the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Blame Game

yep, it's time for me to play the blame game. and there are a lot of people to blame for the ice pilots' disappointing performance in the playoffs. sadly, that performance is now over, following an absolutely embarrassing loss last night in greenville. from the sound of things, the game was wide-open, which should have helped our guys out. but it did the opposite. they just got killed. they were outshot and outplayed for most of the game. i have to give credit where credit is due. the grrrowl defense did an excellent job, and brodeur stopped everything that made it through. i'm just sorry that our guys couldn't hang with greenville's repeatedly changing style. first, they played dirty, then they laid off the holding, played fair, and we won. then last night, they played a wide-open hockey game, and had a good power play. our penalty killing, on the other hand, left something to be desired throughout the series. i've also got to say that, with the way pensacola played for most of the series, greenville deserved to win. we didn't seem to really get serious about trying to score last night until the 3rd period - too little, too late, if you ask me, and the score says i'm absolutely right. well, the last two goals were empty-netters, but it's still pretty pathetic that we got shut out.

my first rant of the morning will showcase the pilots' coach, dave farrish. throughout the regular season, i was singing dave farrish's praises. we were winning, he made some good roster moves (i.e., materukhin), he was a great coach. then he started mucking with the system at the end of the season. he tried to fix us when we weren't broken. rooneem came in near the end of the regular season (ok, we may have needed a forward at the time), and we lost turon through methods i still don't get and seemingly didn't even try to get him back. the turon thing may not have been entirely farrish's fault, but i have to wonder whether he made any attempts get him back in pensacola for the playoffs. what i'm really pissed about is our playoff roster. rather than going with players who had been with us all season, farrish chose to put guys on our playoff roster who had played very few (palahnuk, newbury, even rooneem although i'm not that upset about his being on the playoff roster) or no games with us (heid, fortunus). i don't necessarily have problems with any of these players (except chris heid - i have some issues with him). i just hate that they were chosen over guys like bill kinkel and david turon for our final roster. farrish's excuse for kinkel: he wasn't sure if he would get reassigned to us. hello, dave! you weren't sure about half the other guys you put on the roster, either. anyway, i also disagreed with the guys farrish scratched last night in favor of the not-so-impressive palahnuk - chris st. jacques and jordan krestanovich. all i can say is that for jordan to get scratched, he better have been hurt. why else would farrish have scratched our leading scorer in the regular season, a guy who also had points in the playoffs? he should have scratched rooneem instead. rooneem has not played well in the postseason, and if anyone should've gotten scratched last night, it was him. i like him, but materukhin would also have been a better scratch choice than jordan - he hasn't been so impressive lately. this may surprise some of you, as you're well aware that jacquo has a special place in my hockey thoughts, but i'm not that upset that he got scratched last night. cory stillman did deserve a chance to play, and he had to take someone's place. also, st. jacques has a bit of a temper, and he's been taking some bad penalties. but so has matty...and jacquo had an assist on cam's first goal on saturday. but there's nothing anyone can do about these mistakes now. and it's really doing me no good to bitch about them now...but it makes me feel a little better to get it off my chest. so, my final thoughts on dave farrish - an awesome regular season coach, but maybe not so good for the postseason.

now, i know that dave farrish is not wholly to blame for this disappointing playoff series. the guys out there on the ice played a big part in that. but i've already ranted pretty hard on the guys in previous posts, so now i think i'll point out some of the pilots i feel sorry for because they played well and deserved a better performance from their teammates. aaron phillips, corey neilson, dwayne (particularly in the last game), cam keith (particularly in game 3), ryan vince, and of course freddy...the guys you can pretty much depend on to play well. some of the other guys also had some good moments, but these are the pilots that stood out to me during the playoffs.

so, now that our season is officially over, i can move on to other things - specifically, i can put more time into planning my project and get some research done over the summer. also on the upside, chad and i now have to spend less $ on next year's tickets. i will, however, be keeping up with the rest of the playoffs. i hope that columbia beats charlotte, then florida will play gwinnett. and i hope florida wins that series. we'll see.


Vanessa Mae said...

According to Kathy and Staci, who attended morning skates for games 1 & 2, Jordan was trying to *do stuff* and was having a really hard time (pained facial expressions, etc). I have a feeling that he was trying to play through injuries sustained during the games against MS (remember seeing him icing his foot during the playoff rally?). Watching him during games 1 & 2, he wasn't skating as well as he usually does. The scratch for game 4 was no big surprise to me.

I think what really hurt was certain players not stepping up. May being one player, though I don't fault him completely. I don't believe that his broken finger was completely healed. I spoke to my dad about this last night, but our defense has been absolutely horrible in front of Freddy. In particular was a goal (I believe scored in game 2) when a guy was allowed to park his butt in Freddy's face, and D'Amour NEVER pushed him out of the way. The team never did the little things that make the difference.

I don't understand why we didn't also get Fortunus, especially since I read that Houston had 8 healthy defensemen. We got Palanhuk, if I'm not mistaken, because San Antonio didn't make the playoffs. The reason why guys like Newbury were put on the roster was in the case that the Pilots went further in the playoffs than St. John's did. But there are a limited amount of slots on the roster. The Pilots still ended up healthy scratching someone for the playoff games.

Overall, I don't believe that changes (tweaks, perhaps) were made to the strategy of the Pilots. They continued to play like they did all year instead of adjusting to get around the clutch and grab. The players on the ice did not take responsibility for the defensive zone ... especially on the penalty kill. Kathy and Staci took note of Greenville's very aggressive penalty kill. When things weren't working, somebody should have stepped up to make something happen. Unfortunately, no one did.

Vanessa Mae said...

Oh, by the way, I forgot to list the team I'm rooting on to win the American conference.

GWINNETT all the way, baby!

Because of Mike V., of course :-D


latina marie said...

i concur...we had a lot of guys just sitting back waiting for someone else to make things happen. and, unfortunately, it was greenville who did that. i have a beef w/ may, as well...and matty and rooneem and heid (duh) and d'amour and and even jacquo at some points in the series (see, i'm not just picking on the former damn ice gators). and pretty much all of our D guys had a bad game for the first one...even corey. wait, everyone but jordan, philly, and ryan vince were bad in that 1st game. but, alas, it's over now, and my thoughts have turned to next season.

Vanessa Mae said...

I am looking forward to next season as well. It's all we can do.

We need to make sure that we all see each other more this summer. I don't want to go through the entire offseason without seeing you guys!

*cough* Belingrath Gardens *cough*

:-D :-D :-D

Are you guys up for a trip to New Orleans???

latina marie said...

between may 6 (day after finals) and may 25 (gotta start prepping for marine bio for first summer session @ DISL - gotta be the best TA i can be, you know. shouldn't be hard. sally, registar @ DISL, sent me an email just today telling that i am a perfect person, which you all know i'm not) i'm up for anything. perhaps we could go as far as the georgia line to visit callaway gardens and see the flutter-bys...deva says they're awesome, and chad wouldn't let us stop there on the way back from greenville.

latina marie said...

oh yeah, deva finsihed animal husbandry on the trip, and she thought i'd see you before she did, so i have it ready and waiting for next time i see you.

latina marie said...

whoops...i really should i have thought before i pushed "login and publish." a request - if we go to new orleans, we must go to the zoo. i love their zoo, but i haven't been in a very long time. i like the aquarium too, but i've been there recently.

Vanessa Mae said...

As long as we get to walk about the French Quarter, I'm perfectly fine with going to the Zoo. In fact, I haven't been back there since we went in 7th grade! Your dates sound good, we'll have to pick a Saturday to go. I won't have anything going on in May til the 25th.