Blowing leads is certainly not fun. It's a feeling I'm not quite used to... maybe it's because I'm not used to us having 2-3 goal leads. I like the fact that we score more goals... if only we could stop them. Thanks for Fedor Tyutin's awesome knucklepuck tonight or else I would have been a little angry tonight. We've now got a chance to go .500 on the road trip which wouldn't be all bad.
One of the major issues is defensive zone turnovers, the first period was especially bad tonight. That with inconsistent goaltending and no long automatic penalty killing has really made for a toxic cocktail on this roadie.
Perhaps one of the Cannon readers could back up this theory with stats, but I think our 2nd periods have been our best so far. For some reason in our history 2nd periods have been tough, but this year we have played really strong. This may have to do with carrying more of the play in the offensive zone and therefore making line changes easier and not getting trapped on the defensive end as much. It could also be a coincidence. It's something I've noticed so far. A big four spot certainly grabbed my attention tonight.
So the verdict on the line shakeup? I'm not sure. We scored a few flukey goals tonight. The Vermette line was definitely the best line for us tonight. He and Voracek are developing some pretty solid chemistry. Props to Jakub Voracek on his first ever multigoal game. He'll only get bigger and better. I don't think it will be too long till he gets some PK duty.
So we had a 1. Diving backhand sweeping goal 2. Pass that goes off a defender goal 3. Pinball into the slot easy goal 4. Off the post, goalie loses it tap in. 5. Knucklepuck. 6. Empty net roof job. This is why the old adage: "just put the puck on net" works. None of these goals were pretty hockey goals.
In his first game back I thought Mike Commodore looked strong. He stablized our leaky d. The last couple games have shined a spot light on the missing Big Red and Big Plus. Weening Commie into his minutes is definitely the right call. It will be nice to get him in the top four soon... Methot hasn't looked too great . He just isn't shutown type. It does make you appreciate Hejda, who I take for granted.
Now here is the thing that I've always wondered. Why can't we seem to make that super line with Rick Nash? Is it a personnel issue? Is it a play style issue? Or is Nasher kind of difficult to play with? I'm just thinking out loud because it always seems to be a struggle. We all are wishing Brass steps up and take the reins, maybe it will just take time.
Mancrush of the Night : 93. He's played great hockey. He is going to leave his rookie year in the dust with the way he's been playing. I think he ran out of gas last year so hopefully with better conditioning, he'll keep this pace up all year. That empty net goal has set the kid on fire
Whipping Boy(s) of the Night : Nash and Mason. We need better out of these guys. Nash has been on the ice for probably around 7 or 8 goals on the road trip including three tonight. Overall I think his play has been more lacksidasical. We need better out of him. Mason needs quick with the softies and make a big one every once in a while. That's what the top goalies in the league do. That's what he wants to be. That's what he can be.
Only Rick Nash could be a whipping boy on a two goal night, eh?
Los Angeles tomorrow tonight? How do you feel?