|Josh Morrissey - Shoot the Breeze Photo|
Like a Lamborghini with no
fuel in the gas tank, the potential is there to go fast but the high
performance sports car remains at a standstill. That would best describe
the Kelowna Rockets and a dormant power play in a 2-1 shootout loss last
night in Edmonton. The Rockets were given eight, count them eight, power
play chances but failed to score on even a single one of them in the
setback. Of those eight, seven came consecutively but the Rockets couldn't
get a puck past Oil Kings first star selection Tristan Jarry. But this
wasn't the Tristan Jarry show folks. This falls on the shoulders of the
power play's inability to execute when it mattered. In fact, the more
power play time the Rockets were given, including a gift when the Oil
Kings were called for too many men late in the third period, the more
frustration seemed to creep in. The harder each individual tried, the more
fractured the power play appeared to look. Just one, one messily power
play goal would have earned the team it's 21st road win of the season, but
on this night, even a struggling Oil Kings penalty killing unit was good
enough to hold the best power play in the 22 team circuit off the score
- The shootout loss spoiled
the return of Leon Draisaitl to Rexall Place. Maybe the distractions for
the Edmonton Oilers first round pick were too much? Meeting the Oilers
management before game time is one thing, but then essentially getting
involved in a media scrum with TV cameras and microphones in his face at
5:20 pm is another. It isn't just a distraction for Draisaitl, but how
about his teammates who aren't used to being around this type of media
circus? It can be a little unnerving after getting off the bus and trying
to prepare for a game with only two hours before puck drop. Draisaitl had
some good moments in the first period Wednesday night, but like his
teammates, seemed to struggle once the wheels on the power play appeared
- If the Rockets were
guaranteed to score only one goal, my choice wouldn't have been Joe
Gatenby to get it. The defensive defenceman would score his first career
regular season goal in his 85th career game. As luck would also have it,
the Oil Kings tying goal in the second period came from the exact same
spot when Rockets goalie Jake Morrissey was beaten to the short side.
- Speaking of Jake Morrissey,
the rookie goaltender deserved a better fate after a solid performance.
Despite struggles with rebound control and sometimes making it look like
an adventure, the 17 year-old made several good stops in allowing one goal
over 65 minutes. What more can you ask for from a back up goaltender who
is given a rare start? Morrissey was named the games third star. Morrissey
hasn't been give a lot of run support with in his last two outings after
winning 2-1 in a shootout in Kamloops.
- I thought it was Chance
Braid's best game in a Rockets uniform. The 20 year-old had three to four
good scoring chances. Head Coach Dan Lambert must have agreed, promoting
Braid to a line with Leon Draisaitl and Rodney Southam. Braid's skill
level is a hidden gem. Everybody thinks he can pump opponents, which he
can, but he possesses a higher hockey IQ and softer hands than you would
think. In my opinion, Braid is the best chip and chase forward the Rockets
now have on their roster.
- Despite the outcome, it must
have been a special night for the Morrissey brothers. Jake was in net
while older brother Josh was on the Rockets d-core. It marked the first
time the two have ever played a game together. It marked only the third
time in Kelowna Rockets franchise history that brothers have played with
one another. Gavin and Kiel McLeod and Lucas and Evan Bloodoff are now
joined by the Morrissey boys.
- Several brothers have played
on the Kelowna Rockets but at different times. Jesse and Simon Ferguson
and Ryan and Craig Cuthbert are just two examples.
- For a second consecutive
game, Josh Morrissey hit a goal post only to see it stay out of the net.
Puck luck is a little hard to come by for the 19 year-old d-man. That post
was struck when the Rockets were enjoying a 5 on 3 for 35 seconds early in
the third period.
- The loss in a shootout was
the first in four attempts this season for the WHL leaders. Up until last
night the Rockets were one of only two teams in the WHL without a shootout
loss. Now the PA Raiders stand alone.
- While it is easy to be
negative after a shootout loss, it was still a point in the standings and
a three point lead on Brandon for first place overall. Remember too, the
Wheat Kings lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Swift Current Broncos - at home
- on Tuesday night. Hey, $&$# happens!!