|Better get used to a Hartnell picture here. Dude's got it going.|
In the grand scheme of things, a team that will almost certainly be playing better later in the year needs to go up to Winnipeg and get a win to cancel that one out. Then you are .500 for Winnipeg, a dramatic improvement from where we are now. Since we play every Western Conference team twice, you have to at least try to come out at .500 for each of those match-ups. As this team slowly finds its way under the new coach, these are the things that we need to focus on, evening up the losses from early in the season as a way of climbing back into this thing.
I didn't boo last night. I felt the effort was there, they capitalized on our mistakes, and put them in the net. We were unable to force a good team into the same number of mistakes. That's gonna happen to you in a hockey season. Unfortunately, when you have an 0-8 start, you can't afford to have those things, but it's the reality of the situation. I booed when I felt they had tossed in the towel, I didn't feel that way about this game. So it goes.
Young Ryan Murray was calling for a little more loyalty from the home fans, perhaps rightly so. What he doesn't understand is how hard this calls the shade of Scott Arniel, and the time I posted a 'Fail for Nail' blog before Halloween. Young Ryan doesn't understand just how hard this is on the fan base, and how many times we have walked this road. I don't want to be talking about top draft picks before Halloween. I want to enjoy some competitive hockey while the pressure is on, not when the pressure is off. And I'm not trying to call out Ryan Murray here. He's a good player, a young player, and he has a right to ask for that. What I am trying to say is that the fan base thought we had buried that when Lori Schmidt 'piled on' Arniel by asking a simple math question, and finally exorcised that demon. Now here we are staring it in the face once again.
Definitely a good thing for the new coach to be on the road, even though it is a tough west coast swing. There will be a less hostile crowds, as those crowds are focused on their own teams, and not ours. Last year, this team's home record was nothing to crow about. Its one of the easiest things in hockey to fix, is that atmosphere, and the well has already been poisoned this year. This start is going to haunt this organization in a big way at the ticket booth. And for the second time in franchise history, when we put a cap team on the ice, the coach gets fired. Oy.
But, hockey's a funny sport, and its a long season. Right now the team needs to keep improving and see what they can come up with.