Monday, January 5, 2009

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • Here is something to think about. What happens if another contending team would call up Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton and ask him what he would want in a trade for Jamie Benn or Colin Long? Would you trade one of those players for a first round bantam pick? In a season where you face three top-flight teams in the Western Conference, if you can't upgrade your team by adding some significant elements without giving up a future prospect, do you then take a different approach in an effort to stockpile your shelves for a future run at a league title? I believe the Rockets are a contending team, but it's something to ponder.
  • Don't look now but Justin Bernhardt is challenging for the Western Hockey League scoring title. The former Rocket has 23 goals and 60 points this season, three points off the league lead. While Bernhardt has played a league high 44 games, his totals are impressive.
  • How did Colin Long do without line mate Jamie Benn? Benn missed 9 games while playing for Canada at the world juniors. Long picked up points in 7 of those 9 games (3+6=9). Did Long miss Benn? Absolutely..he's an impact guy and he is undoubtedly a better player with him than without. That said, Long is a quality player who makes others around him better. Just ask Mitchell Callahan.
  • Long had two circumstances he had to deal with over the last three weeks. Not only did he lose his line mate, but the news that he failed to make the U.S.A world junior team was a kick in the chin. He could have chosen to sulk and his play could have noise dived. Instead the Rockets captain 'sucked it up' and performed admirably under the circumstance.
  • The Rockets were 4-5-0-0 without Benn, Myers and Novotny. All three are expected to return to the lineup Wednesday against Seattle. The Rockets have the luxury of playing four more home games once they return Tuesday to Kelowna, so those players won't be forced into taking part in any road games. Whether they are allowed to go home for a bit of a break is in the hands of management.
  • No question the Rockets missed Benn's career 1.41 points per game. The Rockets scored just 20 goals in those 9 games while he was in Ottawa. Averaging just 2.2 goals per game over that period is one reason behind the Rockets below .500 record during his absence.
  • Check out the Western Hockey League's new website. It was launched today. I don't mind the new look. The attempt to add more video is always a step in the right direction. Now it's just a matter of adding new video weekly. The number of hits the website receives should be a clear indication of how much priority should be put into it's content.
  • When I spoke to Moose Jaw GM Chad Lang this weekend about a new arena proposed for the 'band city', he said it will "definitely happen". The arena is expected to mirror Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. If that is the case, let's hope those that run the building are more apt to turn up the thermometer, unlike the frigid temperatures often experienced in the home of the Bruins.
  • When the Kamloops Blazers made a visit to Kelowna after the Christmas break, I was surprised to learn that 20 year-old Brady Calla was not wearing a letter on his jersey. The personable Calla was a late returnee to the Blazers once the teams leadership group was decided, yet I was surprised that someone didn't give up a letter so Calla could be put into a situation of leadership, which is clearly his strength.
  • Gord McGrava and I were passed along a nice e-mail from a Spokane fan who watched our webcast on the weekend. It was just another reminder of the broad audience that watches/listens to games on the Internet. It's been our goal to not necessarily balance our coverage of both teams, but when the opposition has made a good play or a player has had a solid season, it would be a dis-service to neglect from mentioning these individuals. Trust me, I am all about broadcasting the virtues of the Kelowna Rockets, but I am proud of the Western Hockey League and the quality players that play major junior. Often times broadcasters are so busy waving there teams pom-poms in the air, they fail to appreciate the skill level of the opposition.

7 comments:

entropyyy said...

i found that in the last giants game,in vancouver. when i watched the webcast their announcers were talking about the giants the whole time and didnt seem to have any interest in the outside players. when it came down to 3 star choices,they had their mic on,and though the rockets had dominated the majority of the game,did any rockets player come into that mix? not even close. when asked who do you like for the rockets,one guy said "not much to choose from" but long and almond had strong games as usual,the bloodoffs were flying. its just ignorance and wanting to make the hometown fans happy i guess.

Malcolm said...

Benn and Long aren't going anywhere if there's a chance of Mikael Backlund joining the Rockets - though I'll only believe it when I see him on the ice.

Regan Bartel said...

Agreed. If Backlund plays in Kelowna, it's obvious what direction we are headed. Even without him though, Hamilton still wants to win, so my suggestion for a sell-off of Benn and Long is just a possible scenario, yet an extremely unlikely one.

Malcolm said...

Since Justin Bernhardt is now an overage player, the Rockets traded him to the Raiders for a 3rd round draft selection in the 2009 Bantam Draft.
I hope that selection turns out to be more like Bernhardt and less like previous 3rd rounders: Jonas Lopushinsky ('06), Brendan Lines ('04), Nathan Pederson ('02)...

flyers said...

Interesting point re: Long's numbers while Benn was at the WJC. However, Long hasn't skated on a regular shift with Benn in several months (Huska's been juggling the lines consisently since the first month of the season). Also, during Benn's hiatus Long's numbers would have be significantly higher if he had someone to skate with that could finish on his passes.

WHL FAN said...

Love the game and the team,not so sure about the coaching staff. Why not give the young defence a full game maybe their confedence will improve.Rockets upfront talent has to play as a team and give 100% every shift. Come on coaches time to take the blame.

WHL FAN said...

Cogradulations coaches glad to see you are using all 4 lines the last couple of games. You could use the 4th line a little more as they seem to be setting the tone. You will be better prepared for the playoff run. Good Luck