Monday, April 20, 2009

LOVE the mind set

"The way you score goals in the regular season, it just doesn't work come playoff time," Pothier said. "The individual efforts that happen in the regular season, they don't really translate in a playoff atmosphere. Just get the puck to the net and all hell breaks loose and you bang it in somehow. I feel like some of those teams that are really skilled and play a perimeter game, like in Ottawa back then … we played a perimeter game and those ugly goals were tough to come by for us, and that's why we struggled." - Brian Pothier, Capitals defenseman

After losing two games on home ice, where the biggest difference between the underdog and favorite to any casual observer was clearly that the underdog was working harder, sacrificing more, and doing everything possible to jump infront of and BLOCK pucks, the Capitals mind set is, "the playoffs are harder on more skilled teams because they are unable to score pretty goals as easily"

First off, I love the "playoffs can be harder on skilled teams" aspect here. I love that he is already thinking of excuses for the upset.

Second....this IS NOT THE STORY OF THE SERIES. It's not like the Rangers are less skilled, and thus able to play ugly, and score those tough goals infront of the net. They only have 5 goals in two games. And of those 5, were ANY that bang infront of the net variety? Two were gorgeous individual efforts, the type pothier thinks you can't have come playoff time (the winner by Doobie in game one, and the great set up from naslund to callahan for the winner in game two), the other three, were all longer wrists shots where theodore just blew it. The rangers don't have some edge here to score ugly goals, and if they did, it's not the reason they won games one and two. But no one wants to admit they are being "outworked", because it has nothing to do with skill. It is all about desire, heart, and will to win. The reason the rangers are up 2-0, besides Hank, is because Drury is willing to break his wrist to get infront of pucks. Because girardi and sjostrom, and betts, and redden are jumping infront of these things like they are soft foam going 20 mph and not rock hard rubber going 90.

Pothier embodies what I am sure is the Washington mental approach to game 3, "To win, we need more goals, and that will be hard for a team as talented as us because they playoffs favor uglier teams". Good, I hope that's the way they are thinking going into tonight's game.

1 comment:

  1. Pothier's comments are telling - no acceptance of blame - no determination to do what it takes to win - no promise to change the tide. It sounds like he's getting an early jump on the Post Mortem.

    It also looks to me like one coach is really out-coaching the other. If the Caps have more "talent" but the Rangers always seem to show more guts and desire, and always have the better plan, and make the in-game adjustments better - and if the underdog beats the under-achievers - this means one coach is just flat-out beating up on the other one.