Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rockets Game Notes vs. T-Birds Game 5

Tonight’s Preview: The Rockets and T-Birds are tied at two wins apiece heading into game five tonight at the Key Arena. The T-Birds evened the series after a 6-4 win in game four Tuesday night. Greg Scott’s shorthanded goal at the 8:16 mark of the third period broke a 4-4 tie, leading the T-Birds to the win. Colin Long led the Rockets with a goal and two assists while Brady Leavold, Jamie Benn and Kyle St. Denis also scored. Kristofer Westblom made 20 saves in the loss, as the Rockets went 1/7 on the power play. Tuesday’s win came after a 3-2 overtime victory by the T-Birds in game three Monday night. David Richard scored the game winner at the 15:12 mark of the extra session, in a period that saw the visitors out-shoot the Rockets 14-4. Richard’s goal in overtime was his hat-trick marker. Evan Bloodoff and Jamie Benn scored for the Rockets, who were 1/6 on the power play. Kristofer Westblom made 37 saves in the setback. The game three loss came on the heels of a Rockets 3-1 win in game two. Tyler Myers, Colin Long and Cody Almond scored power play goals in the victory. The Rockets were 3/8 on the power play while allowing just one goal shorthanded in six chances. The win came on the heels of a 3-2 victory for the Rockets in game one. Colin Long had three assists while Brady Leavold had two goals in the win. Leavold’s power-play goal at the 7:21 mark of the third period stood up as the game winner. It was Leavold’s 2nd goal of the night and 3rd career playoff goal. Kristofer Westblom made 27 saves in the win, as the Rockets went 2 for 5 with the power play.

Series Quick Hits: In the last ten playoff meetings between these two teams, dating back to the 2005 playoff series, the road team has won ten of those eleven games. The exception was a game seven home ice win by the Rockets in the 2005 playoff series…Colin Long has a point in every game in this series…Jamie Benn has a point in ever game in this series and has scored a goal in back-to-back games…Brady Leavold has a point in every game in this series…The line of Long, Benn and Leavold have combined for 19 points in the first four games, accounting for 59 percent of the teams scoring. The T-Birds top line of Holloway, Scott and Nielson have combined for just 6 points, or 26 percent of Seattle’s offensive output….The T-Birds have opened the scoring in three of the four games….Seven of the twelve goals the T-Birds have scored in this series have been on the power play….Of the 24 goals scored by both teams in this series, fourteen have come with the extra man….Canucks Director of Player Personnel Steve Tambellini took in Tuesday night’s game in Kelowna…Rockets veteran goaltender Kristofer Westblom has started in all four games while Jacob DeSerres played game three before being yanked after giving up two goals in the first 4:38 of game four. Riku Helenius started the first two games for Seattle…Westblom is now 5-3-0-0 in 9 career playoff appearances. Westblom was not credited with a win or a loss in a relief playoff appearance against Everett in 2006….The Rockets are now 6-0 in their last six stops in Seattle in the post season dating back to 2003. The Rockets last playoff loss in Seattle was April 22, 2003 in a 3-2 overtime setback Tyler Metcalfe scored the game winner in the second overtime period, despite the Rockets firing 52 shots on T-Birds goaltender Brent Krahn…


hocus_lopez said...

Interesting that Huska has called out the top line asking for more production out of them. That line has contributed almost 60% of the teams total offence! What more does he expect from Long/Leovold/Benn?

IMO, Huska needs to call out the second line. Their production has been spotty all year long. In particular Almond, last seasons team leading scorer, needs to step it up and contribute more reliable/consistent play.

Also worthy of metion are the bonehead penalities taken by this team. Say all you want about the refs, but at the end of the day the players can't continue to take Boarding pens, the latest of which gave Sea a 5 on 3 and tured the momentum of game 3. As was said at the begining of the playoffs, players taking bad pens should be benched. The only player which appears to miss shifts due to disciplinary reasons is Leovold (and IMO, his play hasn't warranted benching).

Finally, since OT in game 3 the inexperience of this team is starting to show the cracks in the armour. Granted, this is a young team, and IMO most of the 16 and 17 year olds look like they're ill prepared to handle the playoff pressure. Maybe Huska needs to shorten the shifts of some of the guys that struggled, or at the very least limited their time in crucial situations.

Good luck to the boys. Hopefully, they'll reverse their fortunes and play a compete error free 60 mins of hockey (or more should the game go to OT).

Ryan said...

I never heard Huska call out the top line but if thats true he needs to pull his head out of his butt. If it wasnt for Benn/Long/Leavold we wouldnt even be in this series. Benn has been outstanding. If I'm those guys I am pissed off, not motivated by those comments.

How does Huska, or even you Reagen not comment on the defense? They have been absolutely horrible, especially Barrie. He couldnt be worse the past 2 games if he tried. Dowzak was playing ok but stunk last game. Myers has been about average and Bowman has been quite good but the others deserve to be called out. Almond can go sit in the press box and watch his linemates play. St Denis and McMillan work their tails off every single shift yet Cody floats around with minimal effort over and over again. He refuses to battle for pucks, wont hit anything and gives up on plays without making a 2nd effort. Hood or Macrae should be moved up to that line and Cody can play with the 4th line.

g.k said...

Well Regan I can't wait to here your response on the last 2 comments, I do agree with Ryan that Barrie has been terrible, but he is only 16 & you can see that the inexperience is really showing, also Almond was not good in the two games in Kelowna, but from what I heard he was great in Seattle!! I can't fiqure this kid out at all. The defense needs to tighten up & not panic in their own end so much. Do you know who the Ref's are tonight? Please no Papp or Hanson !! Good Luck Boys!! We'll wrap it up on Sat.