I’m not sure what goes through the mind of a goalie when they watch someone else make a ridiculously great save, but I can tell you the first words that go through mine: slump starter.
The first thing I do (especially now that I write) is check out the name on the back of the shooter’s jersey. I need to track that guys progress over the coming weeks.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a head case – and I am a head case – but when I had a wide-open back door tap-in and found some way to flub it up, it started eating at me as soon as I got to the bench. Even if I got a lot of wood on the shot (as Marcus Kruger does below) and the goalie robbed me, it was still in my head.
“Dammit, that could’ve put me at 10 goals on the year. Gotta get more points than Jones to stay on the PP. I pulled that way too close to my feet. Should’ve taken a step back and fired. Should’ve…. should’ve…”
Suddenly you start to feel behind, and as the expression goes, squeeze the stick even tighter next time.
And nowww you’re forcing it.
When you’re on a hot streak, it’s tough to explain the calm you feel. You know you’re in coach’s good books, and that frees you to play with more creativity. The momentum builds exponentially.
When you’re supposed to provide offense and you go a few games without a goal, you know your teammates and the staff are aware of it. You know they’re talking about you in the office – “what do we do about Bourne?”
Missing an open net is passing on a chance to make life easier, and I found that infuriating.
Below are five people who probably laid in bed and figured out exactly what they should’ve done to avoid feeling the mounting pressure.
Two of those get the “that’s not a great save, that’s a horrible shot” rating from this guy. Reimer and Miller were both pretty pumped to get hit by those pucks. You expect better from Plekanec and Tanguay in those situations.
So here’s our list of names to track – these are the six guys who got robbed. Two of them have since scored – we’ll follow up with the rest in a couple weeks and see if we can pinpoint any slump starting moments:
Alex Tanguay (scored against Edmonton)
Teemu Selanne (yyeahhh, he’s already off free. Scored twice after the save…that game.)
So we’ll see. There’s the very realistic chance that to play in the NHL, you don’t let something like getting robbed phase you. Well, I know it got to me. We’ll see if any of these guys run into the same wall.