I didn't think we played a bad game. The Panthers' forecheck caused all kinds of problems for us in the first and second, but I thought we pretty much owned the third. I think we're really missing Abby; we're not making life hard enough for these goalies, and we're missing his heavy forechecking (not a lot of sustained pressure from the top two lines). But the biggest issue, I think, remains our transition game. It's flat-out not where it needs to be. It was miraculous a couple nights ago, but that's not gonna happen every night (i.e. the Leafs suck). Tonight we iced the puck about a thousand times on stupid "Well, maybe this'll work, maybe it won't - let's find out" stretch passes to no one. A better faceoff team would've made us pay.
The shootout...no words.
Worst part about this is that the stupid Howard shootout thread is bound to take on new life. I'm surprised it's survived. I get that it sucks that he's not a great shootout goalie, but we can't score consistently in the shootout either, and it's the stupidest thing to be pissing and moaning about, because it's the damn shootout! Howard is great in the parts of the game that really matter and we've got to have a thread about thef****** shootout. Ridiculous.
Bottom line is we're leaving a ton of points on the table (five and counting) and that has to stop being a thing, and it's on Howard and the shooters and the coaching staff to figure it out. I don't get the impression they're taking it as seriously as they should.
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