Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bears drop game 1

I am not really sure what to say after that game.  There are so many talking points. 

But let me start here...

Braden Holtby has played against the Checkers 6 times this season, counting 4 of those games he has allowed 5 goals.

In the other two...1  We need THAT Braden Holtby to show up on Sunday and the one that played tonight to stay away.

Let me also say this...the defense (and forwards) need to help out more.  Personally I think there were 3 goals that Braden should have kept out but on all three there was a Checkers player standing right near the crease with no Bear in sight.

So don't get me wrong...this wasn't just Braden tonight.  It was everyone in the Hershey zone. 

In fact...Braden made 3 of the best saves you will see in a hockey SEASON.  In the 1st it was a ridiculous glove save and then in the 3rd he made a diving save and a 'stand on your head' kick save where he legitimately made a pad save with his legs at the crossbar and his head on the ice.

But that just shows you how Hershey played in their own zone.  When your goalie makes 3 incredible saves in one night and STILL allows 5 have a problem.

How do you fix it?  I have 2 ideas.

Bench Patrick Wellar and/or Phil Oreskovic.  Neither of them are great skaters and yet they are playing together???  Wellar got flat undressed in the 3rd period by a Checker forward.  He got caught flat footed constantly.

Who do you put in?  Well, that is an excellent question.  I think Zach Miscovic is obviously one but until Sean Collins returns from Washington I am not sure there is anyone.  But at least you would get one of the two out of the lineup.

I know Miscovic was banged up recently so maybe that is why he didn't play but if he is healthy he should be in.

Honestly I think Hershey outplayed Charlotte for much of the game.  They got a few unlucky bounces including the 'own goal' when Gordon tried to clear the puck and instead it bounced off another Bear (Souray?) and right past Holtby.  Unfortunate. 

For much of the game Hershey was playing a physical game, getting to loose pucks, and being smart (read: patient) with the puck.  And then it all went away.  It started in the 2nd period and got better to start the 3rd before it completely deteriorated and all hell broke loose. 

All of a sudden no one was doing anything they were supposed to.  And passes were being intercepted every single time.  Lazy passes and risky ones. 

In the end it cost them the game.

Since the Capitals affiliation began Hershey has lost the 1st game of a series 5 times.  Once each year.  They managed to win the series 3 times after losing the 1st.  4 times the first game was on home ice.  2 of those times they came back to win.

But this is only the 2nd time in the last 5 years that Hershey has dropped a game 1 in a round prior to the Eastern Conference Finals or the Calder Cup Finals.

The other time...07-08 to Wilkes-Barre.  That was in the 1st round and Hershey hosted game 1 due to scheduling conflicts. 

The Bears are 3 losses away from ending their season much earlier then they want to. 

Braden must be better.  The defensive play must be better.  If that happens I am still confident that Hershey will win this series.

There is still a lot of hockey to play.


banshezmom said...

I tweeted Tim Leone on Tuesday and he said that Miskovic was practicing with the Black Aces.

I think Braden really needs to work on those rebounds. I'm not saying he lost the game - it was a total defensive group effort - but, you cannot rebound straight into a Checkers forward like he was last night.

I agree that Wellar and Oreskovic need to be separated. I still think Wellar is a good defenseman, but he needs a pairing that will compliment his play - not be a mirror image. Thoughts on maybe sitting Souray and putting Nychie in? There is that darned vet rule that would keep someone on the bench. I just thought Nycholat would have been better against the Checkers speed than Souray.
Thanks for keeping it real.

GM said...

If thats the case then Zach Miskovic needs to be in the lineup for game 2. Or Collins IF he is back.

My problem with Wellar is that he gets caught too many times. He got caught deep a couple times (which with his speed he should never do) and he got caught standing around. Maybe playing with Oreskovic made it more obvious but I thought he struggled.

Although other defensemen struggled too. McNeill had a rough game, as did Souray.

Not sure about Nycholat. Who do you sit? It's a tough call.

Maybe Souray is the sit option but thats a tough call. He didn't have a terrible game and isn't that slow. Plus his shot is such a weapon. I would definitely support trying it for a game though. See what happens. Obviously the defense hasn't been great for a few games and Souray has been a part of that.

Braden didn't lose the game but he definitely didn't win it. 3 of those goals should have been stopped. Simple as that. And he would likely tell you the same thing. In fact I think he said something like “A five-goal game is unacceptable in the playoffs.” He is absolutely right.