To the Predators, Capitals, Red Wings, and Flyers fans out there who are flipping out about losing the first game of the second round, get a grip. No matter if your team lost in overtime or in took a 7-3 drubbing, it’s one loss after only one game.
To the fans of the Canucks, Lightning, Sharks, and Bruins who are prancing around as though the first game is an exact foreshadowing of how the rest of the series will go, well, good luck with that. It’s one win after only one game.
So today, here’s some therapy for the fans of the losing teams…
The Predators played a pretty bad game in Game 1 against the Canucks. They were beat by the Canucks in all facets of the game. It looked as though the ice was literally tilted towards the Preds’ end. The Canucks dominated them, plain and simple. That said, they only lost 1-0. Most of that was due to the performance of Pekka Rinne, who absolutely stood on his head the entire game. So after getting spanked as badly as they did, the margin of the loss was only 1 goal.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz was pretty unhappy with the play of his team. He didn’t name any names, but he called out part of his team for riding along as “passengers” during the game. That should add some motivation to those players (and they know who they are).
The Lightning beat out the Caps in a close Game 1. This might have been the case of when winning a series quickly is a bit of a “bad” thing. Washington had a long delay between games while the Lightning were in a normal rhythm coming “fresh” off a 7 game series.
Ironic, isn’t it?
While momentum typically always goes to the winning team, the losing team in a close game often comes away with the advantage going into the next game. Human nature gives the winning team somewhat of a false sense of security and confidence when the margin of victory was in actuality very small. The losing team can identify the adjustments slightly easier.
This isn’t always the case, but it’s something I could definitely see happening in this series. Also, Simon Gagne’s bell has been rung pretty good (on a perfectly legal and clean hit) and I’d be surprised to see him again. He’s a great player and it’ll be very tough for the Lightning to replace him in the lineup.
In my opinion, the Red Wings are the team with the least to worry about. First of all, to lose a game in overtime usually isn’t much to be ashamed of. They call it sudden death for a reason. And the fact that it was scored on a deflection, well, what are you going to do?
The Wings have something that San Jose doesn’t have: experience. They’ve been there before. Many of them have at least one ring. To say they’ve been there before is quite the understatement.
Really, there’s not much else to say. The Wings will be fine.
Much like the Predators, the Flyers have to take this as only one game. The big difference, however, was that the domination showed up in the scoreboard. The Bruins ran up a 7-3 score in a game they were much more prepared to play than the Flyers.
What’s interesting comparing this game to the Predators/Canucks game, however, is that the Flyers were not dominated territorially like Nashville was. People will talk about the goalies all day and all night for Philly, but to blame the goaltending in this game is just plain lazy. When a team gives up 7 goals in one game, I’m not going to sit here and say that Boucher and Bobrovsky played well, but they were absolutely hung out to dry. The defense was terrible. They left Boston Bruins players wide open in front of the all by themselves. You can’t do that. Not unless you want to lose by 4 goals every night.
So what’s bright for the Flyers? Haha, it’s tough to see, but two things stick out. The first is that they were uncharacteristically bad. They have an excellent defense, but for whatever reason, they didn’t show up. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would expect the same thing to happen. The second bright spot is that they did score 3 goals on Tim Thomas and were very close to adding a few more. Thomas can stand on his head, but he’s far from unbeatable. Andrew Carnegie once said that if you take care of costs, profits will take care of themselves. In hockey’s case, if you take care of defense, the offense will take care of itself.
So let’s get ready for each series’ Game 2, which is arguably the most important game in a series. One team has a chance to grab a big lead while the other has the chance at redemption and a fresh start.