Sunday, October 09, 2011

It's Early But....

Here's a few random thoughts coming off the Blazers 4th straight win - something they didn't do all of last season:  It's early but.....

- I really like the way this team is conducting themselves but on and off the ice.  There's a noticeable "good vibe" around the team and it's a good atmosphere to be part of.

- Last night's 5-2 win in Everett kept the ball rolling.  The team played well and deserved the two points. Every night it seemingly someone else leading the way.  Dylan Willick and Matt Needham stepped up with a pair of big goals and D Austin Madaisky was a force on the back-end.  G Cole Cheveldave wasn't overly busy, but made some great timely saves to keep the Silvertips at bay

- This team is more of a "team" this year.  There's a great mix of young guys and veterans off the ice.  Everyone is playing for each other for the greater good on the ice.

- I've also noticed the Blazers ability to not sweat the small stuff.  In a way, they've created a bubble within the team, and they won't let negative influences enter the bubble.  It's a calm, cool and confident approach from the coaching staff on down.  From negative media to a little adversity on the ice, the Blazers have tuned out all things they don't have control over. Last year, adversity and negativity would fester amongst the group.  This year, they barely know what's going on outside the dressing room walls.  They don't focus on the opposition.  For now, it's all about what they do and trying to keep the energy level up.

- The Blazers have a loud and boisterous off-ice warm-up before the game this year.  Their "jump-around" echos throughout the building. Come to a game early and you'll likely hear their almost tribal ritual before taking to the ice.  Last night's warm-up bellowed through Comcast Arena from underneath the stands. If you're the other team, it's hard not to take notice. I'd be lying if I said the volume level wasn't by design.

- The Blazers will look to run their winning streak to five tomorrow afternoon when they host the Medicine Hat Tigers at ISC for a special Thanksgiving Day Monday Matinee.  Face-off is at 2pm.  The Tigers are 2-1 on their BC division swing so far.  F Emerson Etem is on a tear.  He has a league leading 11 goals.  That's four more than any other player in the race.  He possesses great speed and loves to use it going wide on defenders.  The Blazers will have to make sure they know when he's on the ice.

Other notes:

- The Blazers and Victoria Royals couldn't have timed things any better...or worse.  The teams arrived at the Olive Garden in Bellingham at the exact same time yesterday for pre-game meals.  In fact we met the Royals coaching staff just steps away from the restaurant door.  Victoria played last night in Seattle.  If you think of the timing of crossing the border, and not knowing how long that'll take, I don't think it's something that could be duplicated.

- Referee Trevor Hansen took a hard fall last night on the Comcast Arena ice and was slow in getting up. It happened behind the play at the end of the 2nd period.  Apparently he got his back all twisted up.  The fans blew the roof off the place.  I got to know Trevor in Whitehorse last year. He's a good guy and has a good rapport with the players on the ice. He returned for the third period and was good to go.  I'm thinking he might be feeling a little banged up today though.

- The fight Friday between heavyweights Josh Caron and Spokane's Corbin Baldwin is an early candidate for fight of the year.  It was a marathon slug fest.  At 6'5" an an 80's style mullet, Baldwin is an imposing and intimidating figure.  It turns out his summer job back in Winnipeg is grave digging at a cemetery.  Basically he's the "Undertaker" in the summer months.  It only adds to his image. I think the Chiefs could sitting on a marketing gold mine here....


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is sure night and day from last yr Im sure there is alot of work yet to do to change the dynamic of the organization but the start has been alot of fun to watch, the team speed has been amazing and is going to be hard to handle as the season goes on.