Saturday, January 16, 2016

Scoreboard Watching

Edit: Changed at 3:00 PM Sunday the whl website was inaccurate Saturday night when making this post.

Big 4 Points
Tigers Defeat Kootenay and Edmonton this weekend and gained a big valuable 4 points. The Tigers are now 1 point back of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Bob Ridley mentioned that David Quenneville has a lower body injury after the hit by Edmonton's Brandon Baddock in Friday's game in Medicine Hat. Baddock was suspended for the hit and his suspension is TBD.

Tough Schedule Coming Up
The Tigers go on a 4 game road trip out into BC. They'll have a very tough schedule the next 4 games as they take on Kelowna, Victoria, Prince George, and Vancouver. A good trip would be coming out with 4/8 points.

3/4 of those teams all have impressive records and vancouver has been the Tigers out of conference Rival. Former Tiger Trevor Cox has 27 points in 23 games with the Giants since being traded earlier in the season.

Scoreboard Watching
They are on a US division Road Trip. Cole Sanford scored a game winner against Everett in his first game as a pat. Regina lost friday night against seattle. Saturday they gained 1 point in a SO loss against Tri-City. Sanford picked up a goal and has 2 points in 4 games.

The Tigers sit 5 points back with 2 games in hand. Regina has been having a tough time lately and Edmonton/Tigers have slowly been gaining ground.  It is not un-reasonable to think that all 3 teams will be in a tight race for the 7th/8th playoff spot, with once missing the cut. Saskatoon is also close behind as well.

While Regina is on their US trip, this is a rare year where the Tigers do not take a US road trip.

Edmonton Oil Kings
They lost both of their weekend games, but improved in the standings with the shootout loss against the Tigers, and an overtime loss against the Calgary Hitman. As a result the Tigers gained 2 points on them.

 Edmonton plays Kamloops on Sunday. Both teams will be playing their 3rd game in 3 nights. Both games without captain Brandon Baddock out with the TBD suspension.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tigers Defeat Blazers Pull off 5-1 Comeback with 6-5 SO Win

The first game without their previous captain in Cole Sanford turned out to be the most exciting games of the season.  Their was a game at the old Arena 3-4 years ago where the Tigers were up 5-1 and ended up losing, tonight was some revenge for that one.

Blazers Take Advantage Early & Chad Butcher
Chad Butcher had an early wakeup call when his line was victim to some poor defensive play for the Blazers first goal. He turned into a machine for the rest the game. His performance tonight was pretty incredible to watch.

The Tigers had quite a few off-sides but were juggling their lines up.

Shields Down
The Tigers Mack Shields didn't have his best game and was pulled after the Blazers went up 4-1. He probably would have liked 2 or 3 of those goals back.

After Two Periods 4-1 Blazer Lead
At this point I felt the Tigers deserved a much better fate. Shots were near even, I thought the Tigers had the better scoring chances, but they couldn't beat Connor Ingram. The blazers seemed to have the puck luck going their way. It wasn't a 4-1 game, if anything I thought the Tigers probably should have been leading.

The Comeback
The Blazers luck continued early in the third with a quick goal. The Tigers didn't quit an kept pushing. They scored 4 unanswered goals in the next 15 minutes, as well as hitting 3 posts. If the third period was another 2 minutes longer, the Tigers probably would have won it outright.

Nail Biter. Both teams had some chances. The Tigers Chad Butcher had a last second breakaway, but couldn't beat Ingram.

It took 6 rounds, and 5 consecutive stops by Nick Schneider to stop the door.

Playoff Watch
Edmonton, Saskatoon both lost and Regina is trailing by the time of this post. Tigers are 3 points back with 1 game in hand. The Tigers face their biggest game of the year Friday against the Oil Kings. It will be their 5th game in just over 1 month.The Tigers are 4-0 against the Kings this season.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sanford Traded To Regina To Regina
Cole Sanford

To Medicine Hat
 In exchange the Pats send to Medicine Hat: forward Brian Williams (’95), prospect forward Gary Haden (’99), the Pats’ 2018 2nd round, 2017 5th round, and Lethbridge’s 2016 3rd round WHL Bantam Draft pick..

Brian Williams
Brian Williams was just picked up from the Pats last thursday. Williams is 5'8 178lbs. He has 20 points in 31 games, and had a 36 goal season 2 seasons ago. He could be the type of player to flourish in the Tigers systems. I think in terms of a replacement for Sanford Williams could be a very good pickup. Williams is recovienr from a fractured foot, and wont be available untill next week at the earliest.

Gary Haden
Old Video Interview from Regina:

5'10 161 lbs. 9th Round selection in 2014.

Scouting Report
He's been one to put up lots of points. A couple interviews I've watched said he needs to work on his strength and speed. He see's the ice well, and has some quick hands. Their was a MAC's Midget AAA Tournament that just ended in calgary so the Tigers had probably recently seen him play firsthand.

The Tigers aquired a 99 so that bolsters their 16 yr old class up front.  Williams should be able to step into the top 6. He is a speedster, that has shown he can score goals in the past.

The Tigers now have an extra 2nd rounder, and 3rd rounder this season, as well as 3 2nds in 2018. In 2 or 3 years when the Shaw/Gerlach/Preziuso/Hamblin/Haden/Quennvill group matures they have some tinkering room in terms of draft picks.

Haden recorded 5 points in 5 exhibition games this season. He was one of the last cuts from Regina, where he was told to work on his speed and strength.

It looks like this is a solid deal giving the short time window they had. Best of Luck to Sanford in Regina.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Trade Deadline Thread

Tigers have played much better hockey starting with their back to back to back wins against the OilKings before Christmas. They remain 4 points out of the last playoff spot, and slowly gaining ground. Regina has hit a wall suddenly and the Tigers are catching ground on 7th place as well.

Trade Deadline is on January 10th
Cole Sanford has come out and demanded a trade after rumours point to him asking for one earlier in the season.  He did not dress over the Tigers important 3-1 victory over saskatoon. Sanford has 21 goals in 33 games and his scoring presence will be greatly missed.

It is a bit concering that player demands have started becoming a more regular occurance. Hobbs last year, Jensen the year before, sanford this season. I think their will always be players in situations they don't like, but having players come out publicly 3 years in a row is concerning.

 The Tigers should be building for the future, as well as trying to get into that last playoff spot. Him demanding a trade could be a good thing IF the Tigers actually get a decent return for him. It could easily be a bad thing if the return doesn't align with their long-term goals and scoring becomes an issue.

Demanding a trade so close to the deadline is risky, as he is essentially showcasing himself for a possible pro career. It would be harder to do when he is not playing as his first half has been up and down, however his past reputation should speak for itself in terms of being a goal scorer.

We don't know what goes on in the dressing room but rumors are being leaked out about more and more dysfunction. Whether they are true or not it's hard to say, but nonetheless as a long time Tigers Fan it's tough to hear.

Possible Destinations For Sanford
If we look at some of the Teams that may be looking for an overage scorer: Victoria, PG, Seattle are possible destinations. I wonder if a team like Moose Jaw might make a pitch. Their could be elements of a multi player deal there.

Other possible Trade Bait: Fischer and Forrest could potentially be swung over in deals as they are 18's behind the others on the depth charts. However their defense is a bit lean so Forrest may not be available.

The Tigers 17's are starting to show how great a group they have. Gerlach, Shaw and Quenneville will all become good core players.  I think the Tigers should really try to supplement this 16/17 yr old age group if they can, although with other teams no trade clauses it may be difficult to do.