LA Kings v. Dallas Stars: THOUGHTS, TIDBITS, AND COMPLAINTS!
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03-28-2010, 12:44 PM
Smartest in the Room
Join Date: Apr 2006
Originally Posted by
So after a night's sleep to cool off I feel I should clarify a few things (if anyone actually cares what I have to say): First, I don't think this team won't make the playoffs. I don't expect them to go 0-8 and have Calgary win 4 of their next 7. However, I'm particularly worried about what happens when they get to the playoffs. I get the statement that this season is not about this season, believe me, but I question how conducive to team development in the future it will be to back into the playoffs and presumably get waxed by a top team. Second, people can argue about how a slump like this was bound to happen and whatnot, but the way the slump is happening is what is most disconcerting. They have spurts where they play great, but that is followed by even longer droughts of awful play. No cohesion on the forecheck, too many blatant mistakes in the defensive zone, not enough loose puck battles won. All of these are adding up to some bad hockey for a majority of the time since the Olympic break. Something needs to happen with this team, and it needs to happen soon.
As someone who has played competitive hockey for a long time (and I still do), I can guarantee you that on even the most tight-knit teams, a string of losses and poor performances (in general) leads to negativity seeping into the dressing room and onto the ice (as much as people try to guard against it). It's only human nature. I think Brown's post game quotes last night are evidence of that. Negativity is not conducive to successful team building. I've had many a good teams ruined by overall negativity. I think it's starting to affect the players.
They've been less than impressive in their wins the past couple weeks, inconsistent in their losses (and sometimes downright terrible), and there is something that just doesn't feel right about how things are starting to go with this team. Like I said, something needs to happen soon to snap them out of it.
I agree with everything you are saying about their play lately. They aren't getting the puck in deep and when they do the first guy in on the forecheck is not being supported at all. Puck support has sucked lately.
I don't know that we are seeing negativity in the room just yet. We aren't their so we can't possibly know. However, I do have faith that Murray and especially Lombardi know exactly what is going on in the room and adjustments will be made (players moved) if it is warranted.
I still think making the playoffs is going to be an important lesson for this team as long as they compete once they get there. Even if they get knocked out fairly convincingly in the first round, they will have learned what it takes to get to the next level and be contenders and realize that they aren't there yet. If we have the right character guys on this team (and I'm betting we do) in Kopitar, Doughty, Brown, Simmonds, Richardson, Quick, Johnson, etc. then they will answer the challenge over the off season and come back even stronger in October.
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