Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Notes, quotes and anecdotes

Respect a man that wears a kilt
  • How concerned are the Kelowna Rockets in clinching first place in the overall WHL standings? Forward Myles Bell says they are trying not to put too much pressure on themselves but its tough to avoid. "We thing about that all the time. Most importantly, you see what happened last year. We have to stay healthy heading into the post season. We have the team that can do it, we just need everyone going. That is are main goal right now is to clinch first spot and keep everybody healthy".
  • I wouldn't say Tyrell Goulbourne is superstitious, but it is interesting that before every game in Kelowna the 19 year-old sits in row 12, seat 12 to prepare his sticks before the game. Goulbourne's favourite number is 12, the one he wears on his jersey and the one that is worn by his favourite NHL player, #12 Jarome Iginla.   
  • With the injury of Tyson Baillie other players on the roster have been forced to step up. I asked Head Coach Ryan Huska who he believes has elevated his play. "I think Cole Linaker has been very good for us with his work ethic. I think because he has been around pucks and has been skating and moving his feet he is generating a little bit more. That is great for him to get a little more confidence offensively."   
  • Thanks to all the Twitter messages I received Tuesday prior to my 1000th regular season game with the Kelowna Rockets. It is humbling. I am not sure of the right prodigal for answering all of those messages but I attempted to individually. I thought re-tweeting them is a little over the the top but appreciate all the kind words regardless. If I call another 1,000 games I will be 66 years old. Trust me, I won't be around for the 2,000th. You may see me in a sunny climate with a golf club in my hand though. Don't tell Gord McGarva I suggested that. I forbid him to talk golf on our broadcasts.    
  • Thanks to the Kelowna Daily Courier and Kelowna Now for recognizing my accomplishment. Again, humbling.
  • Marek Tvrdon is an interesting character. When I interviewed him after his one goal performance in Vancouver against his old team Saturday night, he suggested he wasn't nervous against his former team. "It was a good feeling because I scored with them when I was there. It felt pretty nice. I never show too much emotion. I never feel pressure", Tvrdon added.
  • The Everett Silvertips are wickedly good. As much as an egg laid by the Rockets Tuesday night, the Tips are a handful for any team they face in the playoffs. Can you imagine an opening round series between Everett and Victoria? I would pay money to watch that best of seven affair.
  • How about that guy pictured to the right? That is Scott Fowler, the husband of Tri City Americans beat writer Annie Fowler. Scott gears up before every Americans home game and is literally dressed from head to toe. Can't but like a guy who wears a kilt. 
  • Annie Fowler smells good. Just saying. No Scott, I didn't get that close. 
  • What I like about the Tips is their ability to outwork, hit hard but in the process take few penalties. Is that taught? They just don't take bad penalties or lazy penalties. It is impressive to see how the players have bought in.
  • Speaking of buying in, the Vancouver Giants players are doing whatever it takes to win. How about their willingness to block shots? It is painful to watch yet impressive to see these players sacrifice their bodies in an effort to win. When Ty Ronning blocked a shot with his arm Saturday night in a 3-1 loss to the Rockets, it showed his commitment to winning at all costs.
  • Is Nick Merkley not the hardest working player on the team? Does he not compete at a high level every night? Wow. The 16 year-old is noticeable every time he is on the ice. I can't say that about some of the older players on the roster who pick and choose when to ramp up their game.                
  • What is this kid in Everett doing?
  • The goal scoring horn they use in Everett is worth its weight in gold. I think Tri Cities is louder but the low roof in both buildings makes you feel like an ear drum will be shattered every time the home team scores.
  • With seven games left to play in the regular season, I wouldn't be surprised to see injured forward Tyson Baillie making his triumphant return in the near future.
  • The Everett Silvertips have a program where they offer young kids a chance to gear up and skate with the hopes of growing the game in the area. Excellent initiative. Close to 60 kids were skating on the ice as we arrived at the arena yesterday before 5 pm. As I was about to interview Coach Huska on the bench as the kids were playing on the ice, I noticed this young guy amongst all of the Everett Silvertips green and white jerseys. Talk about a smart little kid!!
  • Good luck to the Okanagan Rockets as they open the playoffs this Friday at Prospera Place against Fraser Valley Thunderbirds. The Ok Rockets have a wickedly good team and Tyson Jost, the Everett Silvertips 1st round pick, is the real deal. This kid is outstanding and will play in the NHL. You can watch him Friday night for free. Game time is 6:30.          

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