Sunday, December 30, 2007
12/29 - Preds v. Guppies
OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)
well... can't say any of that game was really enjoyable... a game that just never 'felt' right from the opening moments. possible it's the fact we only had 13k in the building on a saturday night against a team that is supposed to be a "hated" rival. a few thoughts, that some will obviously not like;
first... our goaltending...
...mason is the nicest, best, most likable guy on a team of good guys.. you simply ache to want the guy to succeed... but this is a business, a heartless business. now i know you could take any single shot from last night and say "well this or that happened, so it really wasn't mase's fault here". and you'd be correct. it's the cumulative effect of all five goals that get you, each where we have some excuse, but also each where mase didn't get it done. two horrible rebound goals, two soft shots where he is screened, and the one where he's beaten cleanly from a simple unscreened wrister after the toots turnover. 5 mistakes, 5 goals allowed. simple as that.
...9 seasons. this is the first one where we haven't gotten good goaltending. a new thing for us.
...the team cann't become more consistent until the goaltending becomes more consistent. right now, mason is simply not playing well enough for us to win many nights.
...right now, every time we make a mistake it seems it winds up in the back of our net. a team cann't play hockey like that. a team has to have confidence that they're allowed to make a mistake every now when trying to make something happen in the offensive end. if they don't have that confidence, it in effect slows down your offense to a crawl, and hurts you on the other end of the ice. right now, this is happening to us.
...since any mistake seems to cost us a goal, we cann't take offensive risks. it slows our breakouts, because we have to make sure all 5 skaters come back and get the puck out of the zone every single time. when's the last time you remember this team having an odd man rush? that's because we have 5 guys have to come back and get the puck every possession. because if we don't, we know it'll probably end up in our net.
...since we know any mistake we make winds up making the redlight go around, it means in our offensive end, we have try to always keep 3 men out high to eliminate odd man rushes back against us. so we basically have to think defense first when we're trying to play offense. we're forced to always play offense like we're protecting a two goal lead, even when we're tied or a goal behind. this of course penalizes our offense badly.
...since we're afraid any turnover is a goal against us, instead of carrying the puck out of our zone and maintaining puck possession, our constant goal in our end is to chip the puck out of the zone. we're constantly giving the puck back to other teams, because we don't trust our own goaltending.
it is frustrating for sure. he simply has to erase some of the mistakes we make. it's a visious cycle. we have to play defensive first hockey because we cann't score goals, but we cann't score goals because we have to play defensive hockey. mason is better than this -- how much better i simply don't know.
as was noted from his record last year, when he dominated the bottom 8 teams, but had a poor record against playoff teams. maybe he truly is good enough to beat the weak teams, but not good enough most nights to beat the better offensive teams night in and night out.
i don't know anymore. i do know this, when your goalie has a .892 save percentage and over a 3.00 gaa, you're not going to win many games. something has to happen here, he either has to turn it around -- and soon -- or you have to go get someone else.. or you have to write off the season.
Posted by Section 303 at 8:25 AM