Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brown needs playoff success/Cougars deserve coverage

  • The Kelowna Rockets do get the edge in goal heading into their playoff series with Prince George, but Adam Brown still has much to prove as a 19 year-old goaltender. No question he was lights out during the regular season but the playoffs have been a bumpy ride. Few have mentioned it, but don't forget who played the majority of playoff games for the Rockets one season ago. It wasn't Adam Brown, it was Mark Guggenberger. Brown started games one, two and three against Everett in round one but got pulled early in game three and Guggenberger played the remaining nine games, including a five game series against Tri City in round two.
  • Brown has appeared in just three career playoff games and has yet to record a win. His goals against average in the playoffs is 5.26. I don't want to be 'Debbie Downer', but if you think the Rockets can just show up and let their goaltender steal the show you are sadly mistaken. Brown showed many scouts he was for real during the regular season. Now he has to prove he is a playoff goaltender that can preform under pressure.
  • 41. That's the number of playoff games Tyson Barrie and Evan Bloodoff have under their belts. No one in this series can match that playoff experience. The Cougars top playoff performer is 20 year-old d-man Sena Acolatse. Acolaste has 35 games of playoff experience, with 28 of those games courtesy of his time with the Seattle Thunderbirds.
  • A sure sign that playoff hockey is approaching is the radio talk show circuit. It was nice to appear on Randy Merkley's radio show out of Chilliwack Monday night and then spending some time with Corey Graham on The Team 1260 in Edmonton Wednesday night. On Thursday, Dan Russell has all five BC Division broadcasters joining him for his annual WHL playoff preview show. To conclude the week, AM 1150 will be broadcasting live outside Prospera Place from 4 pm until 6 pm as we get set for the opening game of the Rockets-Cougars series. I will be joined by co-host Jessica Samuels.
  • Come to think of it, the Prince George Cougars are a happy bunch playing the Rockets in round one. For the Cougars, traveling to Kelowna is a breeze when they could have faced Portland in round one had they earned the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
  • I hear the Cougars are using an article that appeared in the Daily Courier this week as bulletin board material for this series. But is it bulletin board material if the opinion of the writer is not necessarily shared by the team?
  • Speaking of media coverage, it will be interesting to see how the Prince George Citizen newspaper handles this series. Under Jim Swanson, the Cougars were blanketed with top quality coverage that was second to none. Now that Swanson is no longer part of the picture, who picks up the ball? Or are the Cougars not worthy of being covered even though the playoffs have arrived? That question can only be answered by the editor. Or is little Bobby Dodiddle's bowling scores more important? I am told the newspaper often didn't show up during the regular season to cover that Cougars because they weren't worth the bother. If they don't cover the Cougars and have a staff member in the building they should be embarrassed to call themselves Prince George's local newspaper.
  • He had little chance of being named the rookie of the year in the West Conference, but take note of Cougars 16 year-old forward Troy Bourke in this series. Bourke had nineteen goals this season...yes 19 goals. What a year! By comparison, Brett Connolly had 30 goals as a 16 year-old.

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