Sunday, March 11, 2012

Brown leads, few if any follow

(Photo by Marissa Baecker)
  • Adam Brown is a competitor. Adam Brown is a leader. Adam Brown can steal a win. What Adam Brown can't do, unfortunately, is score goals. For a second straight game the veteran goaltender held his team in the game only to see his teammates go through the motions Saturday night in another 3-1 home ice loss. Brown was the only veteran player with any try in his game as the Rockets fell to the last place Prince George Cougars before a crowd of 6 thousand and 17. Had Brown taken a similar mindset to the majority of his teammates what would the score have been at games end?
  • Coach Ryan Huska pointed out that 16 year-old Austin Ferguson was probably one his better players Saturday night. Great for Ferguson, but what does that say about his teammates?
  • Brett Bulmer and Shane McColgan, the teams elite players, were held off the score sheet in both games. Interpret that any way you want. Neither player has a point in three straight games.
  • The true character of a player isn't exposed in a win, but is clearly evident in a loss. Who takes pride in representing the team, the city and themselves even when points at this time of the year technically mean little. Where is the pride to compete? The Rockets have had many 'off nights' over the last two seasons but who continually stood out and competed no matter what the circumstance? Tyson Barrie and Adam Brown are the two players that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Is it any wonder those two have been named the Rockets MVP's over the last two seasons. Barrie was the winner in 2009-2010 while Brown picked up the award in 2010-2011.
  • When the Rockets missed the playoffs in 2006-2007, despite the skill level, it did work hard. Unfortunately it wasn't very good so it was tough to accomplish things. This group has more talent.
  • I will give Prince George all the credit in the world for coming into Kelowna and working hard. The Cougars deserved what they got. Troy Bourke was the best player on the ice and worked his can off to keep his teams slim playoff hopes alive. Bourke can play on my team any day. What I didn't like was Drew Owsley's easy night in goal. The veteran netminder was rarely tested, and come to think of it, I can't remember him making one big save.
  • Myles Bell scored his 15th goal of the season in the loss. That is a new career high for the 18 year-old. Bell started the game on defence but was moved to forward in the third period to see if he could spark the team. Bell accounted for both of the Rockets goals on the weekend and has been on all five goals the Rockets have scored in the last three games. Bell had two assists and the shootout winner in Spokane and scored on back-to-back night's against Victoria and Prince George.
  • As disappointed and frustrated as I am with the weekend result, my belief is this team will rise to the occasion when the playoffs begin in two weeks. When this team wants to play, it can challenge the best the WHL has to offer. They've shown us that much this season. But again the on-ice performance has nothing to do with the coaching and everything to do with the core group. If that core group, which can run like a stallion, not when the coaches want them too but when they want too, they can scare either Tri City of Portland. But if they resemble the team we saw this weekend in back-to-back losses to Victoria and Prince George, not even Adam Brown can magically pull a rabbit, or in this case, a series win out of his hat.


fax said...

Hey Regan - Got some good news and bad news for you -

First the good - looks like you and your media friends will get your wish with the Rockets facing Portland in the first round

Now the bad - Games 1 and 2 will be played in the ancient and run-down Memorial Coliseum - UGH!

jaz301 said...

Nothing official yet with who rockets play. Tri city and Portland are 1 point away from each other d both have 3 games remaining

Its really unfortunate that Brown does all he can and the rest of the team sits on their ass and does nothing. I am hoping this will change in the playoffs. Like you said Regan when the rockets want to play and play in the big games or top teams they show up. So we just have to hope that happens. Thank gosh there is only 3 games left.

Unknown said...

I hear that there is a terrible flu bug making it's way through the team. I'm sure you know that but one thing everyone knows about you is you will always be relentless in your critcism while only praising your select few who likely kiss your butt not earn that praise through their performance.(example. You named Cole Martin top d-man, there isn;t anyone besides Cole's mom who thinks he's earned that award. Although he does have potential he needs some seasoning before he should be thought of that highly. Most nights Martin isn't in the top 4 and you think he's the top d-man, making claims like this doesn't do much for your credibility.) I often wonder how you look some of these players in the eye after writing some of this nonsense.

Regan Bartel said...

It is pretty easy to look into a players eyes when you are telling the truth.
As for Cole Martin, are telling me he hasn't been the best d-man this season? I guess you are. Martin plays against the top lines of the opposition every night, but you obviously don't see that. Sure he makes mistakes, but he's a rookie. I wouldn't be surprised if he is named the teams best defenceman at their year-end awards banquet. You can laugh at me if I'm wrong. Unlike the players you speak of, I can take a little criticism without getting my feelings hurt.