Saturday, November 15, 2008

Even Having Luke Around Didn't Help

  • Giving up late goals was a common theme Friday night in a 5-3 road loss in Vancouver. The Rockets gave up four of the five goals in the final three minutes of each period. The first two goals were scored with under three minutes left in the first period to give the home team a 2-0 lead. The Giants would make it 3-0 on a goal with under 3 minutes left in the second period. And to top it off, Gary Nunn’s empty netter to make it a 5-3 score came with just over a minute left to play in the final frame. Only Evander Kane’s goal to make it 4-0 came just a minute into the third period.
  • After putting together a great effort against the Giants Wednesday at home, Friday’s performance just didn’t match up. Give the Rockets credit for fighting back after trailing 4-0, but against a good team like Vancouver, scoring four goals in the final 19 minutes of the hockey game was asking a little too much. To see the Rockets almost pull it off was impressive, but something tells me the Giants relaxed a little after building up what appeared to be a comfortable 4-0 lead.
  • Giants forward Evander Kane extended his point streak to 20 games with a goal and an assist. Rockets defenseman Tyler Myers had a goal and two helpers in the loss.
  • I liked the play of rookie forward Mitchell Callahan, Dylan Hood and Jesse Paradis in this one. Callahan provided some good energy, Hood had a goal and Paradis added a physical presence. Hoods goal was his 4th in 12 games.
  • Give props to Rockets forward Jesse Paradis for getting involved in a fight with Giants winger Lance Bouma after the feisty forward attempted to run over Rockets rookie defenseman Aaron Borejko. Bouma had something against Borejko, as he hit him heavily in the first five minutes of the opening period as well.
  • The Rockets have now lost 3 straight games, having been out-scored 12-5 in the process.
  • Swift Current Broncos assistant general manager Eldon Moberg was in attendance at last night’s game and will be watching from the rafters when the Rockets face the Blazers in Kamloops tonight. Is it just coincidence or is Moberg kicking tires for a potential trade? The Broncos have four – 20 year-olds while the Rockets have just two – one under the league limit. The Broncos are reportedly shopping around defenseman Jesse Dudas. What are the Rockets in the market for? Among other things, a puck moving defenseman.
  • The Giants gave a nice video tribute to head coach Don Hay before puck drop Friday night. The Giants recognized Hay for his 400th win in the WHL.
  • A crowd of 11 thousand 555 took in Friday’s game. Not bad considering we are in mid November. The Giants have played the majority of their games this season on the road, so the hunger for some ‘home’ hockey is clearly evident. At 18 bucks for a good seat, you can’t beat that for your entertainment dollar.
  • Luke Schenn made a surprise appearance at the Kelowna Rockets dressing room before Friday’s game. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman decided to stop by and watch his junior team play on the night before the Leafs visit the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place. The picture below is Luke and I just outside the Rockets dressing room prior to game time. I had a feeling he may show up, and Schenner didn't disappoint.

Here is the audio conversation I had with Schenn just prior to game time:

  • And congrats to former Rocket Cam Paddock for not only playing in his first NHL game Friday night for the St Louis Blues, but for scoring his first NHL goal against Chicago.


g.k said...

I watched the game last night, sorry Regan I tryed to listen to you at the same time but the timing was off quite a bit. Anyways from my take on the game we need to address our toughness, goaltending & a good puckmoving defenceman for sure. As far as scoring we'll be much better when Kyle returns, also I don't see anyone at this point stepping up as a leader, this surprise's me as we have alot of veteran's on this team. Your take on this would be appreciated.

Regan Bartel said...

I don't think we need 'one' guy to provide us with toughness, I really don't. What I do see is the need to be team tough. Why is Jesse Paradis the only one defending a teammate? Why didn't Borejko come back and stick his nose in with Bouma after the hit? You don't need to fight him, but give him the general impression that you don't appreciate getting run over. The old saying 'strength in numbers' apply's here. Everyone in that dressing room has to play with a touch more courage...especially on the road. Who's to fear on the Giants roster? Garet Hunt isn't there anymore. In Kamloops Matt Kassian is gone, so the need for a physical presence isn't needed. Give me a Brady Leavold type of player, and you've got me sold. I agree that St. Denis will help take some of the pressure off of the #1 line, but in a previous post it was suggested that several players have been used to compliment Benn and Long and it hasn't really worked out. In an ideal world, a puck moving defenseman and another forward with skill and grit to play along side Benn and Long is needed.