Thursday, April 20, 2017

Canes End the Tigers Season with Game 7 OT Win

Pre-Season

Hurricanes
Pre-season the Hurricanes were picked as early season favorites; however, problems in their dressing room changed their season drastically.   GM Peter Anholt stripped their core roster down and completely rebuilt the team, trading away 8 key returning players. Anholt was even fined during the season for public comments regarding players that he traded away.

As a surprising result the Hurricanes went from a team floundering, to one of the hottest teams in the league during the New Year. Despite 3 losses to the Tigers in the second half, the Hurricanes pulled off a .721% winning percentage and were the hottest team in the league down the stretch.

Tigers
Pre-season the Tigers were slated as the underdog competitor to Lethbridge  We knew they would have a top caliber offense and goal-tending coming into the season. The question mark was on their defensive side of the game as it was pretty abysmal in their previous season of missing the playoffs.

With the acquisitions of their 19yr old imports their was simmered hope that by seasons end they could compete with the top dogs!

  The regular season turned out incredibly well. The Tigers went through some growing pains mid-season when Kristians Rubins went down with an injury and Nick Schneiders hot start turned into getting pulled multiple times in consecutive games. Yet those were yet some minor flaws during a season where the Tigers plowed through their opposition with 3 scoring lines and scored a remarkable 350 times this season. Who needs defense?

The Tigers only had 1 less win than in their WHL championship record setting season of 06-07.
This team turned into and were considered heavy favorites for the first 2 playoff rounds.

Series Preview
Despite the Close distance and the longtime rivalry the Canes and Tigers have only met once previously in the playoffs. In the '90-91' season both teams were powerhouses in the conference and the Canes pushed the Tigers out in the 7th game during round 3.

This season was similar, however The tigers had soundly beaten the Canes3 times during the second half. The Hurricanes also had a whole line out with injuries. It was 3 Scoring Lines of the Tigers Vs 1 Scoring Line of the Hurricanes. On paper This was a series that should have been over before it started.

Hurricane Injuries
Unfortunately or fortunately for the Hurricanes they became victims of the injury bug. The bug hit them hard as their previous 7 game series with Red Deer took a big toll into their series with Medicine Hat.

During the series among the key Hurricanes man games lost to injury included: Ryan Vandervlis missed the final 2 games, Overage Zak Zborosky missed 5 games, Overager Matt Alfaro missed all 7 games, Zane Franklin missed 5 games,  Calen Addison missed 5 games

Hurricanes were forced to dress 5 affiliate players including 15 yr old Dylan Cozens and he picked up 5 points in 6 games.  Koletrane Wilson, Connor Lyons, Shawn Harke, Jayden Davis also saw icetime.

Why the Games Aren't Played on Paper
Call it poor coaching,  unable to take advantage of an injury riddle opposition, pure Hurricane Will, flawed hockey strategy, or just bad luck.  With the Canes having 5 regulars out of the lineup (2 of them Overagers) this was a David vs Goliath match-up.

The Tigers stormed out of the gate demolishing the Canes in the first game.  Lethbridge Hurricanes Captain Tyler Wong, directly and honestly came out publicly and ripped his team for having an embarrassing performance and it changed the outcome of the entire series. Tyler Wong's determination and will encapsulated their entire team, and they emerged victorious in the battlefield of Skill vs HardWork.

Wong & Estephan Show
The whl doesn't count minutes played in their stats, but if they had I wouldn't be surprised to see Hurricanes Captains Tyler Wong &  Giorgio Estephan above 27-28 minutes a game with the 2 overtime games that were played. That is pretty much unheard of at the forward position.

These 2 Players combined for virtually half their offense, scoring 12 of the Hurricanes 26 goals during the series. The stamina and strength these 2 showed picked everyone up on the Hurricanes bench and they played with ferocious determination to stall an opposition team that was lathered in offensive talent.

I hated him during the series but you can't help to become a big fan of Tyler Wong after all the hardships he went through with lethbridge the previous seasons. He put this years team on his back and lifted everyone else up. It isn't easy having affiliate players getting ice-time and beating  PointPerGgame 18-19 yr old WHL veterans but through his leadership and the Hurricanes strong coaching that is what they were able to do.

Hurricane Interviews
 I watched the webcast and saw 2 interviews from the Hurricanes which I felt summed up how they won.

Rebel broadcaster Cam Moon interviewed Head Coach Brent Kisio with an in period interview after the Tigers went up 4-3 during Game 7. He simply stated that his team will come back, that is what they do.

Moon also interviewed Hurricanes Captain Tyler Wong and I think Tyler Wong said it best. He directly and honestly said (paraphrasing here) the Tigers cheated offensively and Lethbridge hopes to take advantage of that. He was true to his words.

The Hurricane Captain  generated a 3 on 2 shorthanded rush after the Tigers cheated offensively with 4 forwards and a defenceman. Perhaps the Tigers were a bit Unaware of their defensive responsibilities, thinking goal scoring and not defensively on a powerplay like their mindset has been all season. But the Canes generated a 3 on 2 shorthanded rush, that led to Tyler Wong scoring the series Clincher and game winning heartbreaker.

Series Thoughts
The series was so close, the Tigers came so close to winning.  It was both very fun and very nerve-racking to watch. The type of hockey that you wonder if the players just acted out a scripted show between 2 longtime rivals.

 The Canes outworked and out-willed the Tigers with less than half their talent. They pulled the old strategy of strong goal-tending, collapsing down low, preventing prime chances in the slot, clearing rebounds and let the Tigers shoot themselves in the foot with their tendency to cheat offensively and being a bit too panicky on defense.

Lethbridge managed to reduce the Tigers strength of speed and pretty passing plays in tight to generate chances.

Props to the Hurricanes. I thought eventually a team would expose the Tigers defensively, but I didn't think the Canes had near the team to do it especially with a number of core players out of the lineup. I am still in shock and disbelief that the Hurricanes won

I felt the canes managed to expose the Tigers outdated hockey philosophy that mobility and speed will win games. It may overwhelm mediocre teams in the regular season, but the playoffs are a different story.

.The canes showed that they had the unsung heroes with the emergence of 15yr old Dylan Cozens.  Their grit, team-play, and hardwork of Tyler Wong and CO hung on for dear life and managed to outlast the attrition to injuries and skill of the Tigers team.

Tiger Overagers
As a longtime fan I feel so sorry for some of the overagers on this team. One minute they are battling in game 7 with expectations of at least another playoff round or two and the next second their junior hockey careers are over.

Steven Owre, Clayton Kirichenko, and Chad Butcher were all huge parts of this team. It still feels like yesterday when we were discussing in the comments how we thought both Owre/Butcher would turn out to be very good players after their 16 yr old years.

Clayton Kirichenko had an amazing year and improved leaps and bounds. IMO he turned out to be the best defenceman on this years squad hands down, and I would be shocked if  he isn't offered a pro deal. His game took off in the second half and I think he is worthy of a 3 year pro deal.

Brief Season Review

Tigers acquired 2 key pieces at the traded deadline in Michael Bullion and Jordan Henderson. Both players arrived on Hot streaks and it felt like the Tigers had solved some pieces to the puzzle. However by round 2 their Hot-Streaks had slowed  and they ran into a team determined to never say die.

Overall I'm slightly disappointed with the Tigers season. I think a successful year would be a 3rd round appearance. The Tigers were more talented than a round 2 exit.

The Tigers should be proud of all that they accomplished in the regular season. It is remarkably hard to win more than 50 games a season.  However in terms of overall satisfaction it leaves a bittersweet feeling.

Now this in my personal opinion, but I feel like they need to adapt their hockey philosophy and take a better look at their defensive side of the game.  They have the speed game down pat but I feel their coaches need to do a better job of teaching their players defensive smarts, positioning in the defensive zone and recognizing potentially dangerous situations. I feel that it has always been the Tigers biggest weakness and I feel that this weakness has cost them dearly the last couple seasons.

As a Tiger Fan who demands excellence, I am disappointed that I feel like this is the 3rd year in a row where they have slightly under-performed when it comes to their overall potential and talent level.

We enjoy and are greatly appreciative in the fact that the Tigers are competitive year after year, and that they have missed the 2nd round of the playoffs only twice in the last 15 years.

However is that what us fans really want? Second Round exits in the playoffs? It has now been 10 seasons since the Tigers have reached the WHL Final.

As a Tiger Fan I'm thankful for all the coaches have done, but I want a championship....
-TigerTurf



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SERIES TIED 2-2

Tigers take a 3-2 OT win in game 4.
WOW, WHAT A GAME

That was a grind it out battle. The Tigers played really well, but were really unlucky in the first period

 First goal the Canes player actually lost the puck, and the Tigers accidentally kicked the puck right to Estephans' tape in the slot .

Second goal was a change up. Bullion was expecting a hard shot, but the shot was partially blocked right at release by a tiger stick. IT was a tricky shot.
---

 It feels like the Tigers changed the momentum of the series with that game. They were able to match the intensity of lethbridge, then they picked up their game. 
I thought The Canes legs started slowing during the second half of the game and the Tigers were able to get more chances after that.

Game 5 @ the Canalta Centre on Friday, cannot wait!!

Canes Take a 2-1 Series Lead

Thoughts
I re-watched the game and thought the Tigers played a pretty good first half of the game. Their defensive game I thought was a lot better than in game 2. Unfortunately it was their offensive game that suffered a little bit.

Hurricanes were 2/4 in the PP while the Tigers were 0/1. They need to be better disciplined and get their power-play clicking.

Bad-Luck Call
Kristians Rubins had a weak interference called against him. Unfortunately it was that bad call that changed the momentum of the game.

 A canes player basically cut Rubins off, slowed down and fell over on light body contact.
 Hurricanes managed to generate a lot of momentum off that powerplay and scored twice soon after.

Bluelines
The canes are attacking the Tigers at the blue-lines.  Almost every time the Tigers come up the ice they have 3 players at each blueline attacking the puck carrier. Hopefully the Tigers can notice this and have their players spread out or activate their defenceman to get through the muck.

The Tigers generate a lot of speed coming out of their zone from their own blueline and the canes have a good strategy  to try and slow them down.


Activating Defenceman East & West
One thing that the Tigers are really good at, that has disappeared a little, is with their east/west passing in the offensive zone.

The Tigers didn't do a good enough job going around the horn D to D and back down low to open up passing lanes and getting the canes out of position.

The canes were pretty content collapsing down really low giving up the point sometimes and the Tigers didn't do a good enough job to generate chances off that.

Faceoffs in Hurricanes zone.
They have a set play going where upon puck control their forwards are taking off down the ice near the boards for long stretch passes to get out of their zone. I guess that is a fairly common play but the Tiger forwards need to be aware of that and try and get into the middle of those passing zones to make those passes difficult.

Wishing the Tigers best of Luck in game 4!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tigers Off To Round Two

Brandon's playoffs only lasted 6 days. The Tigers knocked them out with a commanding 4-0 sweep of the series.

The Wheat Kings limped into the playoffs and were without their star Nolan Patrick for the whole series. Brandon was also without Tanner Kaspick for game 4, and lost veteran defenceman James Shearer early in the game.

Despite those key losses game 4 was Brandon's best effort.

Brandon thought they had tied game 4 with a buzzer beating goal; however, luckily for the Tigers the Buzzer had gone off about 1 second beforehand.

Game 1: 7-2 Tigers
Game 2: 5-3 Tigers
Game 3: 6-2 Tigers
Game 4: 3-2 Tigers

Tigers averaged 49 shots a game during the series.
David Quenneville led the way in points picking up 3 goals and 9 points during round one.

For the first time in a while everybody was healthy for the Tigers and it led to the scratching of veteran defenceman Brad Forrest only seeing 1 game of action in the series.


Round 2
The Tigers will now await the winner of the Red Deer Vs Lethbridge series.  The Series is going to a game 7 which will be played Tuesday night in Lethbrdige

Friday, March 17, 2017

Schneider Sent Home

Duncan McGovern is the backup tonight.

Lethbridge announcers just mentioned that the Tigers sent Nick Schneider home. At this point I haven't heard anything else about this situation.

Schneiders last game he let in 4 goals in 8 minutes after Bulllion was pulled against Red Deer. This situation is bizzare.

Edit: The MH News article stated it was for medical reasons.
http://medicinehatnews.com/sports/local-sports/2017/03/18/triple-digits/

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tiger Clinch Central Division & Will Play Brandon in Round 1

Brandon In Round One
Looks like the Tigers first round opponent has been decided. Red Deer defeated Calgary last night and Brandon defeated Moose Jaw.

As a result the Eastern Conference Playoff Picture is almost all set, with just Calgary and Saskatoon fighting for the 8th spot where Calgary has a big 3 point lead with 2 games remaining.

Eastern Conference
Regina Vs Calgary/Saskatoon
Moose Jaw Vs Swift Current

Tigers Vs Brandon
Lethbridge Vs Red Deer

Moose Jaw and Swift Current face each other in the final 2 games of their regular season.



Remaining Games - Potential 2nd Round Preview
Tigers have 2 games left against Lethbridge which are meaningless for both teams in the regular season; however, these games could set the tone going into a prospective Round 2 match-up should both favorites win their respective First round series.

Playoff Schedule
Game 1: Friday March 24th, in MH
Game 2: Saturday March 25th in MH
Game 3: Tuesday March 28th in Dauphin
Game 4: Wednesday March 29th Dauphin
Game 5: Friday March 31st, in MH
Game 6: Sunday April 2nd, in Dauphin
Game 7: Tuesday April 4th in MH



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Playoff Chase

How The Chase Stands Prior to the weekend.

MH  (5 games in 9 days)
Edmonton x2
Red Deer
Lethbridge x2

Regina (6 games in 9 days) 
Moose Jaw x 2
Saskatoon
Swift Current
Brandon x2

Lethbridge (5 games in 9  days) 
Calgary x2
Kootenay
MH x2








Lethbridge
Tigers are too close to Lethbridge to say they will get a first round matchup against Brandon. Lethbridge is something like 23-4-2-1 since the Christmas break. Based on that record and their remaining schedule it will be unlikely if the playoff race has been decided before their season ending head to head matchup.

 The good thing is that the Tigers are in control of their destiny. The Tigers hold the first Tiebreaker(totals wins) so Lethbridge needs an extra point to overtake them.

Regina
The Tigers recent loss to MJ put a dent in their sails in their bid for 1st in the league. Regina has a 5 point lead with 1 game in hand. Right now it looks unlikely the Tigers will overtake them.. Regina does have a couple tough games against MJ this weekend so we will see what the weekend brings.

Regina had been outscoring opponents at a torrid pace of just over 5 goals scored a game for most of the season. They had a very intense 2nd half of the schedule. They recently completed a stretch of 15 games in 24 days.  They've lost a young 17yr old Jake Leschyshyn injured indefinitely earlier in february.

 As a result their scoring dipped from 5 goals a game to about 3.67 goals a game in their last 18.
I feel that their schedule and having players banged up is a big factor in their scoring decrease, but perhaps their young 17yr old was also big piece of the depth on their team.


Calgary/Red Deer/Saskatoon
Their was a big game on Wednesday where Saskatoon defeated Calgary 6-2. It gives Saskatoon a 3 point lead for the last wildcard spot.  However Calgary is also just as close to capturing the 3rd spot in the Central division, because they are only 4 points back of Red Deer, and those 2 teams still meet once next Wednesday.

That matchup has playoff implications for either Medicine Hat or Lethbridge; whoever, ends up as the 2nd seed.


TigerTurf's Potential Playoff Matchups
Tigers Vs Brandon  (70%ish Chance)   (status quo)
Tigers Vs Calgary   (4%ish)  (Calgary pulls ahead of red deer and the Tigers loose to Leth)
Tigers Vs Saskatoon (2%ish) (Tigers beat Regina or Saskatoon beats Brandon)
Tigers Vs Red Deer (24%ish Chance) ( Leth pulls ahead of MH)

This Weekend
This weekend the Tigers play Edmonton Twice. The Oil Kings have already been eliminated from the playoffs. However I would suspect the Tigers would want to hammer them hard seeing as the Oil Kings were the ones that eliminated the Tigers last Season in the TieBreaker Game.

Lethbridge plays Calgary twice. Calgary has a 1-2 record against lethbridge this season and the Hitman are fighting for their playoff lives.




Friday, March 3, 2017

Tigers Defeat Regina 6-4

WoW. The Tigers gave Regina their 3rd straight loss. This one initially appeared to be in Regina's hands as the Tigers didn't show up to play until mid-way through the second period. They also lost defenceman Kristians Rubins in the first 5 minutes.

First Period

Rubins Injured & Regina Scores
Kristians Rubins took an awkward hit in the corner and headed to the bench. Meanwhile Regina had turned on the puck and out-manned the Tigers down low. Regina's Austin Wagner would be the beneficiary as the Tigers looked a little confused to what had transpired on that play. A quick pass out from behind the net and Wagner beat Bullion from the slot.
1-0 Regina (Austin Wagner (28). Assists: #77 Adam Brooks, #15 Braydon Buziak)


First Period Summary
Chances: 7-3 Regina

Tigers were a little jittery. They had 2 bona-fida chances that missed. Unfortunately Rubins hasn't been back on the ice after the hit. The Tigers outshot Regina 12-10 but Regina was the better team.

Second Period

2-0 Regina (Nick Henry (32) scores. Assists: #6 Chase Harrison, #23 Sam Steel)
Doesn't start off any better. David Quenneville coughed the puck up in his own zone then went for a skate into the corner following a guy who didn't have a puck. Meanwhile Regina fired a slapshot on net which bullion stopped but the pats outmanned the Tigers at the net. The rebound went right off of Brad Forrest a couple inches away from the goal-line and Nick Henry had probably his easiest goal of the year.

3-0 Regina  (Josh Mahura (15) scores. Assists: #77 Adam Brooks)
Regina would go up 3-0 on a deflection from Matt Bradley. Josh Mahura threw a wrist shot towards the net and Bradley changed the direction at the bottom of the circle and tipped it passed Bullion

Tigers Call a TimeOut - They look like they spent the day reading newspaper articles and made themselves nervous. Their playing January hockey which isn't good.

3-1 Tigers Goal (Jordan Henderson (6) scores. Assists: #27 Mark Rassell)
Mark Rassell with some good work capturing the puck off a turn-over and runs into the zone. He finds the trailer Jordan Henderson who fires a wrist shot  top corner passed a screen Tyler Brown

3-2 Tigers Goal (Mark Rassell (33) scores. Assists: #28 Jordan Henderson, #16 Max Gerlach)
Tigers score a few minutes later. After a few straight shifts in the pats zone Henderson off the rush waits for the Trailer and finds Rassell coming in late. Rassell wires it in top shelf. Almost a carbon copy of their last goals except Rassell, and Henderson switched places.

4-2 Regina Goal  Sam Steel (45) scores
Ugg The Tigers have been pressuring lots lately and had the powerplay. Unfortuantely their momentum completely died when  Kirichenko coughed the puck up at the blue-line and the leagues leading scorer does what he does best and scored on the breakaway.


Second Period Summary
Chances 14-9 Regina

This was an up and down period. It was closer but Regina still had a small edge in scoring chances. The Tigers have given up 7 good scoring chances both periods. They need to cut this down if they want to win this game.

The Tigers started off the second looking a bit lost, then came on very strong towards the end of the period. They had all the momentum untill Sam Steel scored shorthanded.  Hopefully the Tigers can up their game in the third. It looks like Rubins is done for today he hasn't played since the 5 minute mark of the first period.


3rd Period 
The Pats start the period with the powerplay. The Bullion wall makes a big cross ice save and made it looked easy. After that the Tigers start putting on some pressure.

4-3  Tigers Goal Clayton Kirichenko (11) scores. Assists: #21 Chad Butcher, #11 Steven Owre +/-

The Tigers turned on a 4-2 and a pretty passing play put Kirichenko in front of the net with Tyler Brown and Connor Hobbs deked out on  their knees.

Hard Shot and a Fight
A Connor Hobbs onetimer almost took out Michael Bullion temporarily. Bullion took it off the body and was down for a couple minutes.

Chad Butcher took a big hit behind the net and Clayton Kirichenko took exception against Dawson Leedahl. Leedahl landed 2 solid shots which took down Kirichenko. Kirichenko had a good shot of his own go off Leedahl's visor.

Kirichenko would get the instigator penalty. I was thinking this seemed a little Ill timed, but the Pats had a little bit of momentum going, and giving them a PP would be risky. Luckily the Tigers killed it off and the momentum changed.

4-4 TIE  (Chad Butcher (24) scores. Assists: #39 Zach Fischer)
The Tigers get a very lucky goal. The puck squirted out from behind the net and into the feet of Josh Mahura. I've never seen a goal quite like this before.

 Mahura did a full 360 spin looking for the puck except the centripetal force kept the puck in his skates until he slowed down. Unfortunately for him he pin-balled the puck right through his own goaltenders Five-Hole.

5-4 Tigers Lead (Steven Owre (24) scores. Assists: #28 Jordan Henderson, #6 Dylan MacPherson )

Jordan Henderson took a shot from near the boards and Brown looked to have an easy save, but Steven Owre stuck his stick out and managed to tip the puck just inside the post.WoW

6-4 Tigers  (Zach Fischer (30) scores. Assists: #19 David Quenneville)
Fischer managed to score from near center ice a little while after Hobbs had hauled down Mason Shaw.

Chances 18-15 Regina
Game Summary
Puck luck turned a complete 180 this period. 4 Unanswered goals, including 3 in the last 6:15.

The Tigers weren't that great during the first half of the game and as a result Regina out-chanced them during the game.

The Tigers had a few unfortunate plays bite them in the butt which put them down 3-0 early. I felt like they were kinda struggling with their legs and their timing was a bit off during the first half of the game.

The Captain Kirichenko sure made up for his PP mistake to Sam Steel. He was an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hat-trick in the 3rd period. Scoring a goal and standing up for Chad Butcher after Butcher took a hard hit behind the net.

For the Tigers Dylan Macpherson and Jordan Henderson stepped up bigtime in the loss of Kristians Rubins. They both had ice against some very good players and were a combined +6.

What a roller-coaster type game.

Playoff Picture
That was a huge victory as Lethbridge also won and remain 4 points back. Tigers close to within 3 points of Regina, however Regina has 2 games in hand. The Tigers finish their 3 game road-trip in Moose Jaw tomorrow.

Lethbridge Games
Saskatoon
Edmonton
Calgary x2
Kootenay
Tigers x2

Tigers Games
Moose Jaw
Kootenay
Edmonton x2
Red Deer
Lethbridge x2



Regina Games
Calgary
Brandon x3
Saskatoon
Swift x2
MJ x2

Right now the Tigers are on pace to playing Brandon in Round 1 as the Wheat Kings have a pretty substantial 7th place lead.

However..
Their is a possibility that Lethbridge could catch up and the Tigers would face a Red Deer or Calgary.
Their is also a possibility that the Tigers could Catch Regina and play (Calgary,Saskatoon, Red Deer)

It isa bit ironic that if the Tigers move up or down instead of playing Brandon they would play calgary/red deer or saskatoon. Travel wise would seem a better match.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Tigers Defeat Regina 8-5

Regina's #1 goaltender Tyler Brown is out day to day with an injury. They called up 16yr old Max Paddock and gave him his 3rd career whl start.

First Period

Tigers start this game on fire....They had some good pressure to start the game in the pats zone.

Steven Owre gets the Tigers on the board on the PP with a top shelf shot.

Off a broken play James Hamblin flips the puck to the net and it rolls off the young Paddock's blocker. Mark Rassall somehow gets a stick on the rebound. Maybe a bit of luck off a young goaltender.

The next goal was a beauty by Mark Rassall.  Rassall completely undressed a recent acquisition for Regina in Dawson Davidson(from kamloops) in front of the net and poked the puck in five-hole passed Paddock.

The Tigers jumped out to a very quick 3-0 Lead.

Pats Comeback
Honestly the pats were really lucky here. Both goals were PP goals. Both penalties the Tigers took were accidental calls.

The one call was a high stick but they took the wrong player to the box. Kirichenko high sticked a pat  player on a back-hand follow through(which shouldn't be called)  They took the wrong player Matt Bradley to the box.

It was Connor Hobbs with a one-timed blast from the point with traffic in front that beat Schneider. Schneider just missed this one. It hit his blocker but the shot was hard enough that it was a glancing stop and deflected into the net.

Pats Second Goal
Macpherson accidentally tripped a pats player in the corner, Going for a pokecheck that hit the skate.

Here Sam steel walked the perimeter and passed over to Adam Brooks. The Tigers here resorted to some bad habits. Brooks was at the far boards, but none of the Tigers had their heads on a swivel, and Schneider didn't go post to post properly.

Brooks scored on a shot where he didn't get good wood on the shot from the boards. It could have been prevented.

Score: 3-2 Tigers

Final Chances:
I calculated the Tigers out-chanced the Pats 7-6

Second Period
It seems Connor Hobbs is a plus 1000 against the Tigers but he made a mistake on this one. He lazily went into his own end and made an outlet pass that was intercepted.

Some quick passing by the Tigers turned into a rocket shot by John Dahlstrom that the young Max Paddock probably should have corralled.

Sam Steel Show
Moments later Sam Steel would chase Nick Schneider from the net. A puck squirted out from the board and Steel was given an opportunity to fire a wrist shot from the slot.

Schneider lost his crease positioning and steel's shot beat Schneider stick side up high.
The Tigers pulled Schneider after this play

John Dahlstrom Show
The Tigers would reclaim a 2 goal lead.  In the high slot off a pass a hard shot Beat Max Paddock Blocker side. A negative of a younger goaltender in net. Dahlstrom's hard shots are proving tough for Paddock to stop.
5-3 Tigers

In this period the pats had a lot of pressure in the Tigers zone. Michael Bullion made a number of high quality saves to keep the Tigers in the game. If not for him this game might be tied. Tigers got away from their strong positioning that they displayed in the first period.
Total Prime Chances: 12-11 Regina.

Third Period
The pats opened up with a lot of pressure.Michael Bullion made a number of highlight reel saves, one which you will likely see in the WHL weekly Top Ten.  The Brandt Centre already had their red lights on, a darkened arena, and smoke going off behind the net before they realized Bullion made the save.

Pats Tie the Game
However the Pats kept pressing and would tie the game.
The pats 4th goal was complete luck. Jeff Dewitt was  turned around and attempted a pass though his legs. mason Shaw tried to stop the pass with his skates and he re-directed it past Bullion.
5-4 Tigers

Moments later  Zach Fischer was a little too slow getting back and left his man an opportunity to receive a pass in the high slot. Dawson Leedahl popped the puck in top shelf 5-5 TIE

Tigers Finish Strong
Another misplay by Connor Hobbs. he was pinching but got caught and no-one was covering for him. Steven Owre made him pay with a hard shot from the top of the circle which beat Max Paddock.
6-5 Tigers

Off a broken play Zach Fischer rang the puck off the post. The puck landed right in front of Paddock. Paddock momentarily put his glove over the puck but lifted it up, and the puck kept it's momentum going into the back of the net. 7-5 Tigers

Fischer also got an empty netter after Regina pulled their goaltender early.
Final Score 8-5 Tigers
Final Chances: 16-19 Regina

Summary
The Tigers started the game very well, perfect positioning but got extremely unlucky with 2 accidental penalties which resulted in Pats PP goals.

The Tigers took advantage of a young goaltender in net with 8 goals. Micheal Bullion came in relief of Nick Schneider and played outstanding hockey.

The pats out-chanced the Tigers in this one but Bullion made some very good saves which kept the Tigers in the game when Regina was pressing. Rassall, Owre, Dahlstrom, James Hamblin had very strong games for the Tigers.

This is likely a good confidence booster for most of the team beating the #1 team in the CHL without 2 of their better defenceman. The Tigers first period was one of their better periods they have played the past 10-15 games.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Trade Deadline - 7 Team Summaries

Well The Tigers were pretty quiet. They picked up a 2nd line Dman, as well as a goaltender on the cheap earlier in the week.

Tigers Acquisitions
I am a bit disappointed they didn't go out and pick up a #1 Dman. They did address their goal-tending need and helped their defensive need, but will it be enough?  I guess time will tell.

Trade Deadline Deals
I'm going to do a brief synopsis from teams who choose to "go for it" or add pieces to the puzzle, and why they did so,  as well as lay out a foundation to how this will effect them for the next few seasons.

Notes
An average team acquires 3 core players through the draft each year.  Players when their younger, play 3rd/4th line minutes but start making impacts into the lineup when their 18,19,20 and become key pieces of the team.

Above average or championship teams usually acquire or recruit 4 or 5 core to key players in at least 2 consecutive years in a row. When that age group matures that becomes 8-10 core/key players that are supplemented with 3 overage players, 2 imports, as well as trade deadline acquisitions that push teams over the top and give them more depth in case of injuries.

Draft Picks
5 Years ago I did an evaluation of draft Picks.
1st Rounder = 98-99% chance of a core player or better
2nd Rounder = 50-50 Chance of a Core player or better
3rd Rounder = 15% chance or a core player or better
4th rounder = 3% chance of a core player or better
5th Rounder = 2.5% chance of a core player or better
After that it is a relative crapshoot.
Goalies were highly volatile, Their are many 1st/2nd round picks that don't turn out.

Now these values are likely outdated, and I don't remember my methods, so if you're a math based person sorry I can't replicate this...yeah I know don't trust it.

Summary of Major Acquisitions
P = denotes prospect

Prince George
Gone:
Tyler Ho(16P), 
Yan Khomenko(18), 
Bartek Bison(18), 
Max Martin(17)
Justin Almeida(17) 
Kolby Johnson(18),
1st Rnd ’18, 2nd Rnd ’18,
3rd Rnd ’18, 3rd Rnd ’19
5th Rnd ’17,  
8th Rnd ’18, 

Aquired:
Tanner Wishnowski(19) 
Radovan Bondra(19) Top 6
Nikita Popugaev(18) PPG+(top 6 forward)
Brendan Guhle(19) Top 2 defenceman)

Summary
PG really loaded up for this season acquiring 2 PPG players, and a top line defenceman.
It cost them some of this years depth players, 2 potential core 17's, and significant picks for the 2018 draft

PG essentially sold the 2018 draft class.  In 2017 they will be drafting later in rounds, that will delay their recovery.

If we add the fact that they will loose half their team next season, the next 3-4 seasons will be a big struggle, and they will likely become sellers.

Unless they are able to find some gems and or get extremely luck in the draft, it may take them until  '24-25' before they could potentially ice another championship type team.

PG is a smaller market team. Their past history shows they have longer 6-8 year cycles. A Very interesting question will be Nikita Popugaev,  IF he does return PG should be able to reclaim a ransom next season to help with their recovery process.

I think their an "underdog contender". They have an older roster, a very good record and their future looked a little bleak so I can see why they "went for it".  They are playing in an incredibly tough division. While they should get out of the first round, after that it will be a big battle. They have the team to compete and challenge but rounds 2 through 4 will almost be 50-50 chances. They could make it, but it will be tough.

------------

Regina Pats
Gone
Lane Zablocki(18)
Dawson Barteaux(16)
Brady Pouteau(19)
Rykr Cole(19)
Riley Woods(18)
Luc Smith (18)
James Hilsendager(19)
Erik Gardiner(17)
1st Rnd ’17
1st Rnd ’18 or 19
3rd Rnd ’20 Conditional

Acquired
Joshua Mahura(18) Top DMAN
Jeff de Wit(19)
Wyatt Sloboshan(19) Probably a top veteran depth player.
Dawson Davidson(18)  Very solid Defenceman
Jonathan Smart(17) Talented young defenceman
3rd Rnd ’19
7th Rnd ’18
3rd Rnd ’17

Summary
Regina has done some incredible drafting and it gave them a full cupboard stocked full of goodies.

 They basically re-tooled their lineup for next season. They traded a combo of some vets, young players and picks to acquire bona fida 18yr players that will be here next season when they host the Memorial Cup, as well as a core group of younger players that should still be with the pats the season after.

They have given away a lot of higher round draft picks for the 2017,2018,2019 draft classes.  IF Tyson Jost reports to them next season from the NCAA they won't have any 1st rounders for the next 3 years.

Even through Regina has loaded up they have 7 (16&17) year old players and some really great prospects. The year after the memorial cup in 19-20, they will still have Jonathon smart, Jake Leschyshyn, nick henry, Jordan Hollett, among a stellar over-age class, proving they aren't leaked to the NHL.

That will be an impressive core group that initially 2 years later seems like they might challenge for a playoff spot after their memorial cup run. The question will be whether they sell and gain royal ransoms or not.

Even though the next 3 drafts have significant higher losses of picks, I would not doubt their ability to bounce back quicker than normal. While it is way to early to see when that would be, the next 2 seasons will be extremely exciting. The pats have potential to become back to back memorial cup champions.

While a memorial cup berth is never a guarantee and adding is never a sure thing, I really like how they have built and developed their team.  They will have a dynamite team next season and an automatic memorial cup berth. They also have a bunch of good younger players that will supplement and possibly be able to help recoup their losses faster after their runs are over with. Their goal-tending looks a little young this year and could be a weakness.

--------------

Kelowna Rockets
Gone:
Jake Kryski(18)
Riley Stadel(20)
Jordan Borstmayer(18)
Jonathan Smart(17)
Tanner Wishnowski(19)
5th Rnd ’17
1st Rnd ’18 Opt
5th Rnd ’19 Cond

Aquired

Reid Gardiner(20)
Carsen Twarynski(19)
James Hilsendager(19)
Erik Gardiner(17)
Colum McGauley(16 P)

3rd Rnd ’18 Cond.
5th Rnd ’18
5th Rnd ’17


Summary

This was a very interesting decision from kelowna to jump into the ring. They aren't that far off from slipping into a wildcard position, but I think I understand why they made these moves.



Dillon Dube has only played in 25% of kelowna's games. With him in the lineup Kelowna was 10-4.  

Kelowna managed to acquire a bona fida goal scorer coming back in Gardiner. They also acquired some size and aggressiveness with the acquisitions of Twarynski and Hilsendager, as well as couple younger players.

Kelowna has an older veteran defence and goaltending. They have an interesting dynamic of younger and older forwards. 


They are 10 games above .500 and this trade deadline will be like acquiring 2 star forwards, a power forward, and an aggressive defenceman. 


I will be interested to see if they can go on a tear the next few weeks. They might have just developed into a pretty powerful team. I wouldn't be surprised to see them challenge for first in the conference even though they are 4-5 games back of PG. They will be the underdog and I wouldn't want to face them in the playoffs, they have a team that could potentially play in the western final, and they did it pretty cheaply.


Kamloops
Gone
Spencer Bast(20)
Conner McDonald(17)
2nd Rnd ’17
5th Rnd ’18

Dawson Davidson(18)
6th Rnd ’18 Cond.

Acquired

8th Rnd ’18 Lane Bauer(20)
7th Rnd ’17

Luc Smith(18)
Nic Holowko(19)

Summary
Kamloops has one of the best goaltenders in the league, and they don't give up very many goals.  Their offense however is just mediocre with a poor PP. Acquiring Bauer and towering forward Luc Smith was an attempt at shoring that area up.

It was an attempt to get a little better, giving up a potential core player and 2nd overall pick, for some veteran forwards, a "little splash" so to say. It doesn't scream championship team, but we will see how they play down the stretch run. They didn't give up anything too substantial, and they shored up some weaknesses. 


They will be in tough as Kelowna got a lot better and victoria is right on their doorstep. It could be possible that these additions aren't enough to overcome a 1st round playoff victory like these trades were made for, nonetheless those trades won't affect their long-term development too much.


They remind me a lot of Lethbridge except their strengths are reversed. They will have some losses of top players next season, but retain a good core group of younger players.

--------------

Lethbridge
Busiest Gm Award. This one makes my head spin.

Gone
Shaun Dosanjh(20)
Brett Davis(17)
Colton Kroeker(19)
Carson Dyck(15 P)
Brady Reagan(19)
Brayden Burke(19)
Shane Farkas(17)
Carter Folk(20)
Darian Skeoch(19)
4th Rnd ’18 Cond.
7th Rnd ’17
6th Rnd ’18
7th Rnd ’17 Cond.
2nd Rnd ’18
4th Rnd ’18
3rd Rnd ’17
3rd Rnd ’18
5th Rnd ’18
7th Rnd ’18

Aquired
Alec Baer(19)
Zak Zborosky(20)
Matt Alfaro(20)
Ryley Lindgren(20)
Kyle Yewchuk(18)
Brady Pouteau(19)
Ryan Bowen(18)
Ty Prefontaine(17)
Brennan Riddle(19)
Ryan Gilchrist(18)
Tanner Nagel(18)
Brennan Menell(19)
4th Rnd ’17
9th Rnd ’17
6th Rnd ’18
2nd Rnd ’17
3rd Rnd ’19 Cond
6th Rnd ’18
4th Rnd ’17

Summary
Lethbridge were pre-season favorites. However they stumbled out of the gate and GM Anholt publicly came out and said their were trouble-makers in the room, and traded away multiple star players which dashed hopes of a contending hockey team.

Their moves they made got them a more age balance roster. They got an extra 2nd round pick earlier in the year and spent it along with 2 older players for upgrades to their 20's, a recovery pick and a prospect goaltender.


Their forward group now looks pretty strong up front. Their defense is quite young and could be taken advantage of. Next year they will loose 4 of their top 5 scorers, but other than that retain a good chunk of core younger players.


The Canes have missed the playoffs for a long time, and last years good team made a disappointing exit in round 1. While they could have just re-loaded fans probably would have revolted as that has been their theme for a longtime.


 Instead they tried to balance their roster as well as making it competitive enough that they could venture into the 2nd or possibly 3rd round of the playoffs.  They have the potential to have a cakewalk in the first round. In round 2 they will be challenged.


------

Moose Jaw
Gone
Brayden Watts(17)
Nikita Popugaev(18)
Ryan Bowen(18)
2nd Rnd ’17
3rd Rnd ’19 Cond.
4th Rnd ’18
6th Rnd ’19 Cond
8th Rnd ’18
5th Rnd ’17
2nd Rnd ’18

Acquired
Branden Klatt(18)
Spencer Bast(19)
Thomas Foster(20)
Justin Almeida(17)
Brayden Burke(19)
Yan Khomenk(18)
5th Rnd ’17
2nd Rnd ’18
8th Rnd ’17
5th Rnd ’18

Summary
Moose Jaw has a pretty good team this year. The Popugaev trade is really interesting and a bit confusing on the surface. They had some big additions early in the year and acquired some veteran players, yet traded one of their most dynamic weapons away.

Moose Jaw is playing under Regina's Shadow, as their roster looks like they will have pretty good team next season as well. The only reason that trade makes sense to me is if they feel Popugaev won't be here next season. If he comes back Prince George can then sell him and recoup more than what PG paid for him, so I'm kinda thinking this trade was a big gamble.  


This must be an attempt to get a little better defensively as their team has a rather poor +/- for a 26-10 record. Their competition in the first round also added, so the first round matchup could be a very close battle



Swift Current
Gone
Calvin Spencer(20)
Kade Jensen(19)
Travis Child(19)
Carson Dyck(15P)

Cole Johnson(18)
Tyler Adams(19)
2nd Rnd ’17
4th Rnd ’18 Cond.

3rd Rnd ’18
2nd Rnd ’19
5th Rnd ’18

5th Rnd ’18

Aquired
Jordan Papirny(20)
Jake Hobson(17)
Ryley Lindgren(20)
Mackenzie Wight(17)

Ryan Graham(20)
6th Rnd ’18
7th Rnd ’17
5th Rnd ’18

4th Rnd ’18
9th Rnd ’17

Summary
The broncos traded away their older depth players. In return they acquired a more experienced overage group, as well as a couple prospects, however they did give up some mid round picks, that could negatively affect their 2018 draft and their team 3-4 years down the road. Their later round picks in 2018 will be crucial to come up with late round surprises.

These moves were made in an attempt to be able to beat MJ in round 1 of the playoffs as they are neck and neck with them.


The Broncos could ice a pretty good team next season if they find a goaltender, as their losses will be minimal. Both MJ and swift will be in Regina's Shadow.


Also their Import Draft scouting has been phenomenal.  They have managed to snag some Top quality imports the past few seasons.



My Winners
Kelowna - They became overnight powerhouses for relatively cheap, but are in a very tough division. Still I think they gained a lot of value for a relative cheap cost.

Tough Spots

MJ and Swift are in tough positions with veteran older rosters when a powerhouse Regina is going for CuP runs.

Kamloops is in tough as well. I'm not saying they lost the trades, but their positioning taking into other teams is not ideal for this season and they are middle-men. They retain a pretty good roster but their are other powerhouse teams that will probably surpass them.


Tigers - One of the top offenses in the league, but a very mediocre defence. One of the only offenses capable of keeping up to Regina, but they decided not to add when they had multiple extra draft picks. Regina built for next season it feels like the Tigers missed a pretty big opportunity.


Interesting Notes
Victoria - They decided not to add significant pieces, understanding that their would be a high cost. Their roster looks like they have potential for a pretty good team next season, so they could be winners by simply choosing to wait till next season. 

PG - Would be extremely disappointing if they don't make it past the 3rd round. They kinda did a suicide run this year, and might have affected their team chemistry.

Red Deer - The rebels traded some high impact players that essentially recouped their losses from the past season and their memorial Cup run.


----------------------
Tigers Roster Healthy Lineup
Zach Fischer(19) Steven Owre(20)  Chad Butcher(20)
John Dahlstrom(19) Mason Shaw(18) Matt Bradley(19)
Mark Rassall(19) James Hamblin(17) Max Gerlach(18)
Ryan Chyzowski(16) Ryan Jevne(18) Tyler Preziuso(17)
Gary Haden(17)
Josh Williams(15)**

Kristians Rubins(19) Clayton Kirichenko(20)
Ty Schultz(19) Jordan Henderson(19)
David Quennevill(18) Brad Forrest(19)

Dalton Gally(18)
Dylan MacPherson(18)

Nick Schneider(19)
Michael Bullion(19)
--------

This is still a pretty powerfully offensively minded lineup.
Williams will likely be a callup and could potentially see ice-time after his team is finished for the season.



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lazy Forwards vs Vancouver

Version 2
This is part 2 of the flying V defense I posted a couple days ago.

This post explains why defense starts in the offensive zone and how the Tigers are leaking goals because their forwards are LAZY or in poor position.
--------

First Vancouver Goal (1-0 Vancouver Lead minutes into the game)
Forwards not cycling properly.














In Deep
Here we see all 3 Tiger forwards in deep and the puck going behind the net. Notice that all 3 forwards are touching the end redline, that should almost never happen.

Luckily they get away with it here, as a Tiger Dman pinches and saves the day, however their is a reset and Vancouver tries a second time to breakout.
---

Uh-Oh ( A few seconds later)






















The Tigers maintain an aggressive attack that puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenceman as well as the first outlet pass out of the zone. Here we see a 2-1-2 attack pattern.

The reason Vancouver scored this goal was because of a simple mistake.

The red-circled player(Chad Butcher) Was lazy and half-assed skated back.
The black circled Player(Zach Fischer) is coming into the zone with speed and pressure, and the Vancouver player is looking to make a quick pass and almost bobbles the puck.

Offensive Switch
Remember last post when I talked about the "defensive switch"? Now the forwards also have a switch but it happens in the offensive zone.

Here the 3rd forward Fischer(black circle) now "switches" from 2-"1"-2  into the "2"-1-2 position
That means that the 1st forward Butcher(Red Circle) is now responsible for being the 2-"1"-2

However because he was "too tired" or "too lazy", the switch fails and if Vancouver breaks out they get an odd man rush.

Vancouver happens to get the odd man rush and they execute perfectly, grabbing a quick lead.

 This is why this pattern is sometimes more risky or offensive minded, than a 1-2-2 pattern.  If that switch doesn't happen or the giants transition is incredibly quick it leads to an odd man rush.
------

Vancouver Goal #2
Lack of defensive Awareness

The Tigers turn the puck over in the offensive zone and 3 forwards are caught deep, However they do not recover properly. The Vancouver forward just shot the puck on net























John Dahlstrom
He made 2 costly errors on this play. First: He turned the puck over creating an odd man rush.
Two: He wasn't aware of the dangerous player.(red circle)

Vancouver had a 3 on 2 and Dahlstrom skated hard to get back into the play.
Hi mistake is that he isn't eyeing up the only dangerous player in the area.

I should note that it could be a mistake to simply skate to the Vancouver player because the middle of the ice is open. Instead he should be at the hashmarks and anticipating when the puck may come out front. once danger has passed, look for a switch back to his regular positioin when the centreman is back in the Tiger zone.

What Happens
The New Tiger defenceman Henderson is now trying to cover 2 giants and the Giants managed to score off the rebound.

So While you could make a case about the goalie and covering the rebound,  the Tiger's aren't in proper position anyways.

------------

New Guys
I love that the coaches went with the New goaltender.
1. It gets Bullion quickly integrated into the team
2. Bullion played well. Schneider will have to play better if he wants to reclaim ice-time.

Defenceman Hendersen
Very solid defensive instincts. I think he he will fit in very well to the Tigers group.

Notes:
17yr old defenceman Cameron MacPhee was sent down to account for the new Defencemen into the Tigers lineup.

Up Next
Tigers play Edmonton Saturday, Edmonton has traded 2 overagers and one of their bigger defenceman over the last 2 days, so they will be adapting to a younger lineup

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tigers Make a Deal With Saskatoon

Medicine Hat Tigers acquire D Jordan Henderson (1997) from the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for a fifth round pick (2017). – MORE TO COME
http://whl.ca/article/whl-trade-deadline-live-blog
---------

Henderson is 6 feet 180lbs. Scouting report says he is a defensive defenceman who moves the puck well. The Tigers badly need a player like that, but a 5th round seems like he may be more of a 4th/5th defenceman, we will have to wait and watch him play

He was acquired by Saskatoon earlier in the year from Spokane for a 6th round pick.
















----

MH Tigers Article
http://whl.ca/article/tigers-bolster-blueline-with-acquisition-of-henderson-from-blades

Comments
This move leaves the Tigers with 9 Dmen. 8 for the next 4-6 weeks.
If nothing else happens someone could like MacPherson or even MacPhee could get sent down.

MH News Article
Article says Clouston is still looking to potentially add as long as the price is right and it doesn't involve giving away players on the roster.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Flying V Defence

Regina Kicked the Tigers butt last night. I want to show an example of the Tigers defense that is repeatedly causing them issues in their own zone.

They frequently adapt to "line defence"  If you watched the Oilers of yesteryear they used to do this often.  Their are a lot of little mistakes and a full line formation leads to poor zone coverage.

This play was goal #2 Regina scored last night.

Regina Goal #2 - The Flying V Defence
What is wrong with this picture below?



1.  Defenceman going into the corner
    • This is a non-cycle play. Sometimes it is necessary for a Dman to go into the corner, however it can be semi-dangerous, if the forwards are not aware or covering defensively, even when they have puck possession. 
    • 2 Dmen  in the corner often means their will be a defensive switch coming. (more on that later) 
    • 90% of the time the Tigers make this breakout successfully, but they should still be aware that a change in puck possession means Regina is likely going to get a good scoring chance.
    • It is wrong to assume that in order to correct this play the outlet pass needs to be better. Outlet passes will fail occasionally, they need to be better prepared postionally.
2. Tunnel Vision
  • Nobody has their head on a swivel, video does that better justice
  • Unaware of any potential incoming Regina players that will likely be skating in towards the play
3. Line Defence

  • Line defence leaves no passing options  if the Tigers recover the puck. 
  • One single Regina player can cover all outlet passing options.
  • On a turnover they are vulnerable to large on ice gaps





A Few Seconds Later



















What Happened
Forrest has recovered the puck and he appears to have room to escape; however, he is on his back-hand(which is difficult), and the Regina player coming in has a lot more speed that Forrest

His fellow Tiger line-mates are now  poor passing outlets, His only play is to 1v1 or bounce the puck off the boards. This positioning is extremely poor as we will see why next picture.


Pic 3














What Happens
Forrest doesn't connect on the outlet pass and it leads to a change in puck possession, uh-oh. 

Here is where 2 DMEN in the corner is dangerous. Their was a turn-over, 2 Dman are along the boards in very poor defending position. The forwards were expecting to breakout.

This is a complete breakdown in positioning, their are HUGE danger areas. The whole left side of the ice, the regina forwardsskating in front, and their is a lot of space for the Regina defenceman to make plays.

The one Red Circle has both a Tiger defenceman and a Regina forward. The Regina forward beats the Defenceman to the net, which is a big no-no. That can't happen. 


Defence
In a nutshell defensively, every-time a forward forces a defenceman  to make a decision, or "switch coverage" of a player it will create a gap, which leads to open space, as well as potential for errors in communication on forwards covering. Every-time you hear defensive switch, you should think "potential for extra space"

Very often, but not always 2 defenceman in the corner means a "defensive switch" is coming soon, aka  potential for gaps in communication and positioning.

Many offensive plays are designed to force the dmen to make decisions because it creates space.
This is what creates offence 5v5 at the NHL level.

Voluntary Switch

The Tigers here gave Regina a potential "voluntary switch" with the 2nd Dman going into the corner. Normally 1 v 5 you'd think that should be ok, and soemtimes the 2nd Dman is closer to the puck

However it should mean forwards should be more aware of the danger that brings.

The Goal























This was not Schneider fault at all. Their should have been somebody in front previously which would have led to better defense, then schneider would have been in good positioning for a pass out front.

Right now his anticipation of where the play is going, is not matching because the Tigers aren't doing a good job in their own end.

Poor Positioning
The Two Tiger defenceman (red circle) have both been beaten to the net by everybody because they both collapsed into the corner. 

Directly before this their was a momentary 2 on 0 while Regina almost deflected the puck into the net and that forced Schneider to swing hard to the right. He is now recovering to the middle as he is a bit unaware where the puck is, with the shot and a potential deflection by the Pats.

Tunnel Vision
Notice again that all Tiger forwards on the ice are looking at the puck carrier. The guy with the puck at the net could have easily have thrown it to the slot where an incoming Defenceman like a Hobbs could have blasted a shot, and broke a Tiger ankle....

Danger Areas
Their are now 3 big danger areas. The Pat at the corner of the net with the puck, the guy in the slot, as well as the high slot area(which we can't see) but a defenceman could easily be ready to walk in. Their is 1 Tiger out of picture but he likely can't cover both high points.

Conclusion
The Tigers shot themselves in the foot with really poor coverage in their own end. Regina didn't create this chance the Tigers gave them a free goal. A championship team forces the opponent to create their own goals, and not give them up for free.