The Vancouver Giants From A Fan's Perspective

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Giants Get Dumped in Emerald City

TBirds Pluck Giants

Vancouver 3 Seattle 5

Another box score only recap. I did not listen to or even hear snippets about the game, but the box score is telling. Either it was one of the more feisty games of the season or the refs were over-reacting across the board. Lots of penalties, a bunch of misconducts and coincidental penalties make me think right away of the officials using their “game management” tool to the extremes of its ability. Seattle and Vancouver split goals in the first period. Seattle took over in the second, scoring three unanswered before Vancouver got one back. The third appeared to be an out-of-control free-for-all, with many penalties assessed in the last minute/seconds of the game. Seattle was given a charging penalty 19 seconds into the final frame, which lead to fights and roughing calls. A couple of minutes later saw another fight. The teams split goals in the third, but the Giants were not able to close that two-goal gap, taking yet another loss in the process.

Seattle opened the scoring early in the period on the PP. The Giants responded with a PP marker of their own a few minutes later.   Ty Ronning found the back of the net assisted by Matt Barberis and Carter Popoff. Seattle added three more in the second to take a three-goal lead, before Alec Baer closed that gap to two late in the middle frame. Popoff had the only assist. Seattle scored another early one in the third to regain their three-goal bulge. Vancouver brought it back to two in the latter part of the period, but that was as close as they would get. It was Barberis who found twine, assisted by Dylan Plouffe and Trevor Cox.

Fight Night: Some fisticuffs and lots of roughing calls: Ben Thomas v. Keegan Kolesar. Dakota Odgers v. Luke Osterman.

The Giants were out-shot 29-24. The Gs went 1 for 7 on the PP, while the T-Birds were 2 for 5. Carter Popoff had a good night with a couple of assists and Matt Barberis had a goal and an assist. Minuses were spread throughout the line-up, with only a few players on the plus side.

No rest for the boys as they take on the Portland Winterhawks at 3pm on Saturday, hoping to get at least a point on this US road swing. Their next home game is on Wednesday Dec 2nd. Puck drops at 7pm PST.

Three Stars

  1. Matthew Barzal
  2. Ryan Gropp
  3. Jared Hauf

 

 

 

 

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Giants Drop Another in Spokane

Chiefs Hack Giants

Vancouver 2 Spokane 3

I listened to bits of this one and by all accounts the Giants controlled play even-strength, but their special teams were their downfall. Allowing 2 PP goals and one SH’d goal against it was the story of the game. Another story was Ryan Kubic who apparently was very solid between the pipes and gave his team a chance to come back. The Giants scored two late in the third, but it was too little late, too late for the win.   Winning only one of their last 14 games, means that the inadvisable moves the “braintrust” made were unnecessary as they dealt a bunch of the future to try to get wins with half a squad today. Same script, same results and same denial. It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

The Chiefs score a PP marker early in the first. They add a shorthanded marker on the Giants only PP of the game in the second.   Another PP goal in the third gives the home squad a three-goal bulge. The Giants, despite it being the period with their least amount of shots, score two late in the third to make it a bit more interesting down the stretch.   Radovan Bondra breaks the ice, ruining the Spokane netminder’s shut-out bid. Bondra was assisted by Trevor Cox and (AP) defensman Ryan Jones. Chase Lang scored another under a minute later, helped out by Ben Thomas and Dawson Holt. The Gs gave themselves a few minutes to complete the comeback, but could not get the tying marker before the buzzer.

The Giants out-shot the Chiefs 31-27. They went 0 for 1 on the PP, coughing up a short-handed marker on their only man-advantage chance of the game. The Chiefs were 2 for 4 plus the shorty and won the special teams game.

Giants have a tilt in Seattle on Friday the 28th. Puck drops at 7:05pm PST.

Three Stars

  1. Kailer Yamamoto
  2. Ryan Kubic
  3. Lasse Petersen

 

 

Giants Drop Another One

Rockets Dump Giants

Vancouver 2 Kelowna 5 EN

Didn’t listen to or see this one, so it’s a box score recap. Kelowna pulls out to a 3-0 lead after one. No scoring in the second period. The teams trade two each in the third, one of Kelowna’s goals going into an empty net. The Gs are not generating enough chances on net. 24 shots won’t really help them to break out of their slump and neither will showing up for only a period or two.

Carter Popoff scored the Giants first goal in the third period. David Brumm and Brendan Semchuk got the assists. Tyler Benson got another one just past the mid-way mark of the period. Chase Lang and Alec Baer had the other points on the play. Nice to get some offense, but not enough and too late. Ryan Kubic got the start, backed up by 15 yr old David Tendeck.

Fight Night: Tyler Benson fights! Benson v. Gordie Ballhorn. I would have liked to see that. Later it was Dmitry Osipov who was tagged for fighting with no one? He got a fighting major and a game and yet there was no one from the Rockets who was given a fighting major on the play.   I’m confused. Either the box score from WHL is wrong, which is a real possibility, or the refs just kind of lost their minds.

Giants out shot 32-24.   They went 0 for 3 on the PP, while the Rockets were 1 for 6.

The Giants next game is against Medicine Hat on Wednesday December 2nd. Puck drops at the Coliseum at 7pm PST.

Three Stars

  1. Tyson Baillie
  2. Justin Kirkland
  3. Nick Merkley

 

 

Giants Want That Second Period Back

Royals Crown Giants

Vancouver 4 Victoria 5

The night started off irritatingly as the Shaw camera guy didn’t know his place, literally and figuratively. Last time they were at the arena they had an idiot on a tall swivel stool blocking a good deal of patrons from seeing the far face-off dot and the goal itself at times. I guess this was their solution and it was not a well thought out one. It took some time to eventually move him down the row so he wasn’t blocking season ticket seats. It was a dumb idea to move him from the bottom of the stairs between sections B and C and into the row. Add in the fact that the camera-guy was dense, stubborn and unthinking and it made for a situation that was less than pleasant. Sadly my fellow STHs weren’t in their seats tonight, which would have further evidenced how much he was in the way. I don’t understand why Shaw thinks they should have different rules than Sportsnet does. They always bring a green camera dude with attitude far above skill level, seem to want special treatment and feel they are more important than people who actually paid for the seats. It’s way past time for the powers that be to finally solve this bullshit and set rules regarding the seats being used and position there-of – full-stop. This lack of attention to detail is part of which makes this franchise a bush-league group clowns.

Okay the game. The Giants opened the game with three unanswered goals on 8 shots. This delighted me, but it worried me too as it felt it was too easy and I could envision the boys sitting back trying to protect their lead. Sometimes I hate being right. Two of the goals came while the Gs were on a 5 on 3 and then just after the other PP had ended. David Brumm, just called up from his Junior A team, opened the scoring at 7:42. The Gs went into the break up 3-0, but the second period was a completely different story. The Royals scored 4 unanswered in the middle frame mostly off of sloppy play and poor turnovers by the Giants. The Royals were gifted at least five clean breakouts as the G-Men failed to recognize the Royals cheating the zone and carelessly coughed up the puck in the top half of the offensive zone. The breakaways added up to three goals against. The Royals should never have gotten those quality chances. It helped that Giants blue-liner Dmitry Osipov was given 5 and a game for a very questionable boarding call and had left the game by then. And it was most definitely not a 5-minute major as there was no intent to injure despite the Royal player crumpling to the ice and faking more damage than was evident. The third had the two teams swap goals and Victoria gets the win in their first game against the Giants in this regular season.

Fight Night: Dakota Odgers v. Ryan Gagnon. A fast fight as Odgers got the quick takedown and stopped throwing punches as they both hit the ice.

Zebra Cage: I was hoping to avoid having this category but Nick Swaine and Brett Inverson over-reacted with the 5-minute major penalty off of a soft check from behind, created mainly by the player being hit. I felt they both also let a ton go along a similar vein with the notable exception that the player(s) being hit didn’t act like Shakespearean soccer players. It’s a league thing, but we really have to stop rewarding diving and players who put themselves deliberately into harms way.

Ryan Kubic got the start, as I believe Wapple is injured. He was great when the Royals had that 5-minute man-advantage, but the team hung him out to dry with clean breakaways against and one 2 on 0.   Kubic had a tough time in this one and despite a few nice stops at critical times; he needed to be better challenging the shooter. I am happy to see the young netminder finally get some starts, but this game will be one of those learning curve moments.

Giants were out-shot 28-25.   They went 1 for 3 on the PP, while the Royals were 0 for 1 on their 5-minute opportunity. A few too many Giants playing a solo game, instead of a team game and taking low percentage chances when they had better outlets.   The boys have got to protect the puck better and that starts in the face-off circle. I don’t know the numbers but the Gs lost a ton of face-offs at both ends of the ice.

The Gs have no respite as Kubic will get the start in Kelowna tomorrow night and the division leading (well shared with the Royals) Rockets will be yet another tough challenge for the confidence lacking G-Men. Puck drops at Prospera Centre at 7pm PST.

Three Stars

  1. Dante Hannoun
  2. Trevor Cox
  3. Joe Hicketts

 

 

$1.49 Day Disaster

Oil Kings Spill Giants

Vancouver 2 Edmonton 6

There were no positives in tonight’s game, save for Brendan Semchuk scoring his first goal as a Giant.   On one of their theme nights the Gs had maybe, maybe 2000 people in the arena. The team came out flat and stayed that way. Their work in their own end of the ice was awful and only marginally worse than their effort in the offensive zone. Their PP was abysmal, coughing up the puck and being sent back to their own end of the ice with great regularity. There was no energy, no forecheck, no hunger and no checking. In a word, it sucked and was obscenely boring. Kind of ironic that my Giants seasons ticket rep chose that game to talk to me about the team. All I had to do was point around the arena and point to the effort on the ice to make my point. This team is broken. We have had a culture of losing for several years now and it has infected the new guys. It was disheartening at the least to see this invisible team ghost their way around the rink. Why was I even here?

Why did we start Wapple?   Why? Kubic proved his worth with his relief effort on Saturday and earned the next start. A start against a team on our level, with only one dangerous line, that we should have not only have been able to compete against, but also beaten handily with proper effort. I also thought it was a classless move of Edmonton not putting Payton Lee between the pipes versus his former team. Shameful hockey. Edmonton scored two in the first. Alec Baer got one back early in the second off the rush assisted by Chase Lang and Dakota Odgers. Edmonton got their two-goal lead back a few minutes later. The Oil Kings scored again 30 seconds into the third and then on their first PP, mere seconds into the man-advantage. Another game where the Gs give up two goals in less than two minutes. Wapple was given one more goal than he was on Saturday before being pulled, despite looking awful on most of the goals.   Brendan Semchuk scored his first of the season about five minutes later, pounding home a loose puck off of a big rebound, into an open net. Tyler Benson and Brennan Menell got the helpers.   Ryan Kubic allowed one goal later in relief, turning aside 10 of 11. The Gs put in lack luster effort for the rest of the game. $1.49 Day – Tuesday, $1.49 Day – Useless.

Team Notes: The players we dealt and let go have flourished away from this team. Jakob Stukel, who I never thought we should have dealt, had a hat-trick the other night with Red Deer. Vlad Bobylev has been lighting it up playing with Victoria, who we see on Friday.   Houck is doing well and since his departure our PP has been sinking steadily. Wapple has been very average, pretty much duplicating the kind of game Lee played here. What a waste. Not sure about Porter. I believe Kirichenko is contributing as well.   Chase Lang and Ben Thomas gave us a lift when they came over, but we lost younger players with little real result.   They have since caught the losing flu from this discombobulated backroom of disruptive and ineffectual managers.   We lost picks and young players who needed playing time and now have one win in our last twelve games and tonight was minimal effort from a team that doesn’t care if they lose. This team would be laughable, if the whole situation wasn’t so sad and stupid. And blind, don’t forget the deliberate blinders being donned on a daily basis.   We should be getting younger not older.   We should be rebuilding and playing our young goalie for 20-25 games.

We also recalled ridiculously average and soft forward David Brumm from his Junior A team. Great move Bonner, that’ll turn things around. Also – Carter Popoff’s 190 continuous game played streak was broken on Saturday so they could play talentless and mostly useless Elliot Peterson, the also-ran overage player we picked up for nothing to fill a hole. Can we make anymore insulting and idiotic decisions to alienate the players even more? Not to mention the fans who, if I am any indication, are fucking FED UP!

The Giants were out-shot 42-28. They were a woeful 0 for 5 on the PP, while Edmonton was 50% at 1 for 2. For some reason the refs are still giving the Giants the benefit of the doubt this season, but I guess if you don’t put in any effort you aren’t caught from behind actually trying to stop other teams from getting a good scoring chance. There is no excuse for what I saw tonight. None. Nada. Zero.

The Giants have a few days off before they take on a tough Victoria Royals squad at the Coliseum.   They need to be hungry. They need to show up ready to play a full sixty plus with real effort. I don’t really expect it and sadly I expect Wapple to once again get the start, because this team never seems to learn and seem unwilling to actually try to develop their young up and comers.

Three Stars

  1. Lane Bauer
  2. Brett Pollock
  3. Brendan Semchuk

 

 

Giants Lose Focus For Two Minutes

Winterhawks Freeze Giants

Vancouver 3 Portland 5

I wasn’t able to attend this one and listened marginally, so probably just a cursory recap. Giants open the scoring, get two PP goals, go up 2-0 at one point and then allow four unanswered. Wapple chased from the net after allowing 4 goals on 17 shots (sound familiar?). Kubic responds well holding his team in the game turning aside 25 of 26 shots. Ronning closes the gap to 1. Portland scores early in the third and cruises to a victory. Giants back on the losing side of things, some positives and a decent effort, but in the end not good enough. All of the changes the Gs have made in the past month in a misguided effort to make the playoffs have once again hampered young player development and especially young goalie development. Playing Wapple five straight since coming over helps neither the team nor the development of the team. At the end of the year Wapple is gone and the opportunity to develop Kubic as a future starter lost by shortsighted, blind management incapable of properly assessing the team they have, not the team they pretend to have in their heads.

Brennan Menell opens the scoring in the first on the PP. Radovan Bondra and Trevor Cox had the assists. A couple of minutes later Matt Barberis finds twine on another PP.   Ben Thomas and Alec Baer get the other points on the play. Portland ties the game up with two goals before the end of the opening frame.   They take the lead 35 seconds into the second, off of what I can only assume was a clean turnover as the goal was unassisted. This was followed by another unassisted goal just over a minute later. More sloppy play by the boys. The Giants goalie is unable to make the first stop and the tied game is now a 2-goal lead before two minutes have elapsed in the second period.   Frankly, pretty damn inexcusable on all fronts. Those are unnecessarily careless plays and fishing them out of your net adds insult to injury. Daniel Wapple out, Ryan Kubic in. Ty Ronning draws the home squad to within one around mid-period. Thomas and Cox get the helpers. Portland regains their two-goal lead in the third and holds on for the rest of the game.

In his post-game interview Molleken was saying how much he liked the effort and dodged the question about over-playing his OA goalie. I am getting a bit tired of this, “good effort” awful results, habit this team has seen for many years now. We acquire older players to get points and to be honest those players are the ones getting the points, but earlier in the season before we made these changes we were getting depth offense on a tough road trip and started out the season very well. Then we turfed two goalies and got basically a rental player to take playing time away from the players who should be developing.

We dealt Porter instead of Lee and put ourselves behind the eight ball, having to make the Lee deal.   We also played Lee far too much to start the season.   This fantasy has got to stop. We really need to actually develop this team and stop with the half-assed attempts at winning now and mortgaging the future.   We have done that for well over 5 years now and it does not fucking work! This team is a shambles. The franchise is in even more of a shambles and seriously – what I said needed to be done at end of last season, needs to be done. Bonner(s) have to go, Ripplinger really has got to go.   Ownership has to get some credibility and acquire some hockey talent. With the lessening of impact of Gordie around the team and the loss of Quinn we are becoming a bit of a league joke and seemingly have no real pull with NHL squads.
You give the draft picks we have had the past three/four years to any other team in the league and you would have top level dominant forwards at 16, 17 and 18 years old on this team. Especially euro players. But we seem to be incapable of drafting well, we must be abysmal at assessing talent and our track record is evidence that we are even worse at developing talent. This team needs an infusion of hockey minds who have different agent contacts; a lot better (paid) scouting, proper player management and fewer excuses.   I do not like the direction this team is taking this year. It is just more denial. I also don’t really know why I care anymore.

Anyway, rant done, back to the game. The Giants were out-shot 43-38. They went 2 for 4 on the PP, while the Hawks were 0 for 5. Our special teams seemed to be okay in this game. The game might have been tighter except for two minutes of careless play. Carelessness comes from lack of focus and literally not caring enough. I don’t know how we get these players to really care if they win or lose, because they haven’t had that hunger or that belief since 2007 in my recollection. It matters not if you play most of the game well; you have to play the whole game well, all 60+ minutes. From whistle to whistle and any other cliché I can pull out of my back pocket. You also have to intensely care if you lose a game and rebound from your mistakes. We did that against Kamloops in a game we shouldn’t have won.

The Giants have a few days off before taking on the Oil Kings on $1.49 day Tuesday at the Coliseum.   Let’s hope they are hungry to win and not just show up to the rink. Sadly I suspect Wapple will be back between the pipes and that Kubic won’t see ice unless Wapple really screws up. Such a wrong-headed way to develop young goalies. Puck drops at 7pm PST.

Three Stars

  1. Rodrigo Abols
  2. Brendan De Jong
  3. Trevor Cox

Wapple Gets A Win, Trevor Cox Scores in OT

Giants Snuff Blazers

Vancouver 4 Kamloops 3 OT

The Giants broke their long winless streak with an odd game they probably shouldn’t have won. Ty Ronning scored two goals late, with the goalie pulled, to tie the game and newest OA player Trevor Cox scored the OT winner off of a nice Ronning feed. A seriously boring game for the most part, but kudos to the Giants for not giving up after coughing up the puck throughout the game with some soft play and an inability to protect the puck. All that aside, the boys earned the win in the end and probably should have had better fates in games previous.

The Giants came out well and had some solid chances early before Kamloops found the back of the net right after a TV time-out. Matt Barberis found twine on the PP, with a nice point shot later in the period.   Assists went to Carter Popoff and Chase Lang. The Blazers took the lead at end of the second period. Early in the third the Giants mishandled the puck on the PP and gave an odd man chance the other way. Kamloops scored SH’d to take a two-goal lead. With the goalie pulled, it felt like Ronning waited too long to make a play from behind the net, but in the end he banked the puck off of the Kamloops ‘tender to close the gap to one. Ronning made another patient move at the side of the net with time ticking down.   He let the Kelowna defender slide by before taking a sweet shot top shelf, tying the game. The teams traded chances in OT, before Ronning and Trevor Cox hooked up on a play. Ronning dangling and get the puck across to a wide-open Cox who made no mistake slamming the puck in the back of the net. Barberis got the other helper.

The Giants were out-shot 41-32. They went 1 for 5 on the PP, while the Rockets were 0 for 2.

The Giants take on the Portland Winterhawks tomorrow at the Coliseum. The puck drops on Saturday at 7:00pm PST.

Three Stars

  1. Ty Ronning
  2. Deven Sideroff
  3. Daniel Wapple

Dondo’s Hardhat:   Goes to Ty Ronning. Two goals and one assist on the night, a +2 and some very good chances during the game.