Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

        • Concerns have to be raised with the play of Rockets forward Myles MacRae and Lucas Bloodoff. MacRae has just one goal in the first 9 games, an empty netter, while Bloodoff has just one point (an assist) in 9 contests. I don't expect these two guys to shoot out the lights, but at 19 and 18, they are needed for more than just their abilities defensively.
        • The Achilles heel of the Rockets last season was often times slow starts. That can't be said this season. The Rockets have scored 16 of their 27 goals in the first period alone, which is more than the second and third periods combined. The Rockets have 11 goals scored over the final 40 minutes. The concern may be the team being out-scored 11-5 in the final frame.
        • Maybe it was just me, but had Kristofer Westblom started Saturday against Spokane, and put in a solid performance, would he not have had a chance to be named the WHL player of the week? Westblom had three straight wins over Seattle, Vancouver and Calgary, one of which was a shutout. Westblom has stopped 78 of the 83 shots he's faced in his last three starts.
        • Hockey fans in Prince George are getting restless over the Cougars poor start, even to the point of calling for the head of coach Drew Schoneck. But let's be honest here, Schoneck is guiding a rebuilding team, and no one should be surprised that the Cougars are struggling out of the gates with the turnover they had from a season ago. Even the suggestion that owner Rick Brodsky is trying to run the team into the ground as a way of making his point that junior hockey can't survive in Prince George, is absurd. If Brodsky really wanted to move, do you not think league governors would give him the blessing?
        • Sure he's just 16, but the Rockets really missed the services of Tyson Barrie in Saturday night's loss in Spokane. Barrie won't wow you with his stellar defensive play, but he makes up for it in spades in the offensive zone. Barrie sat out Saturday's game with a hip flexor, meaning we saw more of forward Brandon McMillan playing the point on the power play. Barrie should return this weekend, giving the team that added skill when setting up shop in the attacking zone. Sixteen or not, the kid has skill, and even if he coughs up the puck every once in a while he's sorely missed when he's not in the lineup.
        • They were arch rivals in the WHL, but now they are rooming with one another in pro hockey. Ex-Rocket Troy Bodie and former Kamloops Blazer Devin Dubnyk are living together while playing pro hockey in Springfield, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.
        • Rockets forward Brady Leavold is in the top three when it comes to penalty minutes. Leavold only trails Everett's Kyle Beach and Vancouver's Garet Hunt for the penalty minutes lead.
        • The WHL has Rockets forward Brandon McMillan designated as a rookie. Fact is, McMillan played in 55 games last season. Any player playing 20 games or less in the WHL is considered a rookie, so McMillan can consider himself a seasoned veteran.

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