You could see it coming. If you saw my article from yesterday, I did predict this. I did say that the Isles could give Buffalo their first win, and they did just that.
If I wrote this last night, I would have been on a serious diatribe, blasting players for their efforts, and feeling many of the 10,000 fans there (now that number should be diminished by about 3,500 or so).
The part of the game that really bothered me was the defense. Guys that needed to be shutdown players were just not up to snuff last night. Now – don’t get me wrong, there is no doubt in my mind that these guys are 100% or more ready. I do not question their commitment, or their mindset. Sometimes, in the heat of battle, things just go in a way that will get fans emotions on edge. This was the night.
I will not name names, but we will leave it at that, and move on.
However, the other thing that gets me, is that when a effort comes up that brings the team a goal to take the lead, there at times seems to be a feeling that the team will not kick it up another notch and go for the juggular. When the puck glanced off the body of Matt Moulson to give the Isles the lead in the 3rd; and then a subsequent power play, that should have been the time to get the power out and increase the lead to two. It just did not happen.
If Michael Grabner could finish – he would make the start of Mr. Hertl in San Jose look minimal. I liked having him on the line with JT last night. There seemed to be a great deal more holes in the ice for them to get into, and cause trouble. Despite all that he is trying to do, Tavares was just average last night. A good time for the team to pick him up. They defended him well in that Steve Ott mash up.
Evgeni Nabokov had started the year 6 for 6 on the shootout stage. Now he is 2 for his last 6. Just did not look well last night. Again – just average.
Tomorrow – is an Edmonton team that is reeling as well. With one of their young guns not happy (Yakupov) and yearning to go to the KHL, this would be another situation that you think would lean strongly with the home side. I basically predicted last night (despite the actual prediction of a 4-2 Isles win), but am going to keep silent for tomorrow.
Hope the practice today gets the guys a little boiled up to want to make amends. Take the positive that the team has NOT lost in regulation in the first three games. That usually does not happen lately.
Got to find something to smile about.