Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • Give Rockets leading scorer Colin Long some credit for producing without his #1 wingman. Without Jamie Benn, Long has still managed to put up 17 points (6+11=17) in 17 games. Without Benn by his side, Long was held off the score sheet just 4 times in those 17 games.
  • Is Jamie Benn close to returning to the Rockets lineup? I get asked that question every day. I can't tell you when he will return, but is it not obvious when he's skating in practice without his yellow jersey on? The yellow jersey is worn by players who are 'injured'. You don't throw a player like that on the ice in game one of a playoff series without any prior playing time, especially after sitting on the shelf for over a month.
  • Prior to Benn's injury in practice on January 27th, the 18 year-old had 10+15=25 in his last 12 games.
  • Don't count out Colton Yellow Horn in the race for the WHL scoring title. The Tri City American forward is just one point shy of Mark Santorelli and three back of Colin Long for the league lead. Yellow Horn has 47 goals on the season, three shy of becoming the first 50 goal scorer since former Rockets sharp shooter Justin Keller, who had 50+ goals in the 2005-2006 season.
  • Yellow Horn has something to prove in this years playoffs. With just 3 goals in 17 career playoff games, Yellow Horn has never been on a team that has advanced past the first round. Throughout his career Yellow Horn has always put up big numbers offensively during the regular season only to flat line in the playoffs. Let's just hope Yellow Horn doesn't changes his ways should the Rockets meet the Am's in round one.
  • If I could pick who the Rockets would face in the opening round, I'd select either Spokane or Tri City. Both team's are powerhouses in the Western Conference and are legitimate contenders of winning the WHL regular season title, yet my sense is the Rockets match up better against them than Seattle or Everett. I will admit a series with the Tips would be fun though, as the arena formerly known as the Everett Events Center would be rock'n.
  • It was another painful experience Sunday watching the ice crew in Chilliwack clean the ice for the shootout between the Bruins and Rockets. I beg of you, watch the video of the game between the Rockets and Edmonton Oil Kings from early February if you want an example of a way to do it right. It appears the Chilliwack ice crew watched a demo tape of how to clean the ice for the shootout from a game in Kamloops in January between the Rockets and Blazers that had me almost yelling from the broadcast booth "get off the ice".
  • The Prince George Cougars organization should be commended for recognizing the efforts of 5 year forward Greg Gardner. Gardner was given a set of custom made golf clubs on the weekend in his final game in Prince George. The Brodsky's have often been accused of penny pinching, but they should be applauded for what they did for Gardner, who will become the franchise leader in games played when the Cougars play the Rockets Saturday night.
  • It's a guarantee that the Rockets will start the playoffs on the road March 21st and 22nd. Games three and four will be back in Kelowna Tuesday March 25th and Wednesday March 26th. If the Rockets should happen to meet the Spokane Chiefs in round one, playoff games are scheduled for March 21st and 22nd at Memorial Arena in Spokane before the series shifts to Kelowna potentially for three straight games before going back to Spokane for games six and if necessary 7. The reason? The Womens NCAA Regionals are schedule for the Spokane Arena March 29-30 and 31st.
  • How impressive is 16 year-old Tyson Barrie's offensive totals? Barrie has 42 points this season as an undersized defenseman. A smallish Ian White of the Swift Current Broncos had 43 points as a 16 year-old in 2000-2001. Greg Hawgood had 33 points in his 16 year old season in 1983-84 with the Kamloops Blazers.

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