Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • Me thinks the Rockets coaching staff did a good thing by shuffling around the line combinations before Saturday night's game against Prince George. Separating Colin Long and Jamie Benn forces the opposition to worry about two lines, not just one. Yet Long and Benn can still get together and create some magic on the power play.
  • In four of the teams five wins this season, the Rockets have scored no less than five goals per game. The only win of the season where they failed to score five or more goals was in a 4-2 victory over Everett October 1st. The ugly side of it is in three of the team’s five losses this season they have given up 5 goals or more.
  • The Rockets are 3 and 0 at home while wearing their third jersey this season. The 'reds' are a good luck charm with the hockey club after winning the Memorial Cup with them in 2004. But do they dare wear them on the road to turn their fortunes around?
  • Did you know the Rockets have out-scored the opposition 17-7 in those three home games?
  • I'm looking forward to seeing Justin Bernhardt Wednesday night. The Prince Albert Raider forward is having a great year, and should be in for a 40 goal season as a 20 year-old. 'Bernie' played just 51 games with the Rockets, yet he never really got on track during his time in Kelowna. But his 22 goals last year was no fluke. Those 22 goals matched his career high when he scored 22 times with Regina as a 17 year-old.
  • The Prince George Cougars struggled Saturday night, but the 6 and 2 (prior to that game) start was no fluke. Head coach Drew Schoneck has done a great job with a team that many see as a bottom feeder in the Western Conference. But it doesn't matter what others say as long as the Cougars believe they are anything but. Schoneck deserves as much credit as the players for the solid start. How they react to the lopsided loss on an extended road trip in the Central Division will tell everyone including themselves if they are the real deal.
  • Kris Lazaruk is a workhorse. The veteran goaltender has played the most minutes of any netminder in the WHL this season. Could he play in 68 of the Rockets 72 games this season? Kevin Swanson did it in 1999-2000. That season Swanson lost 40 games yet still managed a goals against average of 2.95.
  • The Rockets are the most penalized team in the WHL, and that doesn't sit well with head coach Ryan Huska. Huska would like to see his team take 5 or fewer minors per game, but that has been hard to come by this season.
  • The Rockets have 17 fighting majors this season. A fighting major has been recorded in 8 of the 10 games they've played this season. The only games where knuckles haven't been necessary were on opening night in a 5-2 loss in Tri City and a 5-4 home ice win over Kamloops.
  • If the Rockets actually had a designated tough guy this season those fight totals would be closer to 30.
  • Not much was made of it, but Jeff Truitt earned his first pro win as a head coach Saturday night in the Springfield Falcons 4-3 victory over Tysen Dowzak's Hartford Wolf Pack.
  • Former Kelowna Rockets captain Tyler Spurgeon remembers some tremendous battles against Vancouver Giants sharp shooter Gilbert Brule. Now Spurgeon and Brule are linemates this season in Springfield.


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MG said...

Reagan we really need a tough guy. It is a part of the game like it or not and having top guys like Benn and Myers do the battles is not helping us at all. Any thoughts ?? Man was McEwan ever good at his job wasn't he ??

Regan Bartel said...

A tough guy..that can play. That's what made Brady Leavold so valuable. He had a huge upside offensively, yet when he got pissed off...look out. He has to be able to play for the Rockets to add him to the roster. A one demensional player is something I hope they avoid.