Monday, May 25, 2015

Must win? Pretty much!

  • Leon Draisaitl has done more than his share of interviews at the 2015 Memorial Cup in Quebec City. When it comes to any media availability involving the Kelowna Rockets, the most ask for player is the 19 year-old Edmonton Oilers first rounder. The German has been asked endless questions about starting the season with the Oilers and the new regime which includes GM Peter Chiarelli, head coach Todd McLellan and what will be Edmonton's first pick in next months draft, Connor McDavid.  Draisaitl is taking it all in stride, but honestly, I feel for the guy. It is all about being a pro and he will face the media hoards when he plays in the NHL, but the pressure to perform at a high level and then not misstep when you are being asked questions by the media can't be easy.  
  • Much of the talk over the last couple of days has been the Rockets lack of discipline in a 4-3 opening game loss to the Quebec Remparts. The ten minute misconduct Draisaitl received was very, 'over the top' officiating. That would never be called in the WHL, but hey, this isn't the WHL. A team must adapt to its surroundings and the Rockets will be much better in that area tonight against Rimouski,
  • Speaking of Rimouski, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Champions provide the next in what is a challenge every time two teams at this tournament take to the ice. Both are winless are identical 4-3 losses. Rimouski fell victim to Ontario Hockey League Champion Oshawa in its first game Saturday night. Both the Rockets and Oceanic need a win to stay alive in this event.
  • Is this a game seven for the Rockets tonight? Possibly. I think they should treat it that way. A win gets them back in it though, and gives them no less than a tie breaker on Thursday to work themselves out of a deep hole. If the WHL Champions can win tonight and tomorrow against the Oshawa Generals, then they may be the toast of the tournament with a shot at a birth in Sunday's final. The next two days will answer a lot of questions on if the WHL champs have a shot at winning this entire thing.
  • It was suggested today at the media conference that the Rockets haven't faced this type of 'must win situation' in the 2015 playoffs. Head Coach Dan Lambert was quick to point out that they did in the Western Conference final against Portland. The Rockets lost game three (7-3) and fell behind two games to one heading into a game four the next night in Portland. The Rockets would rally for a 3-2 win on goals from Leon Draisaitl, Chance Braid and Tyrell Goulbourne. Jackson Whistle was the first star with a 40 save performance. 
  • For clarification, if the Rockets should lose tonight, it allows OHL Champion Oshawa to advance to the finals. That means Oshawa could do no worse than 2-1 in the three game round robin after beating both Quebec and Rimouski. 
  • All three games at this tournament have been decided by a goal. It is that close.
  • Joining me in the broadcast booth as my colour analyst for the remainder of the tournament is Red Deer Rebels play-by-play man Cam Moon. Moon is regarded as one of the top callers of the game that we have in our 22 team circuit. I appreciate Warren Henderson of the Capital News for sitting in with me Friday. I also want to send a shout-out to my regular colour analyst Gord McGarva, who was unable to make the trip but is always on my mind. Gordie would love to be here to cheer the boys on.
  • The three stars are selected here in Quebec by NHL Central Scouting. You will hear from NHLCS Director Dan Marr in our second intermission.

1 comment:

Ryan Neville said...

terrible call against Leon. But not at all surprising. The Q will always do whatever it takes to have their teams win.