Friday, March 28, 2008

Playoffs Reveal A Players True Character

  • The playoffs expose a player for what he really is. Is he a competitor or a quitter? Is he willing to battle through the tough times, or look for the easy way out by putting in a half hearted effort if things fail to go his/or the teams way? Who attempts to make a difference when the team is down on the scoreboard by playing hard, yet appears to want to get involved offensively when it takes minimal effort to win puck battles? When you watch game six Saturday night, pay attention to those who care, who want to win, who don't pout about their roles they are placed in, but put out maximum effort in an attempt to send this series to game seven. The players that put out are the ones I want to see on this team next year to make a legitimate run towards a league title. For those who want to mail it in, it's best you are not apart of a team who's future is so bright.
  • Who will play with the most desperation in game six? How hard has Brady Leavold played in this series? Can we ask for anything more from this dynamic 20 year-old? Leavold may not have the most points in this series, but his effort shift in and shift out has been nothing short of impressive. Seeing that he's opened the scoring in back-to-back games shows he's mentally and physically prepared at the opening face-off. Leavold isn't looking at others to make a difference, he's taking it upon himself to set the tone. Unfortunately others have struggled to match his efforts in the last two games.
  • Offensively gifted players for the Rockets who have struggled in this series, take a cue from Seattle's Bud Holloway. Holloway failed to score a goal in the first three games, yet now has three goals in his last two games. But did you notice how he was playing in the first few games when he wasn't scoring? Didn't think so. Holloway was still involved, continued to work hard and made a contribution even though he wasn't being recognized on the scoreboard.
  • Will James McEwan even play Saturday night? The Rockets captain may be suspended for his contact on Seattle goaltender Riku Helenius at the end of game five? If he fails to play, he may be watching his final junior game from the sidelines.
  • In retrospect, maybe Westblom should indeed be given the ball in game six as the Rockets starting goaltender. After getting yanked after giving up three goals on 8 shots, would it not be a shame to see this veteran on the bench, rather than battling between the pipes in an attempt to prolong his junior career? Westblom has been here from the beginning - a five year guy - and deserves the courtesy of doing what he can on the ice to get his team back in this one. Hey, he was marvelous in games one and two, why can't he regain the form that had the Rockets up 2 games to none.
  • If I'm Myles MacRae, Colin Joe or Tysen Dowzak - all three 19 year-old born players - do I not look at myself in the mirror and ask, a) If I was the GM and coach of this team, would I want to have me back next year as an overage player? b) Have I made a big impact in this years playoffs as one of the older, more established players on this team? If I haven't, it's best to get my act together quickly, as time is running out on leaving a positive taste in managements mouth. The bottom line is the Rockets will not have a marginal player filling one of those three overage spots next season. If you are an average overager, you'll be playing elsewhere in this league next season or looking at your final year of junior eligability playing in the BCHL.
  • The most rewarding things in life are always the ones that you need to work hard for. I will always look back at the 2005 playoff run as the most rewarding. The reason? The adversity the Rockets had to go through to get to the finals was a roller coaster ride. Beating the Vancouver Giants in the opening round in six games, with all six being decided by a single goal was just the appetizer for a Rockets playoff menu that features adversity throughout. The Rockets would lose 3 of 4 home games against Seattle in round two, yet won game seven at Prospera Place to advance to the Western Conference final against Kootenay. Then against the Ice, the last three games would be decided in overtime, with Shea Weber getting the winner in game six to advance to the league final. The road that season to the league final did not come easy. Each series that playoff had it's obstacles, yet every player knew that with maximum effort, no matter what role they were asked to play, would lead them to greater things.
  • What do I want to see Saturday night from the Rockets? Maximum effort. If my wish is granted in game six I have no doubt in my mind we are headed back to Seattle for game seven. And as the old saying goes, anything can happen in game seven.


Tbirdsfan said...

03/28/08 James McEwan Kelowna One game for actions at end of game at Seattle on March 27

This was the right move by the league.

Dumb move by someone who is supposed to be the captain (why?) of a team. Now they will be without him in a must win game.

Regan Bartel said...

It was a good call by the WHL office. I agree with the one game. He did not charge at Helenius, but did make contact with him no question. It could have caused a major incident, but little happened as a result. What did he accomplish from that move at the conclusion of game 5? I guess we will see in game 6 Saturday night.

g.k said...

I didn't see the incident but as you say Regan he did not charge him but made contact with him and he get's one game for contact on the goalie, now with that being said, Patrick Roy's son only gets 7 games for over a dozen cheap, deliberate punches to a goalie. Where's the justification!! Give me a break!! On the other hand this supension will motivate the Rockets to win this game for their captain!! See you on Tuesday tbirdsfan!!