Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Severson and Pouliot on opposite ends of the scale

Derrick Pouliot - Shoot the Breeze
  •  The Kelowna Rockets defencemen will have their hands full containing the speed of the Portland Winterhawks in game one of their Western Conference championship series. Mitch Wheaton knows it won't be easy when Nic Petan and Brendan Leipsic are on the ice. “They are a really skilled team. They are a lot different than Seattle. They were more of a big, physical team that would fore-check us really hard. These guys will try to make plays around us and make us turn”. The Winterhawks scored the most goals in the WHL this past season.
  • Two calm and composed coaches meet one another when Rockets bench boss Ryan Huska faces Portland’s Mike Johnston. Yellers they are not. Will they be upset with the officials when things don’t go their way? Of course.  But, the two referees’ should have confidence in having dialogue with either coach and taking the time to hear them out.   
  • Kelowna Rockets Rourke Chartier has something in common with Winterhawks forward Taylor Leier. Both were born and raised in Saskatoon and played midget hockey with the Saskatoon Contacts.
  • The Kelowna Rockets will want to avoid one specific area in their playoff series with the Portland Winterhawks. The penalty box!  The Winterhawks had the best power play in the WHL during the regular season.  Forward Tyrell Goulbourne says his team will have to be disciplined. “Our penalty kill is going to have to be great.  The best way to defeat it is stay out of the box.” While Portland had the best power play during the regular season the Rockets had the top penalty killing unit. 
  • Portland defenceman Derrick Pouliot was the first player taken in the 2009 WHL Bantam draft. The Rockets first rounder that season was Jason Seibert. The top pick for the Rockets that year may have been Damon Severson (9th round) who was taken 191 players after Pouliot was picked. 
  • Did you know that the Spokane Chiefs traded their 9th pick in the 2009 WHL draft to the Rockets where they went ahead and selected Severson?
  • Games three and four will indeed be played at the Modo Center in Portland.  Despite the upgrades at Memorial Arena, the 262 million dollar facility is spectacular and is a great venue for hockey. I still think they made a massive mistake by changing its name from the Rose Garden, but money talk’s right? 
  • Good to see the WHL coming down hard on the Victoria Royals for their over the top aggressive play in game five of a playoff series with the Winterhawks. Brandon Magee was slapped with a 12 game suspension for his antics.  Stephen Hodges was given a five game suspension.  The Royals organization was also fined 10 grand. 
  • I am not sure the antics of the Royals, specifically on television, make the league look good in the eye of parents who are considering allowing their son to play in the WHL or go the college route. You have to predict your brand.     
  • I am really looking forward to Winterhawks radio callers Todd Vrooman and colour man Andy Kemper squeezing into the visitors broadcast booth at Prospera Place. Is it humanly possible? 
  • Interesting isn’t it that the Portland Winterhawks face the Kelowna Rockets in the playoffs and the Portland Trail Blazers face the Houston Rockets in the NBA post season.  


FAX said...

Hey Regan .... Just wanted to let you know (again) that this Portland fan really enjoys your blog.

Your insights and observations are greatly appreciated.

Should be a great and highly entertaining series ... nice to see that it appears that "tickets" are going fast for the first four games.

As for the "naming rights" - Moda Health paid a reported 40 MILLION for 10 years ...so yes - money does talk (or in this case scream)

FAX said...

Hey Regan - Just wanted to let you know (again) that you have many fans of this blog in the "Rose City"

Really enjoy your insights and observations - not to mention a good sense of humor in your writing

Should be a great and entertaining series - Let's hope both buildings are at least 90% full for the first four games

As for the naming rights ... you are correct - money talks (or in this case screams). Moda Health paid Paul Allen and the Blazers 40 MILLION to have the naming rights for 10 years. Just what the 26th richest person in the U.S. needs

Unknown said...

I'm hoping for a great series! Go Rockets!!!!

Regan Bartel said...

Thanks for reading FAX. Love that building and the atmosphere you fans provide. Looking forward to three games in there. Get it....three games?