Saturday, January 24, 2009

Trade Deadline Transition Troubles Rockets

  • The trade deadline transition hasn't been an easy one for the Kelowna Rockets. Instead of overpowering the opposition with a vicious offensive attack, the Rockets find themselves on a 4 game losing streak (0-2-0-2) after a 5-4 shootout loss in Chilliwack Friday night. While the Rockets have scored 18 goals in six games since the deadline (3.0 per game), they've also allowed 25 goals against (4.2 per game).

  • Another team that has struggled since the deadline are the Swift Current Broncos. The Broncos were busier than the Rockets and are 1-5-0-0 since making a series of trades including a block-buster with the Kootenay Ice. Do the Broncos struggles make the Rockets feel better about their situation? It just shows that significant changes can result in some early stumbles, and the Rockets aren't alone.

  • Give the Rockets credit for battling back after getting off to a brutal start. They give up a shorthanded goal less than three minutes into the game before Bruins defenseman Adam Ward fires a puck from centre ice that beats Rockets goaltender Adam Brown high to the blocker side. Brown was yanked after giving up two goals on four shots and was replaced by Mark Guggenberger.

  • Who do you look too when you've dug yourself a deep hole on the road? Your captain, and Colin Long delivered. Long's late first period goal on the power play had the Rockets heading into the first intermission down by one goal, instead of facing a 2-0 deficit heading into the second period.

  • Jamie Benn got on track with two goals in the game, and was up to his usually self of finding loose rebounds and making no mistake. Benn now has 27 goals in just 33 games. It was his first multiple goal game since he recorded a hat trick against Lethbridge November 1st.

  • While Long and Benn were on their games, unfortunately it was a rough night for the line of Almond, Backlund and Duval. That trio was solid in a 6-4 loss to Vancouver Wednesday, yet against a weaker sister were a combined -9.

  • My greatest disappointment was the Rockets inability to throw a knockout punch. With a 3-2 lead, I was anticipating the Rockets to go for the jugular, yet they failed to have the killer instinct necessary to put the game away. Eventually the Bruins tied the game before taking a 4-3 lead with 6 and a half minutes left in the third period.

  • Was it a great effort? No. But the Rockets still picked up a point against a team that has raised their level of play over the last couple of weeks. Just ask the Calgary Hitmen, who had their 18 game home ice winning streak snapped by the Bruins last week. The point was earned after the Rockets used late 3rd period heroics with the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker:

  • The Rockets power play struck for two goals on five chances and didn't allow a goal on five Chilliwack opportunities.

  • Ryley Grantham sat out Friday's game with a hand laceration. That injury was suffered in Wednesday's loss to the Giants. Look for Grantham to return to the lineup Wednesday, at home to the Prince George Cougars.

  • It was nice to meet Spencer Main's parents following the game. The Rockets may have lost but Main's mom and dad were all smiles after watching their son play Friday night in Chilliwack.

  • For a second straight game Calgary Flames Western scout Ron Sutter watched Mikael Backlund play. Sutter told me afterwards that Backlund needs more time to get used to his new surroundings before he becomes the player we witnessed at the world juniors.

1 comment:

T.D. said...

It was good to see Benn/Long/Novo bounce back after Wed game. Clutch first goal by Long and great second goal by Benn. Also, nice assist by Long to Myers on the game tying goal (from Gretzky's office). For some reason the scorer did not credit Long with an assist on that one. That should be changed.

Interestingly, as good as they were the BAD line was just that. A better effort from them and you get a different outcome in the game.

It's good to see the team get scoring from both units. Hopefully they are starting to come together and they will all start to click on the same night.