaks the 4006 mark.

The Game
The Tigers roared out the gate. Scoring 4 goals when the game was only 10 minutes old, they cemented the win before the seats were even warm. Max Gerlach scored the first goal with a beautiful setup from Butcher and Schultz on the powerplay.

After those 4 goals I'd give the edge in terms of gameplay to the Hurricanes.  The Hurricanes shut the Tigers down in the second period changing up their forecheck. The Tigers appeared to be sleeping and just playing with the lead. In the third the Tigers adapted and had more scoring chances, but the canes managed to pot a couple goals late to make things interesting.

It was hard to concentrate on the hockey with the new building. Their powerplay was real good with the cross crease pass connecting twice. They had some troubles in the second period with the 2 man forecheck the canes pressed on them. What did you think of the new arena?

Up Next: The Tigers take a 2 game road trip to Saskatoon and Prince Albert. They are back in town Oct 6 (next tuesday) when Kelowna Visits.

47 comments:

Tanner Williams said...

Fantastic venue. I really wish that SMG would have purchased an actual goal horn. The pre-recorded goal horn bugs me. No arena can ever be perfect and people will always find something to complain about in Medicine Hat. However they really need to open up the set of doors for entrance and exit behind section g-h.

Overall I've been in the arena about 4 times now and it still impresses me every time I'm in it. Will be lots of great memories made there.

longtimefan said...

Think last night was the acid test for the building in a lot of different areas. For the most part things seemed to be ok but I'm hoping some lessons were learned to make things better for future games. Good to see they have parking attendants to help with traffic flow before and after. I will agree wth you tt, the lineup before the game was ridiculous. They need to look at opening the doors earlier because when it gets cold people won't be going if they are going to have to stand outside for an extended period of time.as for the building itself, spectacular is all I can say. Well done City of Medicine Hat.

Anonymous said...

I understand the boards and glass are designed to "give" to lessen impact when hit and to reduce injuries which is fantastic. However... vision through the glass was very obscured closer to ice level. It made watching the game extremely difficult. I am not referring to the glass moving after a hit. I am talking about the actual quality of the plexiglass itself.

CatFan said...

Love the new building. Would like to see the crowd get into it more but I'm thinking this will get better as the season moves on (I'm still in Blue Jay mode myself). A couple of comments: Where are our banners and will they be put up again? Also, why can't the Tigers get their store open and expand their merchandise?

Anonymous said...

Reply to Catfan.... Im guessing there are no banners or tigers store because that takes work and thought!!! same reason there is no program numbers or tigers dressing room built, tigers offices built or game highlights on the website the ole tigers mgmt still has to evolve :( nice show put on by Canalta center and smg though!!!! The girls in the concessions sure worked hard I love the Canalta center atmosphere we have the nicest rink in the league!!!

longtimefan said...

Cat Fan, no signed lease, no store, dressing room or anything else they might need. First thing that needs to happen is both sides need to negotiate. Right now only one side is interested. Tigers ownership is trying the same stall tactic they used while negotiating with the city hoping they will get what they want. Not going to work with smg.

Anonymous said...

We had problems with the plexiglass as well. Players looked distorted from where we were sitting. Ended up with a headache and had to stand up at the top.

sammy12 said...

Concur with most of comments here. From our seats near center ice and 14 rows up the game really looked good. Too bad about glass, hopefully they can find a solution as it was really a nice view from our area , much brighter than old arena. The wait outside wasn't too great and when line got moving we took almost 20 mins to get in from where we were lined un in the east parking lot. The scanners were really slow getting us in through front door and I think they will definitely have to open another entrance probably as mentioned by section g/h and maybe by bar also. Don't know if the servers at all the food outlets were too inexperienced or not but the lineup were so long that they impeded fans walking in concourse during end of periods as it was more congested than at old arena and sometimes you could not even move. The sound was great as was video on the scoreboard. I'm sure at some point they will set up shots and penalty time remaining so they are larger. Definitely almost 6000 fans were a test that SMG wasn't ready for but hopefully they will get better in the near future cause other than ice level glass it's seems like its a great view from the seats.

TigerTurf said...

Missed this but Markus Eisenschmid was sent to the AHL yesterday.

longtimefan said...

Heard today that the Box Springs Business Park people are upset with Kal Tire for offering parking on their site and are going to try to get them to stop it. Apparently Box Springs isn't in the giving mood.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Tigers dropped Michael Spacek. He has been lighting it up in Red Deer so far.

Anonymous said...

Shaw has nothing to do with what you saw on the Video Board, that was operated 1oo% by the Tigers.

Too bad about the glass. Heard it was not installed by an NHL approved company and seems to mark up real quick so maybe it will get swapped out someday before too long.

Still, overall it's hard to believe it's in Medicine Hat! Seems everything here gets screwed up, and by and large you got to hand it to the city for taking their time and getting it right with this building.

Anonymous said...

Bradley expected to be in the lineup this week.

Quennville on players to watch list for 2016 draft with a C rating. Schneider on the list too but he signed an entry level contact with Calgary.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me what happened to Matt Staples? I live in his hometown (Coppell,Tx) and have been following his career with the Tigers. I have searched the web but have come up empty. Thanks.

TigerTurf said...

Staples cleared waivers so he was a free agent.

I've heard that Baie-Comeau Drakkar a team in the QMJHL has picked him up, and he will be their monday to fight for a spot. Baie-Comeau currently have 3 Overagers on their team and Staples would make 4.

TigerTurf said...

Eisenschmid scored in his first pre-season game in the AHL with St John's on October 2nd

TigerTurf said...

Also Matt Staples is now listed on Baie-Comeau Drakkar's website roster

CatFan said...

I know it's early but I hope our goaltending gets better. It hasn't been horrible, but pretty average. I was expecting big things from Schneider this year. He looks a little shaky so far, but the defence hasn't helped much either.

Unknown said...

I'm just wondering what song is played when the Tigers come out for the 3rd period. It sounds like Metallica kind of, but I'm not 100% sure.

TigerTurf said...

Not sure what they song was, but I don't remember paying attention to it. I'll listen for it next game.

@catfan - Schneider made some big stops. He needs to fight harder and be more aggressive fighting for the puck in his crease. Sometimes he is too passive/slow to react with a loose puck. He needs to be more aggressive and own his crease.

The Tigers defense didn't really help though. Too many times they were dipsydoodling right in front of Schneider and lost the puck.

Fischer also needs to play more aggressive. I think he realized that and was playing harder in the 3rd period.

Anonymous said...

Yes defence was not quite up to what was needed. They often seemed a little slow and there was a major difference in how Kelowna came out of their own end and how we weren't quite as mobile moving puck out. Both goalies had a chance to steal a win and thought they both played about the same with both making some solid saves while also being soft on a few. All in all Kelowna did what they had to to get the 2 points in their last game of 4 on the road.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see Schneider struggle at all...I seen way too many turnovers that resulted in either breakaways from in close or guys getting a free wack from right in front....Tigers have Big D and needs to put guys on their ass in front of our net...Limit the turnovers and we win easily...Offense is huge plus...Guys can bury the puck from all over the ice...D needs to move the puck out of our end...

TigerTurf said...

Eisenschmid still hasn't signed with St. Johns but has lasted a few cuts.
The Import deadline is today, the OA cutoff is October 15th.


Anonymous said...

Latest St.John's Twitter feed suggests that Eisenschmid has signed a one year AHL deal

TigerTurf said...

Hah I checked their twitter feed before posting. Looks like they just posted it.
Confirmed Markus Eisenschmid has signed a 1 year contract.

longtimefan said...

Good for Markus. Really wouldn't have been a story anyways. While they may have had room for a euro, he wouldn't have removed one of the three current 20's.

Anonymous said...

Big question? Does Clouston make any changes?

Anonymous said...

Kyle Buroughs playing in the ECHL. Why not play your 20yr season in the WHL vs ECHL?

TigerTurf said...

I am a big fan of not rushing development. Moving a player up too early can crush their career. Defenceman usually mature a couple years later than forwards as I believe it's experience and smarts which help defend against quick forwards.

Having a player in the ECHL (minus goaltenders) can be a waste of 1 yr on their entry level deal. It usually means they are behind on the depth chart or a solid player for injury callups during the season.

I'm 50-50. Burroughs could have been a star defenseman in the WHL. If he is playing 3rd line minutes in the echl its a waste of 1 yr on his entry level deal. But if he is a top 4 guy, I don't mind seeing him play their for his development.

Anonymous said...

TigerTurf come on you don't want him, you want Stanton! I'd trade Connor McDavid for Stanton thanks to your great "insight"

longtimefan said...

Trevor Cox out 8-10 weeks with a broken hand.

TigerTurf said...

Ouch that hurts! Losing cox for 2-3 months is a big blow.

@anon 4:42
If I was managing the team I would have picked: Stanton, Hunt, Sanford.

I defended the position of Stanton, Cox, Sanford because you don't win by just loading up offense, ask the Oilers. Also Cox/Sanford have been playing together the last 2 years and have great chemistry together.

longtimefan said...

I also believe they made the right choice. They needed a defenceman more than another forward. You can't predict when and who is going to get hurt.

Anonymous said...

Realty check, Cox more likely 4 weeks not 8 - 10. Where does this stuff come from

Anonymous said...

We really have a weak D They consistantly coughed up the puck in their own end tonight. Hurts a bit to see Hobbs being in a Pat's uniform instead of still being a Tiger and being the best defencman on the ice by far over any of Tiger D. Not sure what the answer is but when teams forecheck us in our end our D isn't handling it well.

TigerTurf said...

Hobbs looked really good. I agree their are quite inexperienced back there.

Owre,Rassal played phenomenal. Sanford took the night Off.
Schneider played well, Clouston played well.

Kootenay in on Friday who have been struggling as well.

ILPAKB said...

Going to be a long yr....

TigerTurf said...

Cox missed Tuesday’s contest with a broken hand — suffered in a fight with Hat native Jaeger White during Friday’s 7-0 loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes — and he’ll be watching from the stands for the next six-to-eight weeks as a result.
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The new building its hard to concentrate on the game with new neighbors but here is what I've noticed.

The tigers have so many turnovers in their half of the ice. The forwards leave the zone ahead of the play and are forced to make split second decisions into traffic which often exacerbate the turnovers. Sometimes this is ok to get the other team moving and freeing up a passing lanes, but they sometimes force the issue with the pass.

I also saw numerous times where the Puck carrier had no good options to pass to out of his zone. That means the forwards, and extra Dman are not doing their job and lazily skating up ice not creating room.

Their forwards have decent zone time up front, but need to work on their shot quality, it sucks bad. When the goalie is moving regardless of if he is facing the play he is not set. They have lots of time in the danger zone but their shots are low quality when they do.

On the other side their defenseman have tunnel vision and are not aware of the guys streaking up the ice or in front of the net beating them to rebounds. They are also having troubles with guys going wide.

I see Schneider battling in front being more aggressive for the loose puck which is good. He also needs to work on seeing the puck through traffic. He did a great job on breakaways last night.

When Wllie was here and things weren't going their way, He would work on set plays on areas of the game they were having difficulty with. Their team save percentage is abysmal and it's not Schneider's fault, although he has some areas to work on as well.

Anonymous said...

I am frustrated by Cox's injury. It was a dumb move to fight. I think the C and A's are not being leaders on the ice. When the team is struggling it is often them losing control and taking penalities. They need to lead this young team and often that means keeping your cool. Cox is not a fighter and I have no idea what he was thinking. Let Laday throw some blows, not the guy when need to score! Selfish decision.

Schneids looks unconfident in net. He is so deep. 2 goals on the short side in the last couple games is not acceptable. He does not challenge for the puck at all and seems to sit back and allow the team to screen him. Not very aggressive on taking his space. I know he can play better, we have all seen it.

Stanton has not been the leader on defence we need. I think he is capable of more. I thought he was outplayed by some of the younger guys at times - like Forrest. Quenenville seems so focused on getting goals he is forgetting defence. And Schultz appears to be afraid to get hit and is not aggressive on the puck. More thought and effort from these guys would help. And we all know they are capable of better play.

Looking forward to seeing some things getting fixed. They are losing but are not playing to their potiential - I think we fans can expect better soon!

Anonymous said...

I am frustrated by the Tigers play. It is clear that the vets in the room need to lead a bit more. They are not setting a good example - Sanford could not coast more or take more dumb penalities if her tried. Cox has removed himself for 6 weeks with a dumb move to fight. Stanton is not playing as well as a vet defenceman needs too. Just not what I was expecting. I really think we should have kept Hunt and traded one of the others. There were OA dmen available who I think were of more value then Stanton. Stanton is a decent player but I do not think is good enough to be the main guy on defence.
No one on the ice seems to have passion. But I never thought Sanford or Cox showed team passion, rather they show individual passion. Something has to change. Maybe trading Cox/Sandford would shake things up, get decent returns and change the outlook of the team.

TigerTurf said...

Schneider's fundamentals are very strong. He is now being thrust into the #1 role with poor defense.

Keep in mind your positioning in net can be effected by your trust in your teams defensive play.

If you have little trust in your defenceman you play deeper in net so you don't have to move laterally as far and can grab rebounds faster. If you play more out you place greater trust in your defenceman to block cross ice passes and clear rebounds because your further away.

Lack of trust in your teams defensive game means the shooter will beat you a few more times straight on as your angles aren't being cut down. I think this is a big factor in his decision to play closer to the goal-line.
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We knew the potential for defensive woes were high with the high Defensive turn-around. His moves bringing in Laday and platonov haven't been working as well as one hoped.
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Defensive Development Wise the Tigers are forced to play 3 players over their skill level.

Stanton - First line capable
Schultz - 2nd line capable
Forrest, Laday, clouston, quenneville, platonov - 3rd line.

As a result schultz is being bumped up to the first line and 2 other players are being bumped up to the 2nd line. That's 3 guys playing over their skill level. When players are playing over their skill level they make mistakes more often or rush plays. Their is a fine balance between playing over their skill level and gaining experience vs playing over their skill level and having their development/confidence stalled.

Pre-season we had hoped that Laday would be capable of a 2nd line, possibly pushing first line and that has proved to be optimistic so far, and the Tigers have given clouston a chance at the 2nd line role where I thought he played well.
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I also do not like going with 3 forward lines and giving spot duty to the 4th line.

They did it all last season and starting to this season. In the long term they are hampering the development of 1 player in favor of short-term gains. It works shortening your bench in a close game because that is when short-term gains are needed but I'm not a fan of doing it all year because of the long-term disadvantage.
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longtimefan said...

Not sure why people are so surprised with the defensive game this year. Had to know there was going to be some defensive issues this season when they decided to go with the two overagers and 3 nineteen year olds last season along with an overage goaltender. In junior hockey you are going to pay the price when you build your roster the way they did last season. Now you have a 17 year old goaltender being fed to the wolves due to what is right now a terrible defensive core. Other than Stanton and Schultz the other guys are borderline WHL players at best.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:47 Yeah that makes sense trade two of the leading scores in the league for what some prospects or draft picks that really would help. Why not put higher expectations on the Owre's Butchers Bradleys etc of this team. Cox and Stanford have raised their level of play every year they have been here. I can't say the same of others. You win and lose as a team to point out two that you don't particularly like doesn't really hold the whole group accountable

Anonymous said...

New goalie coming, who is on the way out???? Cox maybe for beating up cloustons stepkid!!! Need some hi quality d trades next or some euro exchanges or go euroless after christmas!!!

TigerTurf said...

Yes I agree. I think we all hoped that the Defensive imports would have had a greater impact.

I think their prospect pool is getting quite lean. Need another few weeks to evaluate their young guys but you will definitively see my thoughts about it later.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 9:47. Trade Cox & Sanford as were not going to win many games this year. At the same time hire a new coach and seperate gm that can run the business side. Another bad decision today picking up a 20 year old Goalie from a team that didn't want him.
This organization is in turmoil, and it is going to get worse as we witness the decisions Clouston is making. We have picked up some of the worst D in the league where teams were outright going to release these players anyways, but we still managed to give teams some of our assets such as draft picks. Platonov can't play and Quennevile is an offensive defensemen. IMO Clouston is incompetent as a gm and owners are not holding him accountable.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know why they didnt try to trade spacek? We should have got a high pick for him!! Red deer keeps picking up players off our list and are quite successful at it!! Wyatt Johnson has been solid, Rhyse Dieno had a sold 20 yr, Dubyk was great, now Spacek, Im sure there were others too!