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03-07-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
I don't buy that the Blues are less "gritty" defensively this year. If anything, Polak and Pietro are going a bit more out of their way to be physical compared with last season. The difference is their team play, support, and execution. They aren't quickly assessing situations and then getting in position and making the simple play. The stupid, prescriptive interference-bump calls are not causing that in the slightest.

If that were the case, you'd expect a guy like Russell to shine because he should be able to skate fast enough that the disallowed bump doesn't matter. Yet he is a shell of himself from last year. The difference there is pure execution, which, in this case, appears to stem from confidence.

It's convenient to talk about the officiating changes, especially when the problems are numerous and the solution is somewhat hazy. And there is little doubt that the reffing league-wide has been worse than anyone is used to, but I don't think that is a significant contributor to any of the Blues' problems.
I add timely Saves to be the big issue. We are giving up few shots, but no matter how air tight the defense, teams will still generate scoring chances - when that happens the goalie must come up big. Each game a goalie must come up with that one big save to keep momentum or change it. Last year, we had those saves. This year we aren't getting them.

It isn't a personel issue. It really comes down to confidense in the goalie to make that save and this year it is lacking in a big way. It causes players to play tight and lately with the exceptiong of the last two games, we have played from behind a bit. Which causes players to try and make things happen or take the extra unnecessary risk/pass. We also have at times been quilty of cuties plays and passes that have led to turn overs and scoring chances.

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