The Hawks’ Nest


Monday Miscellany
February 1, 2010, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Winterhawks | Tags: ,

After three games in three days, too many miles on the I-5 and a 3 a.m. arrival from Vancouver this morning, GM and head coach Mike Johnston did the humane thing and gave the team the day off today. With no one here today, there are no injury updates on Brett Ponich or Ian Curtis until at least tomorrow, when they get back to the rink and can be evaluated by the training staff. Goaltender Keith Hamilton, who was Mac Carruth’s backup over the weekend, has returned to Merritt of the BCHL.

Going back to the weekend, there are any number of interesting storylines:

-First of all, how about Carruth? Pressed into playing three games in three days, he stopped 92% of the shots he faced and came away with two wins in the three games. Last night after Vancouver scored twice in the opening six minutes, he slammed the door and gave the team a chance to get back into it.

-The top line of Chris Francis, Luke Walker and Ty Rattie is on a tear right now. Francis had eight points in the team’s three games this weekend, and finished the month of January with 22 points in 13 games. His 66 points on the season is one short of the career-high he set last year, and now has him ninth in the league in scoring. With an assist Sunday, Walker ran his scoring streak to 11 games and finished January with 17 points in 11 games. Meanwhile, Rattie had points in all three games this weekend, and finished January with 12 points in 11 games.

-Nino and Spencer Bennett both snapped goalless droughts yesterday- Nino had gone five games without a goal, Bennett 11.

-Luca Sbisa…not a bad debut. An assist Friday in Everett and a goal Saturday against Seattle. Don’t forget, he’d barely spent any time on skates over the previous month as he rehabbed the abdominal injury he suffered at the world juniors. Last week Patrick King from SportsNet in Canada interviewed Sbisa for a story on their website, and that can be seen right here. By the way, bookmark King’s site. He does a solid job covering junior hockey.

Photo Courtesy Bryan Heim

Sbisa will be in the lineup Wednesday against Kamloops and Friday against Seattle. From there, it’s unclear today whether he’ll be with the team in Seattle Saturday or whether he’ll leave to join the Swiss Olympic team that day. Even if he is with the Hawks Saturday, it would be his last game with the team this month before he heads out for the Olympics.

-The Hawks have now won five of six, and in that span their penalty killing has been outstanding. They’ve gone 19-22 on the PK in that span. While it’s obviously a small sample size, that 86.4% success rate would stand as the top mark in the league over the course of the season.

-We’ll have info on our summer hockey school on winterhawks.com a little later this week. But if you have kids who play hockey you’ll definitely want to check it out.

-Of course, don’t forget the Salute to the Buckaroos is Friday, at the Winterhawks’ game against Seattle. Tickets still remain to the pre-game reception. Contact Andrea Blaesing with the Winterhawks at 503-238-6366 ext. 10, or andreab@winterhawks.com, to purchase tickets to the catered reception.

If you can’t make it to the game Friday, it will be televised on FSN Northwest. Please note that our previously scheduled broadcasts on Comcast Ch. 15 will no longer take place.

-Unsolicited endorsement: Grandma’s fudge chocolate chip cookies. Never has taking years off my life tasted so good.

-Lastly, I’m looking forward to getting going on The Inbetweeners. The first two episodes are on my DVR waiting to go. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this show.

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