Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Things that make me go hmm...

  • It is hard to imagine the final week of the Kelowna Rockets regular season is finally here. It doesn't seem that long ago that rookie Filip Vasko scored the shootout game winning goal in an opening night win in Everett. The Rockets have played 69 games, with three more this week against Everett (Wednesday) and then a home and home series with the Vancouver Giants.

  • Who would have thought just 12 games into the season that 20 year-old Spencer Main would be injured for such a long period of time. Hurt in a game in Vancouver on October 23rd, Main (he turned 20 in February) has now missed 55 straight games with an ├╣pper body injury`. Before he was hurt he had (5+4=9) nine points in 12 games and realistically could have been a 20 goal scorer this season. While he would have brought more offense to the table, his real value was in the dressing room. The good news he is skating again. What an emotional lift it would be to have him return to the line up, even in sporadic duty, sometime in the open round of the playoffs.

  • While the Rockets essentially locked up 6th place about six weeks ago, I wouldn't change positions with Victoria, Prince George, Seattle or Everett heading into the final week of the regular season. You run your horses so hard to earn a playoff spot, it makes you wonder how much gas will be left in the tank once those two teams attain their goal of making post season play.

  • Did you notice that no anthem singer was available the last two homes games? A pre-recorded version of 'Oh Canada' was played instead. Why don't they just hand the mic over to Rockets forward Tyrell Goulbourne who is a pretty good singer. He often breaks out in song and the guy can hold a tune. If the team held a 'Rockets Idol', Goulbourne would win hands down.

  • I wanted to find out where Shane McColgan stacks up with other forwards selected in the first round of the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft. McColgan hit the 200 point mark last week and I wanted to see if others have matched or exceeded that impressive milestone. McColgan was the Rockets first round pick - 15th overall - in 2008. Outside of Ty Rattie (2nd overall) of the Portland Winterhawks, who has 233 career points and Michael St. Croix (4th overall) of Edmonton, who has 223 career points, McColgan has the third most points of any forward in his draft class taken in the opening round. Players like Mark McNeill (5th overall) of the Prince Albert Raiders (174 pts) and Colin Smith (7th overall) in Kamloops (160 pts) are slightly off the pace. If you look at this season alone though, Rattie (116), St. Croix (100), Smith (80) and McNeill (69) all have more points than McColgan (62).

  • Remember all of the hype over Luke Moffatt when the Rockets drafted him in the first round of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft? Now 19, Moffatt has just 5 goals and 8 assists in 37 games at the University of Michigan. Just imagine how things could have turned out had he chosen the WHL over the NCAA. Moffatt has just 10 goals in 73 career games in Michigan. I know in Kelowna he would have been given every opportunity to flourish.

  • After what I`ve witnessed over the last two months, Adam Brown has clearly proven again he is the Kelowna Rockets Most Valuable Player. I had my doubts at the half way point of the season, but he has obliterated his competition with his solid play.

  • Has any Rockets player ever been named the MVP in back-to-back seasons?

  • I was asked the other day if I get excited when the playoffs begin. Darn right I do! Like all 17 broadcasters that find themselves calling playoff hockey, you can`t but get emotionally wrapped up in the fortune of your team. If you say you don`t, check your pulse! We all want to see the teams we follow have success. You know these coaches and players too well to feel wishy-washy if they succeed or fail. The playoffs are what it`s all about and their is considerable tension in the broadcast booth as their is on the ice. It can`t hold a candle to what the players and coaches experience, but we too (broadcasters) ride the roller coast ride of playoff emotion at this time of the year.

  • Adam Brown has to play in two of the final three games to end his major junior career with 200 career games played. That is a franchise record.

  • This surprised me. With potentially two more starts before the regular season ends, Brown has faced 207 fewer shots this year than last season. I`m still betting that the quality of the shots he`s faced this year have been higher than last season though.

  • It`s a three way race in the final week of the season on which player will earn the top plus-minus award on the team. Brett Bulmer, Tyson Baillie and Brett Lyon all enter this week with a +10 rating. In my opinion, Baillie`s +10 is the most impressive considering a rookie tends to be a liability defensively. Baillie blew that theory out of the water thanks to his solid play in the defensive zone.

  • Speaking of Baillie, the 16 year-old has played an impressive 65 regular season games this season. Not bad for a first year player. Damon Severson, as a 16 year-old d-man, dressed for 64 regular season games in 2010-2011. The last 16 year-old to play almost a full season was Shane McColgan, who dressed in 71 of 72 games in 2009-2010.

  • You can see my ugly mug on Shaw`s broadcast Friday night from Vancouver. I will join Andy Neal as a second intermission guest.


fan said...

i just hope the rockets come out to play good hard hockey & if they lose so be it. go rockets go

Unknown said...

Moffat has had very poor advice.....agent, parents, etc.
Can we say Jeff Tambellini.............