Monday, October 15, 2012

The good, bad and ugly on the weekend

The Good:

Goaltender Jackson Whistle earned his first victory with the Kelowna Rockets Friday night in a 4-1 win in Victoria. Whistle made 20 saves in the win, his first and second career WHL victories. The Rockets need Whistle to push starter Jordon Cooke by proving to his teammates and the coaching staff that he deserves more than the occasional start.

The penalty killing unit was very good on the weekend. In two games the Rockets faced 12 shorthanded situation and killed off 11 of them. The only power play they surrender was the game winner Saturday night when Ben Walker scored with just over two minutes left in regulation time. The PK unit also killed of a critical five minute major penalty assessed to Ryan Olsen in the third period.

Rockets forward Tyrell Goulbourne challenged Royals d-man Keegan Kanzig in a bout Friday night. While Goulbourne didn't dominate the 'giant' to the extent he did last season, anytime Goulbourne challenges someone who is 6'6 and 242 pounds, you have to appreciate his courage.  

The Victoria Royals fans. I believe the Royals have the best fans in the BC Division. They are definitely the loudest. The fans in Victoria come to the arena to have fun. They participate in all areas of the game. They jeer the opposition team. They cheer loudly when the little tykes hockey is played in the intermission and they are participatory when the dance cam comes a calling. The fans in Victoria come as close too an American fan base as I've seen on this side of the 49th parallel.  

The Bad:

Ryan Olsen received a five minute major and game misconduct after hitting Royals defenceman Joe Hicketts in the third period in Saturday's 3-2 loss. The hit to the head is frowned upon by the WHL and will bring a suspension to the 18 year-old forward. Olsen should get a minimum of three games for the hit.   

Royals Tim Traber likes to stir the pot, but I wasn't impressed when he punched Goulbourne when the two were apparently tied up by the linesman after a scrap. That's just cheap. I'd expect that from a rookie, not a 19 year old veteran. As comedian Russell Peters likes to say, "Be a man".

Zach Franko's consecutive games played streak ended Saturday night. Franko didn't play after receiving a hit in Friday's 4-1 win. Up to that point, the 19 year-old had played 153 consecutive games, which means he hadn't missed a regular season game in two years.    

The Ugly:

The Rockets are still taking untimely penalties, which in the end are costing them points in the standings. For the third time this season a Rockets player takes a bad penalty late in the game, resulting in a goal against. Damon Severson was the guilty party Saturday when he took a penalty late in the third period in a 2-2 game. With Severson in the box, Ben Walker scores with game winner and the Rockets leave the building without a point.

The schedule. Over the last three weekends, the Rockets have been on the road. Stops in Portland, Prince George and now Victoria takes its toll. Since opening night, the Rockets have played seven of their first ten games on the road. That's a lot of bus time. After a short two game home stand this week with games against Prince George and Brandon, it is back on the road for games in Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary next week to bring the month of October to an end.


Unknown said...

Glad to see your raging on Severson again, I wonder what New Jersey was thinking taking him. You should quit broadcasting and become a NHL GM. Five years from now you could have your two favorites Johnston and Martin playing for you and I wonder what your record would be. With the garbage you write I often wonder how you show your face around the team.

Jared Comeau said...

Regan, What is up with the recent bashing of Canadian Hockey fans by the media recently? If there was anyone who would not follow suit I thought it would be you. The way you and the other media people are coming across, it sure sounds like you are bashing Canadian and Kelowna Rockets fans.

To say there is another fan base better than the one here at home, when all the organization does is say "the best fans in the dub live here in Kelowna", when the organization is as struggling for a full arena as is....As a Canadian and Kelowna Rockets fan, I am very much insulted.

skierdude said...

isn't it about time you change your survey of who will be the next Rocket to play in the NHL....just saying...Love your Rant

skierdude said...

Love the Rant...Surveys need updating.. go Rockets

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

`Unknown``, I like Johnston and Martin for the same reason. Both are logging big minutes against the teams top line. T-O-P L-I-N-E. They are playing a shutdown role. Not every d-man back there is expected to rush the puck up ice and score. They hold value. Too bad you can`t see that.

Unknown said...

I see Martin rushing the puck up the ice, getting rocked, and I haven't seen him since. Has he got up? I thought that Severson and Johnson have been partners all year. Too bad you can't see that.

MG said...

Unknown has no clue what he/she is talking about Regan.
Your blog is great.

On another note, the last time there was an NHL lockout the Junior leagues, WHL and OHL kept some players that would not have been around otherwise. Getzlaf, Perry, Webber, Phaneuf I believe (if my memory is good) are a few who played Junior Hockey that year.

We are in another lockout year and it appears to me that there are not as many players like that ? What do you think ? Am I wrong ?

Regan Bartel said...

Thanks MG for the compliment. If 'Unknown' thinks I'm ``raging`` on Severson because I mention him as the player who took the penalty Saturday night, that is anything but criticism. That is simply a fact.
I would agree that not as many 19 year-old`s, that are NHL ready,are playing in the WHL this season. Ty Rattie may have had a good chance of cracking the St. Louis Blues roster, but those players are few and far between this year.

Unknown said...

not much love being shown here... what's up with that!! Still one of my favorite blogs!
I know what Regan's saying about our fans... I've been to Everett and Spokane... those are fun barns to watch hokey in! The fan base in Kelowna is not the problem... the team needs to win at home and the owners need to create a party atmosphere in our arena! Regan, invite Bruce to an Everett game and give him a note pad to take notes on! hehe!

skierdude said...

Bell seems to be having a great start. Haven't seen him play yet but highlights and stats seem pretty good. What are your thoughts and do you think he will make the whl subway team if so forward or d .