From the Depths…

Photo Credit: Ryan Cardone (2007)

“Risin’ up — back on the street,
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance now i’m back on my feet”

Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger”

There is no better sports cliche’ song than the one above and, I’m almost ashamed to admit, has been played in the press box at more than one Winterhawk game this season…

And, to stay on track…the rise of the Hawks from where they have been in 2009-10 has been chronicled on this page as well as others, but the question is…how does this years turnaround compare to others in the Hawks history?

Well…depending on what happens in the next five games, starting tonight against the Spokane Chiefs, the 2009-10 edition of the Portland Winterhawks could have the biggest one season turnaround in their history.   Through Tuesday night’s game against Tri City, the Hawks have accumulated 83 points, up 40 points from where they finished 2008-09 with 43 points.

The 40 point turnaround ties the second greatest year-to-year rising with the 1985-86 team that went from 55 points to 95 points.

The best point leap, so far, was in 2000-01 when the Hawks went from 39 points in 1999-00 to 82 points the next season, a difference of 43 points.

So, if they can garner four of the ten remaining points, the Hawks will surpass that and have the biggest turnaround in team history.  Any way you look at it, it is a great accomplishment to have come this far in such a short amount of time.

Credit goes to the entire Hawk organization, starting with Mike Johnston, Travis Green and Kyle Gustafson.  Also to Garry Davidson, Grant Armstrong and the entire scouting staff.  You also can’t forget about Rich Campbell and Rob Gagne for their work behind the scenes to prepare this team for battle each night.

The Hawks have five games to prepare for the post-season and tonight is a preview of what will most likely be the first round opponent.  Hope to see you all there at the Rose Garden for this one.

Derrick Pouliot has joined the Hawks after his Midget season ended on Monday with a playoff loss in the opening round of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.  His Moose Jaw Warrior team fell to the Notre Dame Hounds in four games in a best of five series.

Pouliot had a very good season in Moose Jaw, averaging a point per game as a rookie, posting 14-29-43 in 43 games with 38 PIM’s.  In the four playoff games he had 0-2-2 with 4 PIM’s.

The Hawks coaching staff will determine just how much, if at all, Pouliot will play down the stretch but the experience of being around the team as they prepare for the postseason will help as Pouliot prepares to be a full time WHL player, most likely as a 16 year old rookie in 2010-11.

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  1. And the great thing about what has been done this year…they essentially did this turnaround with the same guys from last year. There wasn’t a HUGE flurry of trades to bring in guys that could take them over the top.

    A big hand from across the pond to the Hawks season thus far.

  2. I’m not that sold on the Hawks’ moves. They are probably going to lose to Spokane in the first round. So the whole Luca Sbisa deal seems like a waste too me. The biggest reason for the turnaround really is that the young guys who were thrown into the fire at 16 and 17 are now experienced and when you lose like they did the past 3 years you don’t want to go through that again. I think Portland has improved vastly over a year span but I also think a lot of it has too do with how bad Seattle got losing it’s top players last year. They are now in same position Portland was 2 years ago with pretty much all 16 and 17 year old’s playing. And due to rivalries Portland gets them 12 times a year so far they have 22 pts against just Seattle. Two years ago the teams were reveresed and Seattle was 11-1 against the Hawks. I’m not saying the Hawks aren’t a lot better team and much improved but it is something that can’t be overlooked. I could see Portland going very far next year and quite possibly could be the favorite if they add a better goaltender.

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