Game 19: Post-Game Notes (Part 2)

All right, time for some actual work.  Speaking of which, head coach Kevin Dean was right last night…you couldn’t really take issue with the level of work that the team put in last night.  They competed.  As a whole, they looked good.  But in the end, they lost…and that’s a game they shouldn’t have lost.

It was another come from ahead loss for Trenton…so let me mix in some Dean quotes and I’ll get to my thoughts and some of Shane Connelly’s comments a little later.

“We haven’t (given up first period leads) time and time again, we kind of righted that ship a month ago when we were losing games like that.  We did it twice against these guys, I agree.  But a month ago, we gave up leads in the second period.  We have done that a little bit.  But we’re not focused, we can’t keep focused for 60 minutes for whatever reason.  We’re young, and we’re not ready.”

“They’re going to raise their game, they’re a good team.  They’ve won eight of their last ten for a reason.  We caught them a little off guard.  They’re good a team and they’ve got most of their guys, and we’re not…when they raise their game, we’re either ready or not ready to match them, and we weren’t ready to match them.  I don’t think it was specifically anything we were doing so much as it was they raised their game and we couldn’t match it.”

“(On maintaining the first period level of play through 60 minutes) Focus, like I was saying…but where we are right now, if a team raises their game, it’s going to be tough for us.  So we’ve got to focus even more.  We’ve got to pay more attention to the little things that matter…right now, we’re not matching (teams when they raise their game).  Same thing happened in Wheeling the other night.”

“Potacco didn’t play much, it’s hard to comment on him.  I thought Kucharski was good, especially early.  I think he got tired towards the end, his face was really red.  I thought Shane (Connelly) was good.  I thought he made a lot of good saves and didn’t let in any stinkers in.”

“(Miller) had a little bruise, upper body, but nothing…well, I haven’t talked to (the trainer) yet, actually.  Lerg’s long-term, Zancanaro’s probably day-to-day now and Vokes is probably day-to-day.  Kang’s getting close.  I don’t want to say he’s day-to-day yet, but he’s getting there.”

“(On what they’ll be working on in practice) Probably puck management, compete.  I don’t know how you practice focus.  But we’re going to take a look at Elmira.  We’ve struggled against them.  There’s a team that when we play well, we can stay with them.  But when they raise their game, we haven’t been able to push back yet.  We’re going to take a look at what they do and we’ll figure it out.”

“(On if the lack of focus is it being a younger group of guys) It’s most of it.  It’s a little bit of a lack of commitment and defense and how you got to it.  You’ve got a two goal lead and all of a sudden in the second period, we’re throwing backhand cross-ice passes and soft chips and you get cute.  You think it’s two to nothing and I’m going to get a point here.  It’s not the way it works.  They’ve got guys like Cruthers, Gordon and Castonguay.  You start doing that against them, it comes back to bite you.”

“We’ve got guys who we’re asking to do a lot right now who aren’t ready for it.  They will be ready at some point, but right now, I’m not sure some of these guys are ready to play 20 minutes a night and big minutes defensively against top lines.  When we get these guys back, we can get guys playing more to their strengths and more in a position where they can succeed.  You can’t fault the effort, our effort’s there every night.  It was good tonight.  It just wasn’t directed in the right way, especially in the second period.”

As I said earlier, it’s pretty hard to disagree with any of what Dean said.  I thought the effort was there, and nobody really stood out to me for negative reasons. 

I still think J.S. Berube can bring a lot more to the table than he is…and I still think Taylor Vichorek is costing himself by wanting to hit anything that moves in situations where he can simply make a challenge on either a loose or a 50-50 puck, but that is what it is. 

Ryan Ginand, if you ask me, was Trenton’s best player last night…and that’s been the case most nights this season.  He’ll put anything and everything on net — he had 9 shots last night — and his speed and work ethic cannot be questioned.

Some people will say the turning point was when he inexplicably was not awarded a penalty shot with about five minutes to go in the third period when he got tripped on a clear breakaway.  And the fact that a penalty shot or even a penalty wasn’t awarded was questionable to say the least…and likely earned Dean his game misconduct for throwing a marker on the ice after the game.

But this team lost the game in the second period.  23 shots through the first 20 minutes is good…18 through the last 40 won’t cut it.  You can’t take your foot off the gas pedal in this league.

Shane Connelly was pretty solid in his Trenton Devils debut, and I was the only one to hang around to talk with him after the game last night.  Here’s what he had to say…

“I got in here the other day and it was a road game in Wheeling, so I didn’t really know what this team was about.  You got to see them as the home team and how they play.  I was familiar with Reading.  I thought we came out and played really strong and I didn’t have much to do in the first.  They kind of settled in a little bit and it seemed like we got off our game a little bit and we didn’t get as many shots.  It started picking up a little bit, you could see their skill level.  But I like how we competed.  If we got a few bounces our way at the end of the game, we come out on top.”

“I just think coming off the road…usually when teams travel the day of the game, you get a little jump on them that early and we were able to get a lead.  I just think we got a little complacent and we got a little tired and they picked it up.  We weren’t able to fully match their second gear.  In the first, they couldn’t match us, but then they took it to another level and we were a little bit of a step off in the last 40.”

“(The Riendeau goal) that was one where it kind of snuck through, more or less.  He put a quick shot on me, and it ramped up and I think it hit the knob of my stick.  Instead of going up and high, it kicked back.  It hit something down here, and the ref came up to me and said, ‘That’s a bad bounce.’  It’s one I need to make a save on.  But at the same time, if we get a few bounces our way, we win this game.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


One Response to “Game 19: Post-Game Notes (Part 2)”

  1. titans04 Says:

    Not sure how much more they’re going to be able to get out of the current lineup, they weren’t bad but they just weren’t good enough. They may have played hard for 60 I don’t think it’s a question of effort but more about having too many holes to fill. Getting Zancaro and Vokes back will help.

    This isn’t going to help at all if it’s more than just for todays game:

    12/05/2010 Andy Thomas (D) Albany ADD Recalled from loan to Trenton (ECHL)

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