No not Tanner Dickinson, but if the Hounds play for another 3 weeks or more you never know.
The man at the table is the only one who knows what he has and what he doesn’t have and will not let you in via a twitch, a drop of sweat, or a blink of an eye. Of course I am talking about Kyle Raftis but let’s move on.
The star player is Jack Thompson who sat out Tuesdays game via a suspension and with the Hounds win, he’ll definitely be a huge huge factor.
Anyway, the Hounds bobbed and weaved just enough to not get knocked out in a game they controlled in the first period only to decide to hold onto the lead for the next 40 minutes.
I don’t understand what it is about this team but they do not seem to have the kill switch or that thirst for more blood. It seems the best hockey the Hounds play is when they are playing catch-up (which is a 2021-22 Trademark) or at the beginning of games.
The other night at 3-0 I was hoping for the Hounds to literally pound the Firebirds and destroy any confidence Luke Cavallin had, but instead they figured they had it wrapped up and inch by inch the Firebirds came back and came within a goal and a couple of posts of tying the game and possibly winning it.
Is it the coaching? Really I don’t know. One could understand that if you have a two goal lead and it’s 3 minutes before the final buzzer you might tell the boys to stay on your man and play the puck off the glass to kill off the clock but it seems they start that with 3 minutes left in the first period.
It just doesn’t make sense.
Anyway; the way they played especially in the third was like they were killing a penalty watching the Firebirds players skate around trying to make something work.
For the Hounds to remain effective they need to keep pushing the pace and force Flint to adjust uncomfortably and thus leave themselves open for mistakes and for the Hounds to capitalize.
Of all three games so far; this one was not very enjoyable to watch as the lead kept getting shorter and shorter.
Of course I am happy with the win, but after a 3-0 lead I had hoped for a more convincing win.
With the win the Hounds are on the radar (in the series) but make no mistake about it the Firebirds are still in the drivers sea….I mean cockpit.
Tucker Tyan was a huge welcome back as he showed a lot of composure and poise and as John Dean has said recently; he has really turned up the juice in the last month and especially the playoffs.
How high has he juiced things up? Well he is at the top of the league albeit with only 5 games played but as I questioned his play at times all year, it appears Kyle the prophet new something and that something is that Tucker is a fierce competitive player when it really really Counts and speaking of numbers (Counts/Counting) Tynan boasts a jaw dropping 1.57 GAA average and a championship level save % of .948.
Moving on I’d like to chat a bit about one of my favorite players all year; import Kirill Kudryavstev or KK as I like to refer to him as.
It was very interesting that our young Russian who is generally a quiet mannered kind of solid dependable D Man made quite the name for himself with not one, not two, but three penalties AH AH AH! . I don’t know if he took three all year but other than his great disciplined play every game but this past one, he shows leadership and maturity.
I don’t know if anyone else caught this, but after he nailed the Flint player in the face with the puck he skated back a few minutes later to say something (I think) and check that he was ok. That shows KHARACTER and Kirill you are going to be dynamite for us for the next couple of years.
Ok so tonight is another must win for the Hounds and with addition of an all-star on the point I think we can pull it off.
On another note; I think whether the Firebirds win the series or not you will hear about three players on their side that are playing with injuries right now. I can’t name them for certain reasons but it’s true.
So….every Flint player that is in the crosshairs needs to be hit and hit hard. Start this from the drop of the puck and it will pay huge dividends by the third period and hopefully we will have a lead and there will be no more gas in their tank and the birds will divebomb into the icy GFL pond.
Keys will be the powerplay and the Hounds need to play hard enough to force Flint to clutch, grab, or interfere enough to get a call.
Jack Thompson has been dynamite in the playoffs and no question the best Greyhound. I figure that suspension not only gave him some good rest but I think he will come back with a vengeance and be the deciding factor in a Hounds win.
The most important thing is to play 60 minutes and not let up. I repeat; play a full 60 minutes and don’t get caught out of position. I repeat; don’t get caught out of position and if you do you hustle your butt back. All eyes will be watching.
I would like to see JD scramble up the lines if the Hounds get out to an early 2 or 3 goal lead so talented Flint coach Ted Dent has to adjust and get his group to play out of sorts……….so to speak.
Anyway I am rambling again as I am tired and work beckons soon, so I’ll see you at the rink; meaning I will see you while I am tuned into the game on the CHL network from my comfy couch for the equivalent of $4 per game or so.
Go Hounds Go.