The Hawks’ Nest


Media roundup; Schedule notes
October 8, 2009, 11:52 am
Filed under: Winterhawks | Tags: , ,

Hopefully you saw The Oregonian’s big feature on Brett Ponich’s fundraising efforts for his friend Tanner Hubbs, who was paralyzed in an accident earlier this summer. You can bid on auction items or just make a donation at both Friday’s game vs. Tri-Cities and Saturday’s game vs. Prince Albert. It’s a great cause, so make sure you come out and support Ponich and the Hubbs family.

Also, the Portland Tribune ran a nice feature on Daniel Johnston’s comeback from neck surgery last year. He’s off to a great start with six points in six games and a +9 rating.

Tomorrow you’ll be able to catch Mike Johnston live on 95.5 The Game at 6:35 a.m. with the morning crew. Make sure you set the alarm and listen in for that one.

Finally, the Oregon Sports Final feature on Berglund and Niederreiter should run Sunday night. It had been slated for last week, but was bumped and should air this Sunday.

Switching gears a bit, let’s take a look at the schedule for a second. The Hawks have a three-games-in-three-nights run this weekend, which is actually four-in-five if you count yesterday in Everett, then follow up with the grueling six-game trek through Alberta (and Kootenay) through October 23.

By the time Portland gets back from that trip, they’ll have played 12 road games to just four home games, which sets them up nicely for the rest of the season:

Month                Home Games               Road Games

November        7                                       5

December         7                                       4

January             7                                       6

February          6                                        6

March                4                                        2

In all but one month the Hawks have more home games than road, and in February the number is even.If they can come back from the Central swing and still hold their grip on first place, it will be a great setup for the rest of the season. Seattle and Everett have their Central swings right after the Hawks, while Spokane goes in November (Tri-Cities has two three-game trips later this season). If the Hawks can come out of the trip with their grip on first place intact, it puts a lot of pressure on the other U.S. team to keep up when they go out on their big trips.

The Hawks will also catch one break on their big trip. When they go into Calgary on Sunday, October 18, Portland will be heading into the 2 p.m. matinee after a relatively short bus ride from Red Deer. But the Hitmen play at home the night before against Saskatoon, meaning they’ll barely have 12 hours before hitting the ice against Portland. That could be huge break for the Winterhawks, who will definitely be looking to jump on them early.

Meanwhile, look at Everett’s schedule for a second. They played yesterday after a 10-day layoff, and are off until Sunday’s game against the Winterhawks. By the end of this weekend, Portland will have played 10 games, and the Silvertips just five. You think having to make up those games won’t take a toll later in the season?

Even though it’s a long season, the next few weeks could be a big determining factor in how the division will play out.

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