From yesterday's Herald:
"At this point, ask them, we have practiced enough," Hiller said of his players. "We know how we are supposed to play, it's a matter of staying sharp, and in my mind, being rested. A guy like Fes (Justin Feser), he's better off laying in bed for a week than coming to the rink. You know he is going to play like crazy and I run him hard. He has that ability to make big plays, but at the same time, doesn't run out of gas. Even when he's tired, he's still effective." (Herald)Practiced enough? Maybe practice the power play, because it looked AWFUL. Maybe practice getting rebounds cleared away from LLK, especially since he's going to allow so many juicy ones out there. Maybe have LLK practice NOT playing the puck behind the net.
That sums up the frustration I felt last night. I suppose it's a good thing I didn't write about the game last night, I was truly annoyed.
But I get it. I've calmed down. They are seriously depleted and I guarantee if I'm frustrated, they are too.
They played really hard, really well for the first half of the game. At one point they were outshooting the Royals 10-3 (first period). Royals started to catch up the second half of the game when the Americans took some bad penalties--another side effect of fatigue--and Royals capitalized. The normally outstanding PK couldn't get it done, Vic went 4-for-6 on the PP. Those goals sucked whatever life the Americans had right out of them.
There were some positives, believe it or not:
- Another strong game for Justin Gutierrez.
- Good game by the 15-year-old Purtill, didn't look out of place at all, laid a few big hits, played very well I thought.
- Sshhhhh...don't tell anyone, but I think Mitch Topping has had a handful of good games recently. If I just jinxed it, I'll flip out.
The good news is they get a body back today, Dallman's three-game suspension is over. He's a good soldier and can log a bunch of quality minutes. It would sure be nice to get McCue and Chynoweth back.
Before I get to liveblog, I just have to ask, what the devil is this?!? Is it supposed to be art? Because it just looks like poop. Drydn Dow is a beautiful man, he should NEVER look like this. It is, as best as I can tell through my bleeding retinas, a good photo, why do this to it? This appears on the WHL site as the picture accompanying the plays of the week.
Now your retinas are burning too, I apologize.
Liveblog tonight, come on in!