Blog 2 - Friday, April 17
Boys, if we don't dictate the pace tonight we're going to have some problems. You can look at the first game and say we weren't in it from beginning to end. Bonehead plays. Bad penalties.
The Penguins dictated the play early with a hit on Kimmo Timonen
by (Chris) Kunitz, who was a really good addition. They seem to have made some good moves down the stretch to be in a position to go on a run.
There Timonen was, limping. And it was like watching a nightmare unfold. And the penalty to Asham, every team is going to get their calls in the Playoffs, you're going to get bad ones and good ones.
The PP goal against was a tough way to start a game, especially a Playoff game in a tough building. The number of minors on Hartnell's part were tough - he played with too much of an edge. Philly was back on their skates the whole night, and the Pens took advantage of the home crowd.
What we have to do tonight is make this game even. Play on even footing. We have an opportunity to take one of two games in Mellon Arena, and that's all we have to do.
There are a lot of questions and a lot of pressure on coach John Stevens
. For one thing, coaching in Philly is tough - a lot of people expect greatness from the team. For another, he has to build up the team’s confidence. I heard him speak about finding positives in each game but there weren't many in Game 1.
So much frustration, so many questions. And then when that post rang in the beginning of the third period, you get a couple bad bounces and a couple bad giveaways - Mike Knuble
- it's almost like a bad dream sometimes when things aren't going your way.
Playoff hockey is intense, Philly didn't play playoff hockey. That Chicago game was unreal. And Anaheim-San Jose? That was two great teams. Philly's game felt like an early October game.
The mindless hit by Carcillo was just ridiculous. I don't advocate the Broad Street Bullies mentality and the NHL had sent a message about that kind of thing before the playoffs. And it’s possible that Carcillo sitting down could actually help the squad. As much as his physicality fits in Philly, he's got to understand when to bring it out.
No excuses. We have to look ahead. Move the puck and get the forwards rolling, get them pumped up. I don't want to kill penalties. We want to get a flow going.
We can play with any club in the NHL. I’m pinching myself thinking this is a bad dream, because we almost played as bad as when we went on the losing streaks. Who knows what's going to happen? But it's Playoff hockey now or it's: Get a golf cart.
The coach needs to generate some enthusiasm. I need to see that Playoff hockey mentality. Something has to spark it. Our physicality has to be smart. You can't go out gunning for people because they're going to call penalties.
If you want to protect teammates, take numbers, and make clean checks - don't play the stupid game because you're going to get called for it. We'll see how these young players react. I think throughout Game 1, I saw a few moves from Giroux, he looked good. Biron held his own. But the whole team was average.
I feel bad for Richards and Carter, they were killing penalties, they couldn't get on any roll.
Game 2 is almost a must-win. It erases Game 1. You have to show up.
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