Saturday, December 11, 2010

One goal losses often hurt the most

  • It is so true. One goal losses at any time of the season tend to hurt the most. They are missed opportunities to earn a possible two points when the result could have been different had more individuals rose to the occasion. That was the problem Saturday night in the Rockets 2-1 loss at Rexall Place to the Edmonton Oil Kings. Not enough players showed up to make an impact. Against the Oil Kings, the best forwards were again Mitchell Callahan, Colton Sissons, Geordie Wudrick and Evan Bloodoff. These four were creating things in the offensive zone, with Callahan scoring a power play goal. But if you want to win on the road consistently, more than just four forwards need to come up with exceptional efforts.
  • Unlike Friday night in Red Deer, the Rockets' had a sleepy first period, generating just two shots on net. The majority of the period was played in the defensive zone and the visitors should have been thankful they were tied at zero going into the first intermission.
  • The second period saw the Rockets use their speed and the Oil Kings subsequently made six consecutive trips to the penalty box. While Callahan scored one power play goal early in the period, it should have been more as the visitors fired 19 shots towards the Oil King net.
  • The Rockets thought they had taken a 2-0 second period lead after defenceman Damon Severson's shot on the power play was signalled a goal. But video replay told the truth that the puck did indeed hit the crossbar and stayed out.
  • Rockets goaltender Adam Brown would definitely want the game winning goal back; a puck that squeezed past his shoulder/blocker when he was tight to the near post. But Brown wasn't the problem on this night. He again made some nice saves and was his steady self in the one goal loss.
  • Michael St. Croix must be catching the eye of NHL scouts. The Oil Kings leading scorer is obviously on the radar as the 17th best prospect coming out of the WHL for the upcoming draft, but his recent play will obviously improve his status when Central Scouting releases its next rankings. My concern is where Rockets forward Shane McColgan will find his name. The 17 year-old has slowed down considerably over the last few weeks. Let's hope it's just a slight December downturn in his overall play.
  • McColgan has just one even strength point in his last seven games. While he has six points in his last seven, five of those points have come on the power play.
  • Zak Stebner earned his first point in a Rockets uniform with an assist on Callahan's second period power play goal.
  • The Rockets' stayed the night in Edmonton and will spend a few hours at West Edmonton Mall Sunday afternoon before again boarding the bus and heading down to Medicine Hat. The Rockets face the Tigers on Tuesday in game three of the five game Alberta road trip.

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