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03-16-2004, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SmokeyClause
I guess we can coddle Vokoun and sheild him from all the blame. Or we could ask him to be more mentally prepared. You seem to think that it doesn't matter, but that's grade A bullplop. When you aren't mentally aware, you aren't as sharp with your points of reference and you can find yourself out of position. More than he ever was last year, I find Vokoun out of position. Not by much, but by enough to matter. Positioning is the #1 key for all goaltenders. It's how Giguere was able to make it to where he was; it's something Vokoun has been off and on about. I don't expect him to play perfect. I don't expect him to make saves that are just inside the post. I do expect him to be in position for shots off the wing. He may not make the save, but he should be beat by a great shot, not a good shot.

And no, fixing the defense is not more correctable. I'd venture to say it's just as hard to correct as telling Vokie to be more mentally prepared. Are we going to tell Hamhuis to mature 3 years? Are we going to tell Timonen to bulk up? Are we going to tell Hnidy to skate faster or make a better first pass? Are we going to tell Bomber to be stronger on his skates? Are we going to tell Allison to be a good defenseman? Your claims are just as unreasonable as mine.
I'd venture to say some of our defensive mistakes are certainly correctable. The defensemen and forwards are capable of not getting caught up late in the game when we're holding a one-goal lead (Chicago game). Our defenseman are capable of not shoting the puck in high-risk areas when we're trying to hold a lead, which results in a block shot and odd-man break the other way (Calgary game). Our defenseman and forwards are capable not trying to act like goaltender when there is scramble in front of the net (Boston game, Calgary Game, and nearly every game of the year). Stay with the man and keep him tied up and out of the play.

But of course we can tell Vokoun to be better mentally focused. That's easily correctable. "Play with more mental focus, Tomas." Those are simple instructions that have no apparent meaning.

I can guarantee you that Vokoun enters the game with every desire to win. Of course he has every desire to correct a goal "that he should've had." But sometimes it's just the way the puck bounces and the momentuem you have as a goaltender. Because of that, goaltenders go really hot, somewhat hot, average, cold, and colder. This goes for every goaltender in the league. But everyone here just expects Vokon to be really hot all the time. Of couse, he shares the blame of a loss, just like everyone on the team should. But the poeple just find it easier to put nearly everything on the goaltenders shoulders.

Blaming Vokoun is just the easiest thing to do. We do it and the the media does it. They say the HE is the one that must take the team to the playoffs. What about the other 19 players on the ice? Are they capable of evelating their game? Yes, they are. In fact, they are more capable of elevating their game. Becuase they can actually do something objectively about elevating their game. The can play with more emotion, skate harder, play smarter, and quit doing high-risk things when they're trying to hold the lead. Vokoun, on the other hand, can only be "more prepared mentally." The saying with no apparent meaning.

Last edited by dulzhok: 03-16-2004 at 04:42 PM.
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