Preds\Sharks Game 4 GDT
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04-20-2007, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, Tn.
a few thoughts, including some that some people will disagree violently with... but that's ok, because it's the debate and arguments that makes this halfway enjoyable anyway (or why would anyone bother to be a die-hard fan posting on here to begin with?)..
...i will flat out guarantee i'm as disappointed as any other person on this board.. crushing to see the hole we've put ourselves in and to be facing elimination again from a team and coach i absolutely abhore..
...many watched the game, but judging from many of the comments i've seen in the game day thread and in the various threads around here, many don't have the slighest clue of what they saw and why it happened like it did. we played a good game, beating the sharks in all aspects but one, goaltending.. and this isn't saying vokoun was bad, he was ok, it's simply that nabokov stole this game for them.. we outchanced, outshot and outplayed the sharks fairly badly for the first two periods, and walked away trailing by two goals at the second intermission as payment.. if you didn't see that, you might need to start following a new sport for recreation..
...the third period of course turns your stomach as a pred fan.. once san jose goes into the shutdown protect the lead mode, we're in very bad trouble.. this is when they can use their size and strength to all but bottle us up in our own end of the ice and exactly what they did last night once they got to the third with the two goal lead.. it's why we cann't play behind this team and have any decent chance of winning.. once you get into this stage of the game, guys like grier and all their big forwards become highly effective against our small blueline.. when you can skate well and ourweight a team 18 lbs a man, size comes into play slowing the game to a crawl..
....none of that excuses our play in the third completely however.. i thought we were a beaten team mentally beginning the third.. i actually question the heart and desire of some of our players when we fall behind like that.. you have to pay a price to get the puck moving in those situations.. the defensemen having to be willing to take a big hit to chip the puck forward into the neutral zone, and the forwards have to play with intensity and heart to win the puck battles in the neutral zone and then themselves have to be willing to take another big hit to get the puck deep into the offensive zone.. we weren't.. we constantly shied away from coming hits, not willing to pay the price.. we constantly lost the battles for the puck in the neutral zone which allowed them to chip the puck back deep and start it all over again.. we simply didn't have the mental desire or toughness to pay the price to have the chance to come back..
...the way we've built this team, this is the risk that was taken... play from ahead and keep the game open and we're as good as any team, better than most all in fact.. play from behind and we're mediocre at best with our roster.. we have to keep the game open to be successful period.
...the simple fact is that sullivan is our best player.. without sullivan we are not an elite team, and not near as good as many think.. people screaming "how can we go from almost winning the president's cup to this??!".. the answer's simple.. we're not the same team we were 25 games ago.. surely people don't think we simply quit trying to win games about the time sully went down do they?.. the fact is, since he was injured, it so dramatically changed and negatively affected this team that since that time, we've had the 8th best record in the western conference.. and this has been over the last two months of the season, not some short stretch of hockey we're talking about here.. people on here act like we should be the odds on favorite to win the cup, and that hasn't been true since about january..
...so having said that, san jose right now is a better team than we are in most aspects.. their team speed is as good as ours, their pp is better than ours, they are much bigger and stronger, they're more experienced and they have as good a goaltending as we do.. without a healthy sully and erat, we're not as good as a healthy san jose, no matter what some want to believe.. people will scream "we still have good players without sully!!" and they're right.. but what we have is a team built to be a speed counter team, and without sully, we're simply average in those two aspects of the game..
...the "fire trotz last month crowd" will scream that's simply an excuse.. and it is of course.. these people want to oversimplify things and are the first to scream "no excuses accepted!!" because they simply want to not think about reasons.. but it's an honest explaination of one of the main reasons we're in this hole..
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