Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Red Hot Goaltender Can't Cool Rockets

  • The Rockets faced a red hot goaltender Tuesday night and almost got burned in a 2-1 home ice win. Twenty year-old Kevin Armstrong was nothing short of solid enabling his team to be in a tight game when they had no business being in one. Armstrong, named the games second star, made 39 saves in the setback.
  • If Armstrong keeps up this type of play he may find himself traded to a contender at the WHL trade deadline. Armstrong's rebound control was tremendous and he never overplayed pucks. The sign of a veteran goaltender is one who doesn't move to get in the way of shots that are simply straying wide of the net. Armstrong's quick reflexes on several in-tight chances had you wondering why his save percentage is under .900.
  • It was nice to see Lucas Bloodoff getting on the board with a pair of power play goals. Lucas realizes he will never be a big goal scorer at this level, but the 19 year-old needs to chip in more with Jamie Benn, Kyle St. Denis and Stepan Novotny out of the lineup.
  • How did Colin Long not get a star in last night's win? The best player on the ice outside of Armstrong, Long was able to show the skill we have grown accustomed too yet often take foregranted. Long's 'thread the needle' pass to Bloodoff in the 3rd period was one that won't make the highlight reel, but it was one of the best passes I've seen all season long. It won't make the highlights after Bloodoff ended up shooting the puck wide of the Cougar goal.
  • This game lacked intensity. It took just 2 hours and five minutes to play as both teams showed little animosity for one another. The Rockets liked it that way considering they played a night earlier in Vancouver while the Cougars waited patiently in Kelowna for Tuesday night's game. The Cougars could have made it hard on the home team by playing a greaser game, but the visitors weren't interested.
  • Rookie Adam Brown got the start in goal after veteran Kris Lazaruk became ill after a solid performance the night before in Vancouver. Brown is now 4-0-0-0 against the Cougars this season.
  • Lazaruk wasn't the only Rocket feeling ill. Cody Almond is fighting a bad cold, yet played hard despite it sucking energy out of the veteran forward.
  • The Cougars coaching staff received some positive press when they elected to wear helmets during team practices, yet when I watched the Cougars workout at Prospera Place before the Rockets boarded the bus for Vancouver, all I saw was head coach Wade Klippenstein and assistant Jeff Battah wearing no head gear.
  • Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton was back at his usual perch after spending the last two days in Calgary at the Mac's Midget Hockey Tournament. I spoke to Hamilton in the first intermission and will share that interview with you tomorrow.


entropyyy said...

i agree with you,the rockets didnt seem tired as much as they just didnt want to have one of those real high-tempo games. they slowed it down and both sides waiting for chances. Another solid performance from brown,there was one shot of his shoulder,off the crossbar,and got swept off the line early on,but he really held us in there. 2 points is 2 points! glad to see a win. if possible you should snap a picture of mcmillan in that 750 dollar suit haha

rocketfan57 said...

Regan I hear Mcolgan is on his way. He will play in the next 2 games. Will they reunite The California Connection.

Regan Bartel said...

I have heard the same thing. I makes sense since the team is playing with just 16 skaters.