Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Canada Proves Me Wrong! Romer Makes NHL Debut

Well, my Canadian World Junior prediction fell through today with Canada advancing to the gold medal game. I has said earlier in "Keen's Korner" that Canada would finish 3rd or 4th but today's win over the U.S. means they will place either 1st or 2nd. I must say Canada was on the ropes in that one and needed that goal with 8 minutes left in the 3rd to force overtime.

Was that shootout something else or what!? Jon Toews has made me a believer. His three snipes in the shootout to win the game was nothing short of spectacular. He went toe-to-toe with the WHL's biggest breakaway threat Peter Mueller and beat him.

You get some of the best 18 and 19 year old talent in the world, give them those slick one-piece sticks, add a god-given quick release and it equals no chance for a goaltender. That's the key in the shootout. Get into a good shooting position in the slot and wire it low or high to a corner. Don't waste time with a high degree of difficulty deke. The Broncos, who are 3-1 in shootouts this season, should've been taking notes today. Guys like Levi Nelson have caught on. He's just skates in and shelves it. Kyle Bortis, Brady Leavold and Dale Wiese should also should be near the shooters list with their ability to fire it.

Canada will play for the gold medal Friday. We'll carry the game against the Russians beginning at noon as we join The Fan 590's coverage.

It's about time for former Broncos defenseman Aaron Rome. He made his NHL debut last night for the Anaheim Ducks in Detroit. He played about 15 minutes and was a -1. He was on the ice for the Red Wings winner in the third period. As I said this morning on the sportscasts, It appears Chris Pronger's broken foot was Rome's foot in the door into the NHL.

Rome played here for parts of three seasons from 2002-2004. He might be my favorite Broncos defenseman in the seven years I've covered the team. Although sometimes he was the whipping boy for fans, Rome could do it all and do it well. Need a quarterback on the powerplay? Check. Need that big bone crushing hit? Check. Need a shut-down d-man to play against the oppositions best line? Check. Need someone to answer the bell and drop the gloves? Done, and done well. He was also a great interview. I'll never forget the time he declared in the pre-game show before the much anticipated game vs Everett that "Mitch Love will play no factor in tonight's game, at all". Or when as a member of the Moose Jaw Warriors when he would subtly mock the trade the Broncos made that sent him to the Warriors while on our broadcast. He knew it and we knew it.

When Rome was on the ice you just had the calming feeling. He was the man. Sure he had some swagger to him, maybe even some cockiness. But he could back it up. I have found out over the years that the best players I've been associated with knew it too. Sometimes in the hockey world it's "nice guys finish last". You need a certain amount of confidence and swagger to succeed at his level. Aaron Rome had it, so did his buddy Ian White. Jeremy Williams and Tyler Redenbach are also on that list. Throw in Nathan Smith, Layne Ulmer and Lawrence Nycholat.

Broncos and the Pats Friday night at 7:30pm from the Civic Center.

See you at the rink,

p.s. A shout out to former Eagle morning show co-host Kim Johnston in Medicine Hat who has told me he's an everyday reader of the blog. Thanks.


Joel said...

You nailed Romer. He was a presence on the ice when he was here. And yeah he did it all and did it well with some cockiness. I remember some of the fans all year said trade Rome trade Rome and then when they did (worst trade in my time following this team) all I could here was why the hell did they trade Rome, from the same people. We need someone like him again. Not knocking are guys now but right now a Rome they are not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the props! Not all 'Hatters are jerk Tigers' fans!

Go Broncos. And Go Eagle.

-Kim Johnston

ernie said...

Just a note on the Dallas Stars Jon, who are doing bad things to the Oilers in Edmonton tonight....(on S.NET) At one point it was 4-1 Edmonton, and Dallas tied it with two PP goals within 20 seconds! Now it's 4-4. Our Stars are rolling, Jon!!! NICK HAGMAN JUST GAVE THEM THE LEAD!!! WOW!! 5-4 now!!! What a turn-around!! YAHOOO!!!

Jon Keen said...

Ernie! You spoke too soon. Oh well, still won it in a shootout.