Sunday, February 24, 2008

It Was Better...But Not Good Enough

  • The effort was better, but the same result. The Rockets dropped their 3rd straight game with a 3-1 home ice loss to the Vancouver Giants Saturday night. The Rockets have 6 losses in 9 games in the month of February. The slump cost them any hope of catching the Giants for first place in the BC Division - which the Giants official clinched with last night's win - and has them on the edge of losing home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
  • A great start by the home team, saw Lucas Bloodoff score a power play goal just over 3 minutes into the game thanks to some solid work behind the Giants net. Yet the celebration was short lived as the Giants would tie the game at one just 1:01 later.
  • The Rockets have to be credited for playing a physical game against a Giants team that pushes and shoves with the best of them. Two fights broke out in the game, including a lopsided tilt between Rockets forward Milan Kytnar and Giants forward Chris Cloud. While Cloud had the upper hand, it was great to see Kytnar stand in there. Kytnar just battles, whether he's involved in a fight or a battle for a loose puck. You have to tip your hat to that type of work ethic.
  • Had a bounce gone the Rockets way it may have been a great finish. Brandon McMillan had a glorious chance to make it a one goal game only to see the puck jump over his stick with a wide open goal staring him right in the face.
  • I had a good chat with Rockets forward Jamie Benn before the game. Benn told me he should return Wednesday at home against the Spokane Chiefs. Benn has missed about a month now with an ankle sprain, and the team has just 3 wins to show for it. If the playoffs were to begin tonight, Benn says he would be game ready.
  • When Benn and James McEwan return next week, don't be surprised if the Rockets again transform into the high powered - high octane offensive team we witnessed in January. Benn provides instant offense and makes others around him better. McEwan's leadership and work ethic will be a huge boost to a team that has looked anything but themselves in the month of February.
  • Unrelated to last night's game, a fan up in Prince George doesn't know how to treat a visitor. Apparently a fan Saturday night at the CN Centre had a verbal confrontation with Edmonton Oil Kings broadcaster A.J Jakubec - while he was on the air. Jakubec was calling the game when the fan stood up, walked up a few steps and started verbally abusing him. The Cougars organization and security did a great job of defusing the situation, but you have to wonder what the fan was thinking? Maybe he broke up with his girl friend earlier in the day and wanted a dog to kick and Jakubec was an easy target? That or he had too many beers as he watched in a drunken stooper as the expansion team beat the Cougars 5-0.


Derek said...

Regan I'd like to know how you have not commented on the goalie situation yet. Even in your write up the last couple nights it does not mention how terrible Jung has played, it does not even mention which goalie played.

Looking back to the last 10 games: Jung has played 8 and won ONLY 1. Westblom has started 2 and won both. Please give some insight into what the coaches are thinking because if they want Jung to be the starter next year there is no way he can carry the team. The coaches have given him every opportunity to shine and yet he has lost them a few crucial games.

Regan Bartel said...

Hey Derek. I did post a comment about Jung's play against Spokane and thought he was terrific in the loss. Jung, in my opinion - has been the least of the teams problems of late. Agreed, he has not led the team to a win, so the coaching staff are electing to put Westblom between the pipes tonight against Vancouver. But if I had to pick which goaltender is playing better at this time of the year, Jung get's the nod. Let's just hope both get their act together and steal a few games down the stretch and into the playoffs.