Looked like he just picked up the wrong guy. The two D played it well but McNeill there took the wrong guy on the back check. Instead of picking up the trailing forward he got a guy that was already taken by Wotherspoon.
In hindsight, I thought the D backed in a little too much, but that was essentially an odd-man situation, and you can't be as aggressive as you'd want to there. I'd agree that the failure was really on the forwards. You need that backside pressure, and there was just nothing there. The defense was completely hung out to dry.
He was expected to take on the role of leader, with everyone else stepping aside when he was on the ice. From my eyes, he has been a complete failure in every facet of hockey in this series. He has been selfish, a showboat with no recognition that there are other players out there with him. He has been blind to the notion that if he is drawing a crowd, that must mean other people are wide open. He has been a detriment to Russia, not an asset. I'm wondering whether Edmonton might be thinking that he could use another year in junior hockey, and maybe a year or two in the AHL before he is ready for the NHL.
My point is best illustrated by his penalty shot last night. From the time the whistle blew, his penalty shot took about 7 minutes, because he was skating so slowly that i honestly thought that he might fall asleep before he reached the net. Obviously, he has been very successful in a CHL environment in the past, but I can't believe that his stock hasn't plummeted after this series.
I agree with you. Showboating, poor decision making etc. Its seems that he has lost the sense of collectiveness of the Russian system. Look at the 2nd goal tonight, great collectiveness, using creative passing, speed and deceptiveness to completely manipulate/disect a systemically strong defense. That is what makes Russian hockey fun to watch, not this shoot everytime I get the puck or go around everybody by myself style. Yak has also been awful on the pp, that 5-3 was so bad, everyone including my grama new the shot was coming from Yakupov.