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MacTavish cracks the whip

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11-30-2003, 06:37 AM
  #1
coyote
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MacTavish cracks the whip

Just read this article in the journal and could not believe he singled out these 8 players for their recent losses. Most of these 8 were not involved in the PP or PK units. Most games are lost or won now adays with these special teams units. IMO you have to equally blame the players on these units and the players whom are getting all the ice time. To single out the players whom are getting 7 to 10 minutes of ice time is ridiculous. This is in my opinion is an excellent way to divide the dressing room. I happen to see both of the games against Detroit and Colorado and these players did not give up the puck as much as York, Smyth, Hemsky, Dvorack and Torres did. I did not see to many power play goals but too blame those 8 for that is sending the wrong message. In fact the only one scored was by Bergeron and it looked like he was one of the 8 singled out. This is a team game and apparently the team did not lose these games; the dirty 8 did. In fact if you want too talk about brutal did anyone see the give-away by York when we were on the power play that cost us the 4th goal. I do not like to single out players but right is right, or is it wrong is wrong for certain players. I rest my case.

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11-30-2003, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote
Just read this article in the journal and could not believe he singled out these 8 players for their recent losses. Most of these 8 were not involved in the PP or PK units. Most games are lost or won now adays with these special teams units. IMO you have to equally blame the players on these units and the players whom are getting all the ice time. To single out the players whom are getting 7 to 10 minutes of ice time is ridiculous. This is in my opinion is an excellent way to divide the dressing room. I happen to see both of the games against Detroit and Colorado and these players did not give up the puck as much as York, Smyth, Hemsky, Dvorack and Torres did. I did not see to many power play goals but too blame those 8 for that is sending the wrong message. In fact the only one scored was by Bergeron and it looked like he was one of the 8 singled out. This is a team game and apparently the team did not lose these games; the dirty 8 did. In fact if you want too talk about brutal did anyone see the give-away by York when we were on the power play that cost us the 4th goal. I do not like to single out players but right is right, or is it wrong is wrong for certain players. I rest my case.

I don't think Stoll or Bergeron are there to be chastised, but rather to give them an opportunity for a learning experience. The rest deserve to be there. Horcoff should have to scrape the frickin ice after the practice, he's been so bad lately. Oates is still getting into game shape, as is Tommy Gun. I kind of think Smyth should be there too, but he needs a few straight games back on the wing before I am going to criticize his lack of production from the third line (currently playing a shutdown role anyway as the teams next most reliable defensive forward next to Reasoner, who is out, and York, who is playing too well)MacT is sending a message - work like Ethan, Staios and Yorkie, and you will be rewarded. I like this coaching move personally.


Last edited by Hemmer: 11-30-2003 at 09:09 AM.
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11-30-2003, 06:53 AM
  #3
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Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but maybe they are trying to move Horcoff and management want to showcase him the best they can, limit the criticism towards him, etc...

I mean, this board is filled with very knowledgeable posters and it's pretty obvious to everyone that Horcoff is not delivering. I can believe it isn't to MacT and Lowe.

On the subject of singling out individuals, well it's not ideal but I think players like York and D-vo have earned a bit of rope, especially after the 6 games road trip that could have been a disaster for the Oilers. JMO i guess.

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11-30-2003, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemmer
I don't think Stoll or Bergeron are there to be chastised, but rather to give them an opportunity for a learning experience. The rest deserve to be there. Horcoff should have to scrape the frickin ice after the practice, he's been so bad lately. Oates is still getting into game shape, as is Tommy Gun. I kind of think Smyth should be there too, but he needs a few straight games back on the wing before I am going to criticize his lack of production (from the third line, currently playing a shutdown role anyway as the teams next most reliable defensive forward next to Reasoner, who is out, and York, who is playing too well)MacT is sending a message - work like Ethan, Staios and Yorkie, and you will be rewarded. I like this coaching move personally.
Maybe Staois, Ethan and Pisani should have been exempt thats all.

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11-30-2003, 07:06 AM
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Everytime the team plays bad, MacT comes up with a few names to blame. I do not know if he ever self criticized of his PP? This phenomema has been years and it has not been solved, whose fault? Somehow I do not have as much respect to MacT as with other Oilers Coaches. Too many changes and the team has not improved, how about some "little" in coaching...I am sure the other Craig would do just fine.

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11-30-2003, 07:24 AM
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Looks like a pretty logical list to me.

Hemmer makes a great point with regard to Stoll and Bergeron (I'dd add Semenov, who appears to be hitting now, and Allen to the list), and the rest are simply not playing at a level that will keep them in the lineup when the injured players start coming back.

Horcoff, for example, could easily be in Toronto when Reasoner comes back, as a top 4 center depth chart of Oates, York, Reasoner and Stoll would be very possible. Isbister is making big dollars for doing what Dan Cleary did, and Georges Laraque is giving effort lately but not getting results. Ferguson has gotten away from his keep it simple stupid routine a few times this season.

IF I was going to ***** about anyone, it would be Chimera. I keep waiting for them to give him a role and let him play that role for 20 games, but the Oilers seem to be spending every waking moment trying to find a role for Isbister instead.

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11-30-2003, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Looks like a pretty logical list to me.

Hemmer makes a great point with regard to Stoll and Bergeron (I'dd add Semenov, who appears to be hitting now, and Allen to the list), and the rest are simply not playing at a level that will keep them in the lineup when the injured players start coming back.

Horcoff, for example, could easily be in Toronto when Reasoner comes back, as a top 4 center depth chart of Oates, York, Reasoner and Stoll would be very possible. Isbister is making big dollars for doing what Dan Cleary did, and Georges Laraque is giving effort lately but not getting results. Ferguson has gotten away from his keep it simple stupid routine a few times this season.

IF I was going to ***** about anyone, it would be Chimera. I keep waiting for them to give him a role and let him play that role for 20 games, but the Oilers seem to be spending every waking moment trying to find a role for Isbister instead.
I agree with what you said in the most part but I was trying to point out you lose as a team for the most part. But too single out guys who are trying to stay in the line-up or who get little ice time is wrong. I did not want to single out guys but Hemsky must of gave the puck up at least 8 times 5 on 5. So IMO he needs the work just as much as the rest and there was others. Team; Team; Team; Team; Team; We; We; We; We.

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11-30-2003, 07:52 AM
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Who were the 8 guys or did the article not say?

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11-30-2003, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairball
Who were the 8 guys or did the article not say?
Laraque, Stoll, Semenov, Horcoff, Bergeron, Ferguson,Chimera, Isbister.

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11-30-2003, 08:13 AM
  #10
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i dont know about you guys but i think mact is losing this team. a lot of finger pointing and bag skates seem to be the norm right now and that is not acceptable. the message is clearly not getting across and here is one example of that, guys like horcoff and isbister even add laraque keep getting playing time even though they struggle while kids like salmalainen, semenov and chimera dont even get a real chance to prove their worth. when players like isbister and horcoff know even if they play like crap consistently they wont be sitting how does this make sense.
as for laraque he is frustrating me to say the least, no longer seems willing to hit or get involved, cmon is there anybody on this team that can agitate the opposition.

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11-30-2003, 08:27 AM
  #11
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Originally Posted by hmminvisiblecola
i dont know about you guys but i think mact is losing this team. a lot of finger pointing and bag skates seem to be the norm right now and that is not acceptable. the message is clearly not getting across and here is one example of that, guys like horcoff and isbister even add laraque keep getting playing time even though they struggle while kids like salmalainen, semenov and chimera dont even get a real chance to prove their worth. when players like isbister and horcoff know even if they play like crap consistently they wont be sitting how does this make sense.
as for laraque he is frustrating me to say the least, no longer seems willing to hit or get involved, cmon is there anybody on this team that can agitate the opposition.
In all fairness to Larague he has had a few unjuries which have limited him to do what he can do. Also he is in and out of the line-up and it's hard to get into game shape when you sit more than you play. If this sounds like an excuse it is but they seem to have alot of them for the Isbister's, Davorak's, Dopita's, Hemsky's, Brewer's etc., so why not have them for the Laraques, Chimeras, Horcoffs, Fergusons, Semenovs.

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11-30-2003, 09:20 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
IF I was going to ***** about anyone, it would be Chimera. I keep waiting for them to give him a role and let him play that role for 20 games, but the Oilers seem to be spending every waking moment trying to find a role for Isbister instead.
Great point LT. I sat down to watch the game Friday and I was pissed off to watch Chimera out of the lineup. To me, his game has been on the up swing the last few weeks. I mean, he's got speed to burn, which was noticable on the crappy ice of Commonwealth Stadium last week.

As I posted earlier, it's amazing how much rope Horcoff gets (although I saw after my post that he was singled out). He just has not proven he's a full time player.

As for Isbister, he's trying to do to much. Ill-timed deeks, bad passes. He needs to simplify his game. The sad thing is that Lowe gave these two new deals in the summer, with Horcoff getting a nice raise. Without getting into a CBA debate, these two are perfect examples why the current economic system doesn't work. Salmeleinen should be playing, but for reasons other than his play he's back in TO.

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11-30-2003, 10:27 AM
  #13
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I think the biggest problem with this team is that we have too many players.

Smyth-Oates-Hemsky
Torres-York-Dvorak
Moreau-Reasoner-Pisani
Isbister-Horcoff-Laraque
Chimera-Stoll-Salmeleinen
Sarno

Brewer-Cross
Staios-Smith
Bergeron-Semenov
Ferguson-(Allen-just a call up at this point)

Salo
Conklin

That is conceivably 26 people playing on any given night on a 20 man team. Our defensive situation is fine. Our Forwards are really messed up. The problem is that no one who is playing poorly truly knows their place on the team.

Playing well and consistently:

Oates- Just started. Gets the benefit of the doubt because he did what we expected on his first night.

Torres- Playing like he knows that there are 5-8 guys that could be a second line LW on this team.

York- He knows he's a top 6 guy and is playing like a top 6 guy.

Dvorak- Ditto.

Moreau- He brings the same game every night and consequently is playing well. He is our checking LW and plays hard every night.

Reasoner- Was playing well and knew he was our go to face off guy/ checking centre.

Pisani- No one expected him to be here but he kows what his job is and does it night in and night out also.

Stoll, Salmeleinen, Sarno- Are all playing like they are the next guys to be called up or put in the line up and guess what? They are.

Not playing well:

Smyth- Is he a first line winger or a third line checking centre? We all know the answer to that but why is he not there? (He should be soon though so I expect a return to form for him soon.)

Hemsky- I'm not sure he knows his role yet because he's relatively new still. Is he needed for scoring or does he need a more defensive focus (both imo but they will come).

Isbister- He gets moved around so often. He's played everywhere. I think he can play very well if he has some sort of consistency to work with. He's like the big boulder at the top of the hill. Once he gets going he'll be unstoppable as long as he doesn't get interrupted. He is under the wrong coach for that though.

Horcoff- Wasn't he supposed to take a giant step forward this year and possibly compete for top line centre? Well maybe he thought so also. It hasn't worked out that way and maybe that's why he's playing like he is. With Oates here now, he might need to realize where he is and start over.

Laraque- I think BG has inner turmoil to the point that he can't do what he is here to do. He's our enforcer/fighter/toughguy. He doesn't play the part though.

Chimera- I feel so bad for him. He has never really been given a chance here. I think he's a great player and has enormous potential but has never made it out of the doghouse long enough to make a difference. He would probably benefit most from a trade to somewhere else.

So the solution I propose is this. Salmeleinen and Sarno get sent down (check), sort of a trade (I don't ever post trade ideas because of my lack of knowledge of other teams players. Most of the info I get is from posters here.) Comrie (because we all know he's going), 1 of Chimera/Isbister, Laraque, and 2nd for a top 6 guy (LW or C), a better than average D prospect, and a 1st.

That leaves us with this (also, these are the line I would like to see):

Smyth-York/Oates/Top6guy-Hemsky
York/Oates/Top6guy-York/Oates/Top6guy-Dvorak
Moreau-Reasoner/Stoll-Pisani
Torres-Horcoff-Chimera/Isbister
PB-Stoll or call up

Now if Horcoff doesn't improve his game, then we could switch him with Stoll. Also, Chimera/Isbister would have to play RW. Does that solve any problems (hopefully all of them?)

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11-30-2003, 10:42 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote
In fact if you want too talk about brutal did anyone see the give-away by York when we were on the power play that cost us the 4th goal.
That was actually the 3rd goal - but anyways. York has been the best Oilers by far this year and 1 giveaway won't change that. As a forward on the point you have to expect some mistakes andfrankly that is the first he has made in some time.

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11-30-2003, 10:43 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote
Laraque, Stoll, Semenov, Horcoff, Bergeron, Ferguson,Chimera, Isbister.
Add up their +/- and I'm sure you will find the root of macT's anger.

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11-30-2003, 10:46 AM
  #16
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This skate is another example of how this is not truly a team. If it were, the other players, upon hearing what MacTavish was going to do, would've gotten on the ice with the rest and skated right along with them. That is what real teams do. There's something wrong here, and the absolute mismanagement of this team over the last few games points the finger directly at Craig MacTavish. He's had a couple years now to figure this out, and I simply think he can't. The team isn't prepared for big games, or games they should win, has no special teams to speak of, doesn't come from behind very often at all, never scores with the goalie pulled, etc, etc, etc. ALL coaching responsibilities.

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11-30-2003, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
This skate is another example of how this is not truly a team. If it were, the other players, upon hearing what MacTavish was going to do, would've gotten on the ice with the rest and skated right along with them. That is what real teams do. There's something wrong here, and the absolute mismanagement of this team over the last few games points the finger directly at Craig MacTavish. He's had a couple years now to figure this out, and I simply think he can't. The team isn't prepared for big games, or games they should win, has no special teams to speak of, doesn't come from behind very often at all, never scores with the goalie pulled, etc, etc, etc. ALL coaching responsibilities.
How about the lack of production and effort on the ice? I suppose MacT had a ton to do with that. He is a good coach and when things go bad you need to be tough.

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11-30-2003, 10:50 AM
  #18
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Originally Posted by Walsher
How about the lack of production and effort on the ice? I suppose MacT had a ton to do with that. He is a good coach and when things go bad you need to be tough.
Actually he's made the coaching difference in at most one game this season, and that was the 6-3 W against Colorado. It was amazing to see what happened when this team was actually prepared and lines were sent out and mixed correctly and the team was motivated. Good coaches do that kind of thing alot more often than ours does.

He is one of many problems we need to fix.

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11-30-2003, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
Actually he's made the coaching difference in at most one game this season, and that was the 6-3 W against Colorado. It was amazing to see what happened when this team was actually prepared and lines were sent out and mixed correctly and the team was motivated. Good coaches do that kind of thing alot more often than ours does.

He is one of many problems we need to fix.
Right - thats why there were a ton of MacT to the Rangers of Leafs in the offseason. I is a good coach and is definately not the problem. Coaches can only do so much. I guess Simpson is the worst special teams coach in the league seeing as how his PP is last. The players need to take responsibility. Everyone loved MacT when the team had a 4 game winning streak.

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11-30-2003, 11:09 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walsher
Right - thats why there were a ton of MacT to the Rangers of Leafs in the offseason. I is a good coach and is definately not the problem. Coaches can only do so much. I guess Simpson is the worst special teams coach in the league seeing as how his PP is last. The players need to take responsibility. Everyone loved MacT when the team had a 4 game winning streak.
I didn't, because I could still see flaws in gameplan and player/ice-time/special teams lines, etc.

Coaches can only do so much, BUT, a good coach can go a long way to giving your team the best possible chance to win, and with the decisions ours makes, he is clearly not.

For an example: When we use the diamond/rotating box PK, we don't get scored on. Watch the games and you will see this. For some reason however, at points during the game, this formation is changed to the passive box (and not in the middle of the play, but after faceoffs, indicating that it was almost assuredly sent in by the coach, as it is the same players who were in the other formation) in which we get torn apart.

For another: Our powerplay only uses one side of the ice, and is ridiculously easy to stop. Not to mention the problems with our joke of a break-out and break-in.

I haven't even mentioned the fact that part of our system includes standing behind the net when the other team is changing, and essentially never doing anything drastic to stem the tide of a bad game.

I don't care if some of these duties come under the care of an assistant coach, it is still the head coach's responsibility.

Things don't change when we're playing badly either, the system is essentially never altered. NOT SMART.

If this team had a coach that knew how to use the assets we have, was smart with his special teams and line-matching knowledge, and knew how to instill confidence and motivate his players before games, we'd be alot better off. If you want to see how a team should be coached, and can exceed the sum of its parts, just look at Anaheim last year.

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11-30-2003, 11:23 AM
  #21
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imo, i've been saying it ever since the beginning of the year get rid of Mac T we need a veteran coach and this will send a msg to the team. The thing i dont like with the oilers organization is they have so many former oilers on the team and everyone is so buddy-buddy that i believe its a conflict of interest. I dont believe the coaching staff will go anywhere anytime soon because Lowe wont pull the trigger and fire any of the assistant coaches or head coach. It may be nice to have all these ex oilers and shiet but in the long run i dont think it does anything good. Oilers need a change, not a small change but a big change so everyone in the organization knows that if your not doing your role for the organization you are gone. Thats just my 2 cents.

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11-30-2003, 11:53 AM
  #22
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An interesting read. MacT feels some players are deliberately unwilling to work hard. The guys apparently had some sort of player meeting to clear the air:

Quote:
That said, all agreed there is accountability in the room and that it has been addressed internally.
It's certainly a warning shot to the underachievers. Chimera, quite frankly, looks like a passenger most nights. Skates alot, but doesn't seem to do much of anything. Isbister's game is still a disappointment, and on top of that the guy is brittle. Laraque had a slightly better effort against Colorado, I thought; played with an edge, despite not being able to fight. He needs to play like that consistently. He gets lazy though, that was obvious in the Avs game too. Just watch him coast/give up when a puck moves two or three steps away. Sheesh. Bergeron's mercurial play is really frustrating to watch; great pass one moment, brutal giveaway the next. We're so thin on the blue line, though, that he has to stay in.

I guess I just don't get the animosity towards MacT. We all like to be armchair coaches but I cannot believe that we aren't making adjustments during the game. Come on! It's contingent on the players to pick up their play, period. I hope this serves as wake up call, but I just don't know if it will work. Perhaps this is a precursor to a potential trade of the underachievers. I for one will welcome it, if some of these guys don't change. The one coach I would condemn, at this point, is Simpson. What that guy does to earn his cheque, I don't know. The PP is absolutely atrocious. I don't see ANY changes in the way our PP system works.

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11-30-2003, 01:59 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmminvisiblecola
i dont know about you guys but i think mact is losing this team. a lot of finger pointing and bag skates seem to be the norm right now and that is not acceptable. the message is clearly not getting across and here is one example of that, guys like horcoff and isbister even add laraque keep getting playing time even though they struggle while kids like salmalainen, semenov and chimera dont even get a real chance to prove their worth. when players like isbister and horcoff know even if they play like crap consistently they wont be sitting how does this make sense.
as for laraque he is frustrating me to say the least, no longer seems willing to hit or get involved, cmon is there anybody on this team that can agitate the opposition.
and when the Oilers invaribly go on their next 4 game winning streak will he be a great coach?

I don't remember him being even mentioned when we were on the four game winning streak.

Why is it always the coach when the team is on a losing streak and the player ONLY when they are winning?

I have never understand that!

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11-30-2003, 07:05 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaz44
and when the Oilers invaribly go on their next 4 game winning streak will he be a great coach?

I don't remember him being even mentioned when we were on the four game winning streak.

Why is it always the coach when the team is on a losing streak and the player ONLY when they are winning?

I have never understand that!
Exactly my point. In addition, coaches in this league don't have a ton of effect on players - they know how to play. any system could work the fact remains when a team loses it rarely has anything to do with the coach. The last time MacT scored was a couple years ago. Tonight for instance. Outshoot San Jose 36-21 or whatever and only score one goal. Against the Avs outshoot them 41-26 and only score one goal. To me a successful system is in place but when the players don't deliver a loss is inevitable.

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