Monday, September 24, 2007

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • I'd be surprised if Rockets forward Brandon McMillan is suspended by the league after receiving a five minute major and game misconduct after a hit in the third period of Saturday's 6-5 overtime loss. From my viewpoint, Eric Mystery caught a edge before he went sliding into the boards. Referee Andy Thiessen had to make the quick call, and likely ruled on the side of caution that McMillan pushed him heavily into the side boards. But the video replay will show Mystery did indeed slip and fall before McMillan made contact.
  • While the Rockets blew a 5-2 lead in Saturday's game, their spirits should be extremely high at practice today. They played a solid first period, were as good as the Americans in period two, and simply ran into penalty trouble in period three. The positives far exceed the negatives in game one. The end result of Saturday shouldn't affect this team one bit.
  • Who starts in goal Wednesday against the defending Memorial Cup champions? Do you go back with Kristofer Westblom, who allowed 6 goals in the opener? The last time Westblom faced the Giants, he suffered a season ending knee injury. What I ask of the goaltenders is to make one or two saves that frankly shouldn't be made. A goal taken away, if you will. Did Westblom do that Saturday night?
  • My greatest annoyance the season following the Rockets Memorial Cup win was every time they lost on the road, the p.a announcer would exclaim with glee "The Spokane Chiefs have defeated the Memorial Cup Champions 4-3". The fact of the matter is, the Rockets were a much different team than the one the year they won it all. Will the Giants receive the same treatment when they lose on opposition ice this season?
  • Once the regular season starts, their are three WHL General Managers I love to run into. Don Hay heads the list followed by Jeff Chynoweth in Kootenay and Brent Parker in Regina. Why those three? Hay is just a smart hockey man, Chynoweth always has a smile on his face and is as competitive as they come, and Parker is open and honest and tells it like it is.
  • The Rockets only play three games in three nights on two occasions this season. November 16-17-18 and February 22-23-24.
  • Again people are getting excited that Rockets prospect Luke Moffatt has verbally agreed to joining Michigan State. The key word to consider here is 'verbally'. The Moffatt's also 'verbally' agreed to come to Kelowna if they considered the WHL as the best option. The Moffatt's 'verbally' spoke out against playing in Portland. Until Moffatt signs something that slams the door shut on the Rockets, I'm putting little alarm into his intentions of potentially playing U.S college hockey.
  • Hip hip hooray, scoring is up in the WHL! If you look at the first four night's of hockey and compared them to the first four night's a year ago, scoring is up, but only slightly. Twenty games were played on the first four night's last season accounting for 126 goals. This season 21 games were played through four night's, resulting in 137 goals. But don't get too excited. The difference is 6.5 goals per game this season as compared to 6.3 goals per game last season.
  • It's not often I feel sorry for one of my broadcast brethren, but I had some sympathy for Tri City broadcaster Craig West on the opening weekend. His voice got a rough introduction to the season by calling three games in three nights. What's more impressive is Westy did all three solo (without a color guy), and had to babble his way through two home openers in Everett and Kelowna. So if West is a little quiet Monday morning in the office, consider what he's been through.
  • I told you the expansion Edmonton Oil Kings would be 2-0 to start the season, and that the Tri City Americans would go 3 and 0 on the opening weekend. If you believe I predicted that correctly, I have a plot of land in Fort Worth Texas I'd like to sell you.


g.k said...

Hey Regan I found it a little embarassing that the national anthems were played without Tri-Cities on the ice last night, have you ever seen this happen before? Or was this a request from the team itself?

Regan Bartel said...

Interesting. Now that you mention it, the Am's were in the dressing room. Weird. I'll look into that. Unless Am's head coach Don Nachbaur made the request?

Alan said...

Hi Regan - in regards to the Moffatt story, it may also make Rockets fans feel a little better to know that Moffatt stressed that his verbal committment to Michigan did NOT represent a decision made on his part to take the NCAA route.

He has not yet made up his mind whether to play NCAA or WHL. If he does play NCAA, it will be Michigan, but that decision is not made yet and he said the Rockets are still in the equation.

Jared Comeau said...

Thanks for that Alan it clears the head a little bit with the doubts. I suppose the good thing about the situation is that Moffatt is still able to play WHL after playing an NCAA game, unlike the opposite so the opportunity to continually try to get him is not out of the question either...

Lance said...

"Once the regular season starts, their are three WHL General Managers I love to run into. Don Hay heads the list"

Don Hay was promoted to General Manager? Somebody better tell Scott Bonner to clean out his desk. Tough break for a GM that built a team into a WHL and Memorial Cup champ during his time.

Hopefully he finds work as a play-by-play guy where hockey knowledge isn't required.

Regan Bartel said...

Hey Lance, sorry for the miscue. Correct Hay is not the GM, but that still doesn't remove him from my list. He's still #1. Is he good enough to be GM and head coach? No doubt.