Sunday, December 7, 2008

Need To Bag Our Limit Of Ducks Tonight

With the end of the current road trip coming tonight in Anaheim, we need a strong effort to make this only an unsatisfactory trip, as opposed to an awful one. An unrewarded strog effort in San Jose was followed by a realy snoozer in LA. The only solace from that one is that, disregarding empty netter, it was only a 2 -0 loss. In years past, that would have been 5 - 0 at least.

So what needs to happen to garner two points tonight? Several things:

Ferocity -- After what I am sure was a lively chat with Coach Hitch after last night's debacle, nothing short of ferocity will fit the bill tonight. Anaheim is coming off of three days of rest, and will either be energized or a bit stale. Either way, no excuses tonight for any lack of energy.

Decisiveness -- Don't be afraid to make a play. Shoot, pass, jump up, but do it decisively and do it NOW, particularly on the power play. We have gotten good enough where people are supporting for defensemen that jump up and players that take risks. Play within the system, but let the puck fly. We have a higher GPG average than Anaheim -- let's extend it.

Shutdown In Net -- Mason has two consecutive losses, but has gotten no support. Leclaire needs to tape up his ego, stop whining, and start caring. Focus, energy. His energy can be contagious, so let's see plenty of it tonight.

Crispness -- Maybe a subset of decisiveness, but let's be sharp with the passes, know where everybody is and play like we know we are capably of playing.

Don't Panic -- Contrary to the teachings of the 'Patch crew, now is not the time to panic. A win tonight and we are at .500, with the crappiest power play in hockey. That ain't bad. 2/3 of the season remains. Sure, we are only a few points out of last, but we are also only a few points out of 5th. This is going to be a dogfight to the end, and count on Howson to make some more resources available to us in short order. Every team is going to go through some bad patches, and if we can hold ours down to a couple of games at a time, we will be ahead of the pack on that score. Trust your instincts boys, and think of how delicious a slowly roasted duck can be!!!

Go Jackets!!

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