Friday, April 15, 2011

Look to Hitmen for hope

  • It's a rainy day in Portland, but that hasn't dampened the spirits of the Kelowna Rockets heading into game five of their playoff series with the Hawks. The Rockets have dropped the last three games but two of those three could have gone either way. Again, it comes down to eliminating mistakes and scoring on key chances. It's just the way it is.
  • I love Kevin Constantine's comment to the media when he was the head coach of the San Jose Sharks years ago. The quote that stands out is, "will beats skill". How true that is. If the Rockets want to win game five bad enough, more than the Hawks do, they can send this series back to Kelowna for game six on Sunday. All 18 skaters must play a factor in the game. In the playoffs, despite what some would believe because of some great individual efforts by the Hawks, it's teams that succeed in the post season not one or two players carrying the bulk of the load.
  • Being down three games to one in a playoff series is never a good position to be in. But in saying that, ask the Calgary Hitmen how they got out of a similar situation in 2010. In an opening round series against Moose Jaw, the Hitmen found themselves in a huge hole. Yet, the Hitmen found a way to work themselves out of that predicament and eventually won the series in seven games. So to say it can't be done would be foolish. But to look at the big picture of winning three straight games against a quality team like Portland is daunting. So let's all say it together...."you have to take it one game at a time".
  • A big, and I mean big crowd is expected at the Rose Garden tonight. Perfect! A big crowd means a tremendous atmosphere in the building. It should be rock'n. In my opinion this plays into the Rockets hands as much as it does the Hawks. The Rockets players love playing in the Rose Garden and the big crowd doesn't intimidate, it only motivates them.
  • Hawks forward Brad Ross is back in the lineup tonight after serving a three game suspension for a hit on Rockets forward Zach Franko in game one. Franko suffered a broken nose and likely a concussion in the hit. Franko won't play tonight, and if the truth be known, he didn't even make the trip down to Portland.
  • I've been told league disciplinarian Richard Doerksen will be at the game tonight in Portland. I will try to track him down for an interview in one of our intermissions.


Gord McGarva said...

Portland Fans be nice to Kevin Parnell. He was not on the broadcast Tuesday and Wednesday.

Portland has great team and I look forward to seeing them play on Sunday.

GO Rockets !

Brandon said...

"In the playoffs, despite what some would believe because of some great individual efforts by the Hawks, it's teams that succeed in the post season not one or two players carrying the bulk of the load."

I wonder who "some" are? Seems to me that the Hawks have more players that have scored, more players that are averaging at least 1 point per game, and a more concerted team effort if you look at the score sheet.

If you look at Kelowna, you have one player that has scored 6 (I believe) of the goals, and has been involved in 7 of your total 14 goals.

Regan Bartel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regan Bartel said...

Johansen and Nino have combined for six goals and seven assists (13 points) in the last three games. Those two have impressively been on every goal but four in the last three games.

Mike said...

I see that we have somehow drawn quite possibly the worst Ref in the league for tonights game. Asking Andy Thiessen to call an unbiased and fair game is like asking Jeffery Dahmer to try the Veggie Burger instead of the neighbor.

I agree that it is going to take alot of grit and determination for the Rockets to win. That being said from what I've seen in the 4 games this series I can honestly say I don't think your boys have it in them to come out play a clean game and match the depth the Hawks have.

Could it happen absolutely, and with Thiessen I would actually slant the odds in your favor, marginally but you guys would have the edge in Vegas.

What I will say is that this is quite easily the most pivotal game of the series, if by some grace of the Hockey Gods, Thiessen suddenly realizes that just letting the guys play while maintaining control of the game is what his job description actuall reads. This is going to be a battle tonight, the Rockets definitely have the ability to score, and shut down the Hawks, but if we keep our cool, and stick to our game plan I can safely say that theres no way you guys can keep up through 3 periods.

beerphoto said...


Dont worry about what we think in Portland. You call it like you see it, which is what we as fans ask of you. You have me sold every time you mention how the Winterhawks have the best jerseys in the league.

I've enjoyed having Regan & Gord on the calls for the video stream for games 3 & 4. IN the event of a game 6, I'll be watching / listening as well.

Jeff said...

Superstars might always seem like they're the only ones contributing because frankly we remember what they do more so than the other players. The fact that Johansen and Neiderreiter are able to continue to produce game in game out is a testimony to the strength of the team surrounding them.

If Portland wasn't being successful playing as a team the Rockets could just shut down the two superstars and find more success. The problem is the Hawks appear to be built with support players focusing on what they do best which allows the big guns to shine. I'd argue that the Hawks are playing very well as a team and the two superstars look that much better because of it.

fan said...

thanks rockets you gave your all