Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • Who would I like to see the Rockets play in round one, Kamloops or Seattle? Neither will be easy. My only hope is the Rockets earn the 3rd seed in the Western Conference, which gives them home ice advantage in round one and two and avoids a possible date with Vancouver in round two. That said, if the Rockets have to play the Giants in a second round playoff series, so be it. You would have to go through them to get to the conference final anyway, so whether its in round two or three, it’s inevitable that will happen. It's like a root canal. You can put if off for a little while, but eventually you have to face the problem and sit in a dentists chair. The only luxury of avoiding the Giants in the second round would be the possibility of an upset, which would see the Western Conference regular season champions sitting on the sidelines. Don't bet on it though. The Giants are a great team.
  • Getting back to my original thought on who I’d like to see the Rockets face in round one. I think an opening round playoff series with the Blazers would revitalize a rivalry that simply doesn’t exist. Face it, its a lot more fun beating the Giants than it is the Blazers. Why? Who doesn’t want to knock off the best in the league? It's the same reason why teams used to love beating the Rockets. Beating the champs is always a thrill, yet the Rockets/Blazers rivalry needs a boost, and an opening round playoff series may be a cure that ails the perceived hatred for one another. Do these two teams dislike one another? Sure they do. But do they hate one another. From my vantage point, it isn't there.
  • Just think about the Rockets facing the Blazers in round one. If that series would go a full seven games, these two teams would play each other a total of nine times (two regular season games – seven playoffs ) in the next 2 and a half weeks. If that doesn't give you a bad taste in your mouth for one another, nothing will.
  • A first round series with the Kent/Seattle Thunderbirds wouldn't be a bad option either. I love the ride down the I-5, and the new arena in Kent would be a great atmosphere for a playoff series. The only downside? Being harassed by the border guards as the Sumas border crossing. Who are you broadcasting the games for? Are you making revenue from these broadcasts? Do you have a work visa? How are you broadcasting the games and with what type of device? These are just four of the 50 questions that are fired our way routinely when we make our way across the border in our radio station vehicle with the bold lettering on the side ‘News-Talk-Sports AM 1150’.
  • Before we head into the final weekend of the regular season I wanted to talk with several NHL scouts on Rockets prospects Tyson Barrie and Collin Bowman. This is what one unidentified scout told me about Tyson Barrie's play: "His strengths are his skill and the way he thinks the game because he’s been around hockey so much. I am sure he is getting lots of information from sources that are at the professional level. He is a confident man that likes to take chances and sometimes those chances do come back to haunt him. But the main thing is he is willing to do that. Has he fallen a bit? I thought he was a lot stronger at the beginning of the year where a lot of teams didn’t know what he was like. Now with the way Kelowna has been playing, teams are keying on him, so he needs to keep it simple and pick his spots. I think a 3rd or 4th round is a safer pick, but again there is a lot of upside to the kid.”
  • Here is another NHL scout commenting on Collin Bowman: “I think the strength of Collin Bowman is, what you see is what you get. Anything that’s offensive is going to be bonus. He keeps things very simple in his own end, he’s strong defensively. His lateral movement is something he can work on, but he knows his limitations and knows what he can do and can’t do.”
  • I asked one NHL scout what a long playoff run would do for a player who is draft eligible or is an older free agent player.“I will take you back to Troy Bodie. Troy Bodie was off everybody’s charts. He’s a big kid who worked hard and then all of sudden they had that long playoff run and he gets drafted. He’s played in the NHL, so Bodie is an example of a kid that was draft eligible and had such a good playoff run that you couldn’t but draft him. The same goes for a free-agent older player. I remember seeing Ian Duval in Moose Jaw this season. He wouldn’t go to the dirty areas and now that he’s come to Kelowna, you put him with good players and all of a sudden he’s dangling. I don’t care how big he is…he can skate….he’s fearless and he will go into traffic.”
  • Speaking of the draft, remember that three members of the Rockets, who are 17 years-old, are not eligible for this summers draft. Because of a late birthday, Kyle Verdino, Curt Gogol and Adam Brown are not eligible until 2010. All three have birthdays that fall after the September 1st cutoff date.

8 comments:

Contact - jeffbromley_@hotmail.com said...

Regan,
The cutoff date is Sept 15. Not that it matters as all three players were born beyond that date.

JB

Regan Bartel said...

Appreciate the correction. Thanks Jeff. Keep up the good work on your end.

Jared Comeau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jared Comeau said...

Regan whats the word on Shane McColgan?

Coreyg said...

I watched McColgan's debut in Red Deer at least I think it was his first game...anyways looked really good I thought. Hopfully he can crack the lineup next season!

apsco17 said...

I recall hearing that McColgan could play for the Rockets this year once his season with the LA Jr Kings (Midget AAA 18U team) was over. Looking at the LA Jr Kings website, it looks like thier season is over, so maybe he will be coming up?

http://www.lajrkings.com/index.php

Regan Bartel said...

My guess is McColgan is off to the regionals after winning the state championship. I am in touch with his coach and will get back to you on that.

Jared Comeau said...

Really appreciate the research Regan! Looking forward to hearing another great game tonight