Yesterday the new Winter Classic jerseys went one sale. If I were one of the people that ran out to get one immediately, I’d consider returning it after last nights horrible performance in a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
One HUGE problem I saw yesterday that killed us was our inability to win a faceoff in the Hurricanes zone. Almost every time we had a draw down here, we lost it. And we lost them so cleanly that the wings didn’t even have a chance to forecheck and get the puck back. Once the faceoff was lost, the puck was out of the zone within 2 quick, open passes. Carolina may be a weaker team, but they’re still a bunch of pro’s. You’re not going to beat them if your chasing them around all night.
Kimmo Timonen got beat badly on each of the first two goals. First he decided to lie down rather than pressure the passer, and Chad Larose easily slipped the puck under him to a wide open Alexei Ponikarovsky. Then, after Jeff Skinner pulls a spin-o-rama on him, he’s still in position to make a play. Does he take the puck or the body? Neither. He leans on the kid and lets him bury his own rebound. On the fourth goal, he was in position to swipe the loose puck away as Bryzgalov was down. Instead, it gets swatted into our net. Earlier, when it was 0-0, Giroux set him up beautifully on a shorthanded chance. He had the goalie down, and all he needed to do was roof the shot. He didn’t even get it an inch off the ground, and that great chance went to waste.
Andreas Nodl and Jody Shelley were in the lineup. Why? Time and time again they have proven that the add NOTHING to this team. Nodl’s passing is atrocious. He completely wasted some good forechecking by Simmonds and Talbot on one shift because he kept missing them and turning the puck over. I cannot believe that there is nobody else that Lavy wants to bring up instead of Nodl. Please, stop letting this guy play. He’s so bad that it’s embarrassing that he’s on our team. Do not even think about letting him suit up again. He’s not an NHL player.
Speaking of Lavy, I don’t get some of his decisions. For example, why was the 4th line out with 10 minutes to go in the third period when we are down 4-2? What did they do so well that they are out there when we need offense? And why is Sean Couturier on a line with Shelley and Rinaldo? Why is Nodl on the 3rd line instead of him? Why does this team not come to play every single night? Why are we so bad at home? Why can’t you get our powerplay to work?
I would like to give credit to Giroux and JVR. JVR played the exact kind of game that he should be playing every night. He used his size and strength to create both goals. Meanwhile, Giroux was doing his usual thing. At the end of the 2nd period, he was so sick of nobody else helping him out, that he tried to go 1 on 4. He failed, but he had so little confidence in his teammates at that moment that he decided to be selfish. I’m not going to blame him for that at all.
This loss just sickened me because we did so many things so poorly. It’s maddening how well this team can play at times, and how they can just look dead at other times. They are good, but despite their record, I don’t think they’re an elite team. They shouldn’t be taking nights off. I don’t they are talented enough to assume they can dominate at will. They should be even more worried now that Crosby is back.
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Topics: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Andreas Nodl, Carolina Hurricanes, Chad LaRose, Claude Giroux, Ilya Bryzgalov, Jeff Skinner, Jody Shelley, JVR, Kimmo Timonen, Maxime Talbot, NHL, Nodl Can't Pass, Philadelphia Flyers, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, Winter Classic Jersey, Zac Rinaldo