Roy is getting 3 minutes of ice time and he doesn't scare anyone.
Hey, we probably watch the same amount of hockey, and I'm only watching how Sid and Malkin get creamed out there at times...and, if you listen to some other commentary out there, I think they'll agree with me.
BTW, I never mentioned goons and that type of play, There is a difference...
Thanks for your input!
uggh.. and i had so looked forward to last night. just yesterday i mentioned we couldn't really afford unfocused, undisciplined efforts during these next 7 games where we need all the points we can muster, and we come out with an unfocused, undisciplined team effort. almost physically painful to have to sit and watch.
thoughts about things in general, and a little about what went wrong;
...we have the best record in the NHL. but don't let that fool you, as much as we all want it to be true, we're not the best team in the NHL. we're top 5, but not the best no matter what point totals say.
...this time atop the standings is enjoyable and all that, but really means little. we are too worried about "respect", and not receiving enough "credit". personally, i'd far rather be underrated and overlooked than i had be overrated and overhyped. right now, this stint atop the standings has brought us publicity and positive articles galore. but, why is that important? are we really that insecure as fans and as a franchise that we have to complain constantly about lack of "respect"?
...i know the anaheim win made us all feel better and all, and eased some of the 'we cann't beat good teams' crowd, but i'd gladly trade that win for wins in the less glamorous losses to PIT, PHO, and COL games.
...we really haven't played well offensively in the last 4 games now. 9 goals in 4 games won't win many games. 6 even strength goals for, 10 even strength goals against in 4 games won't win you many games.
now as to the game last night specifically;
...we are a team that scores the vast majority of their goals off the rush, using our transition game, utilizing our speed to create odd man rushes. take those open ice goals away and we tend to struggle as a team offensively most nights. last night a wierd thing happened, especially in the first 30 minutes. we controlled the puck, we played almost totally in our own offensive end cycling the puck for huge long periods of time. we did all that, but we're not a puck possession type team that can create tons of good scoring chances off the cycle once we are in our own zone. our first line last night cycled the puck 5 or 6 times for near 30 seconds down low, but that's not their game. it's speed and open ice. and because we were deep in their zone it effectively in a strange way, took away what they do best.
...lots of fingers to point.
1)our first unit with no goals in the last 3 games now and only one in these last 4 games. and we have needed them badly.
2)zidlicky conitnues to really struggle in both ends. i'd have traded him for a bag of pucks if it had been my choice right after the game. if he doesn't score goals or at least play well on the pp, well he's a liability. and he hasn't scored a goal since November 25th, 32 games ago. not to mention the 25 minor penalties he has taken this year.
3)erat with a bad game. some nights he simply hogs the puck like years past. last night at least three times he skated from behind the net up the right halfboard and curled back at the blueline without giving the puck up to guys who were more open than him. once sully was wide open in the low slot, but erat had his head down and didn't give it up. some nights, this guys game drives me nuts.
4)dumont. jeezus, how many chances did he have? winds up with 1 official shot on net, but missed the net on two wide open net chances to change this game and wiffed on another 2 on 1. notice he got erat's pp time last night, not that that helped one iota. had to have had the puck bounce off his stick 10 times last night.
5)the pp obviously reeked. we didn't get many chances, but the chances we got were all at key times, and we couldn't get it done. we couldn't get anything done in fact. hartnell with 47 seconds of pp time? legwand with none? zidlicky with 57 seconds?.. while dumont gets 5:13?. we all know we have lots of talented pp type players, but that the pieces don't quite all fit together on our pp, but it was never more obvious than last night. i don't have the exact personnel solution here, but i recommend that we try combining our two best pp scorers, hartnell and arnott on one unit for a look. and that dumont and erat aren't the right answers running the 1st unit pp off the halfboards.
after the bitterness of defeat dies down, a few other game notes from last night;
...an erat turnover lead directly to the first penalty on zidlicky
...the timonen and arnott hooking penalties that both took us off our first two pp's were plays where both players simply reached around and tried to lift the opponent's sticks. neither should have been called penalties, as they were both stick to stick contact
...shame that brookbank's nice point shot and nichol's good deflection get lost in the loss
...they really limited our odd man rush situations., but we did get two clean 2 on 1's. both times with the puck on arnott's stick and dumont the second man. not exactly the two guys you would choose if you could choose two to be on a 2 on 1. arnott looked uncomfortable on both.
...twice last nights we generated great shorthanded scoring chances.. the legwand steal and backhand on our third pk, and then the sully, hartnell great chances on our 5th pk there in the second. that one hartnell got a great pass and fleury barely tipped it with his shoulder. a great save, but a tough break for us.
...the dumont fluff on the one breaking down the slot was another that had our player looking to the rafters afterwards (as the hartnell shorty one did right before it)
...the recchi goal, two shifts after we had finished off a big penalty kill to start the thrid broke our backs of course. had been preceded by a zids turnover.
...two horrible pp's with us trailing by two in the last 10 minutes of the game, convert either and we had a shot.
...right before they scored their first goal we had two great chances to go up 2-0 at the start of the second. the zids blind backhander down low, and the dumont breaking in redirection that fleury made good plays on. we had had one other good chance late in the first to take a two goal lead, one of the failed arnott to dumont 2 on 1's. any of those three go, and this is a different game in all likelihood.
...much like gretzky and thornton and lemieux and other superstars, crosby is going to have a protective shield around him as far as getting penalties called by refs.
...thought smithson played well in general.
...vasicek falls farther and farther out of favor with this team every game it seems. something is going to be done here in the next three weeks ahead of the deadline.
... we had some glaring turnovers, none of which led directly to goals, but four of which gave up outstanding chances that amson saved people's bacon on. the hartnell one with 10 seconds to go in the first. a zidlicky one in the blueline. the erat one early in our zone that led to a rush and the first penalty. and then the extra ugly one where zanon lost the puck right heading up ice right in the crease to malkin. all led to tough mason saves