Monday, December 16, 2013

Notes, quotes and anecdotes

One of many visiting dressing rooms on trip
  • Wow. What do you say? Hey, hey I like that play won't cut it. The Kelowna Rockets are an incredible 5 and 0 on this road trip with one more to go. To think this team has the ability to fight back and win games when the odds are against them. It is truly incredible. Games on the road are never easy to win. Games that include travel make it even that more challenging. The biggest obstacle is everyone is playing determined to knock off the best team - statistically - in the WHL. The Rockets are getting the oppositions best and are still winning.     
  • What makes the 5 and 0 record even more impressive is both Jordon Cooke and Jackson Whistle have not had to be exceptional in any of the five games. Plus, the Rockets are playing a good portion of the trip without their top defenceman - Damon Severson. With an injury to Jesse Lees in Moose Jaw, rookies Joe Gatenby and Dalton Yorke have been inserted on the blue line and Mitch Wheaton is finding time on the power play. 
  • Here is forward Carter Rigby's take on his team. "We know that when we are up or down, we can come back. We are having fun. We don't have any cockiness about us but we are playing with fire and want to end this road trip off right". 
  • Rigby on other teams trying to knock them off their pedestal. "That makes us better when teams are gunning for us and saying that a win over us will turn their seasons around. It makes us better as a team and makes us want to come out hard and not let that happen".               
  • If I was a smoker in Saskatchewan, I'd quit. Is it really worth hovering outside in the cold to have a 'dart'? Someone please explain to me why the number of smokers per-capita in Saskatchewan isn't down significantly to those in BC?   
  • I had my best interview ever with veteran Myles Bell before Saturday's game in Regina. I thought Bell would be uptight as he made his first return to Regina since being traded away two years ago. Bell was so well spoken. Usually short on words with a quirky sense of humour, Bell spoke about playing with the Pats as a 16 year old. "I remember driving with my dad in his truck to Regina and I said to him, "Dad I think I can be a point a game guy". His dad said, "How do you figure"? Bell retorted, "I will just give Jordan Eberle the puck". Eberle now stars with the NHL's Edmonton Oilers. 
  • Bell has 6 goals on this road trip, two of them in overtime. I asked Bell what it feels like to score game winners like that with his teammates jumping all over him. "It is nice. It is also nice to have the game over with. A lot of our guys were tired. It is nice to score but without the other 19 guys on the bench that chance doesn't happen". 
  • This cold, prairie winter has rejuvenated Bell. Finding the back of the net was as hard as finding a cab in Swift Current at one in the morning, but his fortunes have turned around out here. I would say six goals in five games is a sign of things turning around for the 20 year-old.       
  • How does it work? The more I tweet the less Twitter followers I have. The less activity, the more people that follow me. Weird? I guess the saying, 'Speak only when spoken to' does apply. If you don't follow me, you can at twitter.com/reganrant. I am fairly active, so be warned.
  • So many good interviews on this trip. A real gem before the game in Prince Albert when I caught up to former Rockets d-man MacKenzie Johnston. "I have been keeping tabs on them (Rockets) ever since I left and slowly watching them climb and keeping tabs on everybody. It is no surprise to me they are in first place. I know the goalies, I know the d-men and the forwards. They have a good group of guys there," Johnston added. 
  • When you have won as many games in a row as the Rockets have (11 straight - 12 on the road - 19 of last 20) what does Rockets head coach Ryan Huska have to be weary of? "I think their is always a danger when playing games. You don't want your team to be overconfident. Our team understands we haven't been very good some nights and our goaltenders have been terrific or we have seen some bounces go our way. I believe we want to end this road trip on a high".  
  • It is amazing what happens when a player is a healthy scratch. Riley Stadel didn't play Wednesday in Moose Jaw and has been a horse since. Stadel was the games second star last night in Prince Albert with a goal and an assist.            
  • A good shower head is one of life's small pleasures. It is so underrated. In this day of water conservation, hotel's typical have a shower head that sprinkles you with water. In Saskatoon, it is a full on assault. When the water comes out of the shower head, be prepared for a serious hose down.     
  • Unfortunately on this road trip we haven't been able to see the Rockets first round pick from this summers draft play in a game or two. Dillon Dube watched the game Saturday in Regina but was unable to play because his midget team is busy playing games and they are short staffed with several injuries. Can you imagine Nick Merkley and Dillon Dube moving the puck around on the power play next season? Yikes!  
  • It is a day off in Saskatoon. I vow to have no pasta dishes today. No chicken is on my menu. I am going to eat away from the team and find a good - greasy hamburger. In case you are unsure why I have this distaste for pasta and chicken, we have the exact same thing during pre-game meal. It is a hockey staple. 
  • I will let you in on a secret when this trip is over. Stay tuned. 

1 comment:

Gordon McGarva said...

I don't often post here, mainly because we (Regan and I) talk enough.

Thank you for the great blog posts that provide excellent information during the current Rockets road trip of the Eastern Division and during the entire season.

Not many comments of late, but I am sure many people are enjoying the information and photos. Great stuff Regan!

One more game and then a well deserved break for the players, coaches, athletic therapists, trainers, bus drivers, management, staff, scouts, and yes even broadcasters.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the holiday season.

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