Friday, November 29, 2013

Rebels Defeat Tigers 2-1

This was as good as a loss as a loss could be....if that makes sense.

The Rebels Patrik Bartosak stood on his head and stopped 37 of 38 Tiger shots.

Even though this was a loss I thought the Tigers played very well, and 9 times out of 10 would have won that game and deserved a much better fate. They controlled large periods of play and were overall the better team.

I saw some little things on the ice that I really liked. The forwards were more poised entering the offensive blue-line and created some high quality chances.

The Tigers won a lot of the one on one battles and their powerplay was A LOT BETTER. They had way better puck movement and created a bundle of chances with it. I like how Shinkaruk and Valk were split up and both guys were creating chances making it harder to defend against.Shinkaruk was getting double shifted even though it was his 3rd game in 3 nights playing with Team WHL in the Russia super series.

I hope the Tigers can continue to play the way they played tonight because they started to look like a team that should be on top of the league. And not just an above average team taking advantage of a mediocre conference.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tigers Defeat Brandon 4-3 OT

OverTime Victory
First overtime win for the Tigers in 4 tries this season. Fortunately for the Tigers I thought the chance came off of a bad call by the refs late in the third period. Dylan Bredo was doing all he could to get by Brandon Defender Ryan Pulock. Pulock was able to catch Bredo in mid stride and put him into the boards.

Boarding by definition is very generic, and interpreting the rules can differ  upon the person, but I don't believe Bredo was defenseless as he was driving to the net.  Pulock did catch Bredo is an awkward position but he also put himself there tiring out after a long rush up the ice.

I thought that was a bad call by the ref, but it resulted in a 4 on 3 powerplay in overtime for the Tigers in which Tommy Vannelli was able to blast home the OT Winner.

A lot of close calls last night. A Game that had lots of missed opportunities for both teams. One hand I thought the Tigers were flat in parts of last nights game. On the other hand It has been rare to see a late game comeback from the Tigers and they did that last night!

The Arena was kinda empty tonight. A weekday game on a cold night I think a lot of people decided to stay home. On the plus side I noticed the Arena staff finally put some new tunes into the lineup.

Plays that Caught my Eye
Jacob Doty - Almost had a highlight reel goal with a rush up the ice putting on a couple moves and trying a wrap around coming close to stuffing the puck in.

Doty also knocked a guy over from behind the net lightly into the boards. He had 3 wheat kings on him trying to goad him into something. It left the front of the net wide open for Markus Eisenschmid to score which was a big factor in the Tigers comeback. I thought it was great that Doty recognized this and held away from the rough stuff as it might have made the ref blow his whistle.

Miles Koules
6 Goals in 5 games he is currently the Hottest Tiger on the Ice.

Top Guns Remain Quiet

Shinkaruk is on a goal scoring drought. He hasn't scored a goal in his last 5 games. Shinkaruk is 2nd on the Tigers for Penalty Minutes a game.

Curtis Valk only has 1 goal in his last 9 games..... I did see signs from Valk that his game is about to take-off. Last Night he had more jump into his game and created some opportunities with his shiftyness.

Markus Eisenschmid
Their hasn't been a whole lot of talk about the German Import this season but his game is getting a lot better.  He started off the season with 3 points in 15 games. He has 5 points in his last 9 games, including a big goal Last night.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tigers Defeat Calgary 3-2 SO

The start to this game was weird you would think there was a full-moon. Daniel Wapple got his second straight start. I think this was because Marek Langhamer got injured during the third period of his last game. Their was a play where he reached side to side, and it looked like he tweaked something.

First period
Hunter Shinkaruk got the Calgary Hitmen on the board first....yes you read that right...A Hitmen shot had a rebound pop out into the slot. Shinkaruk gave the puck a whack and popped the puck through Daniel Wapple's Five-Hole....1-0 Hitmen..Calder Brooks got credited with the goal.

A few moments later one of the Tigers Defenceman let a wrist shot go from the point.  The puck hit one post....bounced through the crease..hit the other post.....and out the otherside, past sanford who was right there but the puck was bouncing.

On the powerplay Shinkaruk would redeem himself a little. Off the half-wall Miles Koules fired a shot on net. The puck hit Chris Dreidger but the replay showed the puck was still headed  into the net, but Shinkaruk slammed it in for good measure. 1-1 TIE

As Usual the Tigers had quite a few prime chances, but only converted on one chance.

2nd Period
The Tigers had a lot of borderline calls go against their way which has been a theme the last few games.

....Vannelli got called for a phantom tripping penalty after a Hitmen player lost an edge behind the net. Trevor Cox got called for goaltender interference when Driedger went skating to play a puck and Cox tried to gain advantageous body positioning which knocked the goalie over......

The Hitmen failed to score on the ensuing 5 on 3 and it gave the Tigers some life.

Halfway through the second period the Tigers would take the lead. Off the facebook Cole Sanford would grab the puck along the boards. He passed it out front to Trevor Cox who was closely watched by Josh Thrower. Cox was able to get a one-timer off which beat Driedger Glove side. 2-1 Tigers

The Calgary broadcasters are mentioning that the Officials are being pretty stingy toward counting shots on net.

The Hitmen really turned on their jets toward the end of the second Period

3rd Period
I thought the Tigers played really good defense and didn't give the Hitmen man quality chance as they were pressing really hard.

The Hitmen were able to tie the Game with 10.3 seconds left with the goalie pulled. Valk got his stick on a pass and a Hitmen defender put a soft knuckle puck shot low on the ice around Shinkaruk. Their was 4 hitmen around the crease and only 1 Tiger in Dylan Bredo. Wapple stopped the first rebound, but Kenton Helgeson potted the 3rd chance. 
2-2 TIE

Hunter Shinkaruk got absolutely crushed from a hit from Kenton Helgeson. The Tigers got no chances on the  ensuing powerplay. They had to then kill off a penalty as Dylan Bredo received a phantom hooking call after lifting a stick on a rush by a Hitmen Forward. Daniel Wapple made some HUGE stops to keep the Tigers in the game.

Shinkaruk was stopped with a an easy cross ice blocker save.
Radel Fazleev wwent overtop of the net on a deke where he went wide with Wapple down.
Curtis Valk put on a show with a variety of moves scoring stick side on Driedger.
Greg Chase was stopped by a glove save by Daniel Wapple
Tommy Vannelli lost control of the puck and got a weak shot along the ice
Pavel Padakin rang a shot off the iron.

Tigers Win 3-2 in a Shootout

I really don't like Hunter Shinkaruk on the penalty kill, or on the ice in his own zone late in the game. I feel like their are many other players better suited to defend in the Tigers own zone.

I thought the Tigers played really well in their own zone late in the second and third periods when the Hitmen were pressing. They had a bundle of scoring chances they didn't capitalize on, and that seems to be the theme in the early going.

Daniel Wapple was the reason the Tigers got the extra point. The Tigers powerplay struggled in overtime with the 4 on 3 situation and Calgary had the better of scoring chances during the Tigers powerplay, and then had a few really good chances on their own powerplay.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spokane Defeats Tigers 5-4 OT

EDIT: Linden Vey Called Up
He will be making his NHL debut Thursday night when LA takes on Buffalo.

I thought the Tigers could have won this game. I thought they had better prime chances to score. Spokane was very opportunistic on their chances.

Overall I liked the play of Tommy Vanelli, Kyle Becker, Ty Stanton, and Matt Staples on the back-end. I thought the defense played pretty well with  breaking out of their own zone. Instead of starting the play behind the net or rifling the puck up the boards, there was a lot more skating out and starting the play from the high slot area, or jumping into the play to be the 4th outlet pass option, which gave the forwards a full head of steam receiving passes instead of having to slow down and maneuver passed players at their own blueline.

Tyler Lewington
Was not on the Ice in the third period. He took a big unexpected hit and left the game. As a result Kyle Becker, and Ty Stanton received a ton more ice-time and they both handled it really well. I thought both showed some signs of fatigue later in the game. It was a good thing the Tigers dressed 7 defenceman however Scott Allan still didn't have much ice-time and got pegged with 2 minor penalties.

Chippy Game
I thought the Tigers played a pretty chippy game with Spokane finishing their hits, and in turn Spokane started getting chippy too.  I thought their were points in the game where the Tigers tried to play with the tough guy type mentality and their game-plan squeaked off the tracks.

Undisciplined Penalties
I loved that the Tigers were more aggressive but they took it a bit too far with some over the top uncalled for penalties.

Cole Sanford was a bit snake-bit lately but he broke his 4 game goal scoring drought. He could have had a hat-trick tonight as he missed 2 very high quality scoring chances.

Made me cringe when Cole Sanford received an accidental tripping penalty wit 15 seconds left in the game. The Tigers could have went into overtime with a minute 4 on 3 powerplay...Instead it was 3 on 3 play and then they were down 4 on 3 for 45 seconds.....They managed to kill the penalty off after spokane thought the game was over........Amid a scramble there was a spokane player in the crease and langhamer couldn't get over to block a shot..hence the goal was called off.

It didn't matter though as Spokane scored the winner 10 seconds later after Miles Koules was stripped off the puck in the neutral zone by Spokane's Mitch Holberg for a 2 on 1. Holmbert showed why he is the whl scoring Leader with a deep toe drag and still managed to roof the puck over Langhamer...Kyle Becker was up along the boards trying to be a passing outlet option but it looked like he caught an edge or something momentarily which let Spokane go in on the odd man rush.

I was happy with the progress the Tigers made with their breakouts in their own end.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tiger Stats

Playing around with some stats. Didn't take into account the last game played against Tri-City. Your probably not interested in it, but I'll post it anyway.

Home PP: 13 for 45   =28.9%
Road PP:  5 for 30  =  16.7%

AVG 5 PP/Game at home =    1.4 PP Home Goals A Game
AVG  4.3 PP/Game on Road = .71 PP Road Goals A Game

Conclusion: The Tigers generate a slightly lower amount of powerplays on the road, and their road powerplay is half as efficient as to what they can do at home.

Penalty Kill
HOME PK   7/36   80.6%
AWAY PK   5/24  79.2%

Home AVG PK's: 4
Away AVG PK's: 3.42

Conclusion: The Tigers are more disciplined on the road.  Their penalty kill is consistently average.

5 Game Trending
I created a Goals For, and Goals against Modifier based on the overall teams play of how many goals they score at home and on the road. The Tigers currently score 15% more goals at home. Likewise  the Tigers give up .03% more goals at home than on the road, basically negligible. I also assigned a base modifier on strength of schedule.

The Overall WHL Average is a .549 winning percentage based on extra points generated off of overtime. I applied the scheduler modifier once on each 5 game chunk instead of every game as I didn't take into account the winning percentage of the other team at the time the game was played, and playing 2 .500 teams is different than playing a very good team and a poor team, and how I calculated the modifier is pretty confusing, and it could be calculated a million different way.

Basic Stats No  Modifiers
Games 1-5      GF/Game: 4.4   GA/Game:2
Games 6-10   GF/Game: 3.8   GA/Game:2.4
Games 10-15  GF/Game 3.8   GA/Game: 3.8

Home/Away Modifer
Games 1-5      GF/Game: 4.28   GA/Game:2
Games 6-10   GF/Game: 3.59   GA/Game:2.57
Games 10-15  GF/Game 3.83   GA/Game: 3.81

Home/Away and Strength of Schedule Modifier with other trending stats
Games 1-5      GF: 3.64   GA:2.36    Record 4-1        PP:8/26=30.8% PK17/20=85%
Games 6-10   GF: 3.68   GA:2.50     Record 3-1-1-0 PP5/24=20.8%   PK19/25=75%
Games 10-15  GF: 3.85   GA 3.79    Record 3-2       PP4/20 - 20%      PK 8 /11=72%

Even strength 
Games 1-5: GF:14       GA:7
Games 6-10: GF:14     GA:7
Games 10-15: GF: 15  GA:16

Almost identical Even strength goals. Big difference in goals against even strengt during the last 5 game chunk, more than double.



Interesting that both goalies play very well one day, then ok the next start, and back and forth.I could do a lot more calculations into this, and strength of the oppositions offense is a huge factor not calculated here. I would like to do that calculation but don't have the time today.

But the graph suggests that Wapple had a very strong start and is slowly cooling off over time.. Langhamer had a big up and down start but is slowly trending upwards.

The Tigers are giving up more goals. These numbers suggest with less times shorthanded they are being more cautious defensively but giving up more goals overall. Numbers suggest that they may need to work on their overall defensive game at even strength and be a little more aggressive, while trying to maintain not giving up as many short-handed situations.

Even though the amount of goals scored is similar. Based on the Home/Away and strength of schedule modifier their offense has been slightly improving.

So 16 games in their defensive game even strength which was a strong point hasn't been as strong lately.

While their offense seems fairly consistent, their road power-play has been pretty terrible. They have shown big improvement on their overall discipline, but are still giving up a few too many powerplay goals.