You can read it here.
Several times now in the last few months I've seen a comment like Boucher's that says the boys are less physical at home than on the road. I get the part about smaller ice, but I still can't understand it. What good is a home crowd if it doesn't motivate players to play physically and with passion?
Let me add a thought. I think they play better on the road because we have put such a high expectations on this team in the Fort after last year. Start cheering them on no matter what. Our crowds have been rough on bad things and unimpressed on great plays because of expectations. Let them relax and have fun and we'll see some W's.
Ding, ding, ding. Kpot is correct. I've noticed a lot less passion in the Fort Wayne crowds this season.
Passion is created by the product on the ice and since the beginning of the season that passion was and still is inconsistant. Guys like Woods, Hansen, Reynolds, Chaulk etc all created passion by they way they played the game. Remember last year when Brickley from Kzoo was giving Chaulk a hard time and Chaulk had enough and at the face off just plain beat the living crap out of Brickley>? Or Mitch Woods stiring the pot in front of the net, or Hansen going down to block shot after shot and when some ran into our goalie he was right there letting the guy know that will not be tolerated. That has not happen this year except for a guy like Mac who has shown his passion night in night out...Legualt needs to go back and find his passion, Bertram to!! Yes I know they are hurt so let's hope that they will find that passion they had last year and bring it back to the ice when they get back...
I've noticed that the crowd has been kind of quiet at most of the games I attended. And I suppose you are saying that everyone was just spoiled by the success of last year's team, but I think there is more to it. You can't tell a crowd to cheer. They have to be motivated to cheer by what they are seeing on the ice. And it really doesn't take much to get a crowd into a game. Just show some passion out there, some will to win. Get physical. Play hard. Even if the team doesn't win, the crowd would reward their effort. On the nights in question, the players seemed to be doing only as much as they were expected to do and nothing more. There was no fire, no passion for the game. No one ever smiled. And unfortunately, the score at the end of the night reflected that. Granted, I personally don't approve of jeering your own team's players either, as I don't see where it helps the situation. Stony silence is just as effective. Leave screaming obscenities to the coach.
But all that being said, after last weekend, things are looking very different. And it wasn't because of the standings points or the wins. Those things came because the attitude of the team changed. If that continues to be the case, the crowds will come, and they WILL cheer. I guarantee it. This is the proudest I've felt of our guys all season. So let's keep that up! Go Komets!
I'm not saying that at all. I am saying it's amazing that they're what, four points out of first, with all these injuries? SOMETHING good must have happened at some point. But the crowds are quieter this season. Last year when the guys got down, the crowd would pick them up and inspire them to go harder, but that's not happening this year. It's almost the opposite.
It's the same crowd, Blake. What do you think the difference is? To be honest, I'm still learning the mechanics of the game, so it can be difficult for me to tell if someone makes a great play. But there is one thing that I never miss, and that's when someone is giving it their all out there. I'm sure the injuries have had an impact, and no one can ask someone who is hurt to "play harder". But players like Bertram and Woods never had to be asked. They just DID. And that's what inspires people. If the crowd picked last year's team up from time to time, it was because the team gave so much of themselves the rest of the time. All I'm saying is you can't tell a crowd to cheer anymore than you can tell someone to love you.
But I'm not knocking the team. Yes, they were doing okay even before last weekend. But our guys are better than "okay". They've got a lot of talent, and if they continue to show the level passion they did last weekend, they will go far. Everyone getting healthy again will certainly help, also.
I have read all of these responses and I would like to comment. This is the first time I've done this so everyone be a little patient. I am a season ticket holder and have been for a few years. I would like to respond to Blake's last comment. It is very true that they are doing amazingly well considering the injuries that they have suffered. I think the comment Blake made about the crowds being quieter this year is true. I believe there is a reason for it. Analyzing this year vs. last year I think we have to look at the way the K's have lost numerous games. How many times have we lost in the last two or three minutes of the third period? I can count at least three games and maybe four. How many penalties have we taken in the third period in which we have given up goals or, at the very least, tire players out because they have to kill the penalties off? Everyone has seen this and Al Sims has commented over and over again about the "stupid" penalties taken which have turned games around. I've said all this to make this point. Maybe, just maybe the crowd is just "sitting on their hands" waiting for something negative to happen. The big difference I see comparing this years squad to last years team is this. Last year they KNEW they were going to win. They would find a way to win. Sometimes I think our team this year gets in that nasty habit of playing not to lose and wondering what it will be that goes wrong. This team, if they can get healthy together can be great. Imagine having forwards like Chaulk, Shafranov, Curadeau, Drouin, Thomas, Versteeg-Letwyn, Osman, Varone, Hukalo all healthy at the same time. I would match those nine guys against any team in the league. ( I didn't even mention O'Conner or MacMillan). So, thanks for putting up with my little rant. No one wants them to win more than me but this has been a most unusual year. Again, imagine what they could do if they were all healthy. Blake, one more thing, can you give us an update on Chaulk. I know it isn't my business but I think we are all wondering if he is making progress.
There's no further update on Chaulk,or rather nothing new. He's home healing and listening to the games like everyone else. There's no timetable for his return.
Excellent comments by both Wendy and Alan.
There is a major difference between playing to WIN and playing to avoid losing or making a mistake.
The remark that Bob Chase made before last night's game was priceless: Mr. Chase commented that the 9 players out with injuries would make an excellent hockey team by themselves and he said that he would enjoy watching those 9 scrimmage against the rest of the team and see who would win.
Being only 4 points out of first is absolutely remarkable under these circumstances. This team could still win 40-45 games once some players start returning from the IR.
i'll have to admit, i am missing a little eagerness, anticipation, need, want....something along those lines and i think it has to do with that "whatever it is" being fulfilled by winning the cup last year.
maybe that could be a little of the crowd issue or maybe its what i call the excitement factor, last year we had Woods, the year before Morency,...Galbraith....danny stewart......those guys would rattle the boards, give someone a facewash, just in general when they were on the ice it got exciting.
having said that though, Curadeau had a couple of great hits list night.
its a weird year. Gimme a spiked hot chocolate and wake me for the playoffs.