Heehee -- You're all going mental on me!
I was thinking on the way in to work that we all knew it wasn't a first in the division team - but who cares winning is good.
I think we all sort of agreed that winning is tricky because it's not representative of the teams true arsenal and when you look back none of us can really TELL what the team actually has. That's fine in terms of then no one else in the league does either but it's really hard to build confidence on something you're unsure of.
I think the slump is the team trying to become sure. MY problem with the team is that in the past (pre-DeBoer) they've gotten really bogged down with feeling like losers or frauds or flukes or I dont know what. I'm not there so I dont know but they had no real confidence. i don't see that team as being in that spot right now. I think they're just trying to get vision - ensure no rose colored glasses are going to hamper them come playoffs. I feel pretty secure and proud of our forwards - just keep them focused and I dont see any real problems.
I think that a lot of our talk about what's going on with individuals on ice - your second guessing about what some guys are thinking or trying to do is actually really helpful.
The bottom line from all of your observations is: we have a scared team. Forwards I'm not worried about - they will be told and they will understand they are that good and it's OK to be confident in that knowledge. I do not think it's healthy to mess with our support line's psyche is they're are playing - I dont give a rat's weenus if Stephen Gionta is on a line that manages to pull some good minutes out of their ass - De Boer isn't some kind of jerk that will accept that as quality regular major minutes. His focus won't get pulled, mostly because he appears to really trust his coaching staff. He's not a micro-manager and things aren't going to get lost on him. We can write about it when there's nothing else to discuss - but it's a manufactured issue.
Our defence is an issue. You all can tell me I'm wrong - maybe I need to hear that. But they are playing scared.. while walking ot the office I was thinking, man I'd just love to shoot pucks at the dorks - just what's the worst that can happen if you fully commit to your OWN game? If you dont tweek on the fly to avoid some other a$$holes games - you're not going to get hurt. You know... but then some assface goes and shoots a puck at Fayne and it's easy for them to think "whaa but they DO want to hurt me Eak!!" (not Fayne - but our other more timid mature D who kind of just dont want to go to that physically painful place because who needs that sh!t after 33?)
We have an old man mindset on our D. No this is not a slam at Scott Stevens gramps thing - not at all what I'm getting at. Our D is overly cautious - but not from over-thinking. They're playing like they're scared of feeling pain. There isn't the balance between vet common sense and youthful zeal. Our vets don't want to feel pain and it's a bad habit. I regularly cringe when I touch a file cabinet that always gives me a static zap. I dont think about it -- I just pause and wait for the inevitable shock and then move on... and that cringe in a hockey game is enough to lose the game --- it just is. It's the same thing - that Oh for fvcks sake I do not need a little zap when i have a fvcking game to play. But that's the WHOLE fvckING POINT! You're going to get zapped so you stop and let the other guy play his game??? Just nonsense. It makes me hate our pussified D.
I dont know what these guys are like but they need to find a strong motivation to PLAY. They do not have a real goal or purpose so they get distracted by fear of teeny painful things. "ouchies!" is distracting from playing the game of hockey. Seriously. It's good to be understanding and work with the vets but this is bad . A-train needs to sit and take a game to grow a set. Salvadore needs to take a game and dip his set in brass. Tallinder needs to understanding what it is he's doing and accept it and CHANGE. It's not hard. DeBoer needs to motivate the guys -- get their minds back on playing hockey not being afraid. You can't have ALL THREE saving themselves for the playoffs. The youngsters dont deserve calm cool FALSE leadership. They need real leadership and real hockey.
PEPPERKORN SIDEBAR What gives with Harrold? Ddi he play this weekend? yeah -- I missed both games Why has he not really been around? Is he a happy guy? Is he an ass? Ahhhh... he's from Cleveland... now - Cleveland is a complicated place for verbal communication.... it's almost Mogilny-esque. I wonder if he has what appears to be a loser mentality. It's NOT REAL! If someone got the idea that he's reticent or negative or overly realistic.... it's not true. Clevelanders are ultra competitive hard workers that can wax pretty deadpan negative. If that's what's keeping him out -- get his ass up to the big leagues PRONTO! Then try to get him into humor mode ( as long as it doesn't slip into inanity) - it's the only way to tolerate the Cleveland mindset. Even my husband sees how accurate I am on this point. He gets so annoyed at Ohio guys -- he now knows to say -- Hey are you from Ohio? and the minute he gets that yes, all is forgiven and he's got a good friend.
I think DeBoer put it best about our season thus far. “I don’t think we’re as bad as our record over the last five or six games indicates and I think we weren’t as good as our record was through the first six or seven games indicated. That’s the best way I can word it.”
Oh see? Now I didn't see this -- this is perfect. I hate how much I'm starting to like DeBoer.
Edited by Pepperkorn, 26 February 2013 - 12:06 PM.