They Shoot Horses Don't They? - Capitals 1, Senators 0
posted Apr 1, 2006 at 11:35PM
If we win the Cup this year, it will not be because of Murray, but despite him. Well at least I won't have to read about this "coach of the year" nonsense. Does anybody really think we lost this game because we weren't playing "responsibly" in our end, or because we didn't have enough "grit" or any of those other myths that have plagued Ottawa's psyche.
We couldn't win because we ran into a hot goal tender. And the only way to stop a hot goaltender is to maintain continuous offensive pressure. And with our lines built for "balance", for "defensive" play; that was impossible. The 46 shots were illusory ... one at a time all they do is keep the opposing goal tender sharp.
How do you negate the best line in hockey? Well you take out the best player on the line who has 38 goals, and replace him with a rookie PK specialist who has 8. That would be a good way to start. How do you negate a sophomore 20 goal scorer who looked to be on the verge of breaking out? Well saddling him with the twin anchors of Varada and McGrattan should do the trick.
Even in the third period, when he belatedly shortened the bench, Murray seemed determined to screw things up. I mean Arnason played with a different two wingers every time he got on the ice. Same with Vermette. Even the Big Line was put together only every second rotation.
Murray was incapable of putting together three compatible lines and then just sticking with them. It was like he was randomly throwing out three forwards at a time out there. It's no use for players to talk to each other on the bench about what to do next time....because there is no next time.
For 50 seconds, Vermette, Kelly and Eaves were actually on the ice together at the same time, and gave a small inkling of what they could be like together as a line. They were magnificent. It was like they were on the powerplay. Of course that is the last we saw of that combination. It was disgusting. And what gets me is that there doesn't seem to be anyone out there who notices this. I mean didn't any of these media/newspaper guys ever play competitive hockey?
The only big positive from this game was Volchenkov who treated us to some crushing A-Train style hits. Emery was fine despite the loss, and made an "average" defense corps effort look better than it was. I am liking Arnason's play more and more.
I can't wait for us to get our players back. Not just for their presence, but for the fact that it gives Murray less room for manouevre.