Thursday, October 30, 2008

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • What's Tysen Dowzak's mindset coming back to the Rockets? Dowzak's stint in the pro's before being moved back to junior shouldn't be considered a failure, but as an opportunity to be a stabilizing force on a pretty good team. Dowzak is now a top 4 defenseman, something he moved in and out of last season. I thought Dowzak's play in the first half of last season was great, before it tailed off in the second half. Why that happened is any ones guess, but the Rockets can only benefit from his veteran presence on a defensive core that consisted of 5-17 year-olds and two 18 year-olds.
  • It was a tough call for Rockets head coach Ryan Huska Wednesday night to pull goaltender Kris Lazaruk from the game when the T-Birds tied the game at two. Do I think it was the right move? Yes. I didn't like either goals Lazaruk gave up, yet it would have been interesting to see the veteran goaltender battle through that adversity and bounce back after two suspect goals. Yet points are paramount at any time during the season, so do you take the gamble by keeping him in with the possibility of the trend of soft goals continuing?
  • Congrats to Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers for being named to Team WHL for the A-D-T Canada/Russia Challenge next month. Benn and Myers will play in both or one of the two games November 26th and 27th in Swift Current or Prince Albert. The two games are a platform for Benn and Myers to make one more impression on the Team Canada scouting staff in an effort to get an invite to the World Junior teams main camp in December.
  • The last Rockets player to participate in the A-D-T Canada/Russian Challenge was Luke Schenn.
  • Cam Ward is another goaltender that came close to winning his first 5 starts as a WHL rookie. Ward was 4-0-0-0 with a tie in his first 5 starts as a new face with the Red Deer Rebels in 2000-2001. Rockets goaltender Adam Brown is 5-0-0-0 as a starter in his first season in the WHL.
  • Jamie Benn is on pace to score 72 goals this season. Scary! The last player to score 72+ goals in the WHL was Pavel Brendl, who scored 73 times with the Calgary Hitmen in 1998-99.
  • Benn and Long are one-two in league scoring. When was the last time teammates were one-two in league scoring? It was 2006-2007 when Eric Fehr and Ryan Stone were 1-2 in league scoring with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
  • Seattle Thunderbirds GM Russ Farwell can sympathize with the Rockets after losing Luke Schenn at the tender age of 18. Farwell lost Patrick Marleau to the San Jose Sharks as an 18 year-old back in 1997. Marleau was taken 2nd overall by the Sharks that season. Marleau put up 51 goals and collecting 125 points in his draft year.
  • In speaking to Farwell Wednesday night, he reminisced about being the GM of the Medicine Hat Tigers and watching one of his players come back to junior after playing 31 NHL games. That may not sound odd, but that player than stuck around for yet another year for more seasoning. Murray Craven - the Detroit Red Wings #1 pick in 1982 - started the season with the Wings in 1983-84 only to be sent back to junior. Upon Craven's return, the centreman would collect 46 points in the Tigers final 28 regular season games. You would think Craven would automatically move up to the Wings the very next year, yet Detroit again sent him back to the WHL where he'd score 38 goals and pick up 94 points. The mistake to push Craven into the NHL at a young age killed his confidence. After just 15 games in 1983-84 with the Wings, he was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers. Three years later (with the Flyers) Craven would score a career high 30 goals.
  • Congrats to Mitch Fritz for making his NHL debut Thursday for the New York Islanders. Fritz played 110 games with the Kelowna Rockets over two seasons and after 8 years in the minors, the 6'8 250 forward got his big break playing on a line with Nate Thompson and Richard Park.

1 comment:

Jared Comeau said...

Hey Regan, i'm wondering if it's at all possible to dig out of the archives of the call you made of Kris Lazaruk's save in Medicine Hat off Tyler Ennis... Play of the week #3. I missed that call and would love to hear your rendition if at all possible