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  1. #1

    Default 2021 Regular Season

    Well it's here the start of the regular season. I am excited to see hockey in person. I am expecting delays on Saturday afternoon with new ticket system, masks, Covid documentation and picture ID required for entrance.

  2. #2

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    I guess it's time to see if there is anyone out there with thoughts on this year's edition of the Pats. I've watched all the games and my initial take is somewhat underwhelming.
    - I feel the young goaltender Kieper is playing quite well. He lets the odd one leak through but he doesn't usually give up too many. Gives his team a chance.
    - the defence is in my mind is good and overall a pretty decent d-corps. Even beyond Evans and Stovsil, they are pretty solid.
    - the forwards can best be described as Bedard and little else. Most of the remaining cast is pretty much of the journeyman variety, and not anywhere close to elite talent. My initial thoughts about the Stringer trade is that he is not close to Desnomie in talent and woefully not worth a first round pick (which could be a high one). Not a great skater with little moxie. I hope we see better out of him.
    - coaching and management. Well nothing has really changed yet. It makes me very frustrated and questioning of prospect evaluation and background. Samual Huck was taken Two drafts ago with our highest pick (2nd round) and a year later we chose Matthew Wood (2nd round) Both quite talented and Wood being a high end 6'3" center who had played with Bedard. Wood being a high end center, probably the most sought after position. They are both playing Junior A with Wood already committed to NCAA and Huck is no doubt looking for a scholarship as well (as has been rumoured). Wood and Huck should both be on our roster right now. If not them, then two other 2nd round forwards who would come to play here. Not having those to 2nd rounders in your lineup devastates your depth and skill level.

    IMO if the Pats want to make the playoffs this year they had better find some talent up front. It also hurt that our Import forward didn't want come....again!

  3. #3

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    Winnipeg is an absolute unit; I cant fault them for losing like they did. I'd say that game shook their confidence a little bit, as they are still likely on par/better than Brandon and MJ. We will see how strong the coaching is in reeling these kids back in and getting them back with the program. The season will see some growing pains with the previous shortened season/the long break, stunted growth with a lack of post season action, and the general uncertainty with the world ending n all.

    Though it is still the Bedard show for the most part on offence, which isn't fair since he is being compared to friggin Mcdavid right now, I think we should still be able to see a few kids develop or even break out. The forward group being finalized with Stanick trade might help things. The defence has skill and mobility, but it is leaky. Right now Id say thats our weakness.

    Worth noting that Kieper might be the best goalie we have had in awhile. At his trajectory, we may only have him for the three years.

  4. #4

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    The Pats are currently 11 games into the season (4-7 record).

    Matthew Kieper is a really good goaltender, especially for being in his first season as a full-time starter in his 17 year old season. There are a few goals that he would like to have back, but at the same time he's made a lot of great saves, including stopping pucks on breakaways. It seems like other teams earn most of their goals against Kieper. It seems like most goals are a result of the opposing team creating really good scoring chances. He hasn't let in a lot of soft goals. I think the Pats have a really good goaltender now and moving forward with Kieper.

    The Pats' defense is pretty good. They have a good combination of skill, speed, size, and toughness. There's room for improvement, but considering they are supposed to be rebuilding, I don't have any major complaints.

    The Pats' forward group is pretty good in terms of work ethic, but it severely lacks high end talent. Connor Bedard is dangerous when he has the puck anywhere inside of the blue line and a little bit of space. When he's against the weaker teams, it seems like he creates a fair amount of scoring opportunities for himself, whereas against the better teams in the league, his grade a scoring chances are significantly reduced. It's against the better teams in the league like Winnipeg, where the lack of high end talent at forward becomes apparent. Cole Dubinskly has 12 points in 10 games. This is the potential that some people, like myself saw in him when he made his WHL debut as a 15 year old. This is the rate of production that the Pats need out of him as a 19 year old. Tanner Howe scored a nice short handed goal against the Bronco's last night and he hasn't even turned 16 yet. If he's making plays like that as a 15 year old, I think there's a lot of potential for him to increasingly contribute as he gets older.

    When you listen to people within the Pats organization, they talk about the Pats out working or out shooting the other team, which may be true, but that doesn't matter unless it translate's into grade a scoring chances, goals and wins. For instance, the Pats really should have won that games against the Wheat Kings and they probably would have won it if they had more high end talent at forward. The Pats will need more high end talent at forward if they want to seriously compete with (regularly beat) the top teams in the league.

    Team discipline - there's still room for improvement. This seems to be a problem year after year.

    I think chopper outlined the biggest problem with this team. It's not the players on the ice, but the fact that management has failed to bring in the high end talent that it needs to compete with the better teams in the league. There's a couple of 2nd round draft picks not wearing a Pats jersey this year, the Pats only have one import on the team, and the Pats really should have drafted a high end forward with the pick that they used for Layton Feist. That right there is a total of 4 forwards that the Pats could have in their line up right now, which they do not. The players on the ice cannot be blamed for this. It's difficult to compete with the top teams in the league and it's even more difficult to win championships if the Pats are unable to bring in high end talent. If the Pats are serious about winning Championships moving forward, this will have to change.

    Statistics:
    The Pats currently have the 6th best power play in the league @ 23.8%
    The Pats are currently the 2nd most penalized team in the league @ 15.9 Penalty minutes per game.
    The Pats are currently 15th in the league in penalty killing @ 76.8%.
    Last edited by Reider; 10-31-2021 at 12:55 AM.

  5. #5

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    The Pats (6-10) won four straight and appeared to be gaining some steam, then they lost 3 straight at home and now they're back in the basement in the East Division. Their schedule isn't getting any easier as they're now about to embark on a 6 game road swing.

    What are some positives?
    - Winning four straight (albeit against weaker teams)
    - They scored 21 goals in those four games. Showing that they can put the puck in the net is a good start.
    - They're getting production from a lot of players, including 15, 16, and 17 year old's (e.g. Howe, Bedard and Valis). There are 10 players on the team with at least 8 points, and there are 7 players with at least 3 goals.
    - Ryker Evans is a good leader and a great player. Not only does he have 16 points in 16 games this season, but he's not afraid to throw a big hit when he needs to.
    - As far as I can tell Luke Bateman and Adam McNutt have been nice additions on defense. Along with their skill sets, they bring a sense of grit and toughness, which will be an asset down the stretch and in the playoffs, if the Pats are able to make the playoffs. They're definitely not afraid to play physical or drop the gloves if they have to. Of course, there are some fans who are not happy about the Pats trading away Sloan Stanick in order to get McNutt, but the Pats still have the option of trading for more offensive help before the deadline.
    - The Pats currently have the 5th best power play in the league at 25.9%. I think this is would be nice accomplishment in any season, but especially so this year considering they're short on veteran firepower at forward.
    - In general and overall, I think the Pats have given a good effort on the ice and the entire team has good fundamentals (skating, passing, shooting etc.).

    What are things that the Pats can work on?
    - The Pats are currently 4th in the league in penalty minutes (235). It's not good to be a league leader in this category any year, especially not in a year where your team is low on high end firepower. There's an argument to be made that some penalties are good or necessary, e.g. fighting after the other team has taken liberties with your star player, but there have been a lot of unnecessary penalties this year. For example, too many men, unsportsmanlike conduct, various stick work infractions etc.. It's the same never ending story, different year.
    - Lack of veteran firepower at forward. This is something that the Pats will have to figure out at the ownership / management level. In the long-term they're going to have to get better at drafting and recruiting. In the short term, they might be able to acquire more veteran talent before the trade deadline.

    I've heard at least one Pats player talk about wanting the team to make the playoffs this year. It's logical to conclude that the entire organization would like to be in the playoffs this year. However, at the pace that the Pats are on right now, that is not going to happen. If the Pats want to be in the playoffs this year, they're going to have to significantly lower their penalty minutes per game ratio and they're going to have to acquire more high end talent, especially at forward.

  6. #6

    Default

    [QUOTE=Reider;214491]

    What are some positives?

    One big positive for me has been the play of Tanner Howe. He seems to be producing about a point a game and has a better +/- than Bedard.

    I am curious as to when we might see Brook and Johnson back with the team. Brook has had no end of injury problems since we acquired him. I sure hope he gets better!

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