Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Things that make me go hmm.....

Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • What an unbelievably busy week! But let me be the first to say it was a whole lot of fun. It included calling a Kelowna Rockets home game Tuesday against Swift Current before flying out to Calgary (then renting a car) where I called the Shaw TV broadcast Friday in Red Deer between the Rebels and Medicine Hat Tigers. Then it was a quick flight back to Kelowna to call the game Saturday night between the Rockets and Hurricanes. What an awesome experience making my TV debut Friday night on Shaw. While many believe calling a TV game and doing radio games would be hugely similar, the differences are many when you actually put the headset on your head and do the game yourself. It was a wonderful experience and I want to thank the boys at Shaw, Grant and Dave, for being gentle on me during my debut. Would I do it again? If they have me back, I'd do it in a heartbeat.   
  • I had the pleasure of working the game with Kevin Sawyer. Sawyer, from Christina Lake, was my sidekick in the booth Friday night. What a pro. Sawyer, who has done TV work in the past, was working his first game of the season but it didn't show. Sawyer was well prepared and simply has an eye for the game that only good colour commentators do. He has a future in the bizz without question.
  • Calling a TV game is significantly different from radio. You have a director that is essentially talking in your ear on when to take a commercial, or when to go down to the benches to hear from the on-ice reporter. In radio, the announcer is overly descriptive. You describe where the puck is by literally saying its in the right corner or left corner. In TV, the pictures explain where the puck is so using that terminology isn't required. Being less descriptive is hard to do when you have been calling hockey games that way for 20 years. 
  • Even the small change of using a headset mic without holding a stick mic was different for me. I have been using an old fashioned stick mic for years while calling games, so not having my 'skinny little friend' to speak into felt odd. I believe it provides a fuller sound as I am able to put it closer to my mouth. With a headset mic, the separation between your mouth and the mic is greater, so often the sound is shallower. Some would argue with my theory or say the sound isn't significantly different. I believe there is. It is just personal preference. 
  • It was interesting to call a game between two teams where I didn't have a vested interest. I was hoping for a good hockey game and didn't have a preference whether Red Deer or Medicine Hat won the game. I thought Medicine Hat was significantly stronger on the night and will make some significant noise this season in the Eastern Conference.  The Tigers are well coached and have good goaltending. 
  • Speaking of good goaltending, how good was it Saturday night in the Rockets 4-2 win over Lethbridge? Jackson Whistle was outstanding in the game and made several solid saves, specifically against Hurricanes captain Jamal Watson. Lethbridge netminder Zac Robidoux, who should have been named a game star, was equally as good at the other end of the ice.
  • It was surprised that the Hurricanes had so much jump in their game considering it was the final stop in the BC Division road trip. After losing the night before in Kamloops, the Hurricanes had lots of energy and didn't fatigue in the third period like many, including me, had predicted. Sure, the Rockets scored two goals 14 seconds apart late in the game to steal it away, but I don't think the Hurricanes were tired. What I think happened was the Rockets simply played with more desperation and urgency. I didn't think they were very good over the first 40 minutes and would have lost for the first time this season had Whistle been average.
  • Tyson Baillie continues to score in a variety of ways. With ten goals already, 30 has to be easily attainable. All goal scorers go though dry patches, but my feeling is Baillie won't allow that to happen for a long period of time. I hope this breakout year gives the 19 year-old another chance for a pro opportunity down the road. 
  • I didn't touch on it until now, but I am sad to see Carter Rigby being the odd man out in the 20 year-old situation. I am pleased he is headed to my old home town and playing with the Swift Current Broncos. Rigs was a fun player to be around. He treated me great. Rigby always had a positive attitude and was a great interview. I think he will do well in his final season in the WHL under Broncos head coach Mark Lamb. Plus, he has a chance to wear the best jerseys in the WHL on a nightly basis. 
  • If you missed it, former Kelowna Rockets defenceman Nolan Yonkman has joined Ryan Huska with the Adirondack Flames. Yonkman signed a deal with the AHL team after being released by the Calgary Flames during an NHL tryout. Yonkman is now the Adirondack's captain. Huska is still looking for his first pro coaching win after losing the first two games.
  • Look for Seattle d-man Evan Wardley to see a significant suspension after a massive hit on Portland's Nic Petan on the weekend. Petan was hit hard late in the first period when Wardley left his feet before knocking down the smooth skating forward to the ice. Was it a dangerous hit? You bet it was. Caution was clearly thrown to the wind and Wardley needs to be significantly punished. Oddly enough, last season Portland's Brendan Leipsic crushed T-Birds forward  Keegan Kolesar and was slapped with a 7 game suspension.
  • How about the Kamloops Blazers? Would you have thought this team, winners of just 14 games last season, would already have 6 wins? I didn't anticipate this type of start. I don't think management did either. I was told Don Hay was washed up. I don't think so.  

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