Stars Fall Flat In Anaheim

 I really do not know how I could possibly point out any bright points in this atrocious loss to the Ducks . Oh , wait , here it is ; Lehtonen , Lehtinen and Richards played great . That pretty much covers the good points of this game besides Loui Eriksson’s goal .

 The list of negative things from this game are far , far longer than the list of positives . Throwing away the puck , poor puck movement , bad passing and lots of turnovers all combine for overall poor puck management . Neighborhood defending , passing along your problem to a teammate , and “standing” while “defending” all compile themselves into overall poor defensive play .  Zero forechecking , a lack of net presence and net drive makes it apparent that our offensive game was nonexistent . All of these things together added up to a fairly poor game for us .

 Mike Ribeiro may not have played because he missed a mandatory team meeting , but he would not have made enough difference to win this farcical imitation of a game . Honestly , I was looking for Kris Barch to come out on the ice and get things started for us . He seems to be the guy that gets our team fired up when they all seem like they wanted to stand around from the first puck drop .

 We did actually have a few solid shifts but those were few and very far between . Only after fifteen minutes had passed in the third period did anybody besides Lehtonen , Lehtinen and Richards look like they really wanted to play . Too little , too late . Thanks .

 Looking at some of our offensive players on the ice makes me wonder if anybody “up top” regrets letting Jussi Jokinen and Nick Hagman go . Jokinen has twenty-nine goals and thirty-one assists on the season . Hagman has twenty-three goals and nineteen assists on the season . Those numbers would put them ahead of everybody on our roster except for Brad Richards . Hindsight always seems to be 20/20 though doesn’t it ? 

 MY STARS of the game ; 

 1. Kari Lehtonen – He came to play . He (at times) was the only player in a white jersey who looked like he was even interested in playing . He did his job and allowed the team in front of him to try to get back in the game . The goals he had scored against him were due to failures by the others on our team . 
 2. Brad Richards – He also came to play hockey even when his linemates did not seem interested . His persistance earned Eriksson’s goal . The only reason he was not my number one was his lackadaisical defending .
 3. Jere Lehtinen – NEVER takes a shift off . He played hard from his first shift to his last shift . No matter whether he is on offense , defense , down six to nothing or up by ten , he ALWAYS gives his best effort . This game was no exception . There are more than a few of our other player who have lots to learn from Mr. Lehtinen .

 Honorable mention ;

 Loui Eriksson – He was all around the puck in the offensive zone and did score our only goal . I was probably a little too harsh about his gameplay . Miscues were my primary frustrations with him in this game . He should have had four goals , easy .
 Toby Petersen – He played well on both sides of the puck . That is not a thing I am saying about too many players this game .  

 In The (Penalty) Box ;

 I hate giving this to our own players but this time , it had to be done . Two of our players have been chosen for this award(?) because I was equally unimpressed with both of them .
 Jeff Woywitka  – Despite having a mere four shifts and an enormous grand total of 2:53 ice time , he still managed to make himself look terrible on all four shifts . He also managed to get a stellar -1 in the miniscule amount of time he was on the ice .
  Brenden Morrow – You have no idea of how bad I hate to write that . He came out so strong in the first but it seemed like he slacked off considerably when he realized nobody else was playing hard . Dammit man ! You’re the Captain ! Yell at them or something to get them moving ! Be “The Man” ! YOU are the leader here , not a follower . That’s why you have the ‘C’ ! “Motivate” your teammates ! Threaten to slash their tires or pee in their beds while they are in them or (even better) drink all their Molson Canadian beer ! 

 I am usually not this negative , but this season has just killed me (and I am sure many of you) . We can beat great teams and we can be a great team . I just wish all of our players would realize that we only have those abilities when we perform like a team . I hate this time of year when we are on the outside looking in . It’s kind of like having an itch you can’t scratch . There’s nothing you can do about it but you can’t seem to think of anything else . That and I get cranky , or haven’t you noticed ?

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~ by Adam on March 30, 2010.

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