Friday, January 30, 2015

Stats for Victoria Game/Analysis

There has been a lot of talk in regards to the amount of minutes Portland's top line of Bittner, Petan and Bjorkstrnad, as well as, power play partner Chase De Leo, have been playing lately. 

Since there is no way to really track the ice time out there, I decided to take it upon myself to calculate the total time on ice (TTOI) myself. As I get more comfortable, doing these stats, I'd like to add face off wins/losses/win %, as well as block shots, hits and giveaways/takeaways (wishful thinking I'm sure).

But lets start with TTOI and shots to begin with though for the Wednesday, January 28th 4-3 win over Victoria.




24:57 1
Petan 24:10 2
Bjorkstrand 25:13 3
Koules 18:34 2
De Leo 24:51 7
Schoenborn 16:25 2
McKenzie 15:09 3
Turgeon 14:25 3
Iverson 16:18 2
Overhardt 0:00 0
Flaman 0:00 0
Cederholm 22:57 2
Viveiros 25:08


De Jong





  • Player with the most ice time was Oliver Bjorkstrand with 25:13, followed by Layne Viveiros, Bittner, De Leo and Petan. 
  • -Seems odd that 4 of the 5 players with the most time on ice are forwards, unless you knew that the gap between the high end talent and their other players(2nd/3rd line) on the Hawks, is high right now so that playing them a ton is the best way for you to win. This is especially true when you consider that they are all so good in their own zone as well.

  • -Playing the top 4 forwards this much, is a gamble though, as the final 6 weeks of the season plus the playoffs is intense and could cause exhaustion and injuries. Kompon is gambling a lot in this right.
  • -Both Jack Flaman and Alex Overhardt did not get a single shift as the team's de facto 4th line. This I do not understand as they both have improved a lot this year and have not shown signs lately of being a huge risk out there for 1 or 2 50 second shifts.

  • -Skyler McKenzie ended up with more minutes then his center-man Dominic Turgeon. This is because he had several extended shifts, where he got pinned deep in his own zone and/or made a mistake in timing his change. These can be forgiven during the regular season, but he needs to shore this up in order to get consistent ice time in the playoffs.

  • -Keoni Texeira ended up with the 5th most ice time for D-men. This is due to Adam Henry taking his spot next to Blake Heinrich in the 3rd period. Texeira only had three shifts, a total of 2:16 in the final frame. In one of these shifts, he was beaten severely to the net front by Alex Forseberg, leading to a Forseberg goal. Lack of ice time could be a reason he was beaten there, but regardless, he did not receive another shift for the rest of the game. Not sure that this was completely fair.

  • -Chase De Leo was buzzing around the net all game so his 7 shots, is not too surprising.

I should have more of these stats for the last 6 weeks of the season, so I can average out average time on ice and shots per game/shot %.

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Look Around the U.S. Division

With 19 of the Winterhawks remaining 25 games against the U.S. Division, all 5 teams in the division separated by only 18 points and the change in playoff formatting this season. I figured now would be as good a time as any to look around the Division at the Hawks and their 4 rivals.
Austin Lotz

1) Everett Silvertips (46 GP , 30-12-3-1, 64 Pts)
-The Tips dropped 2 in a row at the end of 2014 and were headed on their 6 game East Division swing to start 2015, which did not look promising for them. Instead Kevin Constantine's squad has won 5 of 6 on the trip and returned to win 4 in a row against Spokane, Seattle and Prince George.
-Last season the Tips had 13 players score 19 points or more. This year they already have 13 players with that amount or more.
-They are led by Nikita Scherbak, (57 pts), Carson Stadnyk (46), Kohl Bauml (42) and Ivan Nikolishin (41); giving them some needed 25-*scoring depth.
-Carter Hart (2.27 GAA, 0.915 Save %) and Austin Lotz (2.45, 0.913 Save %) gives Everett the best Tending duo in the Division.

Inside the Division:
-14-7-1-1 overall record. They have played over half of their games so far this season vs. divisional opponents.

Vs. Portland:
-4-2-1-0 (3 games remaining; 2 at home, 1 in Portland)
-Won 4 of their first 5 match ups, but have dropped 2 straight since including the most lopsided of the games, a 7-1 loss in the Rose City.
-Last time they played was December 6th and next time they play is January 31st.

Vs. Spokane:
-3-2 (3 games remaining; all in Spokane)
-2 of the Tip's only 3 regulation losses through the first 19 games of the season were to the Chiefs/
-All 4 games so far have been within 2 goals.
-Last time they played was January 16th and the next time they play is February 3rd.

Vs. Seattle:
-4-2 (4 games remaining; 2 at home and 2 on the road)
-Would play each other in the first round as it stands now; which would be the 2nd year in a row the I-5 rivals would square off in the post-season.
-Last time they played was January 18th and the next time they meet is February 14th.

Vs. Tri City:
-3-1-0-1 (5 games remaining; 3 at home and 2 in Kennewick)
-All 5 games so far have been within 2 goals and the most goals either team has scored vs the other in regulation is 4.
-Last time they played was December, 28th and the next time they play is February 6th.


2) Portland Winterhawks (47 GP, 25-19-0-3, 53 Pts, 9 back of Everett)
-The pre-season favorite in the Division has struggled with inconsistency, large defensive lapses and the constant disappearance of important play-makers, yet still has a shot at taking their 3rd straight U.S. Division crown.
-Portland has won 4 of their last 5 games, including a sweep of the Prince George Cougars.
-Since returning from the World Juniors, Oliver Bjorkstrand has been on a tear, notching 14 points in 6 games. Also Adin Hill has finally given the Hawks some consistent Goaltending; notching a 2.66 GAA and an incredible 0.929 Save % this season. Portland has plenty of other players who have underwhelmed so far this season and if Hill can stay hot and they can start to get consistent scoring from their 2nd and 3rd lines, they could go on a tear. They won 6 in a row in late November-early December when they were near 100% healthy and present. If one team can put a scare into the Tips, it's probably the defending champs.
-Portland is led by Bjorkstrand (54 Pts), Chase De Leo (51), Nic Petan (38), Miles Koules (35) and Paul Bittner (34). Between the top 5 scores, they have missed a total of 41 games so far this season.

Inside the Division:
-9-9-0-3 overall record. They have played 21 of 38 games within the division.

Vs. Everett:
-3-3-0-1 (3 games remaining, 2 of which are in Everett).
-After dropping 4 of their first 5 vs the Tips, they have won 2 straight; a 12-4 overall score.

Vs. Spokane:
-1-3 (4 games remaining, 2 at home and 2 in Spokane).
-Blew leads in all 3 losses to the Chiefs, a team they dominated for the last 2 seasons.
-Would be a first round match up as it stands now.
-Next play tonight in Portland and they last played on January 9th.

Vs, Seattle:
-2-3-0-2 (5 games remaining, 2 at home and 3 in Seattle).
-Both teams have been missing top players for all 7 games so far,
-Next play tomorrow night in Seattle and they last played on January 4th, a 4-0 Hawks win.

Vs. Tri City:
-3-0 (5 games remaining, 3 at home and 2 on the road).
-Hawks have outscored the Americans 11-5 overall in the 3 games.
-Next play on Sunday and they last played on January 3rd (a 3-0 Hawks win).

3) Spokane Chiefs (44 GP, 23-17-3-1, 50 Pts, 14 back of Everett and 3 of Portland)
-Spokane was doubted by many to begin this season but has scratched and clawed their way back into games; never really ever going away and thus surprising the Division and conference with a solid season so far.
-They are currently on a 3 game losing streak; losing 3 straight to divisional opponents.
-After a 50 pt season last year, Adam Helewka already has 56, showing himself to be an elite player in the league.
-Jason Fram has also been a godsend for the Chiefs, notching 39 points so far, while also providing scoring form the back end.
Garrett Hughson also has been better then expected with a 2.85 GAA and 0.903 Save %.
-Only U.S. Division team that has yet to go on their Eastern Division swing.

Inside the Division:
-13-8-2-1 overall record. They had the best record within the division prior to last week's 3 losses.

Vs. Everett:
-2-2-1 (3 remaining)
-If they don't stop the slide, they could face the Tips in the first round.

Vs. Portland:
-3-1 (4 remaining).
-Kailer Yamamoto and Adam Helewka each have 7 points in 4 games vs. Portland, while Paul Bittner has 6 vs. Spokane. In only 2 games vs the Chiefs, Oliver Bjorkstrand has 5 points.

Vs. Seattle:
-3-3-1-1 (2 games remaining; both at home).
-Entertaining series between the 2 so far as they have already seen each other 8 times (most in the Division).
-Next play each other January 25th and last matched up on 1/13.

Vs. Tri City:
-5-2 (5 games remaining; 3 at home and 2 on the road).
-Yet another team that has done well vs. the Americans.
-The Chiefs dropped the Americans 10-2 on New Year's Eve but lost to them 7-0 last week.
-Next play each other tomorrow night.

4) Seattle Thunderbirds (44 GP, 22-17-2-3, 49 Pts, 1 pt behind Spokane and 3 ahead of T.C. for first Wild Card spot)
-Seattle has faced long stretches without their 2 best players (Shea Theodore and Mathew Barzal) and should be close to 100% healthy soon.
-Lack of goal scoring has contributed to some of the T-bird's struggles. They are led by Ryan Gropp (33 Pts).
-Taran Kozun has held them in a lot of games this season with a 2.36 GAA and a 0.915 Save %.

Inside the Division:
-15-8-1-3 overall record. 13 games remaining in the Division.

Vs. Everett:
-2-2-1-1 (4 remaining).
-Blown out in Everett last weekend 6-0.

Vs. Portland:
-5-2 (5 remaining).
-Will be tougher sledding from here on out vs the Hawks as they should have some of their stars back in the lineup, but so will the T-birds.

Vs. Spokane:
-5-2-0-1 (2 remaining).
-Back to back 4-1 wins over Spokane in recent meetings.
-Next play on Sunday.

Vs. Tri City:
-3-2-0-1 (2 remaining).
-Next play tonight in Kennewick.

Tri City Americans (46 GP, 22-22-0-2, 46 Pts, 17 Pts behind Everett for Division and 6 pts ahead of Vancouver for final playoff spot).
-They were expected to ride the Goaltending of Eric Comrie but between injuries and time away at the World Juniors, he has only played in 24 games, while backup Evan Sarthou has played in 22.
-Another team that has struggled scoring; they are led by Parker Bowles (39 Pts), Brian Williams (36), Beau McCue (35) and Richard Nejezchleb (29 in 24 games since being acquired from Brandon).
-This team looks like a year or two away from making an impact as D-men Parker Wotherspoon and Brandon Carlo, as well as, Forwards Ty Comrie, Vladislav Lukin, Ty Comrie and Taylor Vickerman are showing marked improvement and are 1996 and 97 born players.

Inside the Division:
-7-12-0-2 overall record.
-Have fared the worst in the Division.

Vs. Everett:
-Oddly enough one of the Divisional teams they have fared the best against has been the first place Tips.
-Next play Feb. 7th.

Vs. Portland:
-Only team who the Ams have yet to beat.
-In years past they have had a lot of success in Portland, where there is 3 more games.

Vs. Spokane:
-With a lot (5) of games against Spokane left, they have a good chance of making a run at home ice, but it is not looking likely.

Vs. Seattle:
-Only U.S. team they have a winning record against.
-Sarthou shut out the T-birds on 12/13.

-In a real tight division that should have all 5 representatives in the playoffs, it will be very interesting to see how the last month and a half plays out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hawks Trade Burke and Acquire Johnson; Henry in 2 Deals

The Portland Winterhawks made 2 separate deals today, taking care of a couple different concerns all in one day. The first concern involved the budding Goal-tending controversy as Adin Hill's performance since returning from injury, firmly supplanted him as the #1 Goalie. This left Brendan Burke riding the pine, which is not something you expect a Arizona Coyotes draft pick to do in his 19 year old season, while trying to earn a contract.

Enter the Calgary Hitmen, who dealt Portland 18 year old backup Goalie Evan Johnson and a 4th round pick for Burke. Calgary was looking for a Goalie as 19 year old starting Goalie Mack Shields has had an up and down season. Shields has a season 2.88 GAA and a 0.895 Save %, but has lost 3 of his last 4 starts and was yanked out in one of those games. I would look for them to give Burke a chance to win the starting gig for a team that is currently 11 points behind Medicine Hat for the Central Division lead.

Evan Johnson is out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Portland has been getting a lot of it's players lately. He has okay numbers at 2.84 GAA and 0.894 Save % in 15 games this year. Johnson is listed at 6'0, 175 lbs.

Burke's career with Portland is something of a sobering affair. He played extremely well in 2012/13 as Mac Carruth's backup and seemed to be ready to take over in his 18 year old season. Then Head Coach/G.M. Mike Johnston never really showed too much confidence in Burke and elected to trade for Corbin Boes at the trade deadline. Burke played well in the first 2 rounds of last year's playoffs, but was yanked in the Western Conference Final in favor of Boes. Burke only was able to get back in net when Boes started wavering in net and ultimately went down with an illness. With a fresh start this season though it seemed we would finally get to see the Burke, we had all anticipated with such a great pedigree, large frame and solid technique. We should have known it was all for naught though, when in his first preseason start vs. Spokane in the Everett tournament. Burke gave up 5 goals on 23 shots and slammed his stick on the top of his net after giving up the 5th on what looked like a rather weak shot. He was chided by a Portland fan in attendance and the troubled relationship Burke had with Winterhawks fans was obviously never going to get better.

Burke just never really showed the confidence necessary and when he was in net, there always seemed to be something strange that would happen and end up with a puck behind him. From a Josh Hanson pass last year that deflected in off of him to weird bounces off the end board this year, Burke seemed somewhat cursed in a Winterhawks jersey. He goes to Calgary with a fresh slate and I wish him nothing but the best, as he needs to really turn everything around in order to get Arizona to sign him and to keep from becoming a free agent next summer.

In the 2nd trade, Portland addressed their D-man need, by acquiring over-age D-man Adam Henry from Saskatoon for a 2017 second round pick. Henry has 3 goals and 19 assists in 35 games for Seattle and Saskatoon this season. Henry is a solid puck moving D-man, who was great for Seattle last season, notching 38 points in 64 games. Henry has been the power play quarterback for different teams over his last couple seasons and I would look for Portland to try to find a spot for him. He immediately has one of the best slap shots on the team and this is something the power play has really missed with Layne Viveiros looking more for deflections then to blow it by the Goalie.

I was of the mind that Seattle should have kept Henry over Evan Wardley in their struggle to get down to 2 over-agers, but Seattle chose to trade Henry to Saskatoon for D-man Turner Ottenbreit instead. This has worked out well for Seattle, as Ottenbreit has been a great fit for them.

Henry was originally a 3rd round Bantam Draft selection for Lethbridge in 2009 and has been traded twice in the past 15 months.

As when Blake Heinrich entered the lineup, I would look for Portland's other D-men to improve, as they are place in roles that better fit their abilities. We will see which D-man Henry will pair with, though I think he would do well with Anton Cederholm and this way Viveiros could move down to play in the 3rd pairing with Hanson, Brendan De Jong or Nick Heid; keeping Keoni Texeira and Blake Heinrich together. I would not be surprised though, if they started him on the 3rd pairing though.

Interesting to note, with the trade of Burke, Portland now has only 3 players that they drafted in the first 5 rounds of the WHL's Banatam Draft. Here is where they drafted the current players on their roster, along with the year:
1st: Nic Petan (2010)
2nd: Keoni Texeira (2012)
3rd: Dominic Turgeon (2011)
6th: Ethan Price (2012)
7th: Brendan De Jong (2013)
8th: Skyler McKenzie (2013)
9th: Chase De Leo (2010), Layne Viveiros (2011)
11th: Alex Overhardt (2012)
12th: Evan Weinger (2012)
13th: Blake Heinrich (2012)

Thanks to Alan Caldwell over at Small Thoughts at Large,; after today's deals here are the picks Portland has left:

2015: 4th-12th round picks (acquired the 4th wehen Adam Tambellini came back for his over-age season.
2016: 3rd, two 4ths(acquired a 4th for Burke) and 5th-12th picks.
2017: 3rd-12th round picks (traded 2nd rounder for Henry).
2018: All picks are retained as benefit violations end in 2017.

Other Winterhawks news today: Keegan Iverson was suspended for 2 games, after receiving a match penalty for taping his hand and cutting a Seattle player while fighting him on Sunday.