Sunday, March 25, 2012

'Bull' becomes public enemy number 1

  • His teammates call him 'Bull'. Unfortunately Saturday night in game two of the Kelowna Rockets opening round series with the Portland Winterhawks, leading goal scorer Brett Bulmer was a raging bull. The 19 year-old was assessed a five minute major for kneeing in the third period in the Rockets 4-0 shutout loss. Bulmer, who is of more value to his team on the ice than off it, was given two unsportsmanlike penalties, two kneeing penalties plus a 5 minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct. I am all for playing with emotion, but keeping it dialed in is pivotal at this time of the year.
  • If a player receives one kneeing penalty, I usually give him the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes knee on knee collisions happen. When you are assessed three in game, you can't but look at it as dirty play. I know if Hawks forward Brad Ross was doing it, I'd be saying it. In fact, I did say it last season when Ross hit Franko in the opening game of the second round. It was a dirty hit and knocked out Franko for the remainder of the series. Fact is, emotions run high and sometimes logical thinking is thrown out the window.
  • While I don't condone Bulmer's actions, it sure would have been nice to see more of his teammates play with more bite. The Rockets were an easy team to play against Saturday night and the Hawks dominated play. Portland didn't only carry the territorial play, but they had possession of the puck about 80 percent of the time. Chasing the puck was common place for the visitors and creating any real quality scoring chances didn't happen until late in the third period, when down 4-0, Zach Franko and Shane McColgan had good chances on goal. Hawks goaltender Mac Carruth had an easy night in recording the shutout.
  • As badly as the Rockets were out-played in game two, Adam Brown gave his team a chance. We were scoreless after 20 minutes despite the Hawks directing 20 shots on net. Brown looked even more composed than he was in game one and didn't overplay pucks. Goaltending is not the issue in this series, nor will it be.
  • Rockets captain Colton Sissons hardly played Saturday night after being struck with the flu. I knew something was wrong when he saw little ice time and his battle level was at an all time low. When Sissons is healthy, he is always one of the Rockets hardest workers.
  • Best player in the series so far? Easy. It is Sven Bartschi. Wow. If you haven't seen this 19 year-old play this season, check him out when the Hawks are in Kelowna Tuesday and Thursday. Bartschi could be the best player in the WHL. Tri City Americans fans may argue, but the Swiss forward can skate, looks strong on the puck and plays with a little bit of bite. Bartschi gets mad when he is hit and will let the opponent know that he is irritated about it. As Andy Kemper pointed out on his blog,, Bartschi has been in on five of the Hawks ten goals in the series.
  • The Rockets have been out-scored 10-3 in the first two games.
  • Shane McColgan had his 11 game point streak in the playoffs snapped Saturday night. McColgan's point streak dated back to last season.
  • While the Rockets lost both games in Portland on the weekend, not all is doom and gloom with the next two games at Prospera Place. Back in 2010, the Rockets lost games one and two in Everett before winning both games in Kelowna. In fact, in that series the home team won six of the seven games.


fax said...

Regan - Thanks for your "honest" opinions and thoughts in regards to Bulmer's actions in Game 2.

I think something that I (and perhaps a few of my fellow Hawks fans) would like to know is - does Bulmer have a history of going "off the deep end" like he did in Game 2.

And because of your tweet that you sent out last night is your useless fact of the day - New Jersey and Oregon are the only "States" NOT to have self-serve gas.

Jared Comeau said...

Not 100% sure how you can be so high on Portland and their fans when people like Adam Brown's mother drive down to watch their sons play and get abused in the stands Regan.

thl04 said...

You forgot to mention that Adam Brown received the game puck in both games despite getting worked.

Unknown said...

Not going to start a flame war on Regans Blog but @Jared a couple or even a few stupid drunk casual fans do not represent the majority of Portland fans.. I know personally if I had seen it I would have put a stop to it as would alot of other regular fans... I responded to Adams tweet and told him that if his mom comes down for game 5 she is more than welcome to sit with me and my family.. while there may be a little trash talk there will be no abusing or harrasment involved.. We all love our respective team and cheer for them ad naseum but be respectful of the fans around you especially the visitors...

Regan Bartel said...

Jared, I heard about the treatment Adam Brown's mom received Saturday night and that is unfortunate.
But in my mind this is an isolated incident. Just like when I've heard visiting fans to our arena go public and talk about how poorly they were treated. It is not common place. Kelowna has great fans, as do they. Let's not let a couple of knuckleheads spoil what is a passionate fan base for both teams.

Jared Comeau said...

That's good to hear that it seems to only be an isolated incident! The last time I went to a road game, it was the final game of the season, in Vancouver, and we needed the win to get 1st place overall in the league. I will NEVER go back to Vancouver for a hockey game EVER, and it left a sour taste in my mouth for going to away games.

Unknown said...

Jared........I was at that same game.....we had know problems. Except that we bought tickets from a scalper, went in & bought 2 beers ea and then found out our seats were in the "beer free" zone hahaha.

Kristine said...

Hold up! Is this the same Jared Comeau who made a bunch of obnoxious and ridiculous comments on the WHL facebook thread? Talk about classless fans. Maybe you should take a good long look in the mirror, bud.

Kristine said...

Hold up! Is this the same Jared Comeau who made a bunch of obnoxious and ridiculous comments on the WHL facebook thread? Talk about classless fans, you may want to take a good long look in the mirror, bud.

StolzHockey said...

I fully believe a game can be shaped by the first 5-10 minutes. What the Rockets need to be doing is hitting hard, making Portland's big name players afraid to go into the corners right off the hop. We also need to learn to skate away from the scrums after the whistle and get under Portland's skin. Without Tayler Jordan, this Winterhawks team has absolutely no bite to back up it's bark.

A team the Rockets can look up to (to an extent) is the 2011 Boston Bruins. The Bruins were inferior to the Canucks in the skill department by a landslide, but they hit everything that touched the puck and were able to widdle away at the Canucks offense. Keep in mind, the Canucks won the first two games at home as well.

Boston's penalty kill was good enough to support the fact that they were going to take penalties for their rough play. I believe Kelowna's PK is very underrated for how well they hold up against top end talent. Johnston and Bowey are great on the PK together.

That said: There is a fine line between playing rough and taking stupid penalties. We need our MVP to be putting up points and anchoring our (very anemic) powerplay. NOT taking 23 minutes in penalties.