Well, it looks like the ship still hasn't righted itself. The Blades lost yet another game last night. That makes it four losses in a row. Somehow, they're not last in the league, but good lord. Something has to give or improve.
The game was the usual chippy affair that always comes against South division opponents. Giving up a goal one minute into the period didn't help. Leigh Salters mixed it up around six and a half minutes into the period, and one of the Stingrays tried to fight Luc Tardif (that's the best way I can describe whatever that was).
The Stingrays maintained their 1-0 lead until about five minutes into the game when Salters basically insured he'll be know as "the only dude actually trying" to Blades fans. Assists on that goal went to Tardif and D'Amour. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, Dominic D'Amour was called for a boarding major, two minutes into the five minute penalty kill, Matt Beca was called for hooking. Somehow, the black cloud that's been hovering over the Everblades dissipated long enough to kill off around three minutes of 5 on 3. Luckily for the Stingrays, the black cloud reappeared in the closing minutes of the period allowing them to make it 2-1. A few minutes after that goal, the Rays decided to go after Dominic D'Amour. While he was on the bench. Oh yeah, you read that right. Somehow, the Blades ended up with more penalties. I guess you have no right to defend a fellow player when an opposing player goes after one of your guys. Maybe it's a new rule? I don't know.
Either way, that penalty carried over to the third, and what do you know, the Stingrays were able to convert. Fabulous. That goal made it 3-1 and another goal in the closing minutes of the period made it 4-1.
The game notes are here.
Right now it feels like the guys take one step forward and then ten steps back. At the very least, the defense breakdowns need to stop. I've lost count of how many goals have been scored this way. We've been lucky to have pretty reliable goalies who are used to how defense is played in the ECHL.
Pat Nagle is not one of those goalies. He's a rookie goalie with no professional experience until this point. Add the fact that he's not getting dedicated time (actually, I'm betting none at all) from a goalie coach and you're looking at trouble. I'm pretty sure any confidence he has is hanging on by sheer force of will. Until he gets his confidence up, or we can be sure John Muse will be around enough to give him time, the defense has to be better than they need to be.
Of course, that's assuming Muse can step up and be our top goalie ow that he's been sent back.
Who knows if that's going to happen.
Ugh. I don't want to think about this anymore. This calls for the one thing that can make you forget about crappy stuff. Yes. This calls for the Holy Hand Grenade (why yes, that was a reference to the one of the funniest movies ever, you're welcome) of Cuteness:
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!
Pray to whatever being you believe in, maybe sacrifice something to the hockey gods, and go through all your good luck routines guys. Every little bit certainly won't hurt for the games on Friday and Saturday.
Me, I'm going to buy a big bottle of cheap wine. Everything is better with cheap wine.