Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • James McEwan can't hold back his excitement as he faces his old team in the opening round of the 2008 playoffs. McEwan played 103 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds from 2004-2006 before he was given his release. You shouldn't expect McEwan on the score-sheet much in the series, but you have to know he will be giving it his all against his old team.
  • Seattle fans may get a better appreciation of Rockets rookie defenseman Tyson Barrie in this series. Seattle fans, just imagine a clone of Thomas Hickey. In fact when Hickey was just 16, the skilled d-man put up 28 points. Barrie had 43 points - 15 more than Hickey in his 16 year-old season. The two can skate and love to go to the attack offensively. Hickey has now learned to play defensive, something Barrie will grasp as he matures.
  • Why would I be optimistic about the Rockets chances against the T-Birds in this series? Jamie Benn didn't play in two of the four games, plus Benn's WHL debut in early October came in back-to-back games with the T-Birds. To say Benn was just getting his feet wet on that night would be an understatement. The T-Birds simple have not seen the best of Benn. Let's hope they do in round one.
  • It's interesting that Hickey and Rockets d-man Luke Schenn battle in the opening round of the playoffs. The two were teammates, and gold medal winners for Canada at the World Juniors. The two were not only teammates, but d-partners and roommates.
  • Who starts in goal for the Rockets in game one? Torrie Jung and Kristofer Westblom split duties in the seasonal series, with Westblom winning the lone game against the 'Birds', in a 4-3 shootout win way back in October. Do you go with the goaltender of the future or the veteran? I thought this question wouldn't even come up at this time of the year.
  • It would be interesting if Jung started in goal against Seattle's Riku Helenius. The two are draft picks of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. Helenius is the Lightning's first pick in 2006 while Jung was a 7th rounder in 07.
  • Three Kelowna Rockets will celebrate birthdays during the series. Kris Westblom will turn 21 March 26th while Colin Joe turns 20 on that same day. Brandon McMillan turns 18 on March 22nd, or on the day of game two of the series.
  • Can you name the Rockets defenseman with the most playoff experience? If Colin Joe is your answer, you are correct. Joe has 15 games of playoff experience followed by Luke Schenn with 12. Joe and Tyler Myers are the only defenseman to have bragging rights of scoring a playoff goal. Joe scored against Everett in 2006, while Myers first WHL goal came in a playoff series as a 15 year-old against Kootenay.
  • When I heard the Rockets would meet the T-Birds in the opening round, my thoughts turned to baseball. In the past we've been able to see a game on an off day in a Rockets-Seattle playoff series, but that won't be the case in this post season. The Mariners open the season April 1st against Texas, the same night the T-Birds would host game seven. Their goes that idea.
  • What is my greatest fear as a broadcaster going into games one and two at the Key Arena minus a colour analyst? If the plexi glass should shatter, if the penalty box door gets jammed, or if the Zamboni breaks down, I'm screwed. We are in for a long delay. While Prospera Place has a game night ice crew that likely consists of no less than 6 employees, the Key Arena Ice crew consists of far less. Prior to game time the only one I ever see is the Zamboni driver. Gulp!
  • The Portland Winter Hawks just can't win this season. When I saw that the Red Deer Rebels, not the Portland Winter Hawks, would choose first in the upcoming WHL bantam draft, I just shook my head. They could have had a thousand balls in that drum and the Hawks would have still lost.
  • The Canadian World Junior Team is looking for a new coaching staff after Craig Hartsburg and his two assistant elected to step aside from the program Would Marc Habscheid be interested in the head coaching duties - again?


Mike said...

Hey Regan.. The Mariners actually open on Monday the 31st so if the series goes seven you could go to opening night!

However, my prediction...

TBirds in five.

Regan Bartel said...

Their is a God. Thanks for the correction. You made my day!!

Mike said...

No problem!