Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Now That Was a Kill

It was just 4 minutes of playing time but it turned out to be one of the most exciting hockey we have witnessed all season long. Oh first the outcome, the Windsor Spitfires bought themselves another game by defeating the Kelowna Rockets 2-1.

The Spitfires outplayed and outworked the Rockets but from 7:35 of the 3rd period until 11:35 we got to witness one of the very best penalty kills we have seen in years.

It started with the Rocket's Colin Long going off for slashing at 7:35, then at 8:37 Jamie Benn joined him also for a slashing. Then Tyler Myers went off at 9:35 for cross checking.

Back to back 5 on 3s which became a clinic on how to defend 2 man kills starring Rockets Cody Almond, Collin Bowman and Ranger prospect Tysen Dowzak. It was so good we even heard from Scotty Hockey (yes cheap plug for a favorite) right after it happened and we had not seen him so excited.

Be glad that Cody Almond is going to be playing for the Minnesota Wild as all he did during his shift (and this was in a row) was block a shot from the half circle, block a shot from left side, block a shot from the right side and then once again from the half circle. Not to be out done, Dowzak blocked one from in the crease, followed it up by clearing the crease then blocking yet another shot at point blank range.

Collin Bowman blocked a shot from the left side then in the same motion clear the puck out of danger and Almond got the puck out of the zone. The Spitfires kept the puck in the zone but despite what turned out to be 2:37 of a 2 man advantage never could get a clear scoring chance on Rocket goalie Mark Guggenberger.

It was also Tysen Dowzak's best game since the Vancouver series as he was a physical force against one of the most physical teams in the Canadian Juniors. From hitting anything that moved to going down to block 5 shots in this game, this was the Dowzak we have been wanting to see.

The only shame is that Kelowna did not finish off the Spitifires when they could. Give the Spitfires credit as with their backs against the wall, they fought and crawled their way to force a playoff game on Thursday night against one of the QMJHL teams.

Outshooting Kelowna 34-17 and finding a way to shut down Jamie Benn bought the Spitfires new life. The Rockets may have 4 days off now to rest up but this was a chance to finish off a team while it was down.

If the Rockets have a Ranger-like quality; it is this maddening prolonging of a series when they could finish someone off. They did it against Calgary and I would not bet against on Sunday seeing a rematch between these 2 teams.


It is kind of fun being the only one who actually has real Ranger related hockey still going on. It is a lot of fun to be able to say that we do not have to stretch beyond reality for stuff to write on as we still have the Memorial Cup, the combine and the draft ahead of us.

Still the best laugh I get as of late is to see Ranger beat reporters complaining about the kind of TV coverage the NHL has. Welcome to the rest of the US hockey world fellas you are only 5 years too late to the party.

In all honesty I have zero sympathy for their complaints about their suffering when I compare it to what Ranger fans not in NYC or hockey fans everywhere endure. Pony up the 149 for Center Ice like the rest of us do and maybe you might understand why I think the complaints have zero merit in my eyes.

Yes the quality of production from Versus is very lacking, yes the announcing is some of the worst in professional sports and yes the world would be a much more happier place if the NHL had a better TV contract somewhere else but where?

Message to you in NYC as you are spoiled because about 90% of Ranger games are shown on MSG, if you do not live in NYC then you had better have Center Ice or hope that the Rangers are on VS or NBC.

Heck you do not even have to leave the State of New York to be denied Ranger's coverage on MSG as blackouts do apply unless you do the Center Ice or network coverage. If you think that is bad there are situations even worse than this.

Why not ask fans in Western Canada some of the things they have to go though at times to watch regular season games? Be very thankful that James Dolan does not have the guts to put Ranger games on PPV like Canuck, Oiler and Flames are at times.

Go ahead click on the link if you doubt this happens but at the same time the biggest annoyance I have is that this constant "Get the NHL back on ESPN" whine that tends to be both shortsighted as well lacking in reality.

First go back to prelockout NHL when the NHL was last on ESPN; nobody watched the games as NHL games got ratings worse than arena football or the Spelling Bee. Why in the world would ESPN want to bring back the NHL when it does not draw ratings other than diehard hockey fans?

Second ESPN is not going to pay the NHL money to show their games, the NHL would just about have to pay them to carry the games just like they do NBC. Would you like to guess who would have to subside the NHL's cost? If you said yourself you are right.

Third when and where exactly would the NHL playoff games get shown on the ESPN family during the NBA playoffs, MLB regular season and other programing which makes ESPN money is on? Imagine perhaps NHL games on tape delay while waiting for the end of a NBA playoff game.

Who do you think would get shown on ESPN or ESPN2 if the choice is Kobe's Lakers, Lebron's Cavs, the Celtics or any team in the NHL playoffs even in a Game 7? Only the very naive would think an NHL Playoff Game because it boils down to dollars and ratings.

If you like I would very gladly send those who think it is bad the bill for my 2009-10 Center Ice, if you order early you can save 20 bucks.

Oh one last thing Ranger media do any of you even know that there is a great Memorial Cup going on involving a Ranger prospect? You would if you had the NHL Network like some of us do

(Guggenberge courtesy of Aaron Bell)


Dov said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scotty Hockey said...

Thanks for the plug, and I completely agree, that kill was one of the best in years. The penalty kill is something that all-too-often gets overlooked by MSM and even most fans but I truly believe it is a true test of a team, and of the players. It's simple: are you willing to lay it all on the line for your team? And those kids did ... simply said, wow.

I've spoken to Oiler fans in the past and the thought that games were restricted to PPV shocked me. I mean, they get their money's worth with expanded coverage and in-depth features, minus the commercials. But still, that's gotta suck.

And thanks for the plug Jess! =op