Saturday, January 21, 2017

Worst loss of season

  • There are disappointing losses and disappointing efforts. The Kelowna Rockets 5-4 road loss Friday in Vancouver would fall under the 'disappointing effort' category. In my opinion, it was the worst loss of the season. Why? The Giants were massive sellers at the WHL trade deadline and essentially gutted their team by moving no less than four high end players. What is left is a very young, inexperienced group who hobbled into Friday's match-up riding a season high 6 game losing streak. The Rockets made moves at the WHL trade deadline to bolster their roster for what they hope will be a long playoff run. If they play like they did Friday, a first round exit is a guarantee. Friday night's game should have been a cakewalk, and unfortunately for the Rockets, they appeared to have that mentality before puck drop. The Giants didn't even have their top scorer, Tyler Benson, in the line up and the home team still won. The loss should have never happened on so many levels, but it brought one of the best teams in the Western Conference to its knees in what can only be described as the most disappointing effort/.result of the season.
  • I had a sense this game could go sideways considering how luckluster the team looked in a 3-2 overtime loss against Moose Jaw Wednesday night. Could the Rockets come out with the same nonchalant approach in a season where every point is so valuable in the BC Division? Yep. The Giants scored two goals and appeared to want the game more despite being 10 points out of a playoff spot. The Rockets, at one point, trailed the game 4-1 before rallying back to tie the score at 4. But the 'Hockey Gods' weren't happy. Taking shortcuts wasn't going to win them over on this night, Ty Ronning scored the winner with under 4 minutes left in regulation time and the Giants celebrated the one goal win. 
  • To put this game into perspective, the Giants iced a young team which included only one NHL drafted player. Ty Ronning is a 7th round pick of the New York Rangers. Ronning scored two goals in the win. The Rockets have two-1st round NHL draft picks. One didn't find the score-sheet at all while the other was a -3 in the game. How can that happen? 
  • The Rockets played this game without Dillon Dube (sick), Nolan Foote (injured) and Reid Gardiner (upper body). Those are three key players out of the lineup. That said, are you telling me the team they iced Friday night still didn't have enough fire power to beat the 4th worst team statistically in the WHL? Not a chance.
  • Shoot the puck!!! Why is that such a problem? While firing 36 shots on net in the 5-4 loss, the Rockets, as a group, pass up chances to shoot. Nick Merkley is the greatest offender of passing the puck rather than shooting it. Carsen Twarynski, for the second time in three games, led the team with 6 shots on net while Eric Gardner had 5.      
  • Assistant Coach Travis Crickard said it best on our AM 1150 post game show. "My goodness, just shoot the puck already. It is ridiculous how many shots we turned down tonight. Our so called 'super stars' refuse to shoot the puck. What are we trying to do out there? It is almost unbearable to watch sometimes. It is like we get over the blue-line and its a 10 pass rule where we have to make 10 passes before we shoot it", a frustrated Crickard added. 
  •  It isn't a good night when former Kelowna Rockets forward Jordan Borstmayer has the best hit of the game, when the now Vancouver Giant, sent ex-teammate Kyle Topping to the ice with a solid first period hit.
  • Kole Lind has now gone 10 games without a goal. His best chance came in the first period when he hit the crossbar. Giants goaltender Ryan Kubic did make nice saves against Eric Gardiner and Carsen Twarynski to give his team a chance. 
  • The Rockets sit in a two way tie for third place in the BC Division with the Victoria Royals and are 3 points back of the Kamloops Blazers for second place. 
  • The Portland Winterhawks pay a visit tonight. I am more interested to see how the Rockets come out after laying an egg last night on the Lower Mainland. 
  • We are on the air on AM 1150 at 6 pm tonight with another edition of 'The Kelowna Rockets This Week', My special guests include the billet mom of Nick Merkley and the Rockets 1996-97 rookie of the year, 39 year-old Scott King.

No comments: