I have been patiently waiting for this team to play the way that they can. What I have seen since Christmas is a team that seems to be disorganized, decentralized, disfunctional, low esteem and floundering.
I know that the fans expect a lot from these kids when we have been blessed with so many good seasons in a row. One has to expect that this cannot continue year after year without a hicup or two.
I think the whole team looks tired and unenthusiastic. I don't know if this is because Willy left for a litte while and they enjoyed some freedom from tight reins, but let's face it, Willie has a proven system and if the players don't want to buy in, all is lost and you will get a losing attitude and atmosphere.
I also think part of the problem is with the coaching staff much as I hate to say it. Come on Willie, how many chances do you give the normal players on the PP when they are not producing. You just got McKue who has a devestating shot and will shoot when he has the chance. I see that Willie has not tried to use McKue and Kundratec on the point on the PP. Why not? Could they do much worse? It is obvious that you don't score goals unless you get a shot off. When you have fies buzzing the net to get rebounds, why not have someone shoot the puck instead of trying to get in 6 or 8 passes before maybe getting a chance at the net?
When you get the puck back to the point, they usually have a shot after no passes or one to the other side. Play positional hockey and you are up 5 men to 4 and it doesn't take rocket science to figure out that there is a hole there. Use it.
It also seems like too many individual plays going on while on the ice instead of playing a team game. It seems like most of the players don't know what the others are doing or want to do. I don't think they communicate well out there or try to help each other enough.
Both goaltenders seem to be fighting the puck. They look uneasy and uncomfortable playing. Remember that when a goal is scored it is not against one guy, but a whole team. You still have a job to do, get your head in the game and play your heart out to win every night even when you are down a couple. Good team play for 60 minutes will get you there.
Speaking of 60 minutes, it also looks like the team quits after 35 minutes and can't pick it up again. There is only hitting in the first 20 and then it stops. Does anyone notice how we stayed with the Hitmen in the first 20? It was becasue of the solid hits and that is the way to stop that team but you have to do it the whole game. Their goaltending is suspect to me and it showed and I think intead of getting embarassed the way the Tigers did, they could have made that a good game but gave up and quit hitting and playing.
I think that this is a good group of kids but they are not following the scriptures according to Willie and Willie needs to evolve as well. That means trying different combos on the PP that may result in goals and forget that passing game on the PP because that does not work for this team. It shows and past experience does not have the Tiger PP in the top 2 or 3 where it needs to be for speed and execution to really work.
I will continue to support this team but hang my head when I see them give up. I am not giving up on the team and I don't want them to give up on us, the fans. This was meant as constructive criticism not to knock them down and out. If any Tiger staff reads this, take notice and maybe talk to someone with this stuff and give it a try. Who knows, maybe a tip or two from observers will go a long way to solving some of the problems we see out there.
We can't win every night but a least leave em with a black eye if you can't knock em out!!
This is only my opinion, not yours and I'm out!! Go Tigers Go!!