Monday, April 18, 2016

For dramatic effect, we go to game 7

Shoot the Breeze Photography
  • Michael Herringer was excellent. The team in front of him? Not so much. Herringer kept the game close in the Kelowna Rockets 3-2 home ice loss Sunday night at Prospera Place. The Victoria Royals played with the desperation that is expected of a team facing playoff elimination. The Royals worked hard in the one goal win, which could have been a greater margin of victory had Herringer been just average. Fact is Herringer, who is the MVP for this round no matter how game seven unfolds, is getting better as this series goes on. The quiet as a mouse goalie who the local media attempt to get words out of during post game interviews, is making a massive bid to return to the team next season as one of three 20 year-old's. Herringer was named the second star, but was clearly the best player on the ice.
  • As much as the Royals deserve credit for the determined effort, the Rockets just didn't have it going on. After a good push in the first 5 minutes of the opening period, the team unravelled in several areas. The biggest thing I saw was mental fatigue. Uncharacteristic decisions with and without the puck were common place. When a penalty killer has a chance to clear the puck down the ice at his own blue line but elects to dump it back into his own corner of the ice, what does that tell you about the mental approach and decision making that went on in game six? I really believe puck management, or a lack-there-of was one reason why the Royals looked so good and the Rockets played their worst game of the series.
  • Far too many penalties. The Rockets took 7 of them, many that are unnecessary at this time of the year. While several were undisciplined infractions, I believe mentally fatigue, again, played a significant factor. The Royals have been awarded 12 power play chances in the last two games. Fans will say the officiating has been awful, but that's a load of crap. Can I say 'crap' on this blog? People think this blog is a load of crap, so I think it's ok. Thank goodness the penalty killing unit has been so good or a game seven wouldn't be needed to decide a winner in this series.
  • Royals leading scorer Alex Forsberg was hit hard by Rockets forward Calvin Thurkauf in the third period and appeared to hurt his ankle or knee. The 21 year-old, who had 91 points in 71 regular season games, likely won't play in game seven. 
  • If I'm the Rockets, you put this game behind you and move on. Clearly you weren't very good. In a one game showdown, anything can happen and you have to lean on experience and the things you did right to earn three wins in this series. Look back at the Rockets opening round series and a 4-0 loss to the Blazers in game six. You put that game to bed and look forward to the next one. That is exactly what the defending champions must do if they want to move on to the Western Conference final for a third consecutive season.  
  • I believe the Rockets can win in Victoria for a second time in this series. They have played well in all three games on the Island. Eliminate the mental mistakes, stay out of the box and play with determination and they can earn a game seven victory for a second consecutive playoff series.  
  • The Rockets last won a game seven on the road in 2010. Mark Guggenberger was the first star that night in a 2-1 win against the Everett Silvertips. 

1 comment:

Gordon McGarva said...

Please post the last two minutes of your call for game #7. And hey can you do the OT GWG..... Thank you. Go Rockets