Monday, September 16, 2013

Things that make me go hmm....

  • Tyrell Goulbourne (pictured right) is the latest member of the Kelowna Rockets to return from an NHL training camp. Goulbourne arrives tonight in Kelowna after a 10 day stay in Philly. While the 18 year-old didn't see any pre-season action I am sure he will have many stories to share from his first NHL camp.   
  • Defenceman Madison Bowey also returns to the Rockets today after being sent back to major junior by the Washington Capitals. Like Goulbourne, Bowey didn't see any pre-season action, nor do many first year drafted players. I will be interesting to get Bowey's take on what he brings back from that NHL experience that makes him a better player this season.
  • Ryan Olsen had a dream come true Sunday when he suited up for the Winnipeg Jets in an exhibition game against Ottawa. While Olsen saw playing time at the Young Stars tournament in Penticton while wearing a Jets jersey, Sunday's game was his first experience of playing against NHL calibre players like Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson.
  • It will be interesting to see who the New Jersey Devils have in the line up tonight when they open the pre-season against the New York Rangers. You would think Damon Severson, a second round pick of the Devils from two years ago, finds himself playing one game? It will be interesting to see if Myles Bell plays either against the Rangers or Islanders on Thursday.
  • We will learn later this week on who will take over the captaincy vacated by Colton Sissons. If Bell is returned before Friday's opening game against Kamloops, we should have our answer when he skates onto Interior Savings Centre ice. Bell is the odds on favourite, I would think to wear the 'C'. But if the Devils send Bell down to the AHL, which they can do, anointing him as captain will have to be put on  hold.
  • I had to chuckle last week at the CHL Top 10 rankings. The Kootenay Ice are in the top ten and the Kelowna Rockets aren't? It must be the same voting panel that was used when picking the WHL coach of the year last season.  Don't get me wrong, Ice coach Ryan McGill did a whale of a job with his team last season to rally them into the 8th and final playoff spot in the East, but the difference between the Rockets and Ice in terms of wins was 17 and in points it was 36.          
  • Moving on, the Rockets will dress five rookies this season. Sixteen year-old Nick Merkley is the youngest of the bunch. Merkley is 8 days younger than 16 year-old rookie d-man Joe Gatenby.
  • How odd is it that the Rockets open the regular season this Friday in the same arena against the same team that ended their season last year? It will have been 163 days since the Rockets fell 4-3 in overtime to the Blazers in game four of the Western Conference semi final.
  • The two undefeated teams in the WHL pre-season were Everett and Prince George. The Tips were 7 and 0. The Cougars were an impressive 5 and 0.
  • The Rockets raise another BC Division banner up into the rafters Saturday night. It's the teams second in three seasons and 4th BC Division title overall.
  • In four of the Rockets last six games in Kamloops, the game has gone into overtime. In all four games the Rockets have failed to taste the thrill of victory. 
  • The Rockets have dropped five straight overtime games in Kamloops. Hard to believe but the last time the Rockets won in overtime at ISC was in 2009, in post season when Cody Almond scored in game one of round one in a 3-2 victory. 

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