The Hawks’ Nest


Things Are Getting Interesting
October 19, 2009, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Winterhawks | Tags:

After a scorching start the Winterhawks have hit a bit of a rough patch, with four losses in their last six games. It hasn’t helped that two of their division foes have caught fire: Everett is currently on a four-game winning streak, while the Tri-City Americans are the hottest team in the league with six wins a row. The Americans’ run has them tied for first in the division with the Winterhawks with 16 points, while Everett is just four points back and Spokane’s lurking with 11.

On the plus side, it’s nice to be concerned about the Hawks possibly losing their grip on first place, isn’t it?

The reality is that over a 72-game season, losing four of six is going to happen, and even the four they’ve lost have been understandable: they lost to Tri-Cities and Calgary, two first-place teams, by a total of three goals. The Everett loss came in their fourth game in five nights, while the Silvertips were playing just their second game in two weeks. And while the Red Deer loss was uncharacteristic, even it was the second game of a back-to-back.

Either way, there are still three games left on the road trip, and the team has a great shot to finish the trek 4-2 or 3-3, a mark I’m sure most fans would have taken before the trip started. Then once they get home, the Winterhawks will have 32 home games remaining to just 24 road games.

Meanwhile, the other teams will still have to go out for their Eastern swings. Everett’s tour through the Central Division starts next week, as does Seattle’s. Tri-Cities has a road-heavy schedule coming up; beginning October 24 they play five in a row away from home, come back for a matchup against Vancouver, then head out on the first of two three-game trips through the Central (the second one comes in January), a total of eight games out of nine on the road. And like Tri-Cities, Spokane splits their trip in two: their first go-round through the Central is late November, the second part in early January.

Here’s something else to consider: at the scheduling meetings this year, one of Mike Johnston’s big points of emphasis was avoiding the three game in three nights stretches which can wear a team out. Portland has just two remaining, on consecutive weekends at the end of January. On the other hand, Seattle has eight three-in-threes left, Tri-Cities has five, Spokane has four and Everett has three.

No need to worry, the Winterhawks are still in a good spot.

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