Friday, December 11, 2009

Winning 'Fehr' and square

  • Jay Fehr was ferocious Friday night. No, no the 5’10 forward didn’t intimidate physically but he gave the Rockets fits with his stick scoring four times in the Wheat Kings 8-4 win. Fehr scored three of his four goals in the third period, one of which came shorthanded.
  • Mark Guggenberger’s return between the pipes for the Rockets was an unsuccessful one. After missing the first 33 regular season games it showed. Realistically what did we expect? For Guggenberger to make the transition smoothly against the highest scoring team in the league would have been a great story, but realistically bumps and lumps in his return to form is part of the package. Guggenberger was pulled after giving up five goals on 12 shots.
  • Guggenberger’s shaky start was a mirror image of Wheat Kings starter Jacob DeSerres who also fought the puck early after giving up some questionable goals. Even a goal post saved his bacon on a Curt Gogol first period shot. I give Wheat Kings head coach Kelly McCrimmon credit for allowing DeSerres to work out his problems despite his team being down 3-1. Rockets head coach Ryan Huska offered Guggenberger the same luxury but had no choice but to make a change with his team still in striking distance after the Wheat Kings made it a 5-3 score.
  • I don’t know who the Rockets will start against Moose Jaw Saturday night, but I think you need to go back with Guggenberger in an effort for him to regain his confidence. It is such a big thing especially with goaltenders to feel good about their game. Having Guggenberger watching from the bench tomorrow night in my opinion wouldn’t be good. If I was in Guggenberger’s shoes I would want to get back in the saddle and right a wrong.
  • While Adam Brown gave up three – third period goals his glove hand save off of Wheat Kings forward Paul Van de Velde was impressive. With Brown down and out of position after making the first save, Van de Velde had an open net to deposit the puck. All that stood between him and the back of the net was Brown’s glove which came out of no where and deflected the puck wide of the goal.
  • Mitchell Callahan tangled twice with Brandon d-man Darren Bestland. While the first exchange between the two players resulted in little damage, Bestland had blood coming from his forehead after apparently cutting himself on the ice during the Callahan take down.
  • Tyson Barrie extended his point streak to 21 games with a power play assist on a Brett Bulmer first period goal.
  • Despite the loss, the Rockets are still 2-1-0-0 on a six game Eastern Conference road trip heading into Saturday’s game in Moose Jaw.
  • I am not sure the Wheat Kings goaltending is good enough to win a championship but who can provide an upgrade in that position and at what price? The notion that Torrie Jung of the Edmonton Oil Kings would fit the bill perfectly just doesn’t compute with me. It’s not because Jung isn’t a good goaltender, but his age doesn’t fit with the Wheat Kings current makeup. Can the Wheat Kings part with one of their 20 year-olds to make way for an overage goaltender? I would be shocked if they went in that direction. I wouldn’t part ways with Matt Calvert, Jay Fehr or Aaron Lewadniuk. I would love to see Jung salvaged out of a tough situation with the Oil Kings and traded to a contender but I just don’t see it happening.
  • The Rockets first captain in franchise history took in Fridays game. Dave McMillen captained the Tacoma Rockets in 1991 and collected 399 penalty minutes that season. McMillen is now a successful cattle rancher.

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