Monday, January 26, 2009

SinKING Feeling...

Yikes. Anyone else cringe as much as I did at all those top shelf wristers for the west in the second period. I know... I was the guy that just a few weeks ago was telling people to take it easy on Henrik. In his defense, it would appear that almost all goalies were having trouble stopping shots and the excuse could be the same for them on all star night as it his for Henrik every night... with no defensive support, even the best of goalies can be victims of circumstance.

What alarmed me the most about the ones that got past Henrik, was that about 5 of 6 were over the pads. Now there will be many that disagree with me but I remember a King in a breakout season, that was never this weak up high. A better glove and an aggressive willingness to come out of the net, piled onto some already amazing butterfly goaltending ... all that had Kevin Weekes out of a job. What happened? Well its anyone's guess.

  • Some have attributed the change in style to Benoit Allaire's input and coaching influences as those kind of traits have seemed to filter down to the Hartford Goalies according a few pack fans.
  • The downsizing of goalie equipment in the bettman league has the goalies feeling less protected and less capable of stopping pucks that they have previously.
  • Our Horrendous Defense. Nuff said.
I previously went with the last, but my guess now...would be a little of each. Its still obvious, that Henriks been a little hesitant to come out and challenge with noone to watch the back door for cross crease passes and dangling cuties that like to go around a goaltender with no fear of their clock being cleaned by a hulking d-man. What else is obvious though is that Henrik seems to feel compelled to play deeper and deeper in net to give himself an extra second to pick up the puck in traffic as the rules prohibit d-men from sweeping forwards out of the crease from time to time. Still I have noticed other teams d-men learning to do so discretely without penalty, so why hasn't ours? Lastly, Call it the pace of the game, the coaching staff insisting on keeping the play moving or a smaller glove that has Henrik knocking the puck down with his glove and looking for it in the crease rather than gloving and holding the puck. The pucks come pretty fast these days and its kind of tough to close the door before a puck ricochets off the inside of a hard-line pocked and bounces out. Still its rare that I even see the king attempt to close the glove, rather than holding it up like a big leather paddle of sorts to cover more of the net. I sincerely hope this isn't an attempt by the Renney and Co to streamline the transfer of a puck to teammate to ultimately lead someone racing across the neutral zone to create some offense. That might be stretching it, but I wouldn't put any shortcuts past this team and coaching staff after what I have seen in my lifetime as New York Ranger fan.

Whatever the case, forwards all over the league are grinning and licking their chops as they heat their sticks for some extra curve and angle this morning.

- J_Undisputed

1 comment:

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