Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bar Has Been Raised

- Of the three bloggers in the broadcast booth last night it looks like I'll pick up the bronze medal when it comes to timeliness.... both Ryan and Regan have good takes on last night's game. You can find their blog link over on the side of the page.

- Following last night's complete performance - one of the best of the year by the Broncos - it's time for the players and fans to expect more from this hockey club. It's not that expectations were ever low but now over the last couple weeks we know what this team is capable of and anything less would be unacceptable. They've always been a strong team on paper. Now they are starting to play.

- The Broncos took it to the Rockets despite having to kill off 11 powerplays including a 5-on-3- for a full two minutes in which the Rockets didn't get a shot on goal. Granted the Rockets weren't very sharp and their compete level was average (Just ask Jamie Benn, he didn't want the puck at all last night).

- The home team couldn't have asked for a better script. Their biggest crowd of the season, the Grey Cup in the house, a dominating penalty kill which hasn't been great this year, and a shutout effort against a high flying offensive-minded team. The Grey Cup even made it's rounds inside the Broncos dressing room following the game. Apparently the Winnipeggers on the team Dale Wiese and Cody Eakin enjoyed it too!

- Thanks to the three Riders for all their great work last night signing autographs and talking to fans. Nathan Hoffart, Marcus Crandell and Anton Mckenzie - great job guys. The place went nuts when they were announced at center ice prior to face-off. A standing ovation. It electrified the home team to see that much energy before the game started.

- Mark Guggenberger had a debut to remember in the Broncos goal. His 30 save performance was nearly routine. There was maybe two flashy saves over the course of a night but he helped himself with his calmness and rebound control. His post game interview was great too. More Guggenberger on the radio please.

- I would expect the Broncos to go back to Travis Yonkman tonight with the Regina Pats coming to town. The Pats won their 7th in a row last night with a 3-2 OT win in Medicine Hat. The Pats are rolling but their last two losses have come at the hands of the Broncos. New Year's day in Regina on Mike Wilson's OT winner and January 6th in Swift Current on David Stieler's OT goal.

- I've made the comparison a lot lately of Jesse Dudas to Aaron Rome. Dudas brings back the same style that Romer had. He plays with an edge, is physical and adds some offensive ability. They even skate the same. Dudas is a solid pick up. He was our 2nd star last night.

- It wasn't the usual names on the Broncos scoresheet last night. No Wiese, Smith, Nelson, Felde or Dansereau. It was the likes of Eakin, Wudrick, Dowling and Tassone. It goes to show you the depth of this hockey team. All four lines were good last night. That is what it's going to take in the playoffs to be successful.

- GREAT match-up tonight. Can't wait for this one. Broncos and Pats at 7:30pm from the Credit Union I-plex. It's the sixth and final meeting of the season. The Broncos are 3-2 against the Pats while the Pats could say they are 2-1-2 against the Broncos due to a pair of overtime losses. They've won seven in a row and are playing their best hockey of the season.



Anonymous said...

Hi Jon,
Once again, a tremendous job of bringing Bronco action to the people of the southwest. During the Regina game, after going back and watching it on the net, I noticed that your color commentator referred to one of the Pats as being gutless for jumping McAvoy after the hit from behind on Strueby. He also minimized the hit by saying he felt that Strueby turned. I saw it live and on the net and whether Strueby turned or not is something we will never know. What we do know is that it was a clear hit from behind and was called a double minor as such. As for the gutless comment, I have one comment. As a Bronco fan who has witnessed our teams get ABUSED year after year dating back to the 1980s, I think we have lost sight of what happened on that play. A guy runs your teammate from behind and he should pay. Whether it is gutless or not, it is a gutless that has been sorely lacking for many of the past 20 years. If more players over the years knew that they would get exactly what McAvoy did if they abused a Bronco, we would see many more banners in those rafters. As for your color guy's comment that he should have squared off, I say that a player who hits someone from behind loss the right to decide the terms of the payback. The code he talked about begins in the dressing room of each team. The first part of the code is that if you mess with one of us, you are going to pay. Hopefully the Broncos learned a lesson last night about standing up for teammates. Their journey into the playoffs will come from sticking together like the Pats did on this play. Your announcer as a teacher and a coach should not have minimized the hit and should certainly understand the value of standing up for teammates. The code got thrown out the window when the Pats player was laying on the ice.

Jon Keen said...

I understand your point. I think something needs to be done in that situation too... But to horse collar a guy from behind isn't a good way to go about it.

I think the Broncos stick up for teammates all the time. Matt Tassone got in pretty quick when Dudas was hit from behind vs Vancouver.

Matt got the advantage on Cunningham and probably should have stopped throwing punches when he got on top.... that's all part of the code too right?

That's hockey... I don't fault Kennedy. Here's a guy trying to get some regular playing time on a team loaded with some good forwards. Do what you have to do.

Anonymous said...

I think the Broncos have gotten better at this area. But, traditionally, we have seen some great teams get abused out of the playoffs.

But, thanks for all the great coverage.

Anonymous said...

as for Tassone holding up when he got on top; I disagree. If you wanna ring the bell with a hit from behind, why should Tassone hold up?

There is a code for the game and it gets thrown out the window when the other team rings the bell with something dangerous. Instead of Tassone protecting Cunningham by holding up, Cunningham protects HIMSELF by not hitting Dudas from behind.

In baseball, if you throw at someone's head, someone is getting one back. But, you may also see your second baseman get plowed or spiked too.

Is this a glamorous or dignified part of the game? No. But, the cure to it is to not hit Dudas from behind.

The code applies to people who play with honor. When you step out of that, you (and your teammates) become fair game.

A little barbaric??? yes. But, the law of the jungle can keep the game safer than any striped jersey can.

bryan said...

Hello Jon, id like to commend on the first blogger's comment, he is exactly right, what Kennedy did was wrong, but also what McAvoy did was equally wrong. Both guys should be penalized harshly. Also, your color guy last night was pathetic, you need Ryan up there all the time, whether he's sick or not :). I watched the game on webcast yesterday, and to be honest with you, i had to shut it off, not because of you, but by the color man. I must say, your broadcast was professional, and i have a lot more respect for you, as it has been said you're 1 sided and such, i failed to see that in the time i listened. I believe Kennedy lost it, due to the adrenaline, but to fight like that is uncalled for, no excuses for him.

Jon Keen said...

Thanks... I think. It was a heated moment of the game and things get said. Terry does a good job and is my back-up guy to Ryan. He got a little fired up. Something that rarely happens.

Not sure where you heard I was all one sided. We all cheer for our home team but I respect the good teams the Broncos face all across this league. This a great league with great players.

Sometimes it's best to listen on your own and form your own opinion rather than taking someone elses word for it.

Thanks for the comments Bryan.