Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bears win creates a best of 3

So basically what you are telling me is the first 4 games of this series have meant....nothing.

We are right back where we started. Series tied. Bears have home ice.

The only differences now's a 3 game series and game 1 is in Texas. Oh and Texas is questioning their game a bit now while Hershey has found theirs.

Let's look back at last nights game for a second though...

First...the good:

French kept the lines the same and it worked again. Not quite as well as Monday night but 4 goals is still better than what they were doing. In addition to Bourque and Giroux still switched French also inserted Cody Eakin into the lineup. My only problems with that move were that it was for Ashton Rome and that Eakin disappeared from the ice after the 2nd period. But it worked out for the Bears.

The power play was great for the first time in a long time. 3 goals on 5 chances will stymie any defense and it definitely happened to the Stars last night. Texas is now the team taking questionable penalties and it cost them last night.

Much of last nights game was pretty even I thought. Hershey got on the board first, Texas answered with 2 goals before Beagle tied it up late in the second period. Then a too many men on the ice call gave Hershey a power play with less then 3 minutes to play in regulation. Hershey didn't squander the opportunity. John Carlson scored his first goal of the playoffs to give Hershey the win.

But not everything Hershey did was good...

Too many bad penalties still. What the hell was Amadio thinking on the interference call in front of Neuvy in the 2nd? I was watching on AHL Live and there wasn't a replay but Walton and Gregg Mace sure agreed with the call.

The too many men on the ice call almost cost them dearly but they overcame that thanks to bad Texas penalties. Pinizzotto took another useless penalty early in the game as well.

Overall it was better but still not perfect. If the Bears could manage to not take one bad penalty in a game they would likely win 4-1 against Texas. But that seems to be to difficult at this point.

The only other thing that seems to be hurting the Bears is the defensemen jumping up too much. This has been less of a problem in the last 2 games but guys are still getting caught. Last night I saw Amadio, Helmer, McNeill, and Carlson all get caught up ice at least once. Carlson does it multiple times a game and it cost him in game 3 but usually he can get back.

I like their aggressiveness and many of the goals are the result of guys keeping the puck in the zone but if you are going to make the play you better not miss. And Hershey blueliners miss a little too much.

It is like a good cornerback in the NFL...if he goes for the pick when the receiver runs the 10 yard out pattern he better at least get part of the ball. Because if he doesn't....the other team is dancing in the endzone.

Calculated risks. It is good to take them some times but you have to be careful. Now that we are down to a first team to 2 wins series a play like that can cost you the Cup.

Now a brief not about game 5. Hershey's fans are expecting a win. The Giant Center sold out of tickets for game 6 in less than 5 hours!! Why...because people are hoping (expecting) to see the Bears clinch the Cup on Monday night.

But don't count your chickens before they hatch. Hershey is back in control of this series and Texas has found themselves again backed into a corner. This has to be considered a must win for the Stars. Sure they won the first 2 in Hershey but the odds of them winning games 6 and 7 in Hershey are slim.

So Texas will give Hershey everything they have in game 5. And let's be honest...the last 2 games weren't nearly as important for them. Texas didn't HAVE to have those wins....Hershey did. But now Hershey doesn't HAVE to have game 5...Texas does.

Hershey needs to be ready for everything in game 5. Texas is going to push for some goals which could turn into some odd man rushes for the Bears but I have seen possible odd man rushes turn into defensive zone turnovers by Hershey this series...too many of those will see Hershey returning home having to win 2 for the cup.

The Bears have to be on their best behavior (Pinner that is for you) and they have to be cautious with their passes. Not to the point that they don't push the limit but make sure you are ready if it doesn't work.

I think they will be okay!



Anonymous said...

Love your blog, but just a few comments on this one. The Amadio call was way wrong. Amadio was just standing there not moving and the Texas player skated into him. If he is standing there it means that it is his ice and he does not have to get out of the way. Pinners call was also a little questionable. On the replay you can cleary see the Texas player corral him with his arm which made Pinner go down causing the Texas player to got down. Easily could have been called on Texas for holding. And for 2 years now you have been complaining about the defense going in deep and taking too many chances. Seems to work though by looking at the results the last 2 years. I for one like players taking some risks, instead of playing it safe.

GM said...

Fair enough. As I mentioned I didn't see a replay but if Walton (who has seen plenty of hockey) felt as though it was a legitimate call I figured it was. Pinner's calls are just as much about reputation as they are about the actual offense sometimes. If he would stop taking dumb penalties he would stop getting called for the marginal ones.

I said in the post that you have to take SOME risks. But it cost them game 1 when Collins pinched in and missed the puck and it almost cost them in game 3 when Carlson got caught way up ice on the Stars 3rd goal.

It depends alot on the player. Ammo should rarely get too deep because he isn't a strong enough skater to recover. Helmer is better positionally and rarely gets caught but at times he does and he isn't as fast as he used to be.

My biggest problem recently has been Carlson. Against some teams it will never hurt you BUT against a team as defensively focused as Texas it only takes an errant pass or blocked pass that could result in a 2 on 1 or worse a 2 on none going the other way.

I absolutely agree that players taking risks works. One of the big reasons it has worked for Hershey the last 2 years is that there offense can make up for a mistake or two by the defense.

The system calls for the defense to jump in from time to time and to pinch in at the line to keep the puck in. That is fine but a team like Texas will make you pay if you don't get it done.

All I was saying was they have to pick their spots and certain players should restrain from doing so.

GM said...

Carlson USUALLY judges the plays very well. In the first three series I rarely remember a time when he pinched in and got caught but so far against Texas he seems to have gotten caught more often.

And at times he is a little lazy getting back.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough on all your responses. Thanks for taking the time to respond, and GO BEARS!!!!!!