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Sunday, October 15, 2006

5 Days for Answers

Finally, this road trip is over. The B's are on their way to Beantown and they wish that it will be another case of "Home Sweet Home". So, where do we go from here? Well, they have 5 days to find answers.

5 days to look at tapes and find what went wrong. 5 days to find a way to believe in themself and to put 30 years of deception behind them. Not an easy task I confess. That said, there's a positive. The team know exactly what to avoid if they want to win on a daily base. Actually, in this road trip, everything who could goes wrong did go wrong. But the key word here is consistency. The team was not able to follow the game plan in 4 of their last 5 contests. Sometimes, it was power play; sometimes they filled up the penalty box faster then the box could handle it and sometimes they lost their concentration and gave away a point. The only time they executed the game plan was in Tampa Bay and guess what; they won.

There's something to worry about when a team cannot display a 60 minute effort. Looking back, it seems that the team is falling into last's year bad habits: 50-55 minutes effort, 3rd period collapse, lack of discipline. The more puzzling factor is that they're supposed to be better, well, at least on paper. In fact, they are more talented then last year. That's why, at this time, there's no point to start pointing at individuals. There's a team problem and all the players are in the same boat. When you look at the schedule, it will be tough. The team will face Calgary in their opener, Ottawa and Buffalo (2). In the worst case scenario, the team could drop to 1-8-1 after 10 games. And most of those games are against conference rivals. In order to reach the playoffs, this team have to find a way to win those important conference matchups. The competition is stiff and they have to find solutions quickly before digging a hole so deep that they won't see the day of light till the end of the season.

Many posters though that I pulled the trigger too fast and they might be right. Maybe I was lacking of patience but I guess this is what happend when you are passionned, as I am, for hockey. I really wish that the next 5 days will be their most productive ones. Because the last thing this team needs is their "Home Sweet Home" become bitter sweet...


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