I had a nightmare about the Hammies last night.
In that nightmare the indestructiblely (yes, that’s a word now!) awesome Hammies got their butts kicked by a bunch of Moose. Not really because the Moose turned into Super Duper “We’re really the Washington Capitals in disguise” Moosies (because really, they were still the annoying Moose squad that you and I have come to hate during the regular season), but because the Hammies played like a bunch of peewees (meaning no offense to all the peewees out there). It was a terrible nightmare.
Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and discovered that it wasn’t just all in my head and that it had actually happened! Oh the shame and horror….
Look, we knew that the Moose would want to 1) play better after playing like crap and 2) that they’d want to do well in front of their fans… but really? 7-2?!
For me, the maddening bit that they got into a tailspin after the first goal against and that they basically took themselves out when they had made it 4-2. Yes, the Moose played a solid game and took advantage of an uncharacteristically disoriented opposition. Kudos to them. But I’m still trying to figure out how a team that’s been so disciplined, has had very few very bad games during the season, and takes a lot of pride in their ability to battle through games, did what they did last night.
The Bulldogs* were pretty unrecognizable last night. Special teams broke down spectacularly (even the normally solid PK was a disaster and the PP fail finally culminated in a shorty against). The team looked completely rattled after the first two goals against. What perturbed me was their response to the goals. Their response to the first goal was to take another dumb penalty which resulted in another goal for Jordan Schroeder. Call me Captain Obvious, but if you see “how do you respond after a goal is scored against your team?” on a quiz, dont’ tick off the “by taking a lame penalty and then allow another PPG against!” box.
Talk about shooting yourself repeatedly in the foot…….And At 4-2, we had a game again and I thought maybe that would wake them up. But then what felt like every time they would get a decent chance to put on some pressure, they took stupid penalties which just resulted in more scoring chances for the Moose instead. Really…. by the end, it was starting to look incredibly comedic (in the really black comedy type of way).
Schneider was solid. He made the big saves when he needed to. Desjardins wasn’t great and his team awful. Mayer was pretty solid in the second period when he took over… the third period wasn’t brilliant but I’m not really sure anyone else was going to do a better job considering the team up front was napping in the penalty box. Considering this is only his second AHL game, I think he did admirably under the circumstances.
Bottom line: that was a horrendous game and the only reason that I hope they don’t forget about it is because I want them to use this as a wake up call. Game four is going to be very important and the Bulldogs are going to need to be a lot better. They’re going to need to stay calm and focused and not freak out if they go down by a goal or two. Everyone knew that this was going to be a tough series and maybe it was easy to lose sight of that after Saturday. Now that we do know that the Moose don’t feel like pretending to be roadkill, it’s time to stop playing like a bunch of headless chickens. “cause really… that’s just GROSS.
* yes, you know I’m not pleased with them when I’m calling them by their actual name :D