It was good to be back in the Rose Garden yesterday…maybe it’s just me, but hockey looks a lot better on those big HD screens than basketball.
It was also good to reconnect with a lot of the production crew down in the production area, many that I worked with during Hawks TV broadcasts in past years.
The day didn’t go without its hitches, like not having the FM transmitter functioning in the Garden, but we hope to have that corrected by next Friday. When you haven’t held a hockey game in that building for over a year, it is like relearning everything over there again and it isn’t a turn-key operation, as much as some people think it is.
On the ice, I thought both teams had pretty good jump and energy considering the short turn-around time from playing games in the Puget Sound area on Friday night.
I liked the Hawks so-called fourth line of Joel Ridgeway, Sawyer Mick and Stefan Schneider who was playing wing instead of his normal defense position. They brought energy, grit and even created more than a couple scoring chances.
Their effort wasn’t lost on Hawks Coach Mike Johnston, who had them out for just about every other shift at certain stretches during the game.
With Troy Rutkowski’s short-handed goal, the Hawks now have scored a short-handed marker in their last four home games. I’m not sure if that has been done by the Hawks before, but it is still quite a feat.
It was great to sit down and have a between periods conversation with Dean Vrooman yesterday. That was always a fun part of our broadcasts when we would just go into an intermission without a real plan and just talk about whatever crossed our minds.
During regular season games, Scooter and I never scripted out our pre-game show. We’d always show up prepared with our own notes about the Hawks and their opponents, but we would just have a conversation. I think that is what made our broadcasts as good as they were. It is much easier to have a lively discussion when you don’t know what the other person is going to say.
Speaking of broadcasts…John Kirby will be back in the booth with me on Tuesday night as Mark Ertle has business to attend to. And, like our game in Seattle, Kirby has gone into the “way-back” machine to dig out some audio highlights from the early 80’s for our first intermission.
You won’t want to miss it…
After Friday night’s game in Everett, the Hawks will only have to visit the Comcast Arena one more time this season, in mid-February…and that’s fine by me. Three times in four games was plenty…
With the lack of success of the Hawks power-play recently, the short-handed scoring has made that race a bit interesting. Will the Hawks score more short-handed than with the power-play? To date, it is:
Power Play – 15 for 133 – 11.3%
Short Handed – 5 for 134 – 3.7%
In the last 10 games it has been:
Power Play – 6 for 51 – 11.8%
Short Handed – 5 for 50 – 10.0%
Portland rookie Brad Ross has a split personality in home games vs. road games…
At home, he’s a playmaker — 0 goals, 9 assists.
On the road, he’s a scorer — 6 goals, 1 assist.
Colin Reddin is the reverse:
At home — 5 goals, 2 assists
On the road — 0 goals, 4 assists
If you’re wondering who has been writing the longer features on www.winterhawks.com, that has been the Hawks new PR and Media Relations hire, Graham Kendrick. Graham moved to Portland recently with his wife and has worked in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies. Expect to read and hear more from him in the future.
He relocated to Memphis when the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated as well, so he is a Canadian at heart with a passion for hockey. Welcome to Portland, Graham…
The Kootenay Ice invade the MC on Tuesday…game notes will be posted then…