It wasn't Brodeur's fault.
Got it? Good.
Was Miller the better goalie last night? Maybe.
Was the US team the better team? Definitely.
People like placing blame on one scapegoat, but Marty isn't the right target here. Sure, he wasn't "Martin Brodeur", possibly the greatest netminder in the history of the game, but he was hardly a rank amateur flopping all over the place either.
The team let him down. The Canadian hockey ego said, as it did with Switzerland, that offense is the best defense. Sadly, Team Canada excelled at neither last night. Again.
45 shots. Whoop-dee-doo. 45 shots from the point, bad angles, or on the fly, on the ice. Could they not get the puck up? Could nobody position themselves to get a rebound or tip in? When you're facing a goaltender like Miller, who has been consistently solid ALL SEASON, and a US team that is hungry to beat you, then you need the ugly goals, and the opportune goals. You need to PUT THE PUCK ON THE NET and HAVE SOMEONE THERE TO MAKE SURE IT GOES IN. No screening, no grit.
I'm not even going to get into the amount of dump-and-chase our guys played.
And in our own end? Please. Scattershot. Uncoordinated. A mess. Did they draw straws to see who would go in the corners? Did they sometimes forget to include a short straw? How about collapsing around your own net to protect the goalie? You know, like the US team did EVERY TIME THEY WERE IN THEIR OWN ZONE?!
Sure, having faith in your goalie lets you take more chances. But that doesn't mean you abandon him.
Marty had NO support. Not until Canada realized that they were in serious trouble and that another goal would kill them. THEN they started blocking shots and chasing the puck like it meant something.
Even then, Seabrook practically gifted the crazy empty-net goal to Chicago teammate Kane in the dying minutes. Kane literally breathing down his neck and his stick is OFF THE ICE? He should have stepped up the hustle and shot that puck away from the net instead of letting Kane flop down and knock it between the pipes. That's how you lose a game.
Maybe it'll be a wakeup call to the team. Maybe they'll remember that they aren't the only ones stacked with NHL superstars and quality goaltending. Or maybe they'll think the extra game they now have to play against Germany will be a cakewalk and get their asses almost handed to them again.
Regardless, it's better for them as a team to take this loss now and have to play the extra game. It SHOULD bring them closer together as a team and force them to face their egos and errors and right this ship.
If the outcry continues, expect Steve Yzerman to say or do something mildly controversial to draw the heat away from his guys.
It ain't over yet.
Monday, February 22, 2010
It wasn't Brodeur's fault.