Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Having been a member of the Spirit since 2010, Trafford was in his fourth year with the team and registered 32 points with the Spirit this season. His loss will certainly have an effect on the Spirit players, coaches, and fans, as he was a well-liked player and was a pillar in the Saginaw community.
Monday, March 10, 2014
The Winterhawks conclude the season with a home game on Tuesday against Tri-City, a home and home Friday and Saturday against Seattle, with the Winterhawks home for the Saturday game, and they will conclude the season at home against Everett.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The trade effectively ends any hope of Vancouver becoming Stanley Cup contenders for a while, as the Sedins aren't getting any younger, Ryan Kesler is at the center of trade rumors, and there simply isn't any real young talent coming in through the pipeline, only Horvat has any potential at this point. 2012 first round pick Brendan Gaunce is likely a year away, as is another 2013 first round pick in Hunter Shinkaruk (who is also recovering from a season-ending injury with Medicine Hat). 2011 first round pick Nicklas Jensen has had trouble finding his game in Utica of the AHL. Ill-advised trades in the last three years (Derek Roy from Dallas last year and Zack Kassian, acquired in a deal for Cody Hodgson the year before that, as well as Keith Ballard for Michael Grabner prior to the 2010-11 season) have also done its fair share of damage to the Canucks. This year was going to be a transition year, as John Tortorella's system was going to need to integrate his kind of players into the existing roster, and while he has certainly livened things up behind the bench, the results on the ice haven't been anything to write home about. As of today, the Canucks are two points out of the last playoff spot with a game tonight at Phoenix, and it would be wise for the Canucks to start thinking about the future, and that may need to begin with getting a new General Manager. The current GM Mike Gillis has had the time to figure it out, and it hasn't worked well enough for him to be around next season. Mishandling the Luongo situation for two years should be his final nail in the coffin, as he has gotten far less in trades and hasn't done a great job of finding and/or keeping the potential talent.
Friday, the Winterhawks were in Spokane to take on the Chiefs. Alex Schoenborn gave the Winterhawks the lead in the first period to make it 1-0 after one. Chase De Leo would add another in the second period, and that would be all the Winterhawks needed, as Corbin Boes earned his first shutout since 2011, when he was a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Winterhawks made it 21 wins in the victory, which in the process, gave them the season sweep over the Chiefs, who they have dominated dating back to the Conference semi-finals last season.
Saturday was a different story, as the Winterhawks traveled to Kent, WA to take on a Seattle Thunderbirds team that was hanging on to faint hopes of a division title. De Leo would open the scoring for the Winterhawks, but Shea Theodore and Alexander Delnov would put the T-Birds up 2-1 after one period. The Winterhawks could not solve Taran Kozun for the rest of the game, as Justin Hickman and Branden Troock would add goals to make it a 4-1 loss, ending the Winterhawks' winning streak at 21 and handing them their first regulation loss since January 4. However, the Thunderbirds' hopes for a division title ended the following evening with a loss to Everett, giving the Winterhawks their third title in four years.
The Winterhawks are likely playing for momentum heading into the playoffs, as they trail Kelowna by nine points with seven games remaining. They conclude their road trip Wednesday with a game at Tri-City before heading home for games Friday and Saturday against Seattle and Vancouver.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
As you can see, the current color jersey will now be the team's alternate jersey, which allows for the team to maintain their long standing identity as the maroon and white. However, the color scheme is changing to include black, with the white turning into a vintage white that has become a trend for teams seeking a more retro look. The latter is becoming the team's light colored jersey for beginning next season, and in the striping, there are instances of black inside the maroon. The dark colored jerseys will be black, and with the team's logo still in maroon, it doesn't nearly look as good as the team's light jerseys. The striping is only inverted in between the outer maroon stripes. Numbering was not spotted on any of the jerseys in the photos taken, so that will have to wait for a while. Overall, the team's shift from the Reebok Edge template is alright, although the black jersey could have been better, namely making the logo show better against the background.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Tuesday, they took care of the Prince George Cougars at home by a 5-1 score. From there, they beat Kamloops 4-2 behind a strong second period and Prince Albert 6-3 on Saturday thanks to another strong effort in the second period. However, win number 20 was the most difficult, as Everett wasn't about to give in on Sunday. A scoreless game for most of the time, Everett got on the board early in the third period on an Ivan Nikolishin goal. However, Portland would tie things up later in the period on an Oliver Bjorkstrand goal. Regulation and overtime were not enough, and a shootout was needed, where Bjorkstrand would score the only goal in the shootout while Corbin Boes played well again in giving the Winterhawks a 2-1 win over the Silvertips. Austin Lotz continues to show flashes of brilliance against the Winterhawks, as he was equal to the task despite a losing effort.
The Winterhawks will look to tie the single season record this weekend, as they hit the road to take on Spokane on Friday and Seattle on Saturday.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
SWEDEN: The best team in the Olympics so far (their top seeding in the medal rounds is proof of that), the team is backstopped by Henrik Lundqvist, who is playing as well as Sweden has hoped. He is undoubtedly the key to any success the team will have, but will need a more consistent push on offense, as they let Slovenia hang around for most of the game in the quarterfinals. That is where Erik Karlsson figures into the equation, as he is the best at jump starting the offense.
FINLAND: Despite not having a great deal of depth at center, largely due to injuries, the Finns are in contention for a medal once again. Like Sweden, they rely heavily on their goaltending, in this case, Tuukka Rask, and they are also the most cohesive team left in the games. They will need to continue to outwork teams if they wish to be contending for gold because they have the least amount of talent of the remaining teams.
CANADA: Against teams like Norway, Finland, and Latvia, Canada has struggled to score goals at the rate they're used to, and now, they will have to play the rest of the Olympics without John Tavares (the Islanders will also be missing him, as he is done for the season). Offense has been an issue, and certainly, they need to figure out how to get around how teams are game planning for them because their defensemen are carrying the yeoman's work when it comes to scoring. The good news? Carey Price has played well, giving Canada a peace of mind in goal.
UNITED STATES: A team that is firing on all cylinders on offense, their defense is an often overlooked part of the game, and much of that begins with Jonathan Quick. He allows the team to play their game, and none more than Phil Kessel has benefited from this. The offense has also seen more than one player contribute, and for the U.S. to make the gold medal game, everyone will need to continue to contribute.