Don’t laugh, but this is the best game we’ve played to date.
Yeah, yeah we didn’t win. But we also didn’t give up goals to everyone who shot the puck, even if the game winner was scored by a guy who didn’t have a goal in 35 games last year.
Jake Allen seemed to have shrugged off his abysmal performance in Abbotsford. I hope that the shades of the Jake Allen who can carry a team are starting to stay rather than have him go through a prolonged funk as he did at the start of the season last year. I am not sure how much the brass, or the fans, are prepared to tolerate Allen stinking up the ice for too long. I like that Allison went back to him after a shaky opening weekend. Allen seems to need a bit of hand holding early in the season (last season too) and despite the loss it was his best game. He was tested pretty well and rose to meet the challenge.
McKenna, from everything I have heard is a more than capable goaltender, and he’s going to have to take a turn between the pipes sooner than later. I wouldn’t be stunned if McKenna gets the home opener, but the Rivermen are looking for the first win of the year against what is looking to be an increasingly tough Rockford team, and may go back to The Guy and put Allen in net. We’ll see tomorrow night.
Really it was about bad bounces. I thought the team really stepped up in intensity as the night wore on. This team seems to be playing night after night with an ACME dynamite kit, and each period is like clipping a wire and hoping it doesn’t go boom. In Abbotsford it went boom too often. In Chicago I think they avoided disaster.
This is also a team that is finding their way, and starting to buy into the culture that Allison is trying to place. They had a VERY short camp thanks to the NHL lockout, and thus have not had the time to iron out all of the kinks. Normally guys would be sent to Peoria after a couple of weeks in the Blues camp, adding that much more practice and time on the ice. That didn’t happen this year. This year there was no Blues camp, and they barely had enough time to unpack before they were right in to preseason games and the regular season. A slow start isn’t that unexpected.
I am looking forward to seeing them live on opening night Friday. So far three road games haven’t really let me get a feel for the team on the ice. I like to see them with my own eyes… so tomorrow cannot get here fast enough.