No doubt about it, the Cats face a must-win when they clash again with the Islanders for game two.
This should be a good afternoon tilt. While we didn’t get the game one outcome we hoped for, I actually think the Panthers looked pretty good. It was a sluggish start with Florida not registering a shot until about 10 minutes into the game, but they seemed to start finding their rhythm in the second and on.
I agree with two friends/frequent commenters Of the blog when they chimed in with their assessments on last game’s post.
Ratsreign and Harveykline both hit the nail on the head.
“Bob played well. Panthers had some chances, but need to generate more. Spent most of the first period short handed, and got nothing at all going. Still some turnovers when trying to exit their zone, but don't remember any of the foolish giveaways they're prone to that lead to odd man rushes against Bob. They can still take this series. Gotta find a way to break through that Isles defense. Obviously game two is a must win.”
I’m surprised (but happy) to say it...I thought Bob was fantastic. He turned away 26 of 28 shots and a number of those were high quality chances. In fact, he kept the Cats in the game with a huge save on a dangerous two-on-one in the dwindling seconds of the second. His positioning and confidence was very strong to me.
Getting sustained pressure in game two will be key for increasing the scoring (obviously), but also helping take pressure off of Bob.
“We will never win much if anything with our defense. The one guy with any toughness is benched. Psysk should be back on defense but we can’t find a 4th line guy to take his spot.”
100%. We talk about this defense, and it’s struggles, all the time. Florida doesn’t fill the back of the net with biscuits, so they can’t afford to get away with the blueline they have. We know it doesn’t work and it effects everything negatively. Also, I’m with you on Brown.
They pulled things together before the stoppage and need to get to that level and better if they want to stay alive, otherwise, they’ll end up like Harv said, and will never win much, if anything.
Lastly...its time for the guys you need to score, to start scoring. Barky, Huby (keeping building off that game one goal), Connolly, Hoffman, Haula, Daddy, Vatrano and the surprise of the season, Acciari, need to get in the groove - and fast.
If they can’t do it at even strength, the MUST find a way to score on the PP. You’re given a man advantage, use it!
Maybe blend the lines up a bit and get some more speed in there for game two?
So sit back, relax and strap it down. Puck drop will be here before we know it...
[Image from The Hockey News]