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Soundin' Off -- the lifeboat

Friday, December 22, 2006

Winter snowball

So there are two things at work here tonight, two ways to look at this game. One is in isolation: Three power-play goals in two minutes, another goal less than a minute later, and the game is gone.

The other is simple and more insidious: This is three losses in a row. This is five in seven. This is three goalie-pulls in five games. This is 12 goals against in two games and 31 in seven. This can easily turn into a mess. This is a team that looked to be in good shape three weeks ago and now has fallen back to hailing distance of last place.

The team seems focused on the latter.

To hear them tell it, it's a matter of discipline, to use Steve Regier's word. Dan Marshall had three things on the phone Thursday. Regier had three tonight: Turnovers, not getting pucks deep, and not playing the systems. Regier gave credit to the Penguins, whose power play changed this game around in a hurry, but "fundamentally, we were awful tonight, myself probably at the top."

Actually, the start was fine. Bridgeport was outshooting the Pens 7-3. Then the penalties started.

You don't get the puck in, Marshall said, now you've got the forwards going the other way, you lose the third man high, and you've got no support for your defense on the rush. Maybe they score. Maybe you take a penalty and have to face the No. 1 power play in the league.

"It's just a matter of guys going off on solo missions," is how Rick Berry put it. "The coaches are preaching it over and over. The older guys are preaching it over and over."

Where do you go from here? Regier insists they know the systems; it's just a matter of executing them.

And if they don't, well, what was John McKay's line about his Buccaneers' execution?

LINEUPS
BRIDGEPORT
F: Comeau-Colliton (A)-Regier
Tambellini-Nielsen-Nolan
Marjamaki-Nokelainen-Ferraro
Pitton
D: Fata-Berry
Mitchell-Wotton (C)
Rourke (A)-Goulet

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON
F: Brodziak-Schremp-Filewich
Jensen-McLean-Wallace
Carcillo-Dixon-James
Mikhnov/Kennedy
D: Welch-Gilbert
Lannon-DuPont (A)
Glenn-Carkner

So right, 16 skaters because Ogorodnikov got sent out, and Nilsson's back flared up. Berry: "We don't have an extra guy. You have the luxury of going back out there, whether you've made a mistake or not. Some teams I've been on, you make a mistake, you might not see the ice for a couple of games."

I'm gonna take some blame, too. I didn't even notice Jeff Deslauriers had gotten a penalty at the end, so no idea who served the roughing minor for him. Gotta work 60 minutes, even up here.

Bernie Cassell and Joe Ferras switched off for a night; Cassell changed the forwards, while Ferras was the eye in the sky behind us in the press box.

Wade Dubielewicz appears targeted for Tuesday.

Darren Haydar tied the record tonight, needing just 7:50 to do it. I wonder when his latest first point in a game has been; has anyone sifted that out yet? Project for next week, maybe. (Since I've had the Haydar Watch in the weekly notes for, like, a month now.)

Michel Therrien got one of the bigger hands of the night when they showed him talking to Pens radio man Tom Grace in the second intermission.

The NHL is reportedly considering going back to four divisions. Like the idea in principle.

Tip o'the cap to JB for pointing out Hockey Fans Unite. I also like Jonathan's suggestions for the site. Make it look mean, in short...

1 Comments:

  • Yep, Delauriers basically clotheslined one of the Tigers players after the goal. Wonder what was said there.

    By Blogger Jason, at 11:51 AM  

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