Game 63: Nothing working for Thunderbirds in Everett as they are blanked and drop out of playoff spot

Mar 2, 2012, 11:24 PM | Updated: Mar 3, 2012, 3:01 am

By Mike Caccioppoli

(18-37-1-8) Everett Silvertips 4, (21-40-1-1) Seattle Thunderbirds 0

Not everybody no. Some guys did. Some guys played with some urgency and passion, some guys didn’t. I’m not surprised at the guys that did and I’m not surprised at the guys that didn’t and I’m not going to name names.

I’m confident about everybody but two guys..three guys. We have to get everybody on board. I’m still confident of the character in that room. We still control our own destiny. That’s the way we have to look at it. We have to control that tomorrow. To beat a team nobody expects us to beat. Everett beat Portland after losing to us, we have to come back and respond. We have enough quality character in there to do it….Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk

 

EVERETT- Facing a win or be knocked out of a playoff spot situation the Thunderbirds looked like a team that didn’t want it bad enough and lose in convincing fashion to the Silvertips. Turnovers were a big reason the Birds lost as two bad ones led to a couple of Tips goals.

It was quite the opposite of last weekend in Kent when the Birds defeated the Tips. The loss drops them one point back of Everett for the 8th and final playoff spot.

 

Josh Winquist (15) put Everett up 1-0 at 8:54 of the first period as the Tips controlled play early in the game and cashed in shortly after the Birds failed to score on the power play.

Seattle only had one shot on net with eight minutes left in the period (outshot 7-1).

After 20 minutes the Birds trailed 1-0 and were being outshot 11-5.

A turnover in the offensive zone by the Birds lead to a two on one break for the Tips and Josh Birkholz (27) scored to put Everett up 2-0 at 2:04 of the second period.

Another Seattle turnover, this time right out in front of Calvin Pickard allowed Reid Petryk to score his 15th goal of the season and put Everett up 3-0 at 16:00.

A power play goal put the Tips up 4-0 at 19:00. Ryan Murray scored his 9th goal of the season.

After two periods Seattle trailed 4-0 and were outshot 24-15.

No scoring in the third. The Birds had little time for offense with all the penalties they took.

Seattle is shutout 4-0.

 

Post game Q & A with Head Coach Steve Konowalchuk:

MC: For the 60 minutes overall did your team play with the kind of intensity and urgency that you would expect in such a big game?

SK: Not everybody no. Some guys did. Some guys played with some urgency and passion, some guys didn’t. I’m not surprised at the guys that did and I’m not surprised at the guys that didn’t and I’m not going to name names.

MC: Are the guys that didn’t going to get less playing time down the stretch?

SK: Not necessarily. We only have so many guys and you have to play them and they have to play through it. Sometimes you can take away some ice time. As coach you know the guys that you want out there in the big games and which guys you don’t.

MC: Turnovers were a big reason why you lost the game.

SK: Yep. A couple of key mistakes led to goals. They didn’t make any big mistakes. They played a sound game, and we made some big mistakes.

MC: Seemed like they adjusted after losing last Saturday and you guys didn’t make the adjustments needed in return.

SK: I think they came out looking for a high slot. I didn’t see any other adjustments. I think it was just a matter of us playing better than them at home and them playing better than us tonight.

MC: I don’t want to be too hard on you but why can’t this team put together back to back solid efforts in six days against a team like Everett?

SK: It gets back to individuals. There are some that I was happy with. There are some that aren’t consistent enough and weren’t good enough in a big game. That’s why we aren’t winning back to back games. Then there are some guys that I might be happy with but they are learning. I hate to make excuses but these are young guys that are coming from midget hockey. Those seasons are usually over by now and these guys are still playing here.

MC: Was Calvin at 100 percent physically?

SK: Yes.

MC: With just nine games left you have dropped out of a playoff spot and for the first time this season Everett is in. Is that a big hit psychologically?

SK: It was a big game. I wish it had came out better, it’s full on desperation mode the rest of the way.

MC: You have two more games against Everett, both at home. Obviously you need to win both.

SK: I looked at it like we had four games left (before last Saturday)and we needed to win three of them so we need to win those two.

MC: Three more games on this road trip and after Portland you have two in PG, you want both of those as well.

SK: Well first we have to win tomorrow then we can worry about PG. We have to get everybody on board.We can’t have two guys..three guys not laying it on the line. We have to have everyone laying it on the line not just some guys.

MC: Are you confident they will respond?

SK: I’m confident about everybody but two guys..three guys. We have to get everybody on board. I’m still confident of the character in that room. We still control our own destiny. That’s the way we have to look at it. We have to control that tomorrow. To beat a team nobody expects us to beat. Everett beat Portland after losing to us, we have to come back and respond. We have enough quality character in there to do it.

 

Plus side:

None.

 

Minus side:

Where is the urgency? You don’t have to look past the first period to see that the Birds just didn’t have the urgency or energy needed in such a big game. After playing so well last weekend against Everett they had them where they wanted and they let them off the hook right away instead of going for the kill.

Two or three guys. Konowalchuk talks about two or three guys that he might not be confident about down the stretch. He won’t name names. If you watched tonight you can look towards Gallimore, Jacobs and Elliot. That doesn’t mean he is thinking those names but in a game like this those three didn’t bring their best.

Shoot! You might start hearing this from the press box soon! The Birds go 0 for 5 on the power play and look bad doing it. Nobody wants to take a shot. Very “tentative” is how Konowalchuk put it. Which leads me to my next point..

Nobody taking the lead. Just like nobody wants to take the shot on the power play, nobody wants to take the lead and get this team to the playoffs. That could be one guy or five guys, but right now it’s nobody.

Turnovers. The main reason this game was lost. Two of the worst were an offensive zone turnover that lead to a two on one and a turnover right in front of Pickard.

Home cooking. I know it was a road game but the Birds haven’t been able to do what Everett has done which is win home games at a critical time. That could be the difference in the end. Everett still has four more home games on this current homestand.

 

Game Notes:

-F Tyler Alos (upper body), F Chance Lund (lower body), D Cason Machacek (suspension) and F Branden Troock (healthy scratch..sources say disciplinary issue) did not play.

-D Taylor Green is up with the team but did not play.

-Seattle drops to 9-21-1 on the road. They are now 4-3-1 vs. Everett (2-1 home, 2-2-1 road).

Calvin Pickard falls to 21-32-1-1. Kent Simpson improves to 16-29-1-5.

WHL Commissioner Ron Robison was seen at the game.

 

Thunderbirds second half record: 8-23-1.

 

 

PLAYOFF CHASE:

IN 7. Victoria..no game..(20 wins..46 points..8 games left)

IN 8. Everett..won tonight..(18 wins..45 points..8 games left)

OUT 9. Seattle..lost tonight..(21 wins..44 points..9 games left)

OUT 10. Prince George..lost tonight..(19 wins..40 points..8 games left)

 

710Sports.com three stars:

First star: Josh Birkholz (goal, assist, +3 rating)

Second star: Reid Petryk (goal, assist, +3 rating)

Third star: Kent Simpson (25 save shutout)

 

The Thunderbirds play Saturday at 3 pm in Portland against the Winterhawks. The action can be heard live at 710Sports.com.

 

Game summary is on the WHL website.

 

twitter @mike710espn

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