Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Intensity for 20 Minutes Won't Cut It!

  • Not even good teams can get away with playing urgent hockey for just one period. The Kelowna Rockets' learned that the hard way Monday afternoon in a 4-3 loss to the last place Portland Winter Hawks. The Rockets, trailing 3-0 early in the third, found a spark when forward Jamie Benn literally took matters into his own hands and almost single handily led the Rockets to a come-from-behind win. But the damage was just too great, as the Hawks won for just the 15th time this season.
  • How much will the Rockets be kicking themselves if they indeed lose out to Spokane by a single point for third place in the Western Conference standings? Let's hope they don't have to look back at this game as the reason why they are unable to have the luxury of home ice advantage in round two.
  • The Rockets have to be aware that they now have a target on them, much like Vancouver, Tri City and Spokane have had all season long. You can't take a night off as teams are bringing their best in an attempt to compete and knock you off your perch. The Giants face that every day. The Rockets are just realizing it now.
  • Does it make the Rockets feel better that the Hawks have beaten Tri City three times and Spokane twice this season? Didn't think so!
  • The Rockets generated 31 shots towards Hawks goaltender Kurtis Mucha through 40 minutes, but the majority were outside shots or one time chances. Secondary shots on goal were few and far between.
  • The Rockets did hit a few posts, including a backhander from defenseman Tyson Barrie that grazed the post before deflecting into the corner. But as coach Huska often preaches, those breaks go in if you are working hard.
  • Mark Guggenberger's return to Portland wasn't one he will write home about. Guggenberger, who started his career with the Hawks, was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 19 shots. Adam Brown came into the game in the third period with his team down 4-1 and made 3 saves the rest of the way as the Rockets poured on the pressure to send the game into overtime.
  • Benn's hattrick was his third of the season. Benn also turned the trick against Lethbridge and Kamloops.
  • Sure the Rockets were playing their third game in four night's, but to play essentially a non-playoff team in that third game and losing is hard to swallow. No, the Hawks are not officially eliminated from the playoff picture, but it will take a collapse by Prince George and miraculous play by the Hawks in order for them to compete in the second season in late March.
  • Following Wednesday's home game against Chilliwack, I think we will get a better indication of the makeup of this Rockets team. Winning at home is one thing, digging deep and winning hockey games on the road is another animal. The Rockets open a six game road trip Friday.
  • Not sure if you saw this article featuring Mikael Backlund and Riley Grantham. Hockey Futures Glen Erickson did a nice piece: www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/10947/backlund_and_grantham_fired_up_for_rockets_playoff_run/


Jon Keen said...


Did you see this recap?



J.S. said...

What is the deal with the Portland webcast?? They are all over the map in terms of not staying live, fan shots, replays, etc. You maybe see half the games....hilarious....it was awful.....

Rocketwatcher said...

Played down to the opponents level, maybe a little weary, and puzzling to tinker with the line up....Not a lot of guys came to play.....