Wednesday, March 21, 2012
That Took Some Balls!
On Monday, I half jokingly told a friend the Thunderbirds were gonna win the WHL Draft Lottery and with it win the rights to the first overall pick in the draft. I just figured this team was due some good luck so why not the Draft Lottery?
It's like when a player or a team is struggling to score (we know all about that). The puck seems to bounce left when you need it to bounce right or a shot at a gaping open net clangs off the post. Your team is trying hard and throwing everything at the net but nothing is going in. So what you need, to break the dam, is that bit of luck; a fluke. You need a puck to take an awkward deflection off the glass and carom behind an unsuspecting goalie and into the back of the goal. Or a shot to ricochet off a defenseman's skate and in.
Well, that's exactly what the T-birds just got. And maybe that fortunate tumble of a ping pong ball is what turns this franchise's fortunes around. Now, I don't know who the Thunderbirds will use that pick on. It may be to early for even them to know. If you read some of the blogs and scouting reports out there, names like Barzal, Soy, Musil and Harkins seem to be getting a lot of play.
Don't forget, the T-birds also have the 20th pick of the first round (obtained from Portland in the Marcel Noebels deal) and the 25th overall selection (their own second round pick). We'll find out when the WHL Bantam Draft unfolds May 3rd in Calgary, but next year or in the years beyond, when this Thunderbirds put three seasons of non-playoff hockey behind them, we may look back on March 21st, 2012 and a ping pong ball with a Seattle logo on it as the turning point.
By the way, do you think Scott Lowe had a hand in getting that T-bird ball to come out first at the draft lottery? Lowe, a long time Thunderbirds off-ice official, passed away Tuesday night after a long battle with ALS. Apparently Scott's first act in hockey heaven was to give his favorite team a little good luck. Thanks Scott!
Please send your thoughts and prayers to Scott's family.