Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Ug-Ug-Ugly Saturday Night

Painful. I don't know how else to describe it; but it was exceptionally painful to watch Game 6 vs. Wheeling. Losing 6-0 at home after three wins in Wheeling is humiliating. However, it's not all doom and gloom from where I'm sitting. Making no excuses, let's analyze things and talk about it.

First, I didn't think the Cyclones played too horribly. In fact the score isn't really reflective of the game itself. The Cyclones out shot the Nailers 41 to 33 but Curtis Darling was hot. Very hot. Also many of the Cyclones shots were from the outside, not the good inside the dots "Grade A" shots on goal.

The Wheeling defense did an excellent job keeping the Cyclones on the outside, and Darling took care of what got by.

The Wheeling offense definitely took advantage of Cyclones' mistakes and capitalized with goals. That's playoff hockey. Period. You also have to figure that, while the Cyclones got the victories in Wheeling, they had to travel back and forth, while the Wheeling guys were at least able to catch some rest. Maybe the travel caught up to the young Cyclones by Friday night.

And finally, Wheeling's back was definitely up against the wall. They had just suffered the humiliation of losing all three games at home after decisive wins in the first two games. They were facing elimination. The absolute need to win has a way of motivating a team.

The Cyclones couldn't catch a break and everything lined up for the Nailers. They got a lot of lucky breaks - but they also earned their luck through solid play and good decisionmaking. That's hockey; especially playoff hockey.

Monday will be a different story. Now the Cyclones are also up against the wall but they are at home, with the "7th Man" being the fans in the house.

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