The Hawks are clearly Goliath while the Rockets assume the role of David.
The Hawks had 16 more points than the Rockets during the regular season. Portland manufactured 50 wins; only one of two teams in the WHL to accomplish the feat. Those 50 wins were seven more than the Rockets forty-three.
Where the two teams are widely separated was in goals scored. The Hawks had 303 goals this season, 63 more than the Rockets or about a goal more per game.
While the Hawks were clearly the better team in the offensive zone, the Rockets allowed 26 few goals against.
For the Rockets, clearly this series will be won or lost in their own end and goaltender Adam Brown can't just be the Rockets best player...he needs to be the best player on the ice for either team for the Rockets to have a chance. Quality scoring chances will be given up against the Hawks, but it's limiting those pin-point quality opportunities that will be the greatest challenge.
A commitment to defense is pivotal to succeed. Run and gun and this series will be as quick as the last one both of these teams experienced in round one.
Power play success was a mirror image during the regular season. The Rockets had more power play chances (383 compared to 331) but the two teams scored the same number of power play goals (74).
As one scout told me, "the Hawks are physically bigger, have more depth and are built to win it all this season. The Rockets are BC Division champs but few, including myself are giving them much of a chance."
The scout wanted to remain anonymous and can you blame him after that honest assessment?
So using the David vs. Goliath analogy in this series isn't that far fetched.
It's interesting to note that the Israelites said when they saw Goliath, "He is so big we can't win." But David took one look at Goliath and said, "he is so big I can't miss."
What a great way of looking at beating an opponent who is bigger, stronger and is projected to win.
The Rockets have five days to get their slingshot ready!
This is the schedule of the series as released by the WHL Saturday night:
#1 - Kelowna @ Portland Thurs. April 7 7:00pm RG
#2 - Kelowna @ Portland Sun. April 10 5:00pm RG
#3 - Portland @ Kelowna Tues. April 12 7:05pm
#4 - Portland @ Kelowna Wed. April 13 7:05pm
#5 - Kelowna @ Portland Fri. April 15 7:00pm** RG
#6 - Portland @ Kelowna Sun. April 17 5:05pm**
#7 - Kelowna @ Portland Tues. April 19 7:00pm** RG