Sunday Thoughts…

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%

Stay tuned…

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…

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13 Comments

  1. […] a very interesting little nugget in Andy’s blog this evening. If you’re wondering who has been writing the longer features […]

  2. The Rose Garden is amazing with hockey in there. I wish there were more games that way.

    The replay board is amazing, the ice sheet has minimal ads, sightlines are good, etc.

    At least we were competitive Saturday, that’s always nice.

  3. 3,000 people in the Rose Garden sure doesn’t look like very much ….

    The big screen was impressive, except that it felt like there was something hanging over my head all day. Having gotten used to not looking at it in the MC (due to it not working or not having a replay of what just happened) I kept forgetting to look up there.

    Bottom line … I still do not like that building. It felt like we were on a road trip. The MC is home to me, always will be. But if it helps bring in more attendance or money, I guess that is what we have to do.

    Where was Dan Folwick???

  4. Dan was out of town on business…I believe there will be a different announcer on Tuesday night with Kevin Flink (has done PBP/Color for the Hawks in the past and is the PA voice for numerous OSAA events and the PSU Vikings football team) being the “voice” for that game.

    I believe Dan will return on Friday night against Calgary…

  5. Sue :

    How can you prefer the MC over the Rose Garden? Yes the MC has a lot more history in the building, but its old and dark and the scoreboard does not work.

    I felt there wa MORE energy in the Rose garden than any other time this year at the MC except for the 5 goal outburst against Kamloops, but the attendence was jut over 2500 that night!

  6. MAYBE IF WE ARE ALL LUCKY DAN FOLWICK WON’T COME BACK HE IS THE WORSE ARENA ANNOUNCER. DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE ON HOW TO PRONOUNCE SOME NAMES EVEN THE WINTERHAWKS. HE IS BAD

  7. Hey Brian,
    A lot of people prefer the MC to the RG. I can’t begin to guess a percentage, but a significant portion of my friends and acquaintances are either neutral or prefer the MC.

    I know I prefer the old place, and not just from a game staff position (don’t even get me started on how impossible it is to move quickly around the RG behind the scenes, or how the locker room configuration makes it harder to do simple jobs like grab players for three stars.)

    The hockey sight lines in the RG are barely decent, whereas the MC was built for hockey and there’s not a bad seat in the house. The RG has three separate concourses, and it’s hard to move between them without getting stuck on one-way escalators or elevators with no access to certain levels. (San Jose’s one-concourse design is great, and makes their 17K-seat arena feel not much bigger than the MC.)

    The RG is waaaay too warm, even in the stands. Hockey fans should be able to wear a sweatshirt in the building. There absolutely should NOT be streams of 70+degree air flowing down onto the players on the ice and in the benches. I can’t even imagine how miserable that is for the teams.

    Look up: a low ceiling covered with Blazer crap, a low-hanging, unimpressive jumbotron (yeah, the 4 screens themselves are nice, but look at New Jersey’s scoreboard–now THAT’S state-of-the-art), impossible-to-read penalty clocks and shot counts, and sound-deadening panels.

    Walk around…and see all the fancy-pants courtside and club level bars that…darn it, aren’t open for hockey games, but still compress traffic on the concourses. Admire the brightly lit (but closed)…Blazer souvenir store. Enjoy the ambience that calls to mind pleasant evenings spent…in a hospital waiting room, except without chairs. Then cram yourself into a seat that may or may not be facing the ice in a decent direction and is lacking about 3″ of leg room compared to the MC. Now THAT’S a superior fan experience!

  8. Can those of us that were in the crowd on Saturday get a chance to listen to the chat with Scooter? I’d take an MP3 or just a replay during any of the games this week.

    I just knew Scooter would be on the air when I saw him walk in and sit down in a seat down in the visitor’s corner before the game started.

  9. Hi Andy,
    Will the game be televised online from the Rose Garden? The last game was not on and they said the problem orginated from the venue.
    Thanks,

  10. Mara pretty much hit it on the head. The RG is not friendly. If (heaven forbid) we are going to be forced to have all our games there, are the Blazers going to take down some of their monuments to make room for ours? Our championship banners (of which we have TWO) are just as important as theirs. Lots of the concession stands were closed as if we don’t eat that kind of food or something. I have not missed being in that building at all.

    The MC may be old, but it is home. And when this team starts maturing and making their run and the crowds pick up, the Coliseum will be rocking again !!!

    My heart is in the Coliseum and it will be until it isn’t there anymore (or until i’m not).

  11. another mc vote here!

  12. was at the game ssaturday vs seatlle after moving to bend 6 years ago. although dan has a hard time pronouncing some names, he has a way of sounding like he is enjoying himself. “grandma moses” on saturday afternoon was HORRIFIC to say the least. announcing a penalty after 30 seconds burns off the penalty clock is bush league. i offered to to the 2nd and 3rd period for free. if anyone from the organizations reads this…i work in radio in bend and i’m available.22 years doing high school play by play…it ain’t that hard people!

  13. I HAVE TO CAST MY VOTE FOR THE ROSE GARDEN. THE SIGHTLINES AS MENTIONED BEFORE, ARE GOOD. FOR ME, THE BETTER FOOD SELECTION IS MY MAIN REASON. THAT SAID, WITH THE PRICES THAT ARE CHARGED IS NOTHING SHORT OF FULL FLEDGED LEGALIZED RAPE, PERIOD.
    I’M IN THE BEVERAGE BUSINESS, AND BELIEVE ME, RAPE IS THE ONLY DESCRIPTION THAT FITS. IF THE $3.00 BOTTLED WATER DOESN’T GIVE YOU AN INDICATION OF HOW BAD IT IS, THEN YOU NEED TO WAKE UP. BELIEVE ME, THAT WATER DIDN’T COST THEM MORE THAN ABOUT 40 CENTS A POP. AS FOR THE FOUNTAIN DRINKS, THAT WOULD MAKE YOU EVEN MORE SICK, SO I WON’T GO THERE.
    THE “WELL, EVERYTHING’S GOING UP THESE DAYS” ARGUMENT DOESN’T HOLD WATER!!


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