Saturday, January 17, 2009

Will Beats Skill

  • Former Everett Silvertips head coach Kevin Constantine coined the phrase when he was a coach of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, but Friday night in Prince George, will indeed beat skill. The Rockets received high praise in the Prince George Citizen newspaper Friday morning as they brought their high flying offense to the northern city, but the Cougars gutted out a 5-2 home ice win.
  • The Cougars were anything but flawless, but received two big goals from 16 year-old Greg Fraser. Not only did he open the scoring on a power play goal but he closed out the scoring with an empty netter.
  • Two times in the game the Rockets were able to move within a single goal, yet couldn't find the equalizer. Give the Cougars credit for finding a way to restore their two goal lead before Fraser's empty netter made it a 3 goal advantage.
  • While the Rockets fired 42 shots on the Cougars net, many were from the outside. Cougars goaltender Kevin Armstrong was good, but didn't need to be great. The biggest disappointment was the Rockets power play, which finished the night 0 for 5. The puck movement was great, but the Cougars allowed them to do that all night as long as they didn't attempt to get in-tight chances on Armstrong, which they rarely did.
  • The only problem with any team that has an abundance of skill is the tendency to make one to many passes. I thought the Rockets were guilty of this on several occasions. It was a sign of things to come when Jamie Benn was given a scoring chance in the first period but elected to pass it off to the face-off circle to Mikael Backlund instead of unloading it towards the Cougars net.
  • It was a tough night for the Benn, Backlund, Duval line. The three were a combined -5.
  • The best example of 'nothing fancy' was when Brandon McMillan used good speed to the outside and took a sharp angle shot to beat Armstrong. The goal early in the third period made the score 3-2, and gave the Rockets what I thought was the jump they needed to get back into the game.
  • A fight off the ensuing face-off after the McMillan goal between Mitchell Callahan and Cougars tough guy Tyler Halliday should have only given the Rockets further momentum. Callahan clearly won the scrap with a player involved in his 14th fighting major of the season. Callahan threw some solid rights before pulling Halliday's jersey over his head.
  • The Rockets didn't play a lacklustre game, as emotion was evident throughout the contest. Jamie Benn was seen several times trash talking with Cougar players. One fan told me after the game that Benn should concentrate on producing offensively and firing pucks at the Cougars goal rather than firing verbal shots at the Cougars bench.
  • The loss snapped the Rockets six game winning streak in Prince George. Up until last night, the Rockets last loss at CN Centre was March 3/07 in a 7-4 setback.
  • The Rockets have lost 4 of their last 5 road games. The last win was a 3-0 shutout in Edmonton December 17th.


Ryan said...

So Evan's stupid penalty had no bearing in your mind? Wow, thats brutal.

Regan Bartel said...

It sealed the game with the power play, no doubt. But it was Bowman's hook that put the Rockets down 2 men resulting in the game winner from Dallas Jackson.

g.k said...

Okay I just got home to read we lost to the Cougar's. Give me a break!! Sorry didn't get to listen tonight. Starting to sound just like the Canuckelhead's. I can't remember the last time we lost to the Cougarsd in PG. We should not lose a game from now on unless the other team scores at least 6 goals. We are an offensive machine!!! Right???

T.D. said...

In a word, "yuck." Poor effort by the team, and an even worse effort by the coach. Nice line combos, Huska. As a chemist he gets an "F". Next time bench Duval when he puts in that kind of effort. Further, Hamilton needs to tell him to put a little thought into his line combos. The constant juggling just isn't working.

george said...

I just wish the coach would play our new goalie Mark and go with him to built up his confidence. I think in both games penalties lost us the game. We should of had those 4 points.........come on, come out flying on Wednesday