Showing posts with label hockey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hockey. Show all posts

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thunder Couldn't Stop the Reign

The Stockton Thunder played their second game of the season tonight against the Ontario Reign, and they were greatly improved from the unfortunate defeat the night before. What I saw in the 1st period was a cohesive team, they skated fast, the guys passed to each other as if they'd been doing it their whole life, they were in sync, defense was sharp, and Tyson Sexsmith in goal looked calm and composed. Thunder's Mark Arcobello scored early at 1:14, with assists from Aaron Clarke and Craig Valette. Before 1st period ended, Ryan Constant had scored a second goal on a powerplay. Shots on goal were Stockton-13, Ontario-3.

It didn't take long into the 2nd period for Ontario's Eric Doyle to score on a shot that went over Sexsmith's glove and appeared to hit the crossbar then out, but the refs determined that it went in. This isn't where things started to fall apart for the Thunder though, as Jim McKenzie, with an assist from Chris Lawrence, scored about a minute later to put Stockton up 3-1.

Later on in the 2nd period Ontario scored an a powerplay, and then managed to tie the game at 3-3. Fraser Clair continued his scoring streak and put the Thunder up 4-3 heading into the 2nd intermission.

3rd period, all we wanted was for the Thunder to build on their score. What we got was the Reign tying the game up with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, and they did it on a 5-3 powerplay. And this is where the team we saw last night showed up again. Sloppy passes, couldn't keep the puck out of their defensive zone, poor entry or dump and chase into the offensive zone.

Thunder's Ryan Constant and the Reign's Chaz Johnson got matching roughing calls within the last couple of minutes of regulation. While 4 on 4, Stockton had some great chances to get ahead but just couldn't get the puck past Ontario's goalie Martin Jones.

In overtime, there were scoring chances for both teams, but with a little over a minute left, Ontario's Johnson somehow got the puck past Sexsmith and that was that.

Stockton Thunder's next match, just their third game of the season, is also against the Reign. The Thunder needs a killer instinct, needs to play the whole three periods just like they did in the first. They need to play a complete game. Next Friday, October 22, 2010, the Thunder needs to shut down the Reign. They almost had it tonight, but in sudden death overtime, almost doesn't get a win.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Plight of Pitton

Bryan Pitton (left) and Glenn Fisher
after the 16-round shoot-out on 1/30/10.
Photo taken by Becky Welsh and used with permission.

At this point of the preseason, goalie Bryan Pitton is still with one of Stockton Thunder's AHL affiliates, the Oklahoma City Barons. I don't like to make predictions about where certain players will end up in the hockey food chain, but I wouldn't be surprised either way if he were to remain up with the Barons or sent back down to play again with the Thunder.

I cringe when I see via my Twitter feed the negative reactions of Barons fans when learning Pitton will be starting in net, even in these preseason games and scrimmages. It's the same unfortunate reaction Thunder fans had in his rookie year (2008-09) when he had a 9-19-3 record backing up goalie Andrew Perugini who was 21-13-2 that year.

One thing I don't like to see when Pitton has been in net for the Thunder is him leaning against the top of the net with both elbows. I don't care if play happens to be at the other end of the ice, this pose makes him appear uninterested and apathetic (whether that's the case or not). A goalie needs to always be alert no matter how far away he thinks the play or puck is. Freaky things can happen to a goalie in a game. Pucks being cleared during the other team's penalty kill might end up in net, your own player may accidentally hit it in their own goal (cough-cough Dan Boyle), etc. How can Pitton be in his "ready" mode when he's leaning on the net like that?

Another thing about Pitton, which is regrettably not unique to him as a goalie, is that he leaves the net to play the puck at unfavorable times. Not every goalie can play a 3rd defenseman like the Blackhawks' goalie Marty Turco. Fortunately not all of Pitton's misplaying the puck results in the other team's scoring. But when I'm watching the Thunder and the all the people around me groan, hold their breath, or yell at Pitton to "get back in the net", I wonder if someone can work with him more closely about when the right and wrong time is to leave the crease.

I want to take a closer look at Bryan Pitton's goalie career with the Stockton Thunder, because not all of it is negative. In fact, he's had some incredible games and made Thunder history a few times.

  • Statistics for his rookie year with the Thunder in '08-'09 in 34 games played: 3.39 GAA, 9-19-3 win/loss record, .886 save percentage

  • Statistics for the Thunder in his '09-'10 year: 22 games played, 2.85 GAA, 9-9-3 win/loss record, .921 save percentage

  • He had a 2-6-0 record in 8 games played for the AHL's Springfield Falcons when he was recalled last season

  • Pitton was recalled to the Thunder's NHL affiliate, Edmonton Oilers, three times last season

  • The first shut-out of his career was on 1/30/10 versus the Victoria Salmon Kings in a goalie battle with Glenn Fisher. The game was tied at 0 through regulation and sudden death overtime. The Salmon Kings ended up winning in the shoot-out, but it ended up being a 16-round shoot-out (the longest in Stockton Thunder history)

  • Pitton was a two time recipient of the Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week recognition. He was awarded on 12/29/09 and 2/2/10

  • The most memorable game thus far in Stockton Thunder history took place 5/5/10. It was Game 3 of the National Conference Finals in the Kelly Cup Playoffs versus the Idaho Steelheads. Pitton was paired against Steelheads goalie Richard Bachman. The game ended up going 0-0 into triple overtime. 36 seconds into the third overtime, defenseman Ryan Constant finally ended the longest playoff game in Thunder history by getting the puck past Bachman. It was a tearjerker win for sure.

When Pitton's confidence level is up is when he plays the best. Each time he returned to Stockton after being recalled by the Oilers, there was a noticeable positive difference with the way he played. A good goalie needs to learn how to play through adversity too, though. Bryan Pitton is still a young guy who has some time to develop into a stronger, more consistent goalie. I'm sure Thunder fans will welcome him with open arms should he be sent back to Stockton. And if the Barons decide to keep him, I hope the fans there will be just as supportive. After all, player development is one of the main roles of being an NHL "farm" team.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hunt Brings Thunder to Worcester

Stockton Thunder players Chris D'Alvise and Matt Jones were released from the AHL's Worcester Sharks training camp, per a press release on Worcester's site. The only remaining Thunder player still on the roster is left-winger, Garet Hunt.

Anyone who has seen the Thunder play knows who Garet Hunt is. His role on the team is to be a fighter, an enforcer. He's been voted Stockton Thunder's "Fan Favorite" the last two seasons. People love to watch him fight. Most of his opponents have a height advantage on Hunt, but he is no joke. His fists pummel his rival so fast they become a blur. He does have a lot of female fans swooning over his good looks-but my god, he's also got a mean game face. I sit near the penalty box and have had the pleasure of seeing Hunt give the "death stare" several times.

I don't want to say his role as the team's enforcer is diminishing, but this past '09-'10 season, I noticed that Hunt wasn't just doing a lot of fighting, he was all over the ice-blocking pucks, taking more shots on goal, and trying to create more scoring chances for his team.

Garet Hunt's stats from the '08-'09 season and the '09-'10 don't vary much. According to the statistics on the ECHL's website, in '08-'09 he played a total of 76 regular and playoff games, had 8 goals, 11 assists, and had 270 penalty minutes. In '09-'10 he played a total of 65 regular and playoff games, scored 8 goals, 9 assists, and had 223 penalty minutes.

These stats don't tell me much, it's watching Hunt active on the ice that I sense and see a lot of improvement with his speed and shooting. He works hard off the ice too. I've bumped into him at the gym several times and have seen his intense workouts. Watching his interviews and fights via Worcester's site, I see he's bulked up a lot more since last season.

I was happy to hear that he had been invited to the Worcester Sharks' training camp. He's been making an impression there. Although the Sharks lost the exhibition opener on 9/29/10 4-0 to the Providence Bruins, Garet Hunt had a short but spirited fight with Jack Christian.

Exhibition game number two on 10/01/10, versus the Stockton Thunder's previous AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons, went much more favorably. The final score was 2-1. And again, Hunt fought. But he also scored the game winning goal.

It's a fact of life that in the ECHL we see a lot of players come and go on a regular basis. Garet Hunt will be greatly missed if Worcester decides to keep him. But it's pretty awesome that he is getting a chance to show the AHL what an impact player he can be, and we wish him luck. He's a guy that's been working hard to move up and he deserves this chance.

-Written by Lyndall Mae-

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beers & Jeers #71: Edmonton Oilers vs. Minnesota Wild (10/16/09)

Welcome to Oilers Jambalaya. Beers & Jeers is a dual collaboration between Smokin' Ray and Paq Twinn. We hope you enjoy our Edmonton Oilers full game recap.


- Who's Out? Ales Hemsky has a fever and will not be playing tonight.  Robert Nilsson will take his place alongside Horcoff and Comrie.  Go figure?  He's out for 4 games and POOF! On the 1st line.  Staios, Souray, Pisani, Pouliot and Peckham are injured.  Steve MacIntyre is a healthy scratch even though the big idiot, Derek Boogaard is playing.  Too bad.  That would have been a good scrap.

- I'm hearing that Robbie Schremp may be put on waivers once again. Apparently, even the New York Islanders (a really bad team) don't even need him anymore.  After 4 games he has 1 assist and is a -2.  So if they do put him back on waivers, the Oilers have 1st dibs on re-claiming him.  Would they do it? It's possible.  If I'm correct, I do believe that the Oilers can then send him straight to Springfield at that point.  But do the Oilers really need him back?  Not really.


Pre-Game Records

Edmonton Oilers (3-2-1) vs. Minnesota Wild (1-4-0)







** These are Re-Tweets of Paq Twinn's LIVE TweetCast at **

1st Period

- Here we go, the Wild win opening draw.
- The Wild are dealing with some injuries, same as the Oilers, most notably, Martin Havlat
- The Wild's starting goalie, Josh Harding, takes a delay of game penalty a minute and a half in. Oilers PP
- My "goat" Nilsson, screws the Oilers PP pressure, with a bad pass.
- The Oilers have a good pace going early in this game.
- Oilers looking good in this game. so far Minny has 0 shots. 13:45 1st.
- side note: Mike Comrie's girlfriend, Hillary Duff is in the crowd tonight.
- Oilers controlling the play, Harding looks sharp.
- Storts lays out Shepard with an open ice hit. 8:00 1st
- Boogaard nailed Lubo. Everyone's hitting now
- Oilers end up with a PP, after a scrum. 6:00 1st
- Oilers PP ends with little success. 0-0 still.
- Oilers 2nd line of 27,89,19 is looking good, same with the 1st of 91,10,12.
- Brule with a great shot, but it goes off the post.
- Wild getting pressure for the first time, in the last minute.
- 1st period ends tied at 0. Oilers hit 2 posts in the period.
- This was the fastest pace period I've ever seen the Wild play. No more trap.
- Oilers looking better than the last game. they're playing a smarter game.

2nd Period

- 2nd period about to begin. Oilers vs Wild 0-0 tie game
- Oilers all over the puck early in 2nd.
- Comrie scores! pass from Nilsson, 18:11 2nd. 1-0 Oilers
- Lubo makes back to back shot blocks.
- Oilers playing their game. Hit and skate, the crowd starts chanting "lets go Oilers" for the first time tonight.
- Strudwick blocks a shot. takes a penalty shortly after. Wild PP. 13:34 2nd
- Wild rank #6 on the PP.
- Oilers doing a good job on PK
- 2 face offs outside the zone on the PK. 1-0 Oilers 11:17 2nd
- Wild get some pressure, Khabi makes some saves.
- Patty-O hits Boogaard.
- Penner scores! thanks to the hit by Patty-O. 2-0 Oilers 8:01 left in the 2nd.
- Last 5 mins are dragging by in the 2nd
- The Wild's Pouliot (Benoit) scores. 3:18 2nd 2-1 Oilers
- Last min in the 2nd period.
- Stone scores! 3-1 Oilers A last minute goal
- That goal may go to Brule. After 2 periods the Oilers lead 3-1.
- Stoner says he didnt score, during interview at intermission.

3rd Period

- Getting ready for 3rd period action.
- The Oilers 3rd goal is credited to Brule.
- Oilers take a penalty right out of the gate.
- Patty-O doing a great job on PK for the Oilers. 17:17 left in the 3rd
- Horcoff takes 2 for holding.
- Brunette scores on the PP. 3-2 Oilers
- Oilers looking sloppy and slow early in the 3rd.
- Shepard takes a hard low wrister, Save by Khabi
- The pace is starting to pick up again. 13:25 3rd
- Hilbert goes off for high sticking. Oilers PP.
- Patty-O takes 2 for slashing. PP over. 4 on 4
- Wild get :55 of PP half way through the 3rd period
- Wild out shooting Oilers 28-14 Third game in a row
- Penner scores! a great pass from Gags leads to a butey tap in by Penner. 4-2 Oilers 7:47 left in the 3rd period
- Brule scores! off a scramble rebound. 5-2 Oilers 6:01 3rd
- Penner and Brule both have a 2 goal night going. A possible hattrick maybe?
- Chorney's having another solid game. 3:00 left in the 3rd
- Boogaard hammers Patty-O late in the game, Penner takes exception. Cheap hit.
- Oilers PP looks for revenge.
- Last min of the game
- Everyone's looking for Pens or Brule for the hatty's
- Game Over. Oilers Win 5-2.
- Patty-O(3), Brule(2), Penner(1) get the stars tonight.
- Overall a good game by the Oilers tonight. But with all due respect to the Wild, this was a game we should have won.
- Next up, the Canucks on Oct.19. hope everyone enjoyed this Live **TweetCast** brought to you in part by



Minnesota Wild - 2

Edmonton Oilers - 5



- Event Summary Link
- Game Summary Link
- Video Highlights Link
- Oilers Post Game Comments Link



None - None that changed the outcome of the game.  O'Sullivan's slashing penalty was as close as it got for a BTP. But lucky for him the Wild already had a guy in the box and it only made it a 4 on 4 and then only gave the Wild a 55 second PP.  Plus no momentum was lost to the Oilers because of that penalty.



(Smokin' Ray) Ethan Moreau - He was his usual goat self.  He did nothing to contribute to the game.  Even though he didn't take a penalty late in the game (wow! amazing!), he still didn't do squat.

(Paq Twinn) Robert Nilsson - Can you believe it?  He was good.  He sits out for 4 games and looks better than Hemsky has on the 1st line.  Not much of a goat tonight.



Dustin Penner - The temporary Assistant Captain was a real force out there tonight.  I still can not believe how fast he is this year.  It's nothing short of phenonimal.  This was his 3rd multiple point game. He had 2 goals and was a +2.  I'm kinda thinking that he's earning his money this year (so far).  Enjoy a big frosty beer.  Mmmm.  Cheers!

Gilbert Brule - This guy is slowly making me into a huge fan.  Raffi who you say?  He nails the post, scores twice w/ 4 shots and goes 7W-6L 56% on the faceoff dot.  He played his best game as an Oiler tonight.  I hope there is more of that.  *Two thumbs up*  Good job Brew.  Have a cold Kokanee.  Cheers!

Nikolai Khabibulin - The wall was solid again tonight.  So far this year it looks like the Oilers may have a solid duo.  With Bulin being an Oiler (and doing well), we at least have some hope for the playoffs.  I wasn't huge on his signing but I'm getting there now.  For another great game... It's Miller Time. Cheers!

Ladislav Smid - I love this guy.  He's playing tough and is not making very many mistakes.  He finished the night with a +3 rating.  Very solid.  Glad to see him step up this year.  Quick Ladi... slam this beer. Cheers!

Lubomir Visnovsky - Just when you thought that Smid had a good +/-, Lubo comes out with a +4.  He started out the season in a fragile state, he's good now, just ask Boogaard.  He played with fire and passion tonight.  He's a stud and Paq Twinn made a good call when he picked him as his "star".  How about a good cold mug of Budweiser?  Cheers!

HONORABLE MENTION(S): Sam Gagner (He didn't play much in the 2nd, but once he got back out, he was buzzing like a bee.  He was +2 and had 1 assist), Patrick O'Sullivan (+2 and 1 assist.  He needed to shoot more), Zack Stortini (He kept the Boogeyman at bay and was a hitting machine.), Ryan Stone (Picked up 2 assists and played pretty good.), JF Jacques (Survived a hit from behind and made a few hits of his own.  He played tough.), Mike Comrie (Maybe he should bring Ms. Duff more often.  He scored a beauty.), Robert Nilsson (Where has this guy been all season? Oh right, the press box. He did ok tonight as he picked up an assist.), Jason Strudwick (How is this guy getting points? Add another assist to the list.)



The Entire Team - Do you like to be outshot every game?  Is it fun to rely on your goalie?  SHOOT! Shoot lots.  I just don't get it. It's a simple concept.  SHOOT!  We're just lucky that the Wild stink right now.  Booooooo!




Smokin' Ray - I am always worried when it's a PPV.  The Oilers are classic for pooping in the bed when I'm paying for it.  But tonight we got out money's worth.  The Wild killed us in shots and that's not a good thing even if your goalie is ripping it up.  I really didn't miss Hemsky tonight.  Isn't that strange to say?  But it's true.  But all in all I enjoyed myself.  I'm liking this "new look" Oiler squad.  I like it when we win. GOILERS!


Oilers vs. Canucks
Monday Oct. 19/09
7:00 pm MT
Sportsnet West


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome to the Oilers Jambalaya

Hello everyone and welcome.

My name is Smokin' Ray Burnt. I am a musician (more on that later) and a avid Oilers fan. I am 31 years old and I have been a fan of the Oilers since I was 7 years old. (1984 for those who don't want to do the math) Why the Oilers? Not sure why. But I do know how.

I had a relative who was trying to break into the league with the Philly Flyers back in the mid 80's(he managed 20 something games and then blew his knee out) and something (CBC) must have drawn me to the blue and orange. (incidentally my two favorite colors) My dad always liked hockey. He would listen to the Canucks games on the radio in the car. So I grew to like it too. I just remember watching the 1984/85 playoffs with him and falling in love with this magical team. This Oiler team. They were fast and tough. They were smart and lethal. Everyone was mystified by Gretzky. But Messier was my favorite player. Semenko was a close second. And wow... Paul Coffey. Grant Fuhr. Gretzky. Kurri. It was great. I was spoiled and didn't even know it.

So that was that. I am a very loyal guy (ask Pepsi) and that was my team for now on. Forever. It was a little harsh sometimes being a fan because I grew up in B.C. No one could understand why I wasn't a nucks fan. For one, they suck! Two, I don't care. My old man cheers for them but not I. The razing went from bad to worse in the mid 90's. (I think most people can remember) But I didn't care. They were my team and I kept up hope.

By the late 90's I had moved my way up to the awesome city of Edmonton and the hardworking province of Alberta. I ended up living 4 blocks away from Northlands. (I miss that name) It was awesome to be at the games and experience the "air" around a playoff game. That's right... I paid the $1 and beat the hell out of the Colorado Avalanche car with a sledgehammer in front of the Skyreach Center. That was fun. And I seen Mark Sholtz and that fatter dude from breakfast television play with their band outside of the arena. Bad ass is what that is. jk It was even better because the games that I couldn't afford to go to I would rush home as the game was about to begin and turn on the game with the mute on and listen to the live crowd. Playoff crowds are freaking awesome in Edmonton. So I would be on my couch and cheer with the crowd I heard coming through my window.

Then the great mighty run of the modern era. I'll tell you one thing. I almost cried the day they announced the Peca/Pronger signings. It felt like my hope and patience for the past 16 some odd years was finally paying off. And it almost did. Game 7 almost. I cried then... Then I was spitting mad a few days later. (still am...) I couldn't understand why anyone would want to go? 1 game from a championship and you want to give that all away for "greener pastures"? Bull crap I say. But life goes on and here we are at present day.

I've seen a lot as a regular everyday normal fan. I have opinions just like the next guy. Am I right sometimes? Hope so. Am I wrong sometimes? Most likely. But who cares. I am passionate about this team. I am their #1 fan. (like 18,000 others) I just hope I can bring another side of things out. If it's game day then I will be at Oh damn good fun there.


Thank you for stopping by and I hope I can entertain you. Or at least waste your time.

Smokin' Ray Burnt

You can check my profile to visit my music site.

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Oilers Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Edmonton Oilers or the Bakersfield Condors. This is a fans blog for fans. We happen to love those teams, so we write about them.