Game Preview #7 - THE CANNON CUP
Dan and Morgan go head to head on the Easton ice. BE THERE.
Rink Rats vs. BDubs
8:50 PM - Game Faceoff
We've had this date circled on our calendar for weeks now. Throw out the records (well, maybe not). This one is all about one thing: it's the The Cannon Cup.
Chris Morgan's (FFmorgan89) Rink Rats against Dan P.'s BDubs.
This one isn't for the standings (the two teams are far apart). It isn't about head to head personal performance (Morgan is dominating that). It's about B-E-E-R. No, wait, it's about P-R-I-D-E.
And also probably beer, because it starts early enough that we can all go out for beers afterward.
The fortunes for these two teams have oddly gone in opposite directions of the two Cannon players: Chris Morgan leads the Rink Rats in all offensive categories, yet their position in the standings has been near the bottom all session. Conversely, Dan P. of Team BDubs has been held scoreless in six games this session, yet his team is battling for first place with just one OT loss to the first place squad on its résumé.
"I'm on probably the worst scoring slide of my rec career," Dan said. "After moving up to D league last session, I played defense and managed two goals and six assists in my first seven games. Since then? I've had nothing for 13 games. I'm gripping the stick pretty tightly of late, but my team is picking it up and we're winning, so it's a bit easier to stomach."
After taking some time away from the CAHL during a stint living in Michigan for some odd reason, Morgan is happy to be back with the team he used to play with. "The first couple games took me some time to get my legs back. Up north the skaters could handle the puck a bit better, so puck movement was less of an issue."
But, to say Morgan has settled back in would be an understatement. In six games, he's scored four goals and assisted on six others, meaning he's scored almost 25% of his team's goals and has been a factor in almost 60% of his team's entire scoring output. When responding to allegations that he may, in fact, be a total ringer at this level, he laughed those accusations off: "Ha. Even Jonathan Cheechoo had a 50 goal season under his belt, too."
The area lacking for the Rink Rats has been defense, as they find themselves last in the league defensively, allowing a shade under six goals per game. The Rink Rats have explored using Morgan as one of their most versatile players, hoping they can mix some defense in with his offensive production.
When asked about labels that he might be simply an "offense-first" kind of player, Morgan reflected. "Short version? I got moved from forward to defense the last few games," Morgan said. "I'm too fat and out of shape to skate a full 200 foot rink."
With no thanks to Dan P., Team BDubs has taken the league by storm in its second full session. They currently lead the league in scoring and are second in goals-against, including a spotless penalty kill so far through six games. Their normal top line of David Boylan, Paul Bertani, and Cory Green has combined for 14 goals, which itself is just three fewer than the entire Rink Rats squad. Green leads the way with nine goals in six games.
However, it looks as though BDubs will be without two of those three forwards, as only Bertani is available to skate tonight.
For Dan, he's hoping the extra motivation of going against Morgan head to head--especially if Morgan is playing on the blue line--will help him break out of his slump. "It would be worth it to have gone so many games without so much as a point to break a game open right in Morgan's grill. It would be some sweet extra sauce, too, if several Cannon readers were there to see it. My celebration for a goal if Morgan's on the ice? Look out."
But Dan quickly cautioned that he's not going to go out of his way to try to do too much. "We have a good thing going, and we're winning. I'm not going to take a chance to mess that up simply to put a couple of goals on Morgan's face."
Morgan isn't worried, despite the teams' different spots in the standings. "Dan? Pssh. Dan couldn't score In a woman's prison with a fist full of pardons."