Saturday, November 15, 2008

Four Straight Losses, Morale Victory Little Consolation

Another one of those "deserved a better fate" games for the Broncos last night in a 3-2 loss last night to the Everett Silvertips.

Despite outshooting and outchancing the Silvertips, it was the road team that made the most of their opportunities scoring three times on 19 shots including a 5-on-3 powerplay goal midway thru the third period to add some insurance.

Justin Dowling added his 2nd goal of the game to cut the lead to 3-2 with 6:42 to play but the Broncos never could get that one great opportunity for the tying goal.

In talking with some of the Silvertips brass, they've been on the other end of this type of game a couple times on their east division swing. The Law of Averages made a correction last night. In fact, some of the breaks the Broncos were getting in their 14-5 start are now going the other way... such is life in a 72 game schedule. Breaks, good luck, bad luck, deserved to win, didn't deserve to win... it all has a way of evening out in the long run.

Here's some random thoughts:

- Jordan Peddle is ok and was back in the Broncos dressing room after being carted off on a stretcher early in the third period. His open-ice collision with Pail Van de Velde away from the puck left Peddle unconscious on the ice for about a minute. He regained conscience but protocol in the situation is to take every pre-caution including stabilizing the spine and using the stretcher.

Both players saw each other late and there was no avoiding the collision near the 'Tips blueline. There was no intent from Van De Velde.

Peddle has a concussion and will be out of the line-up for an undetermined amount of time. By my count that's six concussions this season sustained by Broncos.

- Cody Eakin also left the game late with a leg injury as he crashed hard into the end boards after driving hard to the Everett goal. His status is also unknown for Sunday's game.

- D Eric Doyle was again the Broncos best player on the ice. The league and Hockey Canada need to recognize it and make him part of the ADT Canada/Russia Challenge in Swift Current November 26th. What's taking so long?

Last night I asked him in our pre-game show about being left off the roster and his desire to play in the game.

"First of all Jon, I appreciate the support. It would be really nice to be able to get on that team in front of our home crowd. I definitely think I belong in that group but it's up to Hockey Canada and the WHL and there's not really anything you can do other than play hard and show them you belong there." - Doyle

- Everett General Manager Dout Soetaert was our pre-game guest. He addressed several issues including the long trading history between the Silverips and Broncos. "If shoe fits" was the way he described the relationship between himself and the Broncos Dean Chynoweth.

- Speaking of Dean, I thought his take on the Everett Silvertips road trip raised my eyebrows a little. I asked Dean about taking advantage of the Silvertips fatigue factor playing their last game of a six-game swing. Here was his response:

"They are the one team that financially can afford to come out and spend the extra time out here. Most teams come out and play five games in seven nights but Everett comes out and plays five games in two weeks. I don't think fatigue is a factor." - Chynoweth

- Regan Bartel, broadcaster of the Kelowna Rockets reports that Broncos Assistant General Manager Eldon Moberg was in Vancouver last night taking in the Giants/Rockets game. Regan also points out the Rockets have only two over-agers on their roster and have room to add one more. The Broncos are about to be one over the limit in the next two weeks. It appears Jesse Dudas has garnered a lot of attention around the league. I've heard as many as five teams have shown interest.

Personally, I would love to have Dudas as a Bronco this season. He brings so much to the team and has the ability to be a marquee player in the league. He would instantly become the Broncos most physical defenseman (hands down). He would rival Eric Doyle in his offensive upside and would be add some jam into a sometimes soft line-up. And he's tough.

Everett Silvertips Head Coach John Becanic weighed in on a couple of things in the pre-game coaches show.

On being picked to finish near the bottom of the standings in the Western Conference this season in several polls....

"You gotta love the media, if they pick you to win it all and if you don't you're considered a failure. This year they picked us to get 10 wins if we're lucky and so everyone is congratulating us on what a great season we're having. Our standard has always been pretty high here in Everett. we feel accountable to our season ticket holders and our corporate sponsors to put a good product on the ice."

On coaching a strong personality in Kyle Beach a Chicago Blackhawks 1st round pick.....

"Kyle is a challenge in different ways. He's a very bright individual that thinks the game real well and sometimes over thinks the game and it makes it more challenging for you as a coach to keep him on task. He's really passionate about the game and understands the game.

He's nowhere near in the Sean Avery category and unfortunately some people compare the two. He's not a handful to deal with. We've had other great players here like Peter Mueller and Zach Hamill. Any time you get a player that's a premiere player with a strong personality they're going to be a task to handle. I think every team has those types of players. It's what makes your teams great sometimes and makes coaching a challenge.

Kyle is a fun player to be around I can't emphasize that enough. He keeps things light at times, he adds stress at times and I think any great player does that and you have to accept that. From this level on to the National Hockey League you have to learn how to deal with those types of players and manage them. The coaches that manage their star players the best are the ones that seem to hang onto their jobs.


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