Another Shootout Loss …. Really ?

 This is getting old and it is only four games in to the season . In my first blog of the season , I think I said that a shootout loss was alright as long as it did not become a trend . Well , guess what ? Three shootout losses is a trend and now it is definitely not okay .

 I am going to change things up this time from my usual blogging style so just bear with me . 

 I am going to give out MY STARS of the game first instead of last .
1. Brad Richards – He played very well and his smart sneaky goal he put in behind Luongo earned him his spot here . Not many players would have been aware enough or confident enough to have even tried that move .
2. Mike Ribeiro , Brenden Morrow and Jamie Benn – All three of them played well . The Cap’n had two assists and Ribs and Benn both had goals . Of course that was not all they contributed . Benn was great in front of his hometown audience . Ribs did pretty well on the dot . The Cap’n gave the Canucks plenty of trouble everywhere he could .
 3. Stephane Robidas – After taking a giant cut on his chin and still coming back onto the ice to finish the game AND he played well , he deserves at least this if not more . Robi never gives less than 100% even if his jersey is covered in blood when the game is finished .  

I was pleased that Jere Lehtinen was in the line up for the first time this season . He made a difference but , like Craig Ludwig said in the telecast , he cannot solve all Our problems . Other players need take a cue from the three time Selke Trophy winner and be a little more conscientious about stick and body positioning . We might be a little better on the penalty kill . Which leads right into …..

 Our penalty kill is absolutely terrible . Not like I am telling you anything you do not know , but it is a very frustrating thing to see OUR team struggle with . The troubles on the penalty kills really start with all of our players’ sticks’ positions . We are not blocking passing lanes often enough . That follows right into being in the right place at the right time , body positioning . The goals scored against us were when we were out of position , scrambling like mad to try to cover somebody who easily slipped away from coverage . Sometimes it can even be something as simple as the opposing player got his stick free for just the one second that it took for him to score on us . We absolutely must be better on the penalty kill . I have no doubts that we will get better but right now I am very frustrated with the penalty kill . Which follows right into …….

 Our best penalty killer must be the goaltender (Razor always says so) . Recently Our goaltenders have not been the best player on the penalty kill . That goes for BOTH Auld and Turco . Marty just looks bad because of the doubt that has been cast on him from last season that nobody has still given him a break on . He has not done worse , the team in front of him has not been doing their respective jobs as well as they should have . That is one part of it . The other part of the equation is that when we won with Auld in net , the Flames were fairly worn out from the game before – not really an excuse for a team to lose , but it does have an effect on players and their abilities , about that , there can be no doubt . I do think Marty is not seeing the ice as well as he used to when he used to post shutouts all the time or simply allow one goal a game . I also think that he will be better . Don’t count him out yet . 

 Another thing that frustrated me is that we allowed easy entry into Our zone far too often . We worked hard to get anything going in the Canucks’ zone while they never seemed to have any problems coming into Our zone . They ran over us while we kept fighting for every inch of space . I am not saying we did not force them out of Our zone in an orderly fashion (most of the time) , but it was the entry that seemed to be too easily accomplished . It seemed that four of their five players would always meet us at their blueline no matter where they were mere seconds before that . We need to have that kind of puck support all the time .

 I need to do something now that I normally do not do and something that I really frown on . I have to complain about the excellent job the officials did . (Before you start your lecture about how I know nothing about their job , step back and let me vent . I do not want nasty comments about this .) The referees allowed all kinds of penalties from the Canucks . Tripping , slashing , interference and hooking ran rampant and we all saw it passed off as good puck pursuit . I may make people angry with that , but it is true . Even Marc Crawford noticed that one of the refs seemed to be “overly friendly” with Luongo . I am not accusing anybody of throwing the game , I just do not think the game was called correctly . I do not know that even if the game would have been properly called that we would have won , but at least it would have been called properly . In all fairness , we could have been called for several more things as well . I just feel like the referees need to do their jobs correctly and that they did not do so in this game .

 We are a good team and we have good players . I want us to play like it . All the time , not just sometimes . I have faith in Our Stars , I know the season will get better and I look forward to every game . I do not know if you are going , but I am so looking forward to Wednesday’s game against Trashville . I got free tickets from Razor . I hope to see you there .

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~ by Adam on October 13, 2009.

 
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