The urge is to just walk away and enjoy a couple of days off after the Spokane Chiefs ushered in the off-season a little quicker than anticipated with a 5-4 loss to Portland in overtime Wednesday night.
However, you deserve a little more, so a couple of quick links below, and a bad memory above, photographer Colin Mulvany capturing the goal from Portland’s Ryan Johansen (19)
I’m going to let the dust settle before getting into too much about the season, but there are a couple of items to get the conversation started.
If you look at the lineups for Portland and Spokane, the Chiefs have five drafted players, including two first-round picks and a second, the Winterhawks 3, including a first and second. Noticeable, one of Portland’s (Luca Sbisa) came near the trade deadline, the Chiefs made their pickup at the start of the season (Kyle Beach), then stood pat. Anyway, that might point to an advantage in top-end talent, which goes on top of a huge difference in playoff experience.
Eight Chiefs remain from the 2008 Memorial Cup team, which means almost two dozen playoff games, and made it to the secound round, 12 games last year. All-in-all, I think the Chiefs had more than 300 games of playoff experience on their roster. Portland, after three years of missing the playoffs, have three players that ever saw the post season. Two (Luca Sbisa, Eric Doyle) account for 58 of the 62 games of experience and they were picked up in midseason trades.
Mix in this tidbit: the draft-age players invited to a NHL pre-draft camp. There are four Winterhawks and no Chiefs.
Could this go down as an all-time under achievement or is it the passing of the torch?