Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Breaking Down The Goals Vs Victoria 3-1

First Goal (Jack Walker(8) From Tyler Soy)

Their are a bunch of minor mistakes that lead makes it easier for Jack Walker to blow past the Tigers defense.

This play starts in the Royal own zone with the Tigers out of position. The Tigers have 2 forwards in deep, (Jevne, Sanford) and their 3rd forward went off on a change.  

3 Man Forecheck
The system the Tigers use, either the third Tiger Forward is playing high (empty red circle, I should have positioned it higher) and anticipating a breakout pass while the player in green is bustling his ass to get back up the ice. The player in green went chasing behind the net (which is rarely a good play) He is ten feet behind where he should be positioned, he is lazy coming back.


1 Man Forecheck
Only 1 forward enters the zone with 2 forwards playing back. 

What Happens
The Tigers utilize the 3 man forecheck, however the third man went off for a change, rendering the forecheck  useless.

What should have happened
If a player went off for the change their should have been some communication going on where the forwards fall back and utilize the 1 man forecheck.

Entering the Zone

Now Jack Walker has a full head of steam. The faster an opposing forward is skating, the more difficult it is to slow him down.

To some it may look like it was Brad Forrest's mistake in letting Jack Walker blow by him, but I would put equal blame on the poor decisions of the forwards up front, utilizing incorrect systems play.  Brad Forrests mistake is that he is too deep in his zone, and Jack Walker has a full head of steam.

This means that forrest is unable to match the speed of Walker coming at him. Ideally we want forrest skating backwards a slight notch below the speed of walker. Walker is travelling at nearly twice the speed, and it means that Walker can gain lateral seperation twice as fast.

Matt Bradley, fails to see that Forrest is about to be overpowered. Schultz has to stay back because their is a side winger that could be an incoming threat.

4th Mistake: I won't picture here to save space but Schneider is playing too deep in his net. He is a foot off the goal-line giving up clear shooting lanes. 

Conclusion: No defensive awareness from the fowards playing the correct systems to slow down walker.   Tigers Brad Forrest was skating too slowly and playing too deep in his zone making it very difficult to play the body. Schneider was deep in his net.

Second Goal (Matthew Phillips(15) from Ryan Gangon, and Alex Forsberg)
This is virtually a carbon copy of Brandon's second goal on saturday.

Schultz is out of position(mistake one) but the Tigers are maintaining decent recovery coverage here. Forrest has an active stick at the net. Gerlach has the guy in the slot. Shaw is covering the guy out front. Butcher is at the circle, athough at this point he should be warry of the defenceman at the point on the near side.

The danger is in Shaw not being able to tie up the guy in front of the net, as well as a pinch by a defenceman at the Red X.

What Happens
The Royals pass the puck out front, and the Tigers do a good job and cover their men. Except look at Schultz and Shaw in the next picture. The threat has turned into a rebound threat and their are 2 royals down low ready to overpower the single defenceman.

Schultz/Shaw are too far away from the rebound threat in front. Schultz should be lower in the zone, and Shaw should be anticipating a pass to the the 5th royal at the bottom of the blueline.

What Happens
Matthew Phillips is left uncovered in the slot, and scores on the rebound.

Third Goal (Chaz Reddekopp(4) from Joe Hicketts) PP

Their was previously a shot from the point and the Tigers are now battling for possesion. Sanford does a good job to rush in to the puck, however he fails to get good wood on his shot, and he ends up passing the puck to the Royals defenceman up high. He is now OUT OF POSITION


Matt Bradley charges forward (red circle) Lets take a look at the next picture to see how much open ice it creates. Cole Sanford FAILS to move his feet and switch over to the other side. Instead he lazily glides to the middle of the ice. He could have prevented this goal by moving his feet, and taking Bradley's guy, now that Bradley has switched over and taken his, to cover Sanford's failure to clear.

What Happens
Chaz Reddekopp the far defenceman has all day to walk in and tee up a shot.

Their are quite a few positioning and recovery mistakes here.


longtimefan said...

Looking at the schedule there's a real good chance this team won't win another game in the 2015 calander year. Kamloops, Kelowna, Red Deer twice, Calgary twice, Lethbridge twice and the much improved Oil Kings three times. I posted awhile back that they would struggle to get 20 wins. I'm going to amend that and say it's going to be a stretch to get to 15.

Anonymous said...

Omg the tigers are terrible. All those moves to get different guys in and they are more terrible then when the season started. Shields was not the answer, they should have just kept Schneider as starter and pushed him into the roll. That way they could have kept Cox. The defenceman that they got in the Cox deal is not helping them, neither is Heid. I do not like either of those trades. We need to quit trying to patch a team together. I think we can pretty much say that the season is lost, we will not make playoffs and lets hope for a better season next year.
I was never a fan of having Joey and Jerrid on the bench as assistant coaches. They are not assistant coaches, they are old players who have barely left hockey and should not be on the bench. I think this is where a head coach needs assistants and Clouston does not have them. I really think they need to get ride of them and get in two assistants who have experience behind the bench. Guys who have coached their way up to the WHL, not just old favourite players who are little more then stick boys. I like both guys a lot, they just needs more life and coaching experience before they should be behind a WHL bench.

Anonymous said...

Im a long time Tiger fan and was at the game in Vancouver tonight. This is the worst Tiger team in a long long time. Clouston has made an absolute mess of this team. I don't see how it's fixed any time soon. A very average Vancouver team laid the boots to a Tiger group that quit after the first period.

TigerTurf said...

5 Game losing streak and longtimefan is right, it won't get any easier for them with their schedule.

They have no zero defensive awareness and are often out of position. Before they had more talent to mask it, but not so this season. They are often giving the opposition chances rather than forcing them to work hard and create them.

It looks like the Tigers will have a top notch draft pick unfortunately. Another question to ask is how much leeway do the Tigers give Clouston? The tigers underperformed last season, they are underperforming again. He is the Gm and coach so responsibility falls solely on him.

Anonymous said...

it was obvious that they gave up last night. At least with previous games they had energy and were trying. There was little effort. Watching Clouston over the years its apparent he does not reward hard work, so why try? If he was a brilliant/good coach he would have been trying to build the team. He had many opportunities to do so yet he didn't. Its not the assistant coaches fault. Clouston too is an old player. Its not difficult to shut the Tigers down. They do the same plays over and over again. When it doesn't work he switches the lines. They never get to build chemistry with one another. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

Anonymous said...

It is time for a change, the players are not playing for the coach anymore

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should not blame the players, as they obviously are not getting effective instruction from any of the coaches. The Medicine Hat organization has lost many great scouts, and key people in the past few years, and this is the result. You have Clouston trying to run the show. Maybe the Masers ought to get involved, as it is there investment. Not sure how they just stand by, and do absolutely nothing. They need to get with it, and get involved. Embarrassing actually !!

NEW Coach :( said...

Some players do work hard, others must be frustrated and ready to quit, I have liked many players this year some others played better last season, I really liked the work ethic and play of Mowbrey and Rassel when they were on line 1 earlier this year and now they are on line 4??? very undeserving to them, time for a shake up for sure from the owners down. Are the owners afraid to build a dressing room because they want to sell? Mh draws 4000+ fans per game which is a better average of any other team in the canadian conferences other than Calgary, when do the owners wakeup and give the fans more than the silly meatball game? LOL ;)

TigerTurf said...

My intent of those posts wasn't to put blame on the players, but show that the systems play hasn't been getting better, and the players aren't learning.

Anonymous said...

Cloustons ship is going down. He is fully responsible for this mess and no one-else. I guess when you treat your hockey staff, fellow Tiger employees and players poorly its bound to come full circle. He has lost the room players do not want to play for him, they are done...
Recap of Cloustons bad decisions: Plaintinov and Laday what was he thinking 2 guys that never belonged in this league. He trades Cox? Why? Acquires Lotz who was damaged goods but never takes the time to do his due diligence. Acquires Heid a below average D man who is unproven -5. Acquires Conor Clouston? Adds Forrest to the D core who turns over the puck, can't make a good first pass ever and is a -9. Schulz same thing turn overs turn overs and to soft also a -9.
We have the worst defence in the league.
We need a new coach and gm. Time for the ownership group to wake up.
Next we bring in Shields who should not be a 20 year old goalie in this league. Schneiders confidence is depleted after MH is on 4th goalie this year. I wonder if Calgary will ask for him to be moved for his development?
Sanford and Stanton, their is no choice now but to trade them to try and get assets for next year etc... Like one fan said hopefully we notch a good first round pick in 2016 as there is no hope in hell we'll make playoffs. There is no way any other ownership group in the WHL would tolerate this... Clouston looks lost a head coach on the bench. He shows his weakness greatly when he shuffles his line combos 5-6 times a game for the last month and he wonders why nothing working over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Tigerturf have you watched a practice in the last 6 years? How do they look? The same? No wonder players aren't learning.

Anonymous said...

Question I'm wondering is when we fire Clouston does his son leave the team?

longtimefan said...

For those that are hoping that Clouston gets fired I wouldn't hold my breath waiting. Unless there is a mutiny and a bunch of players don't return after the Christmas break i doubt there will be any changes.

TigerTurf said...

It is soo easy to say shoulda/woulda. Some of those points you make I don't think they are entirely bad decisions. I'll explain.

Let's Recap
We knew coming in defence was a weak point. I think we would agree that was a weakness of trying to strengthen what was already strong last season, and poor management of the players age-groups, so that puts the Tigers at a couple notches below. 0/1

Clouston likely had to rely on his scouts for information. 1 limitation of the head coach/GM is a poor understanding of players in other conferences. In this case It was a failing of both scouts/clouston not recognizing Laday's playing ability. Ultimately Clouston pulls the Trigger. IMO a team should always be scouting for players behind on the depth charts of other teams.

Platanov was previously a higher touted prospect. Given the same situation you/I may have very well of drafted him too. I give him the benefit here so he is 1/2

Heid was cheap, and I think he is a solid stay at home Dman who is underdeveloped. Give him coaching and playing time on the 3rd pair and he will turn into a solid 2nd line stay at home guy. I support CLouston in bringing him in. 1/1
Clouston(Dman) was also cheap, but a band-aid solution. People auto assume that he is a bad player because he was traded a few times and the coaches son. If we look at his plus/minus he is 1st on the team. IMO he is an ok defenceman, and their are much worse out there.

Coach CLoustong bringing his son in was different than his usual strategy. Usually he brings in offensively aware or defenceman that can skate well. His son plays a very simple game and is something the Tigers don't draft/acquire for. So when you criticize coach clouston, critcize him for differing from their usual formula or a band-aid solution going back to last year and not because he is the son of the coach. I'm giving him a .5/1

Schneider's "struggles." - He was facing above average quality shots. He likes to retreat in his crease. When a goalie feels unconfident of his defenceman he will back up. Which means he isn't cutting the angles and straight shots beat him more often. The Tigers aren't' very good at clearing rebounds, and he is trying to overcome that be playing further back in his crease. They are killing his development.

The failures of the defence are directly impacting the goalie, and Clouston brought in a band-aid to fix that with Lotz. Lots is a very good goaltender brought in for cheap, and it costed the Tigers an overage.

They brought in a 19 yr old defenceman (band-aid) and a 2nd rounder. Lots was then injured ( which you can never predict, even though he had past problems he was the best goaltender available) Tigers then put in shields for free. Where he hasn't improved the situation.

This sequence of events I give him a 1/4.

Total 3.5/9

Previous to this season I would have kept: Hunt, Stanton, Sanford
Kept Spacek, and drafted a Euro Defencemen. (It was known spacek wanted to come over the following season before the import draft) Why drop him early??

Use Cox to bring in a young defenceman (16/17/18) if possible. If not picks

Depth purposes
Rassal Owre Sanford
Spacek Butcher Hunt
Shaw Bradley Gerlach
Hamblin Fantillo Mowbray
Jevne Prezusio

Stanton(20) Schultz(18)
Euro(18) Qunneville(17)
Forrest(17) Skapski(17)
young defenceman from Cox Trade


Offense would be powerfull
Defense a concern

Would have thought goal-tending would be strong
I would then move Bradley for an equivalent 18 yr old on defence. If the Tigers still had hobbs their Defence would have been solid.

his decisions over the last 2 years...blah

longtimefan said...

if things weren't bad enough, Steven Owre out for 4-6 weeks with a broken ankle.

Anonymous said...

The fact you still have Stanton after his play this year is mind numbing. He does one good thing well he can carry the puck out with good speed, terrible at making those first passes and reads, doesn't move anyone infront of the net, plays out of position and has the center sneak behind him constantly, he doesn't use his body and he takes stupid penalties. The worst is he is the biggest crap talker on the ice but only does it when linesmen are infront of him. There are 18 year old defenseman in this league that play with more poise and skill far beyond what Stanton can bring.

to just break down short clips from the highlight reel and point out what you did wrong on this play lead to this, is a very small point of pointing out the plays. The tigers have a constant issue with losing the small battles whether that be winning the neutral zone or corners, they don't win a lot of those battles. It's no secret that if you are a forward playing the Tigers you can freely stand in front of the net without getting touched (Clouston is only one who actually will move guys) but it's even more insanity that our coach/GM watches this every single game and doesn't make adjustments. The only adjustments he makes is if the team doesn't score he switches up the lines which is the very reason the team is so sloppy in the neutral zone. Clouston could easily be considered the worst coach in the whl after the Christmas break

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if it's the worst coach/gm or the worst owners who are so cheap to make the change behind the bench.

longtimefan said...

To be honest Clouston the coach hasn't been given much to work with this year by Clouston the gm. Clouston the coach has a pretty decent record as head coach since taking over from Willie in the 2010-2011 season. Excluding this year he has an overall record of 213-122-0-25 which I'm guessing would put him near the top in coaching wins in that span of time. As an owner do you fire him for one bad half with his previous record, probably not. Do you fire him because the players don't like him, maybe, but he wouldn't be the first coach that players didn't like and still had success.

Clouston the gm on the other hand in my estimation hasn't done a very good job. Since taking over that role his teams have gotten smaller each year and in the last couple years I think he's made some questionable roster moves that has impacted this years team. The never ending quest for goaltenders that cost this years team what would have been a very good overage forward. Trading prospects and picks last year to upgrade when in my mind they had no chance to get out of the eastern conference. I still put a lot of the roster problems and list on former Director of PP Brad Mcewan but ultimately Clouston is in charge so it's his responsibility.

Aah the owners, who are they. Rarely seen, never heard from. This is where the problems begin and end. Still don't have a lease in place although it's hard to get anything done when you won't meet or pick up the phone. Still hoping that the city will step in and give them money to build their dressing room, fitness area and office space. No words of thanks to fans from either one of them after 45 years of support in the old building and no welcome to the Canalta Center either verbally or in print in the magazine sent out prior to the Canalta Center opening. I was really hoping they would have seen an opportunity to get out of the business and ride into the sunset but no such luck.

TigerTurf said...

longetimefan I do agree with you there. I think clouston always tries to create a third path. Sometimes he tries the 3rd path so often he gets lost. I have felt he makes roster decisions to early. Their is a bit of movement after ten games when teams see their weaknesses/strenghts and he has dropped guys and lost lots of value for that.
His coaching record is very impressive and because of his past record he deserves to get a lot of extra leeway.
Him holding 2 positions is too much. While I don't fully agree with his coaching philosophy I'd rather see him as strictly the Tigers coach. He should step down from the GM role, I think us both would be suprised to see that happen.
@anon 11:48
I agree with most of your points, and the direction your pointing out.

The reason why I am still a fan of keeping stanton is because of that mobility, and his ability to eat 30 minutes a game. He does make a mistake every once in a while and will bobble the puck. Defensively he has a very active stick, and is very good at deflecting the puck away or knocking away loose rebounds.

He could tie up 1 guy at the net, and leave 1 guy open, or sit back and knock the rebound away. He has adapted to the below average defensive capabilities of the forwards.

I also feel that his prowess of being under attack by more than 1 guy with limited support and getting out of the zone is very impressive to me. If the Tigers had a more experienced group I might have been in favor of moving him.

longtimefan said...

Re Stanton. Given the state of the blue line they had no choice but to keep him as they had no young guys ready to step in. Problem is he's playing the role as a number one dman when he's a three-four guy at best.

Good on the team for getting a road win last night.

TigerTurf said...

On a championship team I'd want him on my 2nd pairing for depth, but I would be comfortable with him as a #2 guy Depending on the depth of the team.

Anonymous said...

GM Clouston should hire former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Johnston as just let go this am.

TigerTurf said...

Their structure tonight was a TOOOOOOOOON Better.
Although worried abit after Stanton didn't return. The Tigers struggled a bit getting out of their own zone.

TigerTurf said...

Schnedier was also a lot better. Playing out at the top of the crease, and was tracking shots through traffic.

Anonymous said...

The teams #1 hardest working player Butcher can chuck em pretty good too!!!!!! There is no european fighting style in this vet!!! Also Gerlach can pick those corners!!!! HMMwow!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Harpnootnick the Tigs are on a 2 game winning streak. Go Tigers go :)

TigerTurf said...

They are playing much better hockey systemswise the last 1.5 weeks. Despite a couple big injuries they have been playing better hockey.

These back to back wins put them back in the playoff race.
Trade deadline time is a month away. The Tigers may get offers for guys like Butcher, Sanford, Owre

All 3 are very valuable. Butcher/Owre will be here next season as PPG O/A's. Wouldn't be a fan of giving them up unless the deal offered is to sweet to refuse.

longtimefan said...

Seems like a little different team defensively since coming back from the BC road trip. even though they lost the two against Red Deer they were in both games and thought they were the better team in the home game. Winning all three against the Oil Kings has vaulted them back into the wildcard race. Two or three losses probably would have put them to far back.

Would like to see Nick Schneider get the majority of the starts going forward. He's been real good for a while now and deserves the number one role.

Have to wonder if there will be any interest in Cole Sandford as the trading deadline nears. Kid can score if someone gets him the puck and would certainly help a contender.

TigerTurf said...

IMO they have underachieved and are better than what they have shown. The tigers were making a ton of minor mistakes being out of position. The opposition just had to play in their zone for 10-15 seconds under normal play and were creating advantages with basic play.

Let's see what kind of team they have after cracking down on that major leak. They play their next 4 games against teams in the CHL top ten. Statistically speaking they will probably come out with a losing record, but they have beaten both teams earlier in the season.

TigerTurf said...

I think with Schneider just watch him. When he plays at the top of his crease he has that confidence in him. When he plays 1-2 feet behind he has no confidence, and straight shots/deflections start to beat him.

With goalies in todays game reflexes aren't what they used to be. It's playing the angles/technical side, and high hockey IQ that makes a great goalie. Ex carey price

Anonymous said...

7-5 Win tonight against Calgary. The refs were bigger than the game tonight. "Pretty Disgusting".

sammy12 said...

Hi follow your blog every day, sometimes several times a day looking if there are new posts. One concern I have is we have to scroll down several pages to get to where the latest post are located, especially now that you have those pages showing players positions and an explanation as to what was strong or weak. Is there any way that new posts for topics can be moved to the top like just about every other board I follow.thanks

TigerTurf said...

Hi Sammy,

It's due to the blog layout. When I first created it, I coded half of it myself. Since then I've taken off many customizations and blogger's interface has changed to make it much easiler to edit.

FOr now I put a link at the top of the page, but may look at changing the layout over christmas.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas TT and all tigers fans one day we will be on top again!!!

Anonymous said...

Agreed! There are some definite bright spots for the future in Gerlach and Shaw, and it's nice watching Butcher blossom this year.

Cheers to all Tigers fans and thank you TT for your blog!

TigerTurf said...

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

3 Points out of 6 so far, even if they lose on tuesday in Lethbridge they have done better than expected due to how challenging the competition has been in their last couple games.

I couldn't attend the lethbridge game, but sounded like it was pretty exciting on the radio.

Anonymous said...

Lucky to get a point, for sure. Stripes were very kind to the Tigers in this one. They choose not to call three obvious hooks on Hurricane odd man rushes, the last no-call basically negated a Cane 2 on 0 in the third. Could have been called a penalty shot, and instead was nothing. Thanks for the point, Kowalski & Zalaski.

We OWN the refs in this building!!

TigerTurf said...

Take note that likely came from a canes fan

longtimfan said...

Well we all know that whenever any whl officials drive by the welcome to Medicine Hat signs some kind of strange feeling comes over them that makes them blind to all other coloured jerseys that are playing here. Been hearing this crap from Cane fans forever. Funny anon 9:43 failed to mention the cheesy kneeing call that handed them their first power play. Unless Baxter Anderson has a knee growing out of his backside it shouldn't have been called.

Kudos to Peter Anholt and coach Kisio for turning that team around. The veteran players that Anholt has added have made a huge impact with their team. Also like the way they come out of their end with speed thru the neutral zone as it creates big time problems for the defensive team.

CatFan said...

We did spend too much time in our own end, but still we battled back to get that point and good on them for that. Also, Schneider looked great even tho he gave up 5 goals. There was traffic in front of him all night and at least 3 goals seemed to be guys left all alone at the side of the net. Some of our older guys need to step up their game (Bradley, Rassell for starters). Very impressed with our young forwards, but where is Hamblin? He is not listed as an injury on the WHL site.

longtimefan said...

think you're right about the comment being from a Cane's fan, pretty much the same comments on Pats blog. Actually think it's good to have the bigger building with fans from out of town being able to secure tickets much easier now. Earlier we had the Junior Hockey Junkies from Calgary and last night Inbred bus lines brought the three families from Lethbridge. Makes for a better atmosphere and helps to get those rivalries heated up.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the Tigers consider trading Sanford if we are not in a playoff position come trade deadline. I think the team could squeak in but it would be more worthwhile to get a good prospect for Sanford. And frankly, if a team has any interest in Stanton I think we should get ride of him. I know a lot of people feel he is good but I just find he is a disappointment in a 20 year old position. Would rather see us trade for a younger defenceman and build up this team.
Also, I feel the young guys own this team, not the vets, so would like to see trades to get some support for the young guys. We could be good in a few years.

Anonymous said...

I never was on the bandwagon to fire Clouston but I am kinda leaning towards some changes. And not because we are having a bad year but because I think we are unachieving a bit. First, Joey and Jerrid have no experience and I do not think they bring much to the table. Joey has learned some things but not enough to really make an impact. Darren Kruger had more knowledge, experience and hockey know how then the two of them combined. I also think that both guys do not challenge what Clouston thinks or suggests, so it is Cloustons way or no way. This is not the way to make the team better. The coaching staff should work as a unit, not as one guys leading and the other two doing what they are told. I also do not think Clouston should be GM. Keep Clouston fine, but get a GM and get two REAL assistant coaches, not some kids who played hockey once.

longtimefan said...

With Red Deer acquiring overage forward Luke Philp from Kootenay and giving up a roster player and a prospect along with two 2016 draft choices I'm wondering if the Tigers are contemplating trading Cole Sanford. If he could bring a similar return they would be crazy not to. Sanford and Philp have similar career numbers and are close in stature. I might add Philp probably won't play until close to playoff time as he is currently on long term injury.

Anonymous said...

Sanford has been pretty lazy, not much of a grinder...he has a good shot but mostly waiting for handouts....Now Butcher and Shaw these kids got some Sway!!!!

Anonymous said...

Gerlach!! He is outstanding!! How could you forget to mention him!?!?!
Trade Sanford, the kids have taken control of this team. I think it is led by David Queniville! The kid has been a star on the back end and seems to be doing a lot of talking on the ice and on the bench.

Anonymous said...

Quenville??? You've got to be kidding!! Did you see his play last game? Brutal!! Must have been taking lessons from his big brother!!

longtimefan said...

Anon 9:56 you don't trade Sanford just for the sake of making a deal. If you don't get what you want you don't move him. My guess is with the owners we have being more than happy to just make the playoffs every year the team will do very little at the deadline. Don't agree with your take on Quennville. Offensively he's ok but defensively he is a liability.

Anonymous said...

I think the point of trading Sanford would be for the return, not just for the sake of trading. He could get some good return and make this team better in a couple years. He has limited impact right now, likely not a playoff team or might just squeak in if they are lucky.

TigerTurf said...

5 More Deals today so the dominoes are starting to fall.

I think if the Tigers were offered a 1st, a good young player, and a returning 20 it would be Ill advised not to take that. Although that seems doubtful.

Victoria, PG, Seattle could be in the market based on their record as well as their strenght of 20's.

We almost forget that the Tigers still have 2 key 19yr old vets out in Owre, and Kirichenko still out. One wonders if Kirichenko was healthy if another team would have offered or overpaid for him due to the high prices.

Their was an interesting article in Kelowna yesterday that mentions their is a lot of interest in teams wanting older defenceman that can play the PP Except their isn't much out there.

Stanton is a name that was mentioned, but later in their article their GM mentioned only wanting to give up a 3rd or two. Stanton is worth a lot more to the Tigers than a 3rd, as they would lose a lot of value on the back-end and without an equal replacement it seems unlikely that deal would take place.

TigerTurf said...

I haven't watched the Tigers lately, but I'm almost wondering if they had a consultant in to fix their defensive side of the game. They were in much better positioning all over the ice.

They really missed Stanton on the back-end. Warriors had a lot of zone time, because that Stanton type player wasn't their to make things difficult and break up plays. Hopefully he is not out for too long. IMO he is like the queen piece on a chess board. You take him out and everything changes.

longtimefan said...

Had the Tigers been playing teams that can score goals the last two games they would have been blitzed twice with the amount of give aways they've committed. Only thing saving them has been the play of Nick Schneider.

TigerTurf said...

This is a long comment but a big summary of what I was trying to point out. I hope it makes sense.

The Tigers big plague in the first half of the season was their defensive coverage and positioning. The opposition's average skilled players were making average plays on the Tigers skilled players and creating scoring chances.

They still had giveaways. Some correlated with their positional play, some correlated to low confidence/playing rushed/inexperience/ and hearing footsteps.

The root of what was wrong, wasn't being addressed. Their game wasn't improving and this developmental season was turning stagnant while losing hockey games, which was Lethbridge the past few seasons, and the Tigers of 15 years ago.

The Tigers had massive positional gaps that were causing massive issues in all facets of their game. It is why I felt they were under-performing to their abilities.

Half the goals being scored were not because of good plays by the opposition. Half the goals scored were because they were making their own mistakes in their positional structure.

If you make mistakes due to good/great plays from the opposition I am Ok with that in a developmental year. If you make mistakes because your not functioning as a team with proper positioning and work ethic, I am not OK with that, it's a coaching/leadership issue.

It took the coaching staff/team half the season to adapt. You can give them props for eventually figuring it out, or you could chastise them for taking half a season to figure it out. I am in the opinion that they were slow to adapt to leaks in their game and instead tried to replace select players, when every player was the issue.
Last Night

I was actually quite impressed by their positioning on the ice, (1 on 1) as well as their recovery when they made a mistake. Something big has changed, and that's why I'm wondering if they had a consultant brought in. Their defensive awareness, positioning and recovery they were displaying shocked me outright.

I feel that last night those massive positional gaps were completely minimized, their big leak almost seemed like a non-factor. Going to your comment about giveaways, yes they made some, but I feel that is step 2 in their developmental road. More experience, more skill, more coaching and practices to minimize. Stanton and Kirichenko being out didn't help as well.

I'm not convinced they have 100% solved their positional gap until I see it consistently, until a good time after bad habits have time to creep back in.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Did someone really say Stanton is like the queen of this team? Should probably just stop with any intelligent hockey opinion in the future if you are that blind. Stanton is one of the laziest defenseman I have seen. No leadership, gets punked by guys half his size then hide behinds the linesmen. He throws attempts at big hits but completely wiffs and throws himself out of position, he jumps up to the blue line way too much on partial breaks. He's a good skater for his size and can have a great first pass but his hockey IQ is awful. He reminds me of Kellen Tochkin, no emotion or passion just goes through the motions.

Can we just laugh at how terrible our blue line is and that Hobbs is one of the best defenders in the league now? Great coaching descision sitting him and playing Becker.

Anonymous said...

Quen is only 17, I think calling him a defensive liability is harsh. He is doing exceptionally well for his age. He tries shift in and out. And I would agree, he is a guy trying to do his best to step up and lead where he can.

Anonymous said...

wonder if schneids improvement has anything to do with the switch from JF Martel to Eli Wilson as goaltending coach?

longtimefan said...

Never said Quennville wasn't trying hard, he is, they all are. Fact is his skating isn't great because his foot speed is slow. He gets beat wide a lot and gets beat when the opposition goes at him with speed.

Tigers bringing in a consultant to help with defence, I don't think so. Fact is they don't have a very talented defensive group of dmen to work with.

TigerTurf said...

I didn't actually think they did bring in a consultant. I just saw massive improvements in a short time frame. They are playing better positionally with injuries to vets, than they did previously with everyone in the lineup.

I think Quenneville will be a stud on the Tigers defense by the time he is 19. If he keeps his work ethic high, and continually works on his skating and agility. A negative will always be his size, therefore strength, so I think he needs to work on an active stick and his speed against players that can outmuscle him.

I was disappointed in Schultz in the early season. He seemed to be displaying tunnel vision and his positioning was poor. Like the Tigers systems his positioning is better, and getting better at stopping the forwards second efforts after he has knocked the puck away once. He is back on track again but his developmental timeframe looks to be delayed. The Tigers need him to be the shutdown guy next season, but I think he may not reach that status until he is 20, or later in his 19 yr old season.
Forrest - His confidence is shot right now. He started the season skating the puck out of the zone and displaying some good vision and offensive instincts. Except he starting letting the puck get stripped from him multiple times, and half panicking when being forechecked. If he can work on his on ice positioning as well as recognizing the danger areas quicker, he will flip a switch, and become more of an offensive defenceman, and someone capable of playing 2nd line minutes rather than 3rd line/depth player he is showing now. he needs to gain back that confidence and flip that switch, as no-one wants a 19 yr old depth player
Heid - Has potential to be a good shutdown defender, like Lewington, although Heid is much later in his development than lewington at 18. He needs playing time to develop his skillset in a 3rd line role that won't overwhelm him. Between Heid, Forrest, and Schultz I almost expect one of them to be moved next season if that talent doesn't pop out. Having 2 19 yr old depth/3rd line defenders is not ideal.
Stanton - Apparently not a fan favorite, Great mobility and vision. Long active stick that kills many rebounds, and odd-man rushes. Has the Occasional goof, or stumble when his mind isn't mentally focused.
Kirichenko - Haven't had a good read on him yet being injured and missing some games when he played.
Clouston - Steadie eddie. Fans wanted to hate him being the clouston's son but the boo-birds haven't chirped him because he plays a simple physical game. His negative is that he is 19 and may not be kept as a 20.
Cole Clayton - Big player and his instincts looked really good when I watched him play. Good positioning, good skillset. Willing to take a hit to make a play. Hopefully he can train like Arnold and put on 10 lbs of muscle from now to next season.

The Common theme is inexperience and late bloomers. Their is a lot of later developing talent or raw talent, which we should see blossoming this season, but have had a disappointing first half. As some of these guys turn 19 next year, they start falling on the depth charts.

Anonymous said...

Rumor: Sanford will not play tonite. Has left the team and requested a trade.

Anonymous said...

Not a rumor anymore

longtimefan said...

Rumour is true, mentioned on the pre game show. Puts the team in a tough spot with just two days left before the deadline. Not a big fan of guys that walk away.

Anonymous said...

Sanford asked for a trade before they went home for Xmas, it's just publicy coming out now.

Anonymous said...

The trade request was made much earlier than before Christmas. Clouston just chose to ignore it

CatFan said...

That sucks! I can understand a player wanting a trade but to just quit on your team when you are the captain no less leaves a bitter taste. Hope they can get some good young future talent for him at least.

Anonymous said...

Ok Tt , this is getting old. You know what my mother always said, if you can't do something well......don't do it at all. Are you really a fan, or maybe for another team? Why would you leave this crap up on your board for so long? Do you want to deflate the team? Real super fan:(

Anonymous said...

Too bad for Sanford let him play for Revelstoke again, guy has coasted all year.

Anonymous said...

What is this 5? 6? Years in a row with players demanding trades? There were rumors a vet asked for a trade when Cox was moved no surprise now it was Sanford. Should of never been given the "C" to begin with, just because you lead the team in goals does not mean you lead the locker room. I hope the Tigers gut the older players go young and get ride of this joke of a coach/GM. Keeping a 20 year old back up in this league should be asking to be fired, what a waste of a impact player

CatFan said...

My vote for captain? Mason Shaw!!

Anonymous said...

To Catfan, these players especially the older ones have put up with the coachs' lies and bullying for a number of years Sanford respectfully requested a trade months ago yet continued to play to help the team but the coach/gm ignored him and lied that he didn't want a trade. At some point the player needs to take a stand for himself. He didn't quit he took a stand based on the coach/gm's lies. The vet that asked to be moved before Cox wasn't Cole or Cox but another vet that reinforced that request as recently as a week ago. Unless you are the player, his family or agent you truly don't know what has happened or not. Rest assured there are as many as 4 long term Tigers that are fed up with Clouston and his act and have expressed their desire to be traded.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that having a 20 yo backup is insane, give your head a shake clouston....I do like being euroless and do like the way our young team plays as a team...note to Sanford there is no 'I' in team. A team needs to play together we don't need the "Cancer" players..Why let 1 bad apple spoil the whole damn bunch??? They played awesome last night against the Blades 53 shot wow nice work ethic!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let Sanford sit at home. More than likely we'll get the short end of the stick in a trade anyway, so why bother. Being able to play in the WHL is a privilege. Sanford, nor any kid has the right to make any demands. Play the game your hardest cause you love it. Sure there are many kids out there that would love to have that chance and opportunity and work hard at it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time the Medicine Hat Tiger assistances stand up for these players. Stop supporting the disfunction. How many long term employees are they going to lose. Why is everyone afraid to speak the truth? As fans we need to get on board and support our Tigers not the organization.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:30 the dressing room has a different opinion than you. Players meeting last night if Sanford not traded they want him back in the line up after the coach/gm said that Sanford wouldnt be welcomed back. Clouston has lost touch with the team and should be relieved of duties