Tuesday, December 23, 2008


On behalf of my partner in the booth Gord Doerkson, we'd like to wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

We'll talk to ya again when we get rolling again December 29th vs. Langley.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Due to the weather, today's game between the Express and Eagles has been cancelled. No make up date has been announced.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Taken from Dave Vest Desert Blog on

Kyle Turris is getting more comfortable in Phoenix, on and off the ice.

On the ice, Turris is less afraid of making mistakes than he was a few months ago and the 19-year-old’s confidence is growing with each mistake he doesn’t make.

On Thursday night he provided all the offense the Coyotes needed in a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. It was the first two-goal game of his short NHL career.

I asked Turris why he’s suddenly playing with more confidence.

“At the beginning of the year, I was scared to screw up because I was on the fourth line and I wasn’t playing much and I didn’t want to hurt the team,” Turris said after Thursday’s game. “But I’ve kind of changed the way I look at things. I’ve changed it so that I know I am going to screw up from time to time and that’s OK, I’ve just got to limit those and learn from them. Now if I screw up, I go back to the bench ... and when I come back out for my next shift I’m not even thinking about it.”

I asked Turris if any of the veterans on the team have gone out of their way to help him cope during the low points of his rookie season. He said Shane Doan and Steven Reinprecht have been big helps.

Regarding Reinprecht, Turris said: “He brings me up when I’m down. If I miss on a shootout, or if I’m doing terrible on face-offs, he’s always there to say ‘Hey, just forget about it and just work harder next time and bear down.' He’s always there.”

Off the ice, Turris just moved into his first home with his name on the deed.

“It’s been pretty cool,” Turris said. “I’ve learned so much about mortgage rates and fees and stuff that I wasn’t expecting to learn until my late twenties.”

Turris’ parents have been helping him get settled into his new place. They even brought his dog, Cooper, down from British Columbia to add an extra touch of home. It's working. Turris is loving life. Just wait until he gets that first electric bill in July…


Here's the highlights from Friday's 4-2 Express win over Powell River.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen at Purple Penguin Productions. For widescreen DVD ordering information in 16:9 format, contact Cary at

Friday, December 19, 2008


Kyle Turris was named the games first star as he scored both goals as his Coyotes defeated Nashville 2-1 Thursday night.

"I feel the best I've felt all year," Turris said. "I feel great, I have my legs under me and I'm feeling very confident."

It was Kyle's first 2 point game since he scored his first NHL goal and an assist in the Coyotes 2nd game of the season on Oct. 12 vs. Anaheim.

Kyle now has 5 goals and 6 assists in 30 games this season. And since he was benched in back to back games in Calgary and Vancouver in early November, he has 4 goals and 3 assists.

The Coyotes have now picked up points in 5 straight games.

See Kyle's 2 goals below thanks to

Monday, December 15, 2008


The Burnaby Express dropped a pair of crucial games in a home and home series with the Surrey Eagles.

Friday in Surrey, the Eagles got off to a fast start by jumping out to a 4-0 lead on their first 4 shots before the game was 8 minutes old on a pair of goals by Mike Henderson and singles by Mike Krgovich and Adam Hartley.

Richie Virtanen was on the hook for all 4 goals but couldn't be faulted on any of them. One timers, a deflection off his Mike Leidl and in, a partial breakaway. That would spell the end to Virtanen's night as he was pulled in place of Mike Chan.

Surrey did most of their damage on the powerplay as three of the goals came on their first three powerplays.

Spencer Bennent scored early in the second period to make the score 5-0.

Thomas Hardy spoiled Tommy Tartaglione's bid for a 3rd straight shutout vs. the Express when he scored his second goal in as many games at 4:21 of the third period. It was the first goal Tartaglione allowed against the Express in 8 plus periods of hockey. The goal came just 16 seconds shy of the equilvalant of 3 straight shutouts vs. the Express going back to Surrey's 6-1 win over Burnaby on October 5th when Max Grassi scored at 4:37 of the third period.

Mike Krgovich added his second of the game on the power play to round out the scoring. Surrey finished the night 4 for 6 on the powerplay. The Express were 0 for 7.

Final score Eagles 6 Express 1.

Saturday the scene shifted to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Max Grassi opened the scoring midway through the first period when he scored his 4th shorthanded goal of the season. That goal pulled him into a 5 way tie for the league lead in shorthanded goals with, Quesnel's Trevor Hertz, Penticton's Curtis Mckenzie, Merritt's Paul Forster and Victoria's Myles Macrae.

The lead didn't last long as Brett Corcoran one timed a pass from Brennan Strang to even the score just 21 seconds later.

Corcoran scored his second of the game while the Eagles were shorthanded, that was followed by Mike Henderson scoring on a 2 on 1 break and he showed great hands as he kept the puck and deked to the backhand to beat Mike Chan and open up a 3-1 Surrey lead. The goal extended Henderson's point streak to 11 games.

Dylon Herold got the Express back within one scoring on a scramble before the period was done.

Max Grassi tied the game 3 minutes into the third when he scored his second of the night. Grassi was instrumental in giving the Express the lead as his wrist shot was tipped home by Brent Vandenberg to give the Express a 4-3 lead. The goal was Vandenberg's first with the Express and his first goal in 16 games overall.

The game slipped through the hands of the Express in the final 8 minutes of the game when Cole Gelley and Brennan Strang scored powerplay goals to give the Eagles a 5-4 lead.

The Express had one last shot to tie the game as they had a power play for the final 90 seconds with Nolan Toigo in the penalty box for holding. But the Express couldn't take advantage and Surrey held on for the 5-4 win and a sweep of the home and home series.

The loss was the 12th in the last 13 outings for the Express.

Surrey has now opened up a 11 point lead on the Express in the Mainland division. The Express have just 24 games left in the season.

The Express chances of now making the playoffs seem pretty slim. Surrey right now is in pace for 65 points this season. The Express would have to pick up 41 of their remaining 48 points available to surpass the Eagles for a playoff spot if they maintain their current pace. In other words, go on a .854 clip the rest of the way.

Next weekend the Express will host the Mainland division leading Powell River Kings Friday then travel to Surrey Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Here's the highlights from Surrey's 5-4 win over the Express Saturday night.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen and Purple Penguin Productions. DVD ordering information can be found at

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Taken from

Message received, Turris turns the corner Sunday, 11.30.2008 / 10:00 PM / Rookie Watch By Dan Rosen - Staff Writer The message was loud and clear, and Kyle Turris understood its meaning.

"Hey kiddo, forget about playing in your hometown in front of your parents and all of your friends, you haven't earned it," was basically what Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky told the 19-year-old British Columbia boy earlier this month.

Turris, who is from New Westminster, was expecting to play when the Coyotes visited GM Place in Vancouver on Nov. 6. Gretzky instead made him a late scratch, dashing the hopes of more than 100 of Turris' biggest fans who were at the game.

Turris, disappointed, has been a different player ever since.

"It was difficult, but you learn pretty quickly when you don't get to play in your hometown," Turris told "I was upset, but I came back the next day and took my anger out on the ice and have been ever since."

As the third pick in the 2007 Entry Draft, Turris entered the NHL this season carrying the burden of expectations in his luggage. He hasn't exactly set the League ablaze, but Turris, 19, is learning the ropes as Gretzky shows faith in him.

"It's a challenge for him. There is a lot of pressure on a guy that was the third pick overall," Gretzky said of Turris, who turned pro after just one season at the University of Wisconsin. "Two years ago he was playing Tier 2 hockey, so the other guys that played a couple of years of major A or college, it's a different level. He's gotten stronger, better and quicker in the last month. We all know his hockey instincts and hockey awareness are really strong. It's just a matter of him getting stronger and quicker and he's doing that right now and he's playing well. I'm happy with him."

Maybe most important, Turris is gaining confidence with his maturity.

Take, for instance, that night in Vancouver when he watched in street clothes just like the 100 or so friends and family members who came to see him in a Coyotes uniform. Turris could have pouted and had that "woe is me" attitude, but he didn't. How he handled the entire ordeal, with professionalism, hasn't gone unnoticed.

"I think it was a turning point for Kyle in a sense that he has become more mature," Phoenix GM Don Maloney told "He understands this is serious, that this is a business. Instead of saying, 'Oh this is wonderful, great, super and love everybody,' this is now like I have to play and I have to play hard all the time and be a productive player in order to play. I see a difference in him."

The difference, Turris says, is in his confidence. He may not be producing as many points as he'd like - he has seven through 21 games entering this week - but he's getting opportunities because he's skating hard and figuring out the NHL game.

As a result, Turris said right now he is "the most confidence I have been all year."

"I just didn't have confidence," Turris said of what ailed him through the first month of the season. "Maybe a little bit of nerves, but I think that comes with confidence. Because I had no confidence I was nervous that I was going to screw up. There came a point where I said I can either play like this the whole year or not take it as hard when I do screw up, take it as part of the game and learn from it."

Obviously, Turris has lots to learn, but he said he's getting used to the travel and how to play at a consistent level.

"I'm getting my legs under me now," he said.

He also understands how to use his size and strength to his advantage. He's listed at 6-foot-1, but Turris barely weighs 180 pounds. He's a toothpick on the ice and probably needs to pack on 20-25 pounds, but that won't happen this year.

"I'm not the biggest guy and I'm not going to physically be able to win a one-on-one battle with a guy like (Brian) McGrattan or (Shane) Doan, so I have to be a bit smarter," Turris said. "When I do use my physical strength, I have to use it in a short spurt where I can overpower a guy quickly. In a big battle, I don't stand a chance."

Maloney thinks Turris is primed for a breakout soon, likely in the second half, which would go against conventional thinking. Usually straight-out-of-college players suffer second-half swoons because they're used to playing roughly 40 games, not 82.

"It's a challenge for him. He's gotten stronger, better and quicker in the last month. We all know his hockey instincts and hockey awareness are really strong. It's just a matter of him getting stronger and quicker and he's doing that right now and he's playing well. I'm happy with him." -- Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky on Kyle Turris
"I really believe he's getting the tempo and the strength," Maloney said. "It's going to take him time to get stronger, but Wayne plays him. It's a little bit of good faith right now and hopefully we'll be rewarded in the second half. I love his effort, but for an offensive guy we need production."

You don't have to tell Turris that. He knows he was drafted third overall because he's a point-producer. He had 66 goals and 55 assists in 2006-07 when he was playing in the Tier 2 British Columbia Hockey League. He had 11 goals and 24 assists with the Badgers last season. Turris led Team Canada to a gold medal in the 2008 World Junior Championship with eight points in seven games.

"I'm doing all the right things now," Turris said. "I'm working hard. I have my legs under me. I'm skating. I'm creating chances. I'm getting shots. They're going to go in, they have to. Once they do, I'm hoping to get more bounces and things open up for me."

If they don't, the Coyotes might have to re-think Turris' development. He can be sent down to the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, but that's only going to happen if he really hits the skids.

"If it gets to the point where he is clearly struggling and fighting the puck and his confidence is shot, then, yeah, you send him some place where he gains some," Maloney said. "Right now I don't think that is the case. You just continue to compete and Wayne gives him opportunity to have success. I really feel we'll be rewarded with our patience, but it does take some patience."

Contact Dan Rosen at

Monday, December 8, 2008


Yesterday afternoon a weary Express club came home after their 3 game island road trip to play the Langley Chiefs for an afternoon affair with a 10 game losing streak in their back pocket.

The Express were coming off back to back strong performances in Victoria and Cowichan Valley but still ended up on the wrong side the of the score.

After an early morning and playing their 4th game in less than 4 nights, the odds that the Express were going to snap their streak on this day were low. But everyone dug deep and found that little extra in their system to step up and defeat the Langley Chiefs 5-2 yesterday.

Here's how it sounded.

Hear the highlights here.

Nothing else needs to be said. Way to dig deep boys!


After his Coyotes lost 7-1 to Chicago on the weekend, former Express Kyle Turris was challenged to his first NHL fight with Kris Versteeg of the Blackhawks.

Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretkzy wasn't too happy however with Versteeg challenging him to a scrap in the final seconds of his teams 7-1 win.

“I don’t like to see an 18-year-old kid (Turris) get grabbed out of a pile in a 7-1 hockey game and take a beating,” Gretzky said. "I just don’t think that there’s any room for that. It’s a 7-1 game and the kid is 18 years old. I don’t agree with that. I’ve never seen that. We’ll see what happens. We’ve got another game against them and we’ll be ready to play them.” Said Gretzky.

Versteeg was suspended for one game and Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was fined $10 000 because Versteeg instigated the fight in the final 5 minutes of the game.


Here are the highlights from Burnaby's 5-2 win over the Langley Chiefs Sunday afternoon.

Highlights courtesy of Cary Derksen at Purple Penguin Productions. For DVD ordering information, visit

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I have posted interviews I did with Cam Brodie and Max Grassi. Talked to Brodie about being named to the Coastal Confernce all star team. And Max about NOT going. The audio can be found in the Express All stars posting listed below.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The Burnaby Express have a brand spanking new website. Check it out at

It can also be found in the links section.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Former Burnaby Express defenceman Patrick Weircioch, former Salmon Arm Silverback Riley Nash and former Victoria Grizzlie Jamie Benn got the call today from Hockey Canada to try out for the Canadian World Junior team which will seek it's 5th straight gold medal this holiday season in Ottawa.

They were among 38 players selected to participate in Hockey Canada's main camp which will take place later this month.

Weircioch, who is in his freshman season at Denver University and a 2nd round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, has put up 6 goals and 13 points in 13 games this season. Weircioch put up 25 points in 42 games with the Express in 06-07. Last season he won a USHL Championship with the Omaha Lancers.

Nash, is in his second season season at Cornell University. He was drafted in the first round out of Salmon Arm by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2007 NHL Draft. Nash is second on the team in scoring with 5 points in 8 games.

Benn, is in his second season with the Kelowna Rockets. He has 23 goals and 41 points in 24 games this season. In 06-07, Benn put up 42 goals and 65 points in 55 games with the Victoria Grizzlies. Benn was a 5th round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2007.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The Coastal Conference all stars have been announced.

1 current Express and a former Express will represent Burnaby in Vernon on January 14th.

Defenceman Cam Brodie and current Penticton Vee Brodie Reid were voted by the Coastal Conference coaches to represent the Express.

Cam Brodie was acquired by the Express from the Merritt Centennials in a late October trade. In 12 games since coming to the Express Brodie has 3 goals and 3 assists for 12 points.

Brodie Reid, who scored 52 goals and was a Coastal Conference all star last year will represent the Express, in spite of the fact Reid was traded last week by the Express to the Penticton Vees for Brent Vandenberg.

Injuries have plagued Reid's season this year. In 9 games played with the Express this season, Reid scored 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points. This past weekend Reid had 1 assist in 2 games in Penticton.

For the second straight year, there is one noticeable omission from the Coastal Conference roster. Max Grassi, who leads the Express in scoring with 14 goals and 27 points will NOT be an all star this season.

In my view, Grassi should represent the Express in Vernon in place of Brodie Reid who was traded last week.

Hear Brodie's and Grassi's thoughts here.

Mainland division leaders the Powell River Kings have the most players heading to Vernon. In total 6 Kings will be off to Vernon. The Victoria Grizzlies are next with 4 players selected.

Grizzlies head coach Geoff Courtnall will be the head coach and Powell River Kings head coach Kent Lewis will serve as his assistant.

The Interior Conference roster will be announced tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Here are the highlights for Saturday's game vs. Alberni Valley.

Here's highlights from Sunday's game vs. Langley.

Highlights courtesy of Purple Penguin Productions. If you would like to purchase a widescreen DVD in 16:9 format contact Cary Derksen at