February 28 2014 07:14AM
Well it’s safe to say, I miss watching Team Canada play in the Olympics for gold. I found last night's game incredibly boring and I’m sure many felt some sort of emotional letdown. If you didn’t right away, surely a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild did the trick.
Just a lack of communication here, generally the defenseman will play the puck carrier and try to step up while the forward coming back is responsible for filling in behind the d-man, picking up another guy or retrieving the puck if chipped to the corner. Obviously the exchange near the blue crossed everyone up, but they need to talk more. Too easy.
This one is all on the forwards in my opinion. Veillieux finds a little soft spot on Eberle but where are Gagner and Hemsky going? Eberle is clearly the first forward back and takes his man to the net. He probably should have released to Ference a little sooner but regardless, Gagner just sort of floats into the left side of the zone. Even worse Hemsky can see the whole ice and also floats back to the left side, not trying to fill Eberles wing where the eventual goal was scored from at all.
Just as the Oilers were making their usual third period push when trailing, the Wild put the nail in the coffin. A lost battle on a contested puck keeps the puck in the zone and eventually a goalmouth scramble allows fan favorite Dany Heatley to make it 3-0.
Last night midway through the first period Nugent-Hopkins got into a scrum with Keith Ballard where they exchanged more than a couple cross checks and face washes. On the other side of the net Taylor Hall was being confronted by Matt Cooke. Neither guy backed down which was great to see, but where was everyone else?
I read somewhere the other day Dallas Eakins wanted five guys involved when things like this occurred, yet the two defenseman on the ice Petry and Belov just stood on the blue line watching their best players get pushed around. For what, an offensive zone draw in the middle of the first period?
When it’s your best players in a situation they likely shouldn’t be in, it doesn’t matter who you are, you get involved and stick up for one another.
It was once again a struggle as they were really unable to sustain any kind of pressure. To add to the misery, it was nice of Belov (who was on for every goal against as well) to nonchalantly give Minnesota a glorious opportunity late in the third on the PP. He looked very concerned about turning it over too. Watching effort like that is so frustrating.
While many were still on break last night, how can you not like what this guy has brought to this team since coming over from Nashville? He’s not flashy, he’s not going to score a ton, but he knows his role and you don’t have to worry about him showing up to play every night.
Other teams have to be aware of when he is on the ice because he will finish every check. How many guys can you say that about the last few years around here?
Anyways...Bring on the Flames.