Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Playoff success in Kamloops is well documented

  • The Rockets head into tonight's game riding a five game playoff winning streak in Kamloops. For what it's worth, the team won back-to-back games in 2009 and again in 2002. The audio of the Rockets last playoff appearance at the ISC can be heard above. The Rockets also won game five of a 1999 series in Kamloops between the two teams.
  • The Rockets were a 3-2 winner in Kamloops in late March. Interesting to note is Jordon Cooke was named the first star. Cooke doesn't need to be the best player on the ice tonight, but he has to be in the top three.
  • Tyson Baillie won't play after receiving a two game suspension for his hit on Colin Smith in game one. Baillie leads the Rockets in playoff scoring while Smith was the Blazers leading scorer during the season.
  • As much as the Rockets may want to hang their heads with all of their injuries, the Blazers aren't exactly the healthiest either. If you are missing Smith and Tim Bozon, the Blazers aren't exactly flexing all of their offensive muscles. The fact of the matter is others are stepping up. Who wants to step up for the Rockets in game three?
  • If you would have told me Blazers forward Aaron Macklin would have more goals than Rockets Ryan Olsen in the playoffs, I would have slammed 100 bucks on the table without hesitation saying your nuts! Macklin, who scored once this season has two goals in this series. Olsen, who scored 32 times hasn't found the back of the net in 9 playoff games.
  • Eliminate the turnovers. Of the five goals the Rockets surrendered in game two, three were the result of turning over the puck in their own zone. The Blazers do not need any help creating chances. The Rockets MUST make the Blazers earn every chance they get.
  • The Rockets need a better third period. Out-scored 5-0, they need to find the back of the net at the most crucial time of the game.
  • Despite the 5-1 score in game two, my belief is the team played better than they did in game one. Had they had any puck luck in the offensive zone, who knows where that game would have gone? The Rockets haven't been robbed of any puck luck in this series though. The Blazers have missed several great chances of their own, either hitting goal posts or missing wide open nets. 
  • I anticipate a great crowd tonight in Kamloops. A loaded fan bus from Kelowna is coming down and the first five thousand fans will receive a white waving towel. It should be a lot of fun tonight.         
  • A little something special in the 2nd intermission tonight. Dave 'Tiger' Williams will join us. Now 59, Williams is still the NHL leader in penalty minutes. We will dig deep into the audio vault for that interview.  Talk to you on the radio at 6:30.   

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