2/25/07 vs. Puckhawgs (11-2-1)
History has not been as kind to us against the Puckhawgs as it was for our opponents last week. While our record isn’t terrible, it’s the numbers during the losses that we should pay significant attention to:
- In 7 previous games we are 3-4-0, scoring 20 goals for, but allowing 28 goals against;
- The Puckhawgs have won the last 3 matchups
- We’ve scored less than 3 goals in all four of the losses, being outscored 4-21, with the average scoring margin during those losses is over 4 goals per game;
- We’ve been shutout once, in our first meeting, but that was a 1-0 loss in which the winning goal was not scored until late in the game;
- However, in our 3 wins, we’ve outscored them 16-7, scoring more than 5 goals in each game, with an average margin of victory of 3 goals per game; and
- Also working against us is the time of the game, 5:45 pm, as we are 5-12-1 in that time slot, including 1-2 in the playoffs.
Conclusion: Scoring more than 3 goals will be huge in this game. Josh and the defense will also need to keep our goals against down.
This week’s game will be a true test for us because not only are we playing the #1 seed, we’ll be trying to do so without 4 regular players, as Paul, Dave, Doc and Lyle will all miss this week’s action. This leaves us with only 9 skaters, meaning we’ll be forced to play 2 lines and 3 defense. This will be a daunting task as the Puckhawgs are loaded with speed and skill.
Edited 2/25/07: Ike will also miss the game due to back spasms, leaving us with 5 forwards and 3 defenseman.
Keys to the game: it will be important for the forwards to move the puck quickly out of the zone and for the defense to not allow too many odd-man rushes. More importantly, Josh must play his A++ game.
One mistake could unravel us, but if we play sound defense and can score the first goal, it could be an enormous upset that would propel us into the championship game.