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>:( <--- This is my angry face.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Me: That loss was so bad ...
Crowd: How bad was it!?
Me: It was so bad, that even though I had resigned myself to a loss a full day ago, I'm still pissed off at how bad it was!

I'm dead serious here. What the [expletive], Columbus? What the Hell was that? So you win a nail biter at home against Detroit, and then you just decide, "Hey, we beat them once! We've already tied our record against them last year, so now we can just coast along and get bitchsmacked like a hooker withholding payment to their pimp! Yeah!"

Because that's what it looked like to me. Stupid and reckless passes, weak-ass body checks and getting outhit by a team that is supposed to be "soft" when it comes to that sort of thing, numerous penalties that helped to dig an early momentum hole (I'm looking at you, Svitov), and horribly soft goaltending.

Funny that I made the premonition I did a couple of days ago when it came to my serious concerns about Norrena and his endurance after so many games. This was his ninth consecutive game when you factor in the 1 1/4th period he also played in the Senators game after Leclaire went down with his knee sprain. I've been worried about Norrena's ability to hang in there for so long ever since that game, when he let in two third period goals ... but that 6-2 win feels like it was ages ago, so let's not get too into that.

I'm sure a lot of my rage at Freddy is misplaced. The five game winning streak? All him. Keeping the CBJ in the game against Detroit on Monday (even though a couple of the goals he allowed were softies)? All him, as well. But he's shown some severe chinks in the goalie pads as he's had to continue playing. As scary a thought as it might be to the CBJ faithful out there (and sadistically funny to the Oilers fan or two that comes across this blog every now and then), would this team be better off giving him a much needed rest (the one he should have gotten starting against Ottawa) and, dare I say it, giving Ty Conklin a start if Leclaire isn't ready by Friday?

Right now, the team sits six games under .500 (still four games away from that dangerous 10 games below I said was the point of no salvation), and in the coming three games will face the Vancouver Canucks (29th in goals), the New York Islanders (15th), and the Boston Bruins (19th), with the Isles and Bruins also both ranking in the lower end of the league in shots for, as well. After that, the team has to deal with the bothersome Red Wings yet again next Thursday, and the only good part about it is that it'll be back at Nationwide, which will hopefully allow for friendlier confines.

If Hitchcock is looking to get Freddy some rest time in the event that Pazzy continues to have to stay out with his injury, he should do it now, because this is as good as an opportunity as he is going to get.

There's really little I can say about the rest of the team that wouldn't be about as vile or as poisonous as my breath is after a week of not brushing (not that I've ever done that, rest assured). To be completely honest? After the end of the second period, I rolled my eyes, and began to just play video games to pass the time, only giving a glance back to the game every so often to see if, perhaps, the team would at least not get shut out. My mind was in a totally other zip code, and it'll take a refresher via some (painful) video recaps on YouTube or to remind me who to rip in to for each goal.

I do have to ask one question, though: where the Hell is Nikolai Zherdev? While Nash has been on a tear the likes that no one has seen from him in forever under Hitchcock, Zherdev has become nothing more than this anonymous skater on the ice whenever he's on there. Save for the goal and assist against Minnesota back on 25th of November, he's done nothing for the team on the scoresheet in nine games.

Sure, sure, playing sounder defense is an amazing feat, especially when it comes to Z ... and I still give him credit for that diving blocked shot against Dallas several games back, as well. But he isn't doing what he's getting paid for (handsomely paid for, as we all know from his new, three-year contract). When a 1st round, overall 4th pick in the NHL Draft is not even averaging half a point a game and they're a forward, there are serious problems that need remedies, and they need remedies now.

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Name: Michael
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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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