Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Just Don't Get It!

  • If you can answer the question as to why the Kelowna Rockets' can lose to another non-playoff team, you deserve a medal. A 3-2 loss in Red Deer Friday night is nothing short of a mental lapse by a team that can look like a heavy weight champion against the top end teams and look like a 100 pound weakling against the bottom feeders.
  • I can't buy the fact that the Rockets were road weary or that the Rebels were bound to break out. It marked the third time in 12 days that the Rockets suffered a loss to a team that will undoubtedly miss post season play. Failure to pick up two points leaves the Rockets three points back of Spokane in the fight for third place in the Western Conference.
  • Stepan Novotny and Ian Duval each had a goal and assist in the Rockets 21st loss of the season.
  • Who was the best Rocket? Mitchell Callahan will do anything in his ability to contribute, as testament to his two fighting majors in Friday's loss. Callahan now has 17 fighting majors, one better than designated tough guy Ryley Grantham. Grantham has two fights in his last 16 games, Callahan has fights in 7 of his last 10 games.
  • Did you ever think someone would challenge Scott Parker for the Rockets team record of 25 fighting majors as a 17 year-old? Callahan is just 8 away from tying the mark with 8 games to play. Callahan is now 4th in penalty minutes in the league with 157.
  • If others played with the same type of determination as Callahan does, these hiccups against Portland, Chilliwack and Red Deer wouldn't happen.
  • What makes Friday's loss tough to swallow was the Rebels ability to score all three goals on the power play. Coming into last night's game the Rebels hadn't scored a power play goal in four games and were 0 for 19 over that stretch.
  • Rebels' Darcy Kuemper should get credit for a solid game in goal. The 18 year-old (he won't turn 19 until early March) made some solid saves including a beauty off of Cody Almond in the second period. Yet while Kuemper was solid, a good portion of the Rockets 43 shots were from the outside. I just didn't think the Rockets were hungry enough or desperate enough to get in-tight shots on the Rebels netminder.
  • You have to like Landon Ferraro. To think this guy has 31 goals as a 17 year-old is impressive, but what type of numbers would he put up with a stronger supporting cast?
  • The Rockets played this one without leading goal scorer Jamie Benn. Benn stayed back in his hotel room in Calgary. Benn is sick, yet will give it a try tonight when the Rockets close out the road trip in Calgary against the Hitmen.
  • Calgary Flames Western Scout Ron Sutter took in Friday's game. He likely wouldn't be pleased with Mikael Backlund's play. Backlund took two bad penalties and never was a threat to score. Against a team like Red Deer, the Rockets top end players - Backlund included -should be able to create quality chances in the offensive zone.
  • Despite the loss, I anticipate the Rockets playing a solid game in Calgary tonight. They would like nothing more than to hand the Hitmen their first loss in 13 games, and get in the way of them moving into the WHL record books by winning their 33rd home game of the season.
  • I expect Mikael Backlund to play his best game of the season at the Saddledome. He better because Flames GM Darryl Sutter will be watching from the press box.
  • The Rockets 4 game winning streak came to an end with Friday's loss while the Rebels 6 game losing streak is history.


Jess Rubenstein said...

I get it Regan as the Rockets very much were guilty of looking past the Rebels and focusing on their game against the Hitmen.

The good teams never take the bad teams lightly and that appears to be the Achilles heel of the Rockets.

george said...

I guess lossing last night kind of settled where they will end up. Spokane has a lot of easy games left(and they win those). /a first round against Kamloops would of been so much fun and the fans could cheer them on. Hopefully they will give their all tonight

P said...

Kuemper (90) is 18 turning 19.

Regan Bartel said...

Thanks for the correction. The change has been made.

Boondocker said...

To whom it may concern.

Should I even go there? I know I'll get the rath of Rocket insiders but someone has got to help me understand how a team as talented as the this can be so bad against teams they should trash. I understand when good teams play hard and for whatever reason the puck luck is just not with them. But what happens when a team fails to play hard...sporadically. There are only a few reasons that come to my rather unintelligent mind:
1) They are not that good. Well, we know differently, we have seen them beat arguably the best teams in the league. Lets disregard this option.
2) As at team they have an attitude problem. Issues like laziness or arrogance come to mind.
3) There is a coaching problem. (yikes, now I've gone and said it)

I don't know the answer to the later two points but I think they both point to the same problem. I do know that it is the coaching staffs job to develope skills and systems and also build healthy, winning attitudes and habits. Losses to three teams, which combined, don't even have as many wins as the Giants, unacceptable at this stage of the season. I have coached, I know its difficult, I know that the fingers point at you when things go wrong. Fair or unfair...thats coaching!!! The team has the talent now LIGHT A FIRE HUSKA and I'll shut up!!!

A win against Calgary tonight will just about put me into fits! Someone help explain if I've got it wrong! I need a drink.

Dazed and Confused.

3stuges said...

Hey Boondocker, are you in a fit yet hahaha..........
Good on the Rockets, way to go boys.
Clearly this is coaching, the talent is there.

Boondocker said...

I am now officially having a fit.

Boondocker said...

In all seriousness, congrats Rockets, well played game. We all know how good you are.

Regan, congrats to you as well, I am from Winnipeg and remember listening to Curt Keilback call the Jets games. I have fond memories of listening to Kurt. You are every bit as good. Its that damned salary cap that prevents you from moving to the bigs. Tonight I managed to sink the am 1150 feed with the Web cast game...what a treat.

Thanks for being such a large part of our leasure time.