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GDT: The Sinking Ship Takes on More Water; Fri Dec 14 @ 7:30 pm

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Didn't McGinn win a shootout for us this year? And I think I saw where he has a pretty good career %.  Kuokk: hey, IF he's had exceptional success in the AHL and practice, I guess I could see going with him.  But PDG? :huh:

 

Oh, and I'm still ticked off about that missed interference call.  Change that to ignored interference call.  I can't believe the ref missed it.

Edited by LakeLivin

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2 hours ago, slapshot02 said:

They use Alves in practice as well. If PDG scores on him I guess he is good for the shootout. Not using your top talent is horrific.

Somehow, the Washington coach thought to use Oshie, Ovechkin and Backstrom. Imagine that.

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7 minutes ago, bluedevilcane said:

Somehow, the Washington coach thought to use Oshie, Ovechkin and Backstrom. Imagine that.

Yep.  For our money, we at least got to see some attempts by recognized top forwards in the league.

 

People around me didn't start swearing until PDG came out.

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Luke DeCock's decent analysis:

https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/luke-decock/article223148600.html

 

Highlights:
 

Quote

As much as the Hurricanes could have used a big save from Darling, and the eventual lack of one turned out to be fatal, the goals against him were hardly inexcusable, especially by his standards.

How bad are we that we're covering for Mongo on this one?  Especially since he let in a few of his usual softies!

 

Quote

Even if Brind’Amour has three guys picked in advance because of analytics or practice results or eating habits or whatever, by the time it gets to Round 5 or 6, he might want to let his best player or his star rookie have a crack at it. A team that isn’t exactly blessed with natural goal-scorers probably shouldn’t leave the two it actually has on the bench. Go with that flow.

This is what has me completely boggled...

 

Quote

But the game hinged on the Capitals’ third, Ovechkin’s second. As Ovechkin hovered at the left point, Jonas Siegenthaler plowed through Hamilton, clearing a lane to the net for Ovechkin, a clear and textbook interference penalty that was somehow inexcusably ignored by referees Chris Rooney and Brian Pochmara. Brind’Amour went berserk on the bench, and rightfully so.

Getting sick and tired of the refs not being publicly disciplined like the NFL...something needs to change...and NOW!

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22 hours ago, LakeLivin said:

But PDG?

This isn't where I expected to jump into this thread, especially as late as I am doing so. But it fits. This will be a long post. Take. Warning. 

 

Mrs. Shelf and I decided around noon to go to Friday's game, and despite the loss, we're glad we did. It was the most fun I've had in the arena since... well okay, since the boys came back to beat the Sharks a few weeks ago in a shootout :) (Which, answering a question a little farther up, is when Brock came through, IIRC.)

 

The main takeaway from Friday for me is that keeping Svech, Aho, and TT apart any longer is just nonsensical and inexcusable. Svech is ready. The chemistry is undeniable, the speed blinding, the skill off the charts. We have to assume that we won't be acquiring anybody to help up front anytime soon, so the question becomes: How do we make it work with what we've got?

 

Friday was the closest we've come, IMO, to answering that question, and putting those three on PP1 was a big reason why. The Canes absolutely dominated the best team in the league for 30 minutes, and made scoring on a great keeper look easy. But then...

 

I'd no sooner said to the guy next to us, "Plenty of hockey left, and we're retreating," than the worm turned. The fact that I was expecting it was more disappointing than the fact that it happened. Keeping your foot on the gas comes from the top, and given this org's string of defense-first coaches, it's no surprise that retreating is now just in the team DNA. But as Friday proved (as if we needed further proof), it doesn't work--and not just because it was the Caps (altho Caps fans would love to think so).

 

I've been going to NHL hockey games for 52 years, and this much I know: Unless you're the NJ Devils of the 80s, going up 1-0 and then playing a neutral zone trap, with Marty freakin' Brodeur in waiting for any threats that happen to break through, retreating into a defensive shell to win games simply does not work in this league, on a night-in, night-out basis. The skills of even the worst players are so much better than those of guys playing anywhere else in the world that, when you get 20 of them together and embarrass them, as we did the Caps in the first half of Friday's game, they will respond.

 

The way to close out wins in this league is by continuing to play in their end, and the only way you do that is with offensive (read: puck-possessing) ability, and snipers who can send daggers when chances arise. If you instead let the other team have the neutral zone, you let them back into the game, and that's why the Devils played - and won - with that (now illegal) trap.

 

Playing a score-and-possess the puck game requires three things, two of which we could have, with personnel we already have on the roster: A lethal top line, heavy second-through-fourth lines, and (the thing we don't have) a coach who knows that you can't consistently win in this league if you retreat into a defensive shell with the lead. Roddy's d-first focus has, in fact, prevented us from having even two of these critical three things, because his refusal to put Svech on the top line in place of Ferland is why that line is no longer (as) lethal. Add in Rod's complacency when the boys try to protect rather than extend a lead, and the result is losses, and tough ones, like Friday's. If he instead calls a TO the minute he senses that retreat, reads the guys the riot act, and starts sitting guys who keep playing safe instead of attacking, he does what coaches are paid to do: hold guys accountable.

 

Which brings me back to PDG. Until watching him Friday, I was with everybody else here: Why the heck is he still up? And that includes the games I watched him play in person and on TV, earlier this year. But for about the last five games leading up to Friday, and in that game especially, it became pretty clear that someone has taken Phil under their wing and encouraged him to use, at this level, the skills that we all recall RF crowing about a couple of years ago--because he is. He beat Holtby - clean - in the shootout, with some absolutely dizzying stick-handling, and simply didn't get the shot high enough. But even before that, he was making skate-to-stick plays, self-passing, and forechecking plays - in short, plays that drive possession in the o-zone - all night long. He played the kind of lunch-pail hockey that you need to play, to keep your foot on the gas; the kind that Jordan plays when he's going. And we have others who can play that possession game: Rask, Martinook, Willy, Foegele, McGinn, Ferland. And three or four them can also score the puck.

 

So, what lineup should we ice - with the players we now have - to win? My $.02:

 

Svech-Aho-TT

Foegele-Rask-Martinook

PDG-Wallmark-Willy

McGinn-Bishop-Kouk

 

When they're back, Jordan slots in for Rask and Victor bumps Bishop back to CLT; and Ferland joins Foegele and Jordan, while Martinook bumps PDG to Kouk's slot on the fourth.

 

      

Edited by top-shelf-1

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