Just checked in with the team at the Holiday Inn in Everett…a hotel where I’ve stayed so many times, they should just give me my own room…and wanted to jot down a few notes before shutting it down for the night and finishing the trip to Kelowna tomorrow.
Game 5 in the Rose Garden was the best game of the series if you base the game on excitement level and intensity. Both teams played the game hard and both played well in stretches and both made mistakes that cost them goals. In the end, the Rockets took advantage of the last mistake and it allows them the opportunity to play one more game at home in this series, trying to force a return trip to Portland for Game 7.
Watching the game, it is easy to forget that the game is made up of thousands of decisions…often split-second decisions…that either work or they don’t. The best decision makers are the ones who can anticipate the play before it happens. Both teams have players who can do that. You have to give credit to Jessey Astles for reading the play and making the decision to jump the passing lane creating the game winner. Sure, you can question the pass by Derrick Pouliot, but there are decisions on both ends and some work and some don’t. Astles’ decision worked…and his team is rewarded.
The game at this level is also about learning…and Pouliot and the Hawks will learn from this and be better for it. We all make decisions that can be questioned…these kids do it in front of 8,505 people with the bright lights shining on them.
Portland can take a lot of positives away from this game as on most nights, with the chances they created, they would have walked away victorious. Adam Brown played great and the Hawks lacked a bit of the finish they had shown in Games 2-4. I’m sure they will be ready to go in Game 6 on Sunday, looking to prevent a Game 7 on Tuesday.
No one wanted to jump on the bus and head North tonight…but we did…might as well make it worth the drive. The pre-game show for my broadcast (will be flying solo on Sunday) starts at 4:35 on Sunday afternoon. I can’t wait…
One final personal comment…I will be missing my daughter Aiden’s swim meet tomorrow in Hillsboro. That is the most disappointing thing about the loss for me right now. I know she will swim her heart out and I’ll be rooting her on while sitting in the third seat on the left heading to Kelowna. It’s your home pool, Kiddo….you own that water, have a great meet.
“You go out in the world and take your chances…Fate is just the weight of circumstances…That is the way that lady luck dances….Roll the Bones…”