Sunday, April 12, 2009

Music Maestro Please

When Tysen Dowzak is not playing hockey he can be found playing guitar with Kelowna Rocket teammate Colin Long in their band. After the Rockets knocked off the 2nd seeded Tri-City Americans 4 games to 2 one has to wonder what song they are wanting to play?

We have a couple of suggestions starting with the old classic "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" from McFadden and Whitehead or a more modern "Let's Get This Party Started" by Pink. In either case the songs are perfect for a Rocket team that is coming together at the right time and have crashed the WHL Western Conference Finals.

Dowzak had a pretty good game for the New York Ranger's free agent defender as he had an impact at both ends of the ice in game 6 as Kelowna defeated a game but very shorthanded American team. Dowzak notched his first point of the WHL playoffs as he earned a secondary assist on the Rocket's second goal of the game but that it is not what stood out for us.

Dowzak was active, he was playing with a purpose and he started plays that actually led to 2 of the Rockets goals in this game. Dowzak was hitting people and while he made a couple of turnovers in his own zone (none that hurt), it was the kind of game that Kelowna Asst. Coach (and former Ranger) Jeff Finley has been preaching to Dowzak.

Now the Rockets are advancing to the WHL Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2005 and they will also have one other nice advantage; they will be playing the winner of the war that has been going on between Vancouver and Spokane. It is a huge shame that the NHL Network can not figure out a way to show Game 7 of this series to the hockey fans in North America.

In any case for the first time since we started Prospect Park, we have 3 Ranger prospects playing in their conference finals. Tysen Dowzak joins Evgeny Grachev and Michael Del Zotto as the 3 of them try to become the first Ranger prospect to win a Memorial Cup since Dan Girardi did in 2005 with of all teams; Del Zotto's London Knights.


Got to ask if we are the only ones who think that the NHL playoff schedule was determined more by who was going to appear on which network? Forget that as Ranger fans we will be getting the short end of the piss poor coverage, it is the game itself that is going to be hurt by this nonsense.

Just one game of the Montreal/Boston series is going to be shown to a national audience in the USA. HELLO did anyone get the memo about 2 original six teams facing each other? Did anyone catch the game/war the two teams had on last Thursday night?

Well other than Game 2 neither will the rest of the USA nor will anyone see a Devils/Hurricane game unless it goes to a 6th game. The NBC TV coverage is going to be either the Rangers/Alex the Great or the annual Sidney Crosby cryfest.

The playoffs are about the game as a whole not just a couple of individual players. There are some great stories coming out from this year's first round like the Bluejackets making their playoff debut as a franchise or JD"s St Louis Blues returning to the playoffs after a long absence.

Are you kidding when Detroit one of the Cup favorites is hardly going to be shown on US TV? Or how the Blackhawks who also are returning to the playoffs get games on Versus but if all games in all the series go the distance none of their final 3 games will get shown.

The advantage to living out west and having the Center Ice pack is that we get to see more games than most but it is a real disappointment that so many will not get to see some very good hockey because Versus and NBC are getting focused on just 4 teams none of which are viewed as serious cup favorites.

We hope that at the very least that the folks at the NHL Network find a way to take some of those games not shown in the US and get them on the air. The NHL Network has done a great job covering the game now they need to go the extra yard and show those teams who otherwise may not get shown in the USA.

(Dowzak courtesy of Tim Swanky/Kelowna Rockets)

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