Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rockets' Losing Streak Reaches 3 Games

  • Rockets’ No. 1 bantam pick Shane McColgan was all the talk heading into Tuesday night’s game in Red Deer, but it was the Rockets’ 11th round selection from the 2007 draft that stood out. Sixteen year-old Brett Bulmer showed why he is third in BC Midget League scoring with a solid effort in just his second career WHL game.
  • What impressed me most about Bulmer was his willingness to get involved. Bulmer wasn’t timid in battling for loose pucks in the corners or along the boards. Often younger players don’t exhibit a high battle level when playing against older, stronger players. Bulmer’s ability to battle and create scoring chances has me wondering why he was overlooked by so many teams before the Rockets stole him in round 11.
  • If you don't think an 11th round pick in the bantam draft can make an impact, you may want to speak to Colin Long.
  • Don’t get me wrong, McColgan didn’t disappoint in his WHL debut. Playing on a line with Colin Long and Mitchell Callahan, the ‘American Express’ line was born. McColgan had no less than three shots on goal and obviously shows some creativity in the offensive zone. Is he a keeper? Darn rights!
  • For the second straight game rookie Curt Gogol began the game on defense and was switched to forward. Brandon McMillan was again called into action to help control things on the blue line and handled himself very well.
  • Cody Almond didn’t score, but showed some improved jump from Sunday’s sluggish affair.
  • Adam Brown was almost as good as his counterpart at the other end. The Rockets rookie goaltender had no chance on the only goal he allowed less than four minutes into the game.
  • Say goodbye to the BC Division title. The Giants now have a 21 point lead on the Rockets for first place in the division. My question isn’t whether the Giants will win the division, but will the Giants lose more than 10 games this season?
  • Evan Bloodoff is now the only Rockets player that will be able to play in all 72 games this season. Bloodoff’s main rival, Stepan Novotny, missed last night’s game against the Rebels as he pursues a spot on the Czech national junior team. Bloodoff is the only Rocket to dress in all 33 games this season.
  • Who was the last Rocket to dress for all 72 regular season games? Colin Long was the only Rocket to play in all 72 games last season.
  • Tyson Barrie took the pre-game skate but did not play. Barrie is recovering from a concussion.
  • Fifteen year-old Dillon Simpson accompanied the Rockets to Red Deer. Simpson is still deciding on whether he will play junior or head to college. The fact he was on the bus has to be a positive sign.
  • Kristofer Westblom took in last night’s game. The former Rocket goaltender was in attendance as his mother conducted some business in Edmonton. Westblom is playing Canadian college hockey this season with the Acadia Axemen.


Rocketwatcher said...

Caught the game tonight on the Web. Regan you are perhaps a little too kind to Bulmer. Unless he can pick up his foot speed, and those skates look to be about a size 13, he is going to struggle. From where I sat he arrived late on most plays. But you are right, he didn't shy away from hitting. But then again, who on Red Deer is scary?? You stated that for the second game in a row Gogol was yanked from the blue line and Macmillan was inserted. and for the second straight game Kelowna lost the speed Mac provides (when he is interested)on the forecheck...and oh yeah, we lost again.... So was that a good move? I would hate to be Huska right now..This team had such high hopes.....Do you think(and be honest here Regan) that the high minute guys that are missing have very little in the way of understudies? I realize that it is tough to coach in this league but holy.....lose to Red Deer?? Yech...

entropyyy said...

i agree ever so slightly..i was listening live and i have to say i was sitting here waiting for something to happen. maybe its the road,maybe its the missing pieces,but i was disappointed the rockets got shut out. they're going to need to pick it up to salvage a win in edmonton,when edmonton was in prospera they put up a heck of a game for 40 minutes,until the rockets kicked it in high gear for the 3rd period. I think for the next game it'll be important to get the lines sorted and get into some kind of a rhythm while meyers and benn are away. it'll be interesting to see. keep the photos and blogs coming!

Regan Bartel said...

I agree Bulmer needs some work with his skating, but I have witnessed many players that have speed to burn but are last to pucks when they sit in the corners.

David said...

Regan you are obviously looking for something positive to talk about because you forgot to mention for both callups they need to remember there are two ends to the rink. Plus they didn't have anything to lose so they were playing loose - which the rest of the group isn't right now. There is also too much emphasis on individual contribution. This seems to be a severe weakness of the team right now - they are playing as individuals. Not a lot of tic-tac-toe.
Equally as important there seems to be an absence of a critical review of issues such as:
1. Missing MacIntosh doesn't look so good now;
2. Looking at the Blades can't understand why Kytnar and Joe weren't retained;
3. Do I need to mention Jung?;
4. I share Mr. Hamilton's frustration but threats of trades only seems to be making the group squeeze their sticks more; AND
5. Doesn't the coaching staff have any accountability here?
An interesting piece for you to consider might be a Xmas Report Card from top to bottom - both players and staff.

MG said...

1. Missing MacIntosh doesn't look so good now;

How so. This kid floated around the ice for a few seasons with us and never reached what we thought should be his potential.

2. Looking at the Blades can't understand why Kytnar and Joe weren't retained;

Joe ??? No way. Sure he looks good today but the Rockets trained and worked with him for at least 3 years solid and didn't see their investment pay off. He made more mistakes that I can count. A team needs to see growth, skill development and more production ( offence or defence)from a player before they have played 4 seasons and have turned 20. One good 20 year old season is not acceptable. This is the same path a few of our players are on right now and hence Hamilton's frustration. An 18 or 19year old has no excuse for consistant lack of effort and poor play.

3. Do I need to mention Jung?;

I agree. What a mistake this was. The coaching staff needed to sit this boy down, straighten him out and get him on board, not give him away for a bag of pucks.

4. I share Mr. Hamilton's frustration but threats of trades only seems to be making the group squeeze their sticks more.

hmmmm maybe but I think there are few players that need to go and needed to go last year due to lack of performance.

5. Doesn't the coaching staff have any accountability here?

Yes but I still believe Huska can do it. Too easy to blame the coach.