Sunday, November 29, 2009

Recap: CGY at CBJ 11/28

Coming into tonight's game, most would expect a few things. A smaller than average crowd, a restless crowd with a bitter taste in their mouth, and finally, a Jackets team with the sheer desire for a victory.

To their credit, they did not come out of the gate as the worst team, but it can not really be said that they came out hungry. Lackluster play early and a general sense of disinterest seemed to pull the fans away from the game at times, allowing Calgary to settle in without having to battle the away crowd. The second period started much like the first, and Huselius took a penalty for tripping not five minutes into the frame. Calgary took advantage, and suddenly, the home crowd sensed desperation.

Here is where it gets interesting. In discussing the game with a fellow CTF writer, who attended the game, there was clear angst and disappointment in her conversation. I am sure she could speak for all Jackets fans at that moment by suggesting that our boys simply were not in the game. As we began discussing their obvious falters, they rebounded, and managed yet another familiar burst of genuine effort. Three goals within the last seven minutes of the second period gave the Jackets a two goal lead going into the third, and the crowd AND team were 100% firing.

In pointing out their previous failures, I mentioned a joke that maybe I should walk away while they were ahead. Maybe, just maybe, if I took the high road, they could pull out a continued effort and eventual victory. I did not, and neither did they. Two brutal turnovers lead to goals, and two very stupid decisions by Hitchcock in the shootout lead to another loss.

I could sit here and pour salt on the wound, but I am going to continue on my path of late and take the high road. For the Jackets to compete in this league, they need not only a sixty minute effort, but they need a coach who can put the right players on the ice when the game is on the line. Bringing out two defensemen to take the final two shots in the shootout cost the Jackets, especially considering some of the guys who not only deserved to be called first, but who can clearly make better decisions when 1 on 0. Hopefully, they can shake it off by Monday, when they face off against St Louis.

Carry the Flag!

No comments:

Post a Comment