Friday, January 11, 2008

Wheels Come Off The Bus

All right, all right, all right I know; you're right. For the wheels to come off the bus it would seem that they should have been going round and round at some point. With the exception of owning UAF the Seawolf bus really never got going in 07; and now in Colorado Springs, 08 hasn't started off with any great promise. The Seawolves were never really able to establish any sort of offensive flow with only a couple of brief exceptions tonight. I see three things as contributing causes; CC was damned effective in the UAA zone, there were zero quality hookups in transition and the physical play that is a usual hallmark of Seawolf efforts was not evident.

Using quickness, good passing and extra effort the Black Bears dominated play in UAA's zone pretty much all night. For evidence of this take a look at the number of times the Seawolves iced the puck. It was like UAF jumped into our uniforms with the number of icings they were forced into taking. Sure, UAA managed to clear the zone but it was almost never early in a shift meaning a Seawolf line change while CC regrouped and headed right back in. Overall UAA kept the Black Bears to the outside but as the game wore on that was lessened with defenders obviously tiring of the continuing effort. When your team spends that much time defending and puts out that much effort into it there isn't much left going the other way.

When UAA did manage to breakout cleanly it seemed that the sorts of passes you'd usually see to break into the other teams zone were just never there. Why? Was it a factor of the almost entirely new set of line combinations? I'm thinking that may have contributed. I saw very little (if any) of what I'd call chemistry between the forwards. With the exception of Tassone, Cartwright and Tarkir filling the "Energy" role as a line everything else was brand new. Brad McCabe centered Tommy Grant and Kevin Clark; Craig Parkinson centered Josh Lunden and Winston Daychief; Paul Crowder centered Merit Waldrop and Sean Wiles. I can only guess that the coaching staff were trying to find some new chemistry. In the first half (besides sporadic contributions from other lines) there had really been only one effective Seawolf scoring line (the 4th line has been effective in it's role all season IMO) which was Lunden, Crowder and Clark. Paul Crowder has been rotated here and there during the past few series but this was the first game all year that Josh and Kevin hadn't skated together. It seems to me that in looking for new chemistry they may have lost all the old chemistry.

Why did it seem like there was no hitting? Was that part of the game-plan dropped? This UAA squad is bigger than every other team on the schedule. In the case of CC the Seawolves are full on more than an inch taller and just short of 10lbs heavier on average. That's a big discrepancy. CC is down around 40th in height while UAA is 2nd. In terms of weigh UAA is 6th and CC is 50th. It's an advantage that UAA completely and utterly failed to utilize tonight. I didn't count but if there were 10 hits for the game on UAA's stat sheet I'd be surprised. Don't hit the waterbugs and they just keep wheeling. But if you put a body one them it gives them a reason to try another route.

So what am I saying? Well, it's unlike me to come out and say this but ... this loss is on the coaching staff in my book.

I should add this ... Eric Walsky 2 - UAA 1. Man oh man ... is that a boatload of suckage or not? That's the last thing I ever wanted to see. Now he's got two game winning against against us? Piss on that. I mostly liked him as a UAA player. That word is unlikely to pass my lips ever again in relation to him.

I watched the game tonight on the B2 network. It was irritating. Prior to the game, I exchanged 4 emails with their customer service staff before they understood the question I was asking. Naturally the question I'd asked was meaningless but if their inaccurate FAQ hadn't been obtuse then I wouldn't have had to ask a question 4 times to get an answer. I wasn't able to purchase the game until it had just started. Pain. But those little annoyances aren't my bitch here. The quality was decent (though after a while the streaming got jumpy) and I could see the puck bettter than the TV broadcast from Fairbanks. The irritant though was the continuous (and when I say continuous I mean at each and every stoppage no matter how brief) cutting to the decapitated horridly-ugly Tiger head floating graphic followed by an equal number of cutaways to the bored looking crowd at the World Arena. I thought Magness looked like a morgue? Man ... maybe its a bad impression on my part but those people were more interested in showing up on the camera than watching the game. Irritating? You betcha it was. I suppose I'd have rather looked at all those insipid faces than that ridiculous floating Tiger head graphic though. I don't think I can bring myself to spend the 6 bucks tomorrow night to watch the game. I'm just going with Kurt on the radio.


Suze said...

I couldn't agree more. I was upset when I saw the lines for the game, and only one was intact.

I hate Walsky the traitor.

That stupid Tiger head about made me throw something at my computer, it was floating around when the game was ON. Sheesh.

And you didn't say what a terrible job the CC announcers did. What idiots. We are spoiled by Haiders excellent coverage and knowledge.

Can't blame this all on the coaches, UAA didn't move. They didn't seem to care. They played the most lackluster game of the year. I hope to see some fire out of them tomorrow night. And someone please hit Walsky every chance you get. HARD. :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like we are playing a defensive shell, we are not generating any offense and when we do get posession we don't maintain it. Very frustrating. You cannot maintain any rhythm or momentum if players are shuffled around and shuffled in and out of the line-up. Well, let's hope tomorrow brings a better result.

Runninwiththedogs said...


Also, Black Bears? What?

Kris said...

I did not watch or listen to the game, but to way in on something; I am betting what the coaching staff was trying to do was split up the scoring. I am pretty sure that a large part of the defensive efforts on teams have been focused on Clark, Lunden and then Crowder. To split those guys up means the other team theoretically focus on more than just stopping one line. It is also important to note the friday game up here, we didn't even score one goal. So, maybe we are making offensive strides (OK that might be a stretch!!!)

Anonymous said...

Did you expect something more?

Anonymous said...

Last year the lines were continuing to be juggled well into the second half of the year. Most teams have set lines by at least the first half of the season.

Clark and Lunden play extremely well together, and should, IMO, be kept together.

Shyiak keeps saying they are doing things right and they just have to perservere ... so keep the guys with the teammates they are used to skating with.

Last night there was NO continuity, passes were off, no jump in the legs, no sustained pressure. They weren't in sync, and I attribute that to the lines being all jumbled up.

TigerPride said...

who are the black bears???
and yes, most of our crowd is boring, something about it being trendy to go to CC games in this end of the city and being more interested in their latte...

Anonymous said...

Selfish play and passes into players skates will not win games. When a player sees someone wide open in the slot perhaps that is the person you pass to.Just a suggestion. We also need goals to win.

Anonymous said...

And a Goaltender, maybe this Christiansen kid will push for PT, we need him now

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