The tide turned last night. After a winning both games last week, both the Tigers and Ordinals took beatings on the ice.
The Tigers played first and were overrun by the Rockets, who brought out what looked like their entire roster to play against us. We lost 4-2, so at least it was a pretty tight game. I felt I was playing pretty strong, only on the ice for one of the four goals, which happened to be the first one. It was a fun game, and it was great to see Daniel back on the ice after several weeks away. You’d never know he’d been away though as he scored both goals last night. Jonathan and I also got to mix it up just a bit since we were playing opposite each other. He was against me during one of my offensive rushes and he tried to take the puck off me, then I took it back and then he fell to the ice and we grappled for a bit. We couldn’t help but laugh about it on the ice, and afterwards.
Jonathan had an excellent Ordinals game. Not only did he keep up playing some good D (he gets stronger ever game), he also scored his first goal last night going from our defensive zone all the way down and nailing it.
I didn’t play in the game last night, choosing instead to bench coach since we had a full complement of players. It was good to see the game from this point of view because it really pointed out some of our flaws, I called out five in particular to the team as I sent out this week’s email:
1) Positional play: We are all over the place on the ice. There were times on D we had four people collapsed around our net. There were times when all five players were on one side of the ice. There were more times than I can count that all the forwards were bunched around each other. We’ve got to spread out.
2) Passing: One of the things we did a lot better after I called a time out mid-way through the second period after the Knights scored two goals in a couple minutes. After the time out we recaptured our passing game. But our team has to trust each other and pass the puck more.
3) When people are making an offensive rush, forwards have to get down there with them. Too often last night when Michael (one of our defensemen) would rush up, there was no one with him. It was as if everyone decided to just stand back and watch.
4) Be ready for the rebounds. I wish I had a counter to know how many rebounds we missed last night because we were out of position or not charging hard enough to be there in time to pick up the rebound.
5) Skate hard. Often we were just one step off of picking up a puck or cutting off a player. Pay attention to our manifesto and make those extra steps.
Losing last night makes the playoffs that much harder to get to, but I’m sure the team can rise to the occasion and focus our game to get us in. There are six games to go, and we’re going to have to win four or five of those to make it.