Well Whaler fans, let me first apologize for the lack of updates. My other life as a hard working member of society has kept me busy.
Anyways today I should have been sitting at Comerica Park watching the Whalers take on the Knights outdoors, however due to some lockout the event was moved indoors. Weird.
As the Whalers prepare to start the second half of their season, I want to take a quick look at the first half.
After 34 games the Whalers are 15-11-5-3 (38 pts) good for second place in the West Division. Which sounds good, but the Whalers are 3-3-2-2 in the last 10 and won their first game in December just two days ago with a 4-2 win over the Saginaw Spirit. This year the Midwest division is stronger than last year. The Whalers are currently behind all five teams in that division (including the London Knights who are on a 22-game win streak) and the Sarnia Sting.
Leader in Goals: Stefan Noesen – 17 Goals
Leaders in Points: Rickard Rakell – 30 Points
Plus/Minus Leader: Rickard Rakell – +12
PIM Leader: Ryan Hartman – 87 Minutes
Leading Goals/Points Rookie: Zach Bratina – 3 Goals / 7 Points
This first half may have been disappointing for Whaler fans due to the high hopes and the high amount of talent on this team. At this point last season the Whalers had 7 more in the win column. This year they should be higher and the unfortunate fact is that points are going to be harder to come by in the second half of the season.
THE HARD TRUTH
With Hartman and Rakell off in Russia for World Juniors, and Noesen rejoins the team after his 10 game suspension after January 11th, the Whalers are going to need to pull together for the next few games. Mahalak had a good showing last game stopping nearly 50 shots, however Mike Vellucci should not be afraid of benching him and putting in rookie Nedeljkovic if Mahalak gets to be as shaky as he was earlier in the season.
Also fans, I would not be surprised to see some Vellucci magic as the trade deadline nears. I doubt that Vellucci will be quiet at the deadline like we was last year. This team is not bad. It is far from it, but when you watch this team you know that there is something missing from this team and this is a team that needs a spark. Maybe that will come in with a trade. Time will only tell.
This is a team that can have a strong second half, but the players need to make this happen. They control their destiny for the rest of the season. It could be great or they could be a very low seed.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE
I came across the Twitter account @WhalerBlubber just two days ago and it is a very clever Whalers themed Twitter account. with such tweets as…
I can only hope this person can keep up the level of humor for this account and it would be worth a follow.