|Pouliot at 2012 Prospects Game|
Unlike under suspended coach Mike Johnston, Green has mostly stayed with 3 consistent defensive pairings: Seth Jones and Tyler Wotherspoon, Rutkowski and MacPherson and Josh Hanson and Kirill Vorobev (rotating in Layne Viveros for Vorobev every 3rd game or so lately).
This means that, MacPherson, an 18 year old D-man, who had not played a WHL game before the Hawks signed him on January 4th, was thrown into a roll which forces him to play 15+ minutes a night(estimate).
At times, MacPherson has shown that he is a smooth skater and in fact has potted 4 goals and 4 assists in 26 games played (more points then he scored the previous 2 years in Alberta and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey). But, he has committed a multitude of mistakes that have lead to scoring chances the other way.
In fact in the overtime victory against Vancouver game on February 16th, he turned the puck over in a bad spot, leading to Vancouver's second goal and then was out-muscled by Giants Forward Cain Franson who drove right through him for the tying goal with 4 minutes left. His play was so bad that night that Green made a late line change in the over time period, subbing in Wotherspoon for him. This proved to be the right decision as Tyler made a great outlet pass to Leipsic, who buried the OT winner.
|18 year old Defenseman Shaun MacPherson|
Gregg Drinnan, hockey writer of the Taking Note blog, believes that Pouliot will be back Saturday for the Hawks game in Everett. Meaning, he should get into about 7 games before the playoffs. His Twitter page seems to back up this account, with a post about him getting back into Portland on the 27th. It is unknown, what the severity of his high ankle sprain was. He got back into 4 games in January, but didn't seem to be skating under full strength. Regardless of how many games he gets into before the playoffs, he will be in the lineup for what is expected to be a long playoff run.
-Piece from BTN about the Hawks rallying around the suspension of Mike Johnston.
-Layne Viveros off the roster again. I feel bad for how much the Hawks have been moving this guy around.
-Saskatoon's coach Lorne Molleken is vying for the 600th win of his WHL coaching career tonight (also would be the Blade's 18th in a row). This article states that he would still be 142 wins behind Portland's Ken Hodge (this blog's named after him). No word from Hodge about whether, if Molleken gets closer, he will jump back behind the bench (kidding of course) .
-Kamloops Defenseman Tyler Hansen may forgo his 20 year old season to perform his Mormon mission.
-The American's Justin Feser is poised to break the WHL's iron man record with his 312th consecutive game played tonight.
-Edmonton finishes up their U.S. Division swing with a game in Everett, without Henrik Samuellson.
-Saskatoon looking for their 18th win in a row will take on Brandon at home.
-Tri City looks for their 7th win in a row, hosting Seattle, while Spokane, who trails them for 4th place in the West by one point, heads to Victoria (The Royals have dropped 7 in a row).
A Highlight Video of Pouliot's, To Get You Excited for His Return: