Defensive breakdowns in the playoffs, Part 1 (cont'd x2)

This story was written by Eric T. It begins here. It continues here. This is the final portion.

And the third and final scoring chance is the only goal of the game:

We join this one when the board battle has just been completed. Having been beaten along the boards and knocked down by a player barely tall enough to ride the roller coaster, Leino is seeking vindication by lying down on Gerbe's hockey stick and kicking Gerbe's other stick.

Buf_game_1_chance_3_pic_1_medium

The puck swings to the far point and we can see that Leino lying down on Gerbe's stick is actually the most effective defensive effort on the play. No other Flyer is even close enough to a Sabre to dive and trip them.

Kaleta_goal_medium

Notice in the above picture how Kaleta and Carle are both headed to the net. Carle skates exactly parallel to Kaleta, never getting any closer than he is above. I like to imagine the following conversation took place:

"Hey Pat."

"Hey Matt."

"What's up?"

"Not much, just going to go score the game winning goal."

"Awesome, mind if I come along and watch?"

I have to admit, Carle does have a really nice view of this goal: 

Kaleta_goal_2_medium

Overall blame score: There's probably some blame on someone for going from an offensive zone faceoff win to this chance against in a ten-second span, but unfortunately we don't get to see how that happened in this video. Hartnell missed a chance to deflect the cross-ice pass and then didn't get to the point in time to make any difference, so he gets a point.

Briere's lack of effort and complete unawareness about where his man is earns him 2 points. I want to give Leino some credit for tenacity, as he's still holding Gerbe's stick as the goal is scored, but when a guy loses a battle and then lies down during a play longer than Albert Haynesworth, he gets 2 points. Syvret was in a tough spot, but he really needs to help with Kaleta sooner and/or better than he did, so he gets three points.

Carle gets 4 points for helping to lose the board battle, going to the wrong man after the puck came out, and then recognizing who the dangerous man was but not making any real effort to cover him.

No blame for Lavy, unless you think HBL-Carle-DSOD is too weak a defensive squad even for an offensive zone draw. And no blame for Bob, unless you think he should've been able to square to Gragnani and still somehow stop Kaleta's deflection.

Defensive blame totals after one game:

Player Blame points
Carle 7
Syvret 3
Meszaros 2
Timonen 2
Briere 2
Leino 2
Hartnell 1
Richards 1
Giroux 1

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