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01-11-2004, 05:44 AM
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-Aside from the Hlavac save I really don't think that The Rick was tested that much. He was fine but the team around started playing better as well.
I thought the Rangers produced some good quality chances in the third but didn't get many of the scoring chances on net. You're right, it was a gutsy period and they came out with the W which usually hasn't happened in these one goal games.

- Yeah he is pressing. But he is also working hard, battling in the corner, taking the body at times, producing points (albeit not the number we had hoped for and way too few goals), and drawing penalties.
Like you, I'm not AS down on Kovie as everyone else as he still is producing with his setting up of plays but I think it's obvious that when he's in shooting position he's hesitating and thinking way too much. Try to remove the thinking aspect and tell him to just let it rip from anywhere and everywhere in the offensive zone. Couple of bounces and the puck goes in. Confidence restored!

- I think that you are lowering your standards when looking at Hlavac.
I don't think I am. I said a couple of days ago when he first got benched and sombody said he was putting in the effort, that effort isn't enough and he does need to produce. I still believe that way. Just noticed that he was forechecking and backchecking good yesterday. People seemed to be slamming him. I didn't see a need to.

Onto Leetch. I'm his staunchest supporter because he's my favorite player ever but I couldn't help but notice how his defensive play has been below his standard that he has set over the past few years. Fletch, while he'll do some of the things you brought up, he still usually is a capable defender that is about average. Lately though he hasn't even been that. To pinpoint why may be impossible. You can blame Poti but even last year when paired with Poti, leetch's Defense wasn't like this.

It mostly likely is a combination of things. Poti's d play or lack thereof will effect Leetch. Also everybody shouldn't loose sight of the fact that Leetch has not played much hockey in the past YEAR and was immediately asked to come in and play top pair minutes everynight. Leetch of 5 years ago probably could have accomplished this but maybe the current version is tiring out. I also truly believe he is playing hurt right now and it is effecting his game.

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