I could sit here and type about how Ryan Potulny missed two sure-fire one-timers that could have won us the game or talk about the PP we should've had where Nashville instead got one and scored the backbreaker, but I think I'm taking a coach Quinn on this one and saying that would just be an excuse.
We need to win when we score twice in the first few minutes. There's no excuse for not doing that. If you don't win after that and the momentum it brings then you flat out screwed up. Not much more to it than that. We had them and we let our feet way off the gas. We slammed it into reverse and wound up planted firmly in the windshield. Wear your seatbelts boys.
It certainly did seem as though we were skating in sand at many times. We also had to play weak players too much and that doesn't help. Then the lines were jumbled up and it didn't really do anything. I have a feeling the Horcoff struggle has set back in. Being that he only took the one faceoff and was generally in-effective after showing some progress, I'm betting he's regressed. Should be only a matter time now before his disappears from the lineup. Not good for our faceoffs or defensive zone play.
Deslauriers wasn't exactly good tonight; I originally thought he'd hold us in after the initial barrage in response to the timeout Nashville called. He did...but the barrage didn't stop. After the levee breaks, it's pretty hard to put the water back in.
The flood was aided by the pairing of Grebeshkov-Staios. They are terrible together. Simply terrible. The criss-crossing that goes on at random times throws the other one off and suddenly there's an odd-man situation and tonight that meant a puck in our net. They need to be broken up. Of the two I thought Grebeshkov was a little better in that he at least contributed some solid passing and jumped into the play.
Smid and Visnovsky were our best pair, which is to be expected but even they weren't tremendous. Visnovsky was our offensive catalyst once again. We need to get him the puck more on the powerplay as he seems to be the only consistent way to get the puck in.
Souray and Gilbert's efforts were pretty pedestrian to me. Souray needed to get that shot on net tonight.
I viewed Stortini's play tonight as largely a liability. To be effective I find that he needs to contribute some offence. He didn't. He is weak in the defensive zone on the lines that he's liable to play on and didn't help much of anything there tonight.
Jacques looked a little tired or beat up or something. It could be that he's being asked to shoulder too much responsibility right now when we need a team where he's fourth line optional to bang and crash. He's not.
Stone was okay, but just okay. He wasn't really irritating and might not have been used terrible effectively.
Cogliano's game waned considerably tonight. He spent very little time with the puck on his stick and didn't compensate by skating to the openings he needs to.
Potulny as I noted needed to bury his chances and did not. That isn't to say he had a particulary bad game, just that he got his chances but didn't manage to finish and that's his job.
Moreau didn't do anything meaningful. He's gone.
Nilsson took advantage of the opportunities afforded him, and got a few more chances and took very good shots. Again we run into the problem of him having to be played in a role far too elevated for us to win. There will be nights like tonight where he gets 2, but he's still just an opportunistic player. There's nothing wrong with that at all, you need those guys to win, but he can't get a lot of minutes most nights.
Horcoff I covered earlier. I think he's just games away from being gone for a long time.
Brule only showed flashes of brilliance this evening rather than the recent consistent efforts. I'm not sure he ever got into the flow of the game though. I really enjoyed him on the line with Potulny and O'Sullivan on the PP.
Speaking of O'Sullivan...he did some good things. He set up Potulny for what should've been an excellent goal, laid some hits and was more effective than lately. It's upsetting that we have to talk about a pointless game in such a fashion as this, but that's been his performance lately.
Penner was really good and hampered by the refs I suppose. He's suffering without Hemsky though in that he would really be challenging for the league lead right now with him. He's playing that consistently.
Gagner was certainly better tonight in that he was a better distributer of the puck early. Nothing amazing though.
Apologize for the briefness tonight guys. I'm tired and that game was very uninspiring. Perhaps there'll be more to discuss tomorrow. Til then!