Thursday, October 30, 2008

11 Points For #1 Line

  • The Rockets number one line of Jamie Benn, Lucas Bloodoff and Colin Long combined for 11 points in a 7-3 win over Seattle. Benn and Long each had 1+3=4 while Bloodoff had 2+1=3 and got into a fight in the second period.
  • Benn now leads the WHL points parade with 27. Long is a close second with 26.
  • Adam Brown came into the game in relief of starter Kris Lazaruk after the T-Birds tied the game at 2. Brown would make 19 saves, allowing just the one goal, for his 5th straight win of his young WHL career. According to my research, no rookie goaltender with the Kelowna Rockets has ever managed to win their first five starts. Kristofer Westblom came close in 2004-2005 with a record of 3 wins, a tie and a loss in his first five starts. Westbom would lose just once in 18 starts that season, going 12-1-1 with four ties and four shutouts.
  • The only goaltender that comes close to winning his first five career starts is Kamloops Blazers netminder Kenric Exner. Exner went 24 starts in his rookie season in 1998-99 without losing a game. Exner had 3 wins and two ties in his first five career starts.
  • Why would Kris Lazaruk be pulled in a 2-2 game? Well the Rockets had a 2-0 lead after the first period only to see the T-Birds score two goals on their first four shots of the second period. The tieing goal by Jim O'Brien came after a Prab Rai slap shot from just inside the blueline that Lazaruk stopped, but issued a huge rebound that bounced off of O'Brien and into the net.
  • Brown's 2nd period relief appearance came as a surprise to the rookie goaltender, who was wearing brand new white pads during warmup. After Brown came away without allowing a goal on the 8 shots he faced in the second period, the 17 year-old quickly changed to his old pads, which my guess were a little more worked in, for the third period.
  • Rookie defenseman Curt Gogol jumped out of the comfort zone with a first period fight with T-Birds forward Chris Cloud. The 17 year-old held his ground against the 20 year-old Cloud. It's small moves like that, that catch the eye of the coaching staff and tend to earn you more ice time.
  • Both Dylan Hood and Evan Bloodoff had tremendous goals in this one. Hood's goal came after great speed to the outside before backhanding the puck past a startled T-Birds goaltender Jacob DeSerrres. Evan Bloodoff's goal also was the result of great speed during a race for a loose puck just inside the T-Birds blueline. Bloodoff won the battle to the puck, skated in on a clear cut breakaway and deposited the puck high over DeSerres blocker side.
  • The TBirds looked out of sync. For a skilled team they struggled passing, and created very few odd man rushes with their speed. For a team that has very few changes from a season ago, they play more as individuals that as a team. I can't point my finger on it, but this T-Bird team should be much better than it's record shows. I will cut them some slack with a wicked road schedule to start the season.

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