- Chilliwack Bruins forward Ryan Howse has Jamie Benn like qualities. Howse can go missing for the majority of a game, and then with the blink of an eye, transforms into a difference maker. That was the case Saturday night against the Rockets until Howse came alive with two-third period goals in a 4-1 win. Jamie Benn often looked unmotivated on the ice in his time in a Rockets uniform, but once he got the puck on his stick and skated up ice with determination in his eyes, look out! Benn is a much different player at the NHL level and has learned to compete every shift, but that wasn't the case two years ago. Benn was such a gifted goal scorer in junior, he needed few chances on net to make a difference. Howse falls into the same category.
- It was interesting to watch the benches from above Saturday night in Chilliwack. A quick glance down at the Bruins bench had defenceman Emerson Hrynyk sitting down for a breather after a first period shift. Head coach Marc Habscheid didn't like the body language and barked at Hrynyk, who quickly got to his feet and joined his teammates who were watching the play while leaning over the boards.
- Curt Gogol had a solid weekend for the Bruins playing both games against the Rockets on defence. Gogol was pressed into duty with the loss of Brandon Manning (suspension) and Zach Habscheid to injury. Gogol played a simple game and didn't get in any ones grill to stir up a hornets nest. The 19 year-old likely has more fun as a forward and playing an antagonizing style, but it was interesting to see him play a quieter game and having success with it.
- Jordon Cooke's play is growing on me. I never didn't like him, but the 17 year-old was again good in last night's win in Everett. Cooke is so quick down low and has the ability to make nice saves with a quick glove hand. My only concern is his ability as a smaller goaltender to work through traffic in front of him. The Vancouver Giants are notorious for making life miserable for opposition goaltender by crowding the crease. It will be interesting, if given the opportunity, how Cooke will work around that distraction as the two teams meet four more times this season.
- Another disappointing crowd Saturday night in Chilliwack. Where is everybody? I honestly question the hockey market there. Nice arena, fun team to watch and 29 hundred fans in the stands. Not good.
- Everett has the best hockey fans..they really do. Sunday night, a solid crowd of 55 hundred watching the Rockets beat the Tips 3-2 in overtime. They are so loud. I love it.
- It took 88 points to win the BC Division last season. The Giants earned that many in raising a banner to the rafters. Will it take that many points this season? If so, the Rockets would need 12 more wins in their final 17 regular season games.
- In my books, a 40 win season is a success no matter where you end up in the standings.
- Make no mistake, the four games against the Giants will decide if the Rockets earn the second seed in the Western Conference standings. You can't downplay these games this late in the season with just two points separating the two teams.
- It was one of those weekend's were game reviews were few and far between on the blog. Motivation was one of the main reasons. The month of February is a tough grind for everyone involved, media included. Covering my duties at the radio station these days comes first with blog updates coming a distant second.
- Anthem singers get little attention at WHL arena's unless they butcher the words. But the Bruins game Saturday night started off in style when the lovely Michelle Hamel sang the national anthem. Not only is she the best looking anthem singer I've seen at a WHL rink in recent memory, she was a great singer. In Everett one night later, Michael Sicoly had it going on as he ripped through the Canadian and American national anthems. The dude has the pipes. Rock solid!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Howse has Benn-like qualities/ Anthem singers
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