Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Win that Was Kind of Ugly

So if Friday night's game between the Kelowna Rockets and Rimouski Oceanic was the first time you saw a Canadian Junior then what you are about to read might leave you shaking your head. On the surface, the Rocket's 4-1 win over the Oceanic looks dominating but it really was not as dominating as it should have been.

It is very interesting but it seems only we agree with Kelowna Rocket's Head Coach Ryan Huska's calling out his team for their inconsistent effort against the Rimouski Oceanic on Friday night. Yes the Rockets won 4-1 but it was nothing like the efforts we have seen out of the Rockets during their WHL playoff run.

It was the kind of effort that if they try to pull that against the Windsor Spitfires will see them blown out like Windsor did in Game 1 of the OHL Finals when they won 10-1 over Brampton. Yes if this was the first time you saw the Rockets you would think we are being too critical but we know the Rockets as well as the Spitfires.

Winning 4-1 over a team that had not played in 22 days is not saying a lot and yes Oceanic goalie Maxim Gougeon was flat out impressive just keeping the score at 4-1. However the problem was is that the Rockets once they got the 3-0 lead took their foot off the gas and against someone else would have paid for letting up.

If you had watched the first 10 minutes of the game and was impressed by that effort then try to picture the Rockets doing it for 60 minutes. That is what the Rockets have been doing during their WHL playoff run and why we have become such big fans of theirs.

Even more scary if you think about it is that the Rockets barely used their "Big Bang Hockey" on the Oceanic. The way the refs called the 2nd period we believe had a large role in that than did the Oceanic.

As for Tysen Dowzak; we thought that he had a shaky performance on Friday night. Dowzak looked to be fighting the puck on offense as well as struggling with his skating.

We did not see the passing or clearing the zone that Dowzak had been giving us as of late. Perhaps it was a case of nerves but two turnovers in his own zone after his rather suspect boarding call bothered us.

That boarding penalty he took was a combination of bad timing on Dowzak's part but also huge bit of acting by the Oceanic player. Still when you are already shorthanded one defensemen on a penalty then going for the big hit is not the right thing especially as far from the net as Dowzak was.

Glad to see Dowzak earn an assist but that play was more about Tyler Myers being that very good than it was anything Dowzak did. The bad news for Ranger fans is that Myers will be playing for the Sabres in the not too near future.

Kelowna is off until Monday when they face Drummondville but take the time to watch Windsor and Drummondville play on Saturday.


From the Scouting Side of the Games

It is a shame that people look at height once again when it comes to determining how good a player someone will become. The 2 best players on the ice in Friday's game were both 5'8 in the Oceanic's Maxim Gougeon and the Rocket's Tyson Barrie.

Yet Barrie has been part of the "Three Ts (Tyler Myers and Dowzak) playing every big shift for the Rockets. Odds are is that Barrie does not go until middle second round of the draft. If he was 6' or better he would be a sure first rounder.

Gougeon was the only reason why the game was not over in the first 10 minutes, his play kept the score respectable for the Oceanic. Sorry to say but if he does not get any support on Sunday then the Spitfires might blast him as well.

If he was more than 5'8 then he would be getting interest from an NHL club but odds are he will have to head to Europe for his professional career and that is a shame.

The prospect we are eyeballing for the first round though Jordan Caron played well but we hope to see more out of him if he will be worth taking at 19 (most have him 25-30 in first round). Caron did not back down from the physical contact which was a concern, still found a way to show some offense and despite the layoff skated decently.

A 6'2 RW would be ideal for the Rangers out of the first round if they can not find a way to get either Zach Kassian or Carter Ashton.

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