Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Rare Road Shutout

  • I see the 10 team Western Conference separated into three tiers. Vancouver, Tri City and Spokane are in one tier as the top end teams in the conference. Kelowna, Everett and Kamloops are in a second tier while Chilliwack, Seattle, Prince George and Portland are in the third tier. But after what I saw Saturday night in Kamloops, the Rockets are on the verge of moving to the top tier with the Giants, Americans and Chiefs. The Rockets dominated on the shot clock and on the scoreboard in a 5-0 win over the Blazers. Kamloops goaltender Jon Groenheyde gave his team a fighting chance in this one.
  • My belief is the Rockets are on the line which separates the first tier of teams from the second tier. What will it take for the Rockets to move into the tier of the elite teams in the West? Maximum effort with no stragglers. Every member of this team needs to contribute in his own individual way to the betterment of the team. Anything short and this team will remain at tier two.
  • It's amazing what a little emotion can do to the Rockets overall game. The Rockets brought it in buckets Saturday night courtesy of Kyle Verdino, Tysen Dowzak and Collin Bowman. In all three incidents, the three Rockets defenseman took exception to questionable hits by the Blazers on fellow teammates. While all three players were tagged with instigator penalties, which essentially wiped out power play chances, I'd far rather take that type of aggression than seeing a team that looks as though they don't have a heartbeat. Play with controlled emotion and the results are evident. Just look at Saturday night's outcome if you need an example.
  • You had to feel good for Rocket forward Cody Almond. Almond, the best Rockets player in the month of November on work ethic alone, was rewarded for his efforts offensively by recording his first career hat-trick. Almond's prettiest goal of the night came when the teams were playing 4 on 4 and defenseman Riley McIntosh (yes Riley McIntosh) fed Almond a beautiful cross ice pass from the left point that Almond one-timed into the net from the left face-off circle.
  • Blazers head coach Barry Smith must have been scratching his head after this one. After putting his team on the ice for a 4:45 am skate the day after arriving from Portland after a 7-5 loss, what trick does Smith pull out of his hat to grab his teams attention this time? The Blazers were uninterested and were out of sync all night. For a team that hadn't played for 6 days, they looked like they had played three games in four nights, not the Rockets.
  • I felt good for overage goaltender Kris Lazaruk. Lazaruk only saw 16 shots yet was solid in recording the win, and shutout, his 4th of his career. Now I want to see Lazaruk step up and show his stuff Wednesday in a home date against the Tri City Americans.
  • I haven't talked glowingly about rookie forward Lukas Matejka, but after Saturday's game I have to admit it was his best effort of the season. Matejka still has huge holes in his game, yet he created some good things in front of the Blazers net and got into a scrap with Slovakian born Michal Siska. I am not sure what the future holds for Matejka, but lets hope this is a stepping stone to improved play, because no points for a European forward after 13 games won't cut it.
  • European forward Stepan Novotny also had a strong game. Novotny hit the goal post twice in last night's win, before earning an assist on Lucas Bloodoff's goal to make it 5-0.
  • The Rockets were a combined +19 while the Blazers were a combined -19.
  • The win snapped the Rockets 3 game losing streak, and snapped the Blazers 5 game home ice winning streak.


KBF said...

Wow Regan, just as biased as usual. You really believe the Rockettes played that good of a game last night? Or could it be that the Blazers played that badly, gift wrapping turnovers and passes to your precious Rockettes. Rockets didn't do anything special last night. With all the chances they were handed on a silver platter, they were only up 2-0. A real elite team like the Giants would of been up 5 or 6 nothing. Rockets are NOT an elite team at this point. They can't even beat any of the elite teams. The Giants took the Rockettes spotlight, this is not the Rockette teams of the past.

Perhaps you should take off your Rockette shades for a change and post what really happened in the game instead of what your fantasize happened.

Ryan said...

All class as usual by Mr Blazer Fan. This clown just cant let himself acknowledge that an opposing team may have played a good game. Not once when the Blazers lose does he ever say the winning team played good. Instead he believes its always the Blazers playing poorly, or the refs fault, or his 2-3 whipping boys' fault. Hey smart guy, your precious little team are not M-Cup contenders, never will be.

Way to keep the Blazer fan rep going by the way, classy nothing but class.

Regan Bartel said...

I agree with you kbf, the Blazers were BAD. It was simply a bad night for them and a great night for the Rockets. That's usually what happens in a 5-0 game. As I stated, I believe the Rockets are not an elite team YET, but are on the cusp of being there. For that to happen though, somethings need to change. Worth ethic, contribution and emotion are all part of the equation. Am I not accurate in my assessment of the Blazers goaltending? Was he not the best Blazer on the ice. Was Riley McIntosh's pass to Cody Almond on the one-timer not the best goal of the game? Were the Rockets not the agressors in this one? Without totalling ripping your team, why were they so bad? I would like to hear your thoughts rather than attacking mine, which I believe are accurate.

KBF said...

First a reply to Ryan. Look buddy, nobody has said ANYTHING including myself about Memorial Cups in Kamloops for YEARS. Secondly, the only ones who have been touting for a Memorial Cup this year is fans like YOURSELF for the Rockets who at this point, ain't anywhere near that stage. So, take a long hard look at yourself first hypocrite.

Reply to Regan. The Blazers simply did not show up for whatever reason. How you do not get up for a game against an arch rival, as well as a 2nd place show down, especially after totally folding like a cheap suit against Portland, and having to go through a 4 am practice, and it still doesn't sink in to them, there is something seriously wrong.

Yes goaltending was excellent for the Blazers, and the Rockets scored a couple nice ones. But a prime example of the Blazers mailing it in and making life real easy for the Rockets, was that Jamie Benn goal I think it was, where the guy had about 4 chances, and ended up scoring on his knees.

That Kelowna Rocket teams was not even close to playing like the Kelowna Rockets of old. Those old Rocket teams would of buried the Blazers last night.

I don't know what to think sometimes. But we've seen the Blazers play so many good games this year, then they show up with an absolute shit hockey game last night. It's no wonder so many Blazer fans are playing the wait and see game. Can you blame them?

Anyways Regan, I didn't mean to attack you, I sincerely apoligize. I enjoy reading your blog and think you have alot of good things to say most of the time.

g.k said...

So kbf, did Chilliwack do anything special tonight, or did the Blazer's just not show up again? This should be interesting!!

Regan Bartel said...

I still appreciate kbf's take on the game, and his team. He see's his club more times than I do so should have a good grasp of who's not preforming up to par. I appreciate his visit and his opinion. Whether I agree with it is one thing, but his point of view I respect.

Rocketwatcher said...

I hate being correct. Giants 2 Rockets 0 . As for Kamloops if the coach, ex NHL as he might be, hasn't figured out yet the kids of today HAVE to want to play for him, no wonder they played poorly against the Rockets. It was good to see Macmillan and the Bloodoff youngster finally look like they were interested... tired of Huska rewarding kids with ice time that are so obviously disinterested in earning it. We are going nowhere without 19 guys per night playing their best. I mean come on, you are playing in a great city, great building(ok parking security sounds sketchy) and half the guys never break a sweat?? Long and Benn are good skaters but they cannot carry 8 guys per night on their backs....Look around the league, Rockets, there are really really bad places to get sent to....winters coming....

Regan Bartel said...

Totally agree. You can have all the skill in the world, but often times role players are the key in winning championships. Look at Lance Bowma in Vancouver. He plays with passion, grit and desire. The fact he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 21 games doesn't deter me from thinking he's a quality player and a key to the Giants overall success.

Jasperoni said...

So in KBF's eyes, the Rockets shouldn't be considered on the verge of being a top tier team. However the Blazers should be considered on the verge of becoming a third tier team. Way to shoot yourself in the foot.

In reality though, I'm more upset with Regan for grouping us in the second tier with a garbage team like the Blazers.

Shame on you, Regan. ;)

Thanks for the two points, Blazers. We'll be back for the rest later.