That is the best word to use for Wednesday night’s 4-1 Heat loss to the Manitoba Moose. To quote Rod Pelley, who scored the lone goal for Stockton, “We got out-worked.” Um… yeah. Thanks, Captain Obvious.
After two consecutive games scoring only a single goal per contest, coach Ryan Huska, in what I can only deem to be to trying to awaken a sagging offense, juggled the lines. Note to Huska, this didn’t work.
There was an Austin Carroll sighting. He dropped the gloves mid-way through the first. I believe that was pent-up energy from wearing a suit too often and a diet of popcorn. From then on, he was unmemorable.
The first period was decent. The Heat were up 1-0 to end the first and were outshooting the Moose 14-8. Some of those were good chances; some were just weak attempts. With the exception of the Pelley goal, where Luke Gazdic was parked in front and provided a very big screen, the Heat played “Where’s Waldo” in front of the Manitoba goaltender.
When the team came out on the ice for the second period, it was clear they did not have any urgency or drive. Poor clearing attempts, that stupid drop pass on the power play (please burn that page in the playbook), the predictable pass off the left boards to enter the zone, and blind cross-ice and back passes led to unnecessary mid-ice play and no offense. Throw in a shaky goaltender who did not secure the rebound, and it was a recipe for defeat.
The first goal that Jon Gillies gave up in the second period was a tip in front of the net on the power play. On the game winner for the Moose in the third, he had a clear view and just plain missed it. The last goal he allowed was the direct result of a failed clearing attempt, but he should have had it. Both third period Manitoba goals beat Gillies high side. This is something I am going to need to keep an eye on when he is in net from now on.
Out of the 28 saves he made, I would say he controlled the rebound on maybe six. Maybe. I still don’t understand why Huska trots out Gillies again when he just lost to this same team four days earlier and after the performance David Rittich provided on Saturday. GG syndrome?
The Heat only took two penalties (Carroll’s fighting penalty not included) and killed both off. Tyler Wotherspoon had a good game defensively and added four shots. And it was $.50 wings and $4 bottomless popcorn night! Yes, that is a bright spot.
The stats show that the top line had 11 shots total, but I can’t remember most of them. A defenseman (Cody Goloubef) tied for the most shots with five on the night. Out of the 36 SOG, I would put 10 or fewer as high quality shots.
How can you get out-worked by a team that beat you by the same score four days ago? It’s not like you haven’t seen them before.
It would be interesting to find out what the Calgary top brass thought after their visit to Stockton over the weekend. Were they here to get a first-hand look at the farm? Who stood out to them? I believe it was their decision to have Rittich in goal on Saturday so they had a peek at both netminders during this trip. If anyone from FN has any idea, I would sure like to know.
The Heat hit the road to take on the San Diego Gulls this Friday and then host Bakersfield next Friday and Saturday.