Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Notes/quotes and anecdotes

  • Good on Cody Fowlie. The ex-Kelowna Rockets forward (picture to the right) is playing this season at the University of Regina and is leading his team in scoring with three goals, 11 assists and 14 point in 14 games.   
  • With GM Bruce Hamilton heavily involved, pretty much knee deep in helping Canada ice a competitive team at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship, the success this season of the Kelowna Rockets may rely solely on great coaching. Ryan Huska and Dan Lambert are to this point the main reason why this team is flying high in the Western Conference standings. Don't downplay the significant of good coaching. I hope the players appreciate the passion and willingness/desire to win that Huska and Lambert bring to the arena every day.   
  • The 18 year-old age group has scored the most goals so far this season for the Rockets. The 18 year-olds have a combined 25 goals scored. The 17 year-old age group is closing in with 23 goals combined. The 19 year-olds have 18 goals while the two overage players have 14 goals combined so far this season.
  • Call it good old fashioned WHL hockey. Seattle's Roberts Lipsbergs breaks Rockets d-man Mitch Wheaton's nose with a check from behind hit a week ago today and didn't get suspended. Not even one game. If we were using old school tactics, Lipsbergs would have his head on a swivel when the two teams meet January 26th. It is a new age in hockey where retribution isn't part of the equation, but if it was and someone went after Lipsbergs, undoubtedly the WHL would act with a heavy hand. 
  • Zach Franko had 8 goals at this point last season. So far this season the 20 year-old has half as many.
  • In case you are wondering, Kelowna Rockets 1st round pick Dillon Dube is having a solid season playing with the Notre Dame Argos in the Saskatchewan Midget Triple 'A' League. Dube is 6th in league scoring with 9 goals and 25 points in 18 games. 
  • Damon Severson is looking forward to the Subway Super Series against the Russians later this week in Red Deer and Lethbridge. "I am going to play in both games. There is high level talent over there (Russians) and there is a high level talent level with us, so I am looking forward to it." Severson will be joined by teammate Madison Bowey for Team WHL.    
  • Defensive defenceman Cole Martin is third in WHL +/- with a plus 21. It is an amazing total for a player who doesn't carry the high profile of Spokane's Mitch Holmberg or Portland's Nic Petan, who are 1-2 in league +/-. "The fact we are able to roll four lines allows us to not get tired", Martin said last week." When we are playing three pairings on defence, it makes a big difference. The other thing is we are tight as a team. I might sound like a broken record, but we are even tighter as a team than we were last season," Martin added.      
  • Over the course of the season I don't often watch the Kelowna Rockets practice. I find that I am around the team a lot as is, so a little separation is always a good thing. In saying that, watching Friday morning's pre-game skate in Tri City was interesting. Who uses the pre-game skate to reset themselves and get into a mind set, which if used properly, paves the way for success that evening? If you go through the motions in the morning, I believe it affects your play when the puck drops later in the evening. The one player that stood out for me Friday was Damon Severson. Moves like a pro and passes like a pro, even in the pre-game skate. Severson does things at high speed, almost effortlessly. Frankly, its impressive to watch.
  • Again another long week of practice for the Rockets before back-to-back games this weekend against the Kamloops Blazers. With a soft schedule to start the season the team has elected to take time away from the rink by handing in their skates for yoga mats. Nineteen year-old Ryan Olsen likes the change. "It is hot yoga. It is pretty tough. Some guys were struggling. I was struggling. It is core work and it stretches out the body. It is a great workout", Olsen added.
  • Many people ask me why Carter Rigby isn't playing regularly. The reason? Game shape. Nothing more, nothing less. There is a pace you need to play with in the WHL. If you can't maintain that pace for 60 minutes you don't play.     

1 comment:

g.k said...

I quess with Nyberg gone now you would think Rigby will be playing alot more. Did Wheaton have any concussion symptons that you know of or was the broken nose the only injury?? Poor guy sure has his share of bad luck when it come to injuries.