The Silvertips’ Connor Dewar (left) controls the puck with the Americans’ Wil Kushniryk defending during the first game of a playoff series on March 22, 2019, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The Silvertips’ Connor Dewar (left) controls the puck with the Americans’ Wil Kushniryk defending during the first game of a playoff series on March 22, 2019, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Playoff preview: Silvertips’ leaders ‘ask guys to elevate’

Connor Dewar and Bryce Kindopp are fast and tenacious, and ask the same of their linemates.

EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips’ dynamic duo of Bryce Kindopp and Connor Dewar struggled to form a trio and a congruent forward line all season long.

They are partly to blame for it, according to their coach.

“They’re not easy to play with,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said. “They’re demanding guys and they’re fast and tenacious guys. That’s why they’re our leaders.”

In theory, Dewar and Kindopp, with their vision, passing and finishing ability, wouldn’t be difficult to play with.

But an amalgamation of different styles haven’t formed a perfect union with the pair. Bigger, heavier players like Robbie Holmes haven’t stuck, and neither have younger playmakers, like 2001-born forwards Gage Goncalves and Reece Vitelli.

The rotating group of linemates is not something that deeply bothers the two.

“It’s not a big deal for us,” Dewar said. “We ask guys to elevate and play even faster with how we play.”

That style of play has yielded nothing but results this season.

After Kindopp led the Silvertips with 39 regular-season goals and Dewar led the team with 81 points, the pair powered Everett to a 4-1 series win over Tri-City. Kindopp led the team with nine points, all of which came in the final four games of the series, and Dewar’s seven points in four games, he missed Game 2 with an undisclosed injury, was second on the team in terms of points per game (1.75).

Kindopp in particular has elevated his play this season, evolving into one of the team’s leaders despite playing a lesser role during the team’s WHL finals run last season.

“I don’t think he gets nearly enough credit,” Dewar said. “He does everything for us. He kills, he’s on the power play. When guys like me or (Riley Sutter) were out for awhile, he stepped up and started scoring more goals and stepped into more of a leadership role.

“It’s just so important to have guys like that. If he keeps doing what he’s doing he’ll get the credit he deserves.”

While Dewar mostly played on a line with Garrett Pilon and Sutter during last year’s playoffs, he and Kindopp said some chemistry developed after playing together toward the end of the regular season, and carried over into 2018-2019.

“It’s been an instant thing,” Kindopp said. “We know how each other wants to play. We want to rag pucks down low and use our speed. I think that helps us out.”

It also doesn’t hurt that the two share the same billet house during the season.

“I think that helps, just bonding off the ice as well,” Kindopp said. “We’re pretty good buddies.

“I think that’s why our team is so deep, to be honest,” Kindopp added. “Everybody can play with everybody because we’re all so close as a group. That helps when you get out there for sure.”

The Silvertips’ lines have been a jumbled mess for the majority of the season, especially since Sutter, the team’s No. 1 center, went down with a significant lower-body injury on Dec. 29. But stability could be near.

Sutter was cleared for full-contact practice on Thursday at the Community Ice Rink in Everett, his first since the injury. Although there are still significant hurdles, including full clearance for game action, conditioning and shaking off rust after a long absence, Sutter’s presence would be an immediate boon for Everett if he were to return.

“It was fun to see him out there (Thursday) and hopefully he keeps progressing,” Dewar said.

There is a silver lining to all of the instability though, according to Williams. Everett players may be more able to adapt to playing with a variety of different people because that’s been the constant all season.

“You want guys to get that continuity and good feeling of knowing where guys are,” Williams said. “It’s difficult for them, but the guys do a good job of it, and I think it makes you a little better when you know you can play with everybody and I feel confident that I can move anyone anywhere and they can succeed.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

POLL RESULTS: “The Last Dance” was a big hit

Readers watched the 10-part documentary on the Chicago Bulls of the 90s, and they liked what they saw.

Silvertips notebook: Fonstad likely to return to Everett

The winger is not signing a pro contract with Montreal, meaning a return to the WHL is likely.

MG’s Knight named Gatorade state baseball player of year

Despite not having a season, the star junior was recognized as the top overall player in Washington.

Stay or go? Local senior college athletes face tough decision

Whether to accept the NCAA’s offer of an extra year due to the missed spring season isn’t black and white.

Oregon State’s Mikayla Pivec speaks to reporters during the Pac-12 Conference women’s NCAA college basketball media day last Oct. 7 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Pivec won’t play in the WNBA during the 2020 season

The Atlanta Dream announce the Lynnwood High School product will sit out for personal reasons.

Kamiak names new boys basketball coach

Former Bishop Blanchet head coach and Edmonds-Woodway alum Joe DeGrazia replaces Brandon Corsi.

Felix Hernandez aims for 200 career wins and 3,000 strikeouts

But the COVID-19 pandemic is getting in the way of the former Mariner’s pitcher’s goals.

“The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary produced by NBA legend Michael Jordan, is a 10-part series chronicling the Chicago Bulls’ run to the 1997-98 NBA championship, the franchise’s sixth title in eight seasons. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)
POLL: Have you seen “The Last Dance,” and what’s your take?

The 10-part ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls has been a phenomenon of the pandemic.

Healthy George Karl starts podcast, may someday coach again

The ex-Sonics coach, who has survived cancer three times, talks about the time he offended Michael Jordan’s sensibilities.

Seahawks’ Wilson has a little ‘Air’ Jordan in him

Like the NBA great, the Seattle QB has shown he can use perceived slights to fuel his competitive fire.

Seahawks agree to deal with veteran running back

Carlos Hyde, who began his career in San Francisco, rushed for 1,070 yards for the Texans last season.

Readers believe Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm will be WNBA championship favorites when and if the 2020 season begins. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
POLL RESULTS: Storm expected to be WNBA title favorites

Nearly half the voters predicted Seattle to win the 2020 WNBA championship.