Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rockets end four game home stand on sour note

  • The Brandon Wheat Kings snapped a nine game losing streak last night. Who were the victims? The Kelowna Rockets. Shayne Wiebe and Mark Stone each scored once and added an assist as the visitors won for the first time in ten games. The Rockets dropped to 4 and 8 with the loss, their 6th in eight games in front of the home town crowd.
  • The two teams were tied at one after 40 minutes, but the Wheat Kings came out flying in the third. A huge shift from Wiebe, Stone and Paul Ciarelli resulted in the three buzzing the Rockets net and then scoring 49 seconds into the final frame.
  • It looked like the Rockets had tied the game on a Cody Chikie goal. Linemate Geordie Wudrick had a hard shot go off of Wheat Kings goaltender Liam Liston before hitting Chikie in the upper body before sailing into the net. On video replay, it showed that Chikie moved his shoulder to re-direct the puck into the goal.
  • Aside from the controversial non-goal, the Rockets stubbed their toe twice, with two power play chances late in the third period with the Wheat Kings holding a slim 2-1 lead. Both power plays generated little in the way of offense, with the visitors creating the best scoring chances when they were down a man.
  • The Rockets ended up going 0 for 5 with the extra man while the Wheat Kings failed to score on two chances.
  • The Rockets were so desperate to generate something positive in the offensive zone that they used defenceman Tyson Barrie as a forward for a portion of the third period.
  • Why Wheat Kings forward Mark Stone was left off the three stars is beyond me. Gord and I no longer take part in the three star selection at home games, yet I feel we need to apologise for the lack of good judgement on behalf of those in the media area that ignored Stone. Nothing against Brandon goaltender Liam Liston, but he didn't have to have a solid game to lead his team to the road win. He was steady, but not spectacular.
  • Goaltender Adam Brown was the best Rocket on the ice from our vantage point.
  • Where was the physical play? The Wheat Kings seemed to ramp it up as the game wore on yet the Rockets, the more rested of the two, didn't follow.
  • What's the good news? The Rockets go on the road. It may sound odd, but this team plays better away from Prospera Place. Sure, the Rockets have played just four games on the road but they look a lot more comfortable away from Kelowna than they do at home. That indeed has to change.


divad said...

wow i cannot understand the chemistry or lack of for this team they need a shake up no reason not to show up tonight.....that is one of the worst game i have seen in years come on huska do something about it ....benching #11 sure did not make a difference ....

Jared Comeau said...

I thought Geordie played well tonight, however he was the only one who played well tonight. McColgan and the forwards couldn't stay on their feet, and the defense couldn't make a pass to save their lives. Something has to be done, and soon.

No more "The season is early" scape goat. That performance tonight isn't acceptable as much now as it is in game 63.

Regan Bartel said...

I noticed that to Jared. Players falling down or catching edges. Evan Bloodoff and Colton Jobke come to mind. It was a rough night no question.

Jared Comeau said...

One thing that really stood out tonight, however, was the lack of a team mentality tonight. I saw 22 Individuals trying to win a hockey game, not 1 team trying to win a hockey game.

Another thing I noticed was the lack of finish, or desire to pot the easy ones. A couple instances come to mind, Tyson Barrie streaks down the right side, cleanly beats the defender, and instead of having the patience to get the goaltender down, he seems to panick and shoots the puck in a very in-opportune area of the ice when he had so much more to work with. Another was in the 2nd period, Sissons streaking down the left side, again makes a nice move to beat the defender essentially making it a 2 on 1, and with Smith going stride for stride with Sissons on the opposite side, Sissons decides to shoot at nothing, missing the net completely.

When you have your forwards making skilled plays to create scoring chances and then not even getting a shot on net, something is wrong. I don't know if this is gripping the stick to hard, or a confidence issue, but Huska needs to fix it.

I heard some people say that perhaps a bag skate is what is needed, I couldn't disagree more Regan. What this team needs is a couple of wins in a row and some confidence. Back to back games in Portland couldn't have come at a worse time for this team right now.

Ryan said...

Bottom Line, this team is lousy so why complain about things beyond the players control? A d-group that consists of Corbin, Jobke, Chapman,JOhnston, Wall have no chance to win many games. Those guys may be able to be the 6th or 7th guy on teams around the league, but all on one team, uh sorry. Smith is servicable and Barrie is Barrie, but the others are very below avg.

The problems up front are that McColgan and Barrie are extremely gifted but are selfish and seemed too concerned about stats. Wudrick is playing to be traded, once again we seem to be the only team not caring what we draft for Imports. Scan the stats and have a peek at other imports and the importance they play.

Evan and Callahan have been good but can not be the guys to be counted on to score us big goals, they are the game turning energy guys but for now are carrying the team is the emotion department.

The future seems bright with Scissons, Franko, Siebert and Severson and whoever we draft 1st overall in May.

At some point the coaches need to be taken to task for this as well. I appear to be in the minority is regards to viewing the talent on this team, so if thats the case Gord, Jared and many others should be calling for the coaches head.

Daryl said...

I agree with each of the above comments and can't believe nobody has called out Balmer... I'm so unimpressed with him I don't know where to start... selfish, lazy, intimidated, uninterested are some words that come to mind... but it's not just Balmer there's at least half a dozen players in this funk... start from scratch with new line combinations and skate them till they puke... teach the basics all over again from passing and skating to PK and PP all areas need a shake up... very frustrating to watch, probably way more so on the ice...

Gord said...

I enjoyed listening to you call the game last night. I am a big fan of Luber on the Wheaties broadcast but on the west coast trip I like to get a different perspective on the Wheaties so try to tune into the "away" feed. And to answer your (retorical) question on Monday's blog, as a Wheat King season ticket holder, before the game, for the Rockets, I could name Tyson Barrie and that's about it. Sad. I think the league is big enough now that we should be able to see every team at least once a year.

Ryan said...

Meant to say Bulmer, not Barrie is selfish in the above post

Gord McGarva said...

To "Ryan",

As a colour analyst / commentator, I am in NO position to call for anyone's head, let alone one of the best coaches in the WHL.

In my opinion the coaching staff is not the problem.

"Ryan", do not include me in your comments about this subject.

I have the utmost respect for Coach Huska and will not be taking part in these types of discussions.

Jared Comeau said...

I disagree with throwing the coach under the bus, however, I don't fully disagree with taking the coaching staff to task. Huska will turn this team around, I can guarentee that, however, I wouldn't put him in the upper echelons that is Don Hay, Kelly McCrimmon and Marc Habschied. These 3 coaches fight for their team when a questionable call is done. I remember the days where a goal would be called off like the goaltender interference one against portland and the first thing you would see is Habschied Sitting at the gate of the players bench giving the referee and earfull. I have not ONCE seen Ryan Huska get heated and fight for his team, and it's really quite disappointing to see, and it's starting to show that his team is starting to not fight for him.

Ryan said...

Its actually nice to see and hear fans upset about things for a change. I was happy with the booing last night and reading people question some coaching moves and gm moves. Thats what makes hockey great, passionate fans.

Kelowna has far too many fans unwilling to accept that some negative things may be happening with the Rockets and some moves may have been poor ones. God forbid fans boo, voice their displeasure of leave a stinker of a game early. The 'super fan" police will be all over you, painting you with that bad fan brush.

I do agree with Jared, this team, including the coaches have zero emotion. Huska and Cutter both do nothing during the game to get the team fired up. Take a look at visiting coaches and see what they do, at least try it once inawhile. The players seem to eager to do whatever they want on the ice, with no apparent fear of consequence. The way they are playing, Wudrick probably welcomed the chance to have a seat.

Not sure sitting a new group of 4 players every single game is the best approach as well. Numerous players in sports talk about how their confidence rose once they no longer had to worry about being sat.

Regan Bartel said...

I don't think ranting and raving on the bench by the coaches does much. That is so overated. Addressing the issues behind closed doors is where it is handled best i.m.o. The coaches are not the problem here in the least bit. They recognize the talent they have, or don't have, and have a plan to enable this team to win. It's whether the players are willing to follow that plan or follow what they believe is the right path. You would think it would sink in that the players own agenda doesn't work.

MG said...

Regan is right in the you WOULD think it would sink in that the players own agenda doesn't work. I don't believe it is the coaches. I have stated for a while back that this team is having problems trying to gel. As for players Barrie and Bulmer need to stop being selfish on the ice. Wall needs to go as he just doesn't have it. I am not sure about Wudrick, why this guy can't/ won't step up is beyond me ? Make s no sense. Ryan is right the defence is weak but could be doing a lot better than they are now if they listened to the coaches and played simple position hockey.

Now on a possible bright side that I was discussing today with another fan. We make a trade for a 20 year old stay at home defenceman and a big forward that can stand in front of the net and create room. Maybe trade one of our 20's as there have been some off ice issues. With a bit of luck we get that Finish player ( can't remember his name right now) and all of a sudden this team is looking good. Don't laugh because it has happened before the year we got Benn and Duval.

divad said...

Teemu pukinen our savior can t wait for him to show up in a rocket uniform mid -january i hope we will be playing 500 hockey by then...