Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Rockets can see the finish line in the distance

  • The Kelowna Rockets can see the finish line. It is just two games away. The Rockets will face the winner of tonight's tie breaking game at the 2015 Memorial Cup between the Quebec Remparts and the Rimouski Oceanic. I can't see how the Remparts can rebound after being dominated in every facet of the game last night in a 4-0 shut-out loss. The QMJHL Champions won three games against the Remparts in an epic seven game final series, all at the Colisee, so home ice advantage means absolutely nothing for Quebec. That said, this is junior hockey where a team can look unenthused one night and come back the next and look like gang busters.
  • This is what Dan Lambert said to me this morning when I asked about the finish line to the season just two short games away. "I really want two games, I know that. Our real focus is to have three solid periods tomorrow night".    
  • Whoever the Rockets face in tomorrow's semi final, the WHL champs will face an opponent playing its third game in three nights. Dan Lambert told the media this morning that isn't necessarily an advantage. "I think we don't need to concern ourselves with other teams. At this time of the year everybody is going to show up regardless. We have to make sure we are ready to play. That is our focus".  
  • Generating shots on goal for the WHL Champions hasn't been easy. The Rockets manufactured just 21 shots in a 2-1 loss to Oshawa. The team had 36 against Rimouski in a 7-3 win and fired 29 pucks at the Quebec Remparts goal in game one of the tournament. "It has been easy for Oshawa it seems. You have three other teams that can check. They have all done a great job of blocking shots as well".
  • Jackson Whistle caught the eye of the media today when he revealed he was born in Thunder Bay Ontario. Whistle's father David has coached around the world too, including Northern Ireland with the Belfast Giants.
  • Sometime losing weight is a good thing for a junior player. That is Josh Morrissey's theory on why he is a better player. The 20 year-old Kelowna Rockets defenceman told the media today he is lighter after changing his diet more than a year ago. The Calgary resident wants to pattern himself after Chicago Blackhawks rearguard Duncan Keith and believes that having a lighter frame allows him to get out of the way quicker when large forwards attempt to check him.
  • Several media members noticed that Morrissey rarely uses the glass to chip the puck out of his own zone. Morrissey prefers to stick handle away from trouble and make an outlet pass. Coach Lambert says he doesn't want his d-men to use the glass - ever - if they don't have too. He wants to see his blue liners make plays with the puck. Morrissey had only one minor penalty with the Rockets this season for delay of game. It happened when he swatted the puck out of mid air with his glove in his own zone and it went over the glass. Morrissey has never fired the puck over the glass with his stick while in the d-zone in an attempt to get away from the pressure of an on-coming forward. 
  • It has been a good week for interviews on our Memorial Cup broadcasts on AM 1150. We have spoken to Dan Marr of NHL Central Scouting, RJ Broadhead of Sportsnet, Merrick Sutter from the Red Deer Rebels Memorial Cup committee, Bob Green of the Edmonton Oilers and former NHL first round pick Todd Warriner, who is a former teammate of Rockets head coach Dan Lambert. What is on the menu for game four tomorrow night? We have Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall and a nice conversation with Oliver resident and Sportsnet broadcaster John Shannon. My goal is also to hunt down WHL referee Brett Iverson. Iverson is making his second straight appearance at the Memorial Cup and is the only official from the West at the tournament. 
  • I don't take life to seriously. Case in point, I have a few video clips up on our AM 1150 Facebook page you may want to check out. They are intended to be fun. Life is just too serious. Enjoy!!

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