What's worse is that Anton Khudobin was given the hook for the second time in as many games after 2 goals on 3 shots in 8 minutes. Andrew suggested to me it was an attempt at a momentum shift that just didn't work and after watching the first 8 minutes, I think that could be part of it, but Anton wasn't sharp either.
I'm concerned about him right now. Before these last two DNFs, he was on a nice win streak, but he's consistently letting in soft, untimely goals at least once a game most nights.
And for me, he hasn't reached the same level of consistency and focus he had back last November, when he played so well in the opening months of the season, he earned a trip to the AHL All-Star Game. He was AMAZING in his NHL call-ups later in the season, so you know he CAN stop with the best of them. Is it a motivation thing? Is he bored? Is Hackett not enough to push him?
I wouldn't bother getting after him if I didn't believe he was a tremendous goalie with the ability to dominate and frustrate when his game is on. He's acrobatic, quick, resilient, confident, unpredictable. So I have to think the key is somewhere between his ears.
I just hope he gets it under control, because Hackett is still too green and shouldn't be expected to carry the load at this point in his career. Some rookie goalies can pull that off, but he's just not going to be one of them. He's talented but still finding his way in terms of pro confidence.
Anyway, Anton let in the first two, Hackett let in a couple himself to get the L by his name, and the fifth was an empty net goal. Though I don't know why they even bothered to pull the goalie given the lack of offense the team was showing.
Even with the extra man, there's no way they were getting two more goals in just a minute or two. Then again, maybe it's a good thing. Yeo showing faith in their ability to fight back until the final buzzer.
Sometimes I feel like we should have a "Cynicism Meter" over on the side of the page. I'm on the line between Yellow and Orange today. Sorry about that. Not getting much inner beauty sleep lately...
I guess if anything good can be said:
- Gillies scored (guess he didn't like my defenseman-conversion-if-he's-not-gonna-bring-any-offense suggestion)
- Joe indicated both the fights (Bagnall and Kassian) were decisions for the good guys
- No bus accidents in all these miles
On to Manitoba Friday and Saturday, where the Meese just dropped behind the Griffins in the North division standings. I guarantee at least one goal for former Aero Marco Rosa (who I still really miss watching play). He recently busted out of a scoring drought and, recalling his streaky nature, combined with the joy of lighting the lamp on your former team, I imagine the Aeros goalies will see plenty of him.
A couple of something extras for ya:
Somebody put together the top 50 hockey names and our boy Cal Clutterbuck was numero uno. Here's the Puck Daddy piece with a link to the original article.
Also, if you don't read my blog, you might not know that Binghamton has discovered our boy Barry Brust is the best thing since indoor plumbing.
Here's a big feature that was in the paper yesterday, and a PDF of the article since they gave it pretty big/neat treatment in the print version. And here's some video of him doing his stuff up there and some interviews and whatnot: