By Arielle Aronson/DFP Staff
I thought we killed penalties well. Six penalties, three shots. Thought we played pretty well in the first period, made two huge mistakes, and literally gave them two goals. And then in the third period, we were afraid to lose, so we lost. And we were a little exhausted, too. We self-destructed in the second period with all the penalties we took. We wound up with Gryba in the box for 10 minutes plus his two. We wore out Shattenkirk and Warsofsky and Escobedo and Nicastro killing penalties. And they were really legless in the third, I thought. But that team came out and played hockey in the third wanting to win, and our team came out, was afraid they were going to lose, so we lost.
On how BU’s goaltending has been
Goaltending is one of our problems, and we’ve fallen back greatly from last year. Overall team defense, you could say the goaltending isn’t playing that well because we can’t protect the front of the net. They got four goals, not including the empty-net goal, they got four of their goals at the crease. We literally gave them goals. Three out of the four goals were pathetic plays by us. I thought Kieran made a few good saves.
Before the season started, I thought we’d have one of the best goaltending tandems in the nation. I thought we’d be in really good shape there. We’d be pretty solid on defense with the guys we got back. We’d have a good power play because we’d have at least one of the power-play units back from last year. And none of that is true now. None of that has been true from day one.
We have a lot of guys that are either underachieving right now or they overachieved last year. As a team, we are almost searching for an identity. We can’t seem to find it. We had all those opportunities in the first period and we come out of it losing 2-1, and they must be saying to themselves, “Oh no, here we go again.”
We come out for the third period winning 3-2, and we literally got run out of the building, I thought. I thought the third period, they were more physical than we were, looked a lot faster than we did, and I really think we were just, “Oh God, what if we lose? What if we lose this game?” So we did. We don’t have anyone stepping up and taking the reins here and saying, “OK, we’re going to get this done.” We have those telltale factors. We won 19 faceoffs. They won 33.
On whether he’s seen the fear of losing before
I think it’s happened. I think against BC, we were back on our heels in the third period. I think there have been times this year where the more you know you are not playing well, the more you are thinking, “Oh no, what if we lose this game? What if we lose this game? What is the coach going to think if we lose this game?”
On whether the break will be a good thing
There’s no question we need a break. I was hoping we’d get a break with a W tonight. Didn’t happen. This is going to be a hard one. It’s a long break for this one to be the last game
On how being afraid to lose affects his team’s play
I think it’s a slow start, overthinking, being jumpy with the puck. We’re not making stick-to-stick passes. We’ve had three or four games this year where we’ve played pretty well on the power play going into the third period, and then we had to get a power-play goal. In the first period, we had three power plays and we had eight shots. In the third, we had one power play and we didn’t get a shot on net. That happened to us at Northeastern, 1-0 game, we couldn’t get a goal on the power play. That happened to us with BC where we had some opportunities early and we were ineffective on the power play. That is a sign. You look at the shot chart in the first period and you look at the shot chart in the third period, it shows you there’s a different look out there. There’s a different mindset. And what’s really sad is that shot chart in the first period, they get one grade-A shot in the first period and it’s off to the side of the net, and the other two are goals. They don’t even get a look, and we’re losing 2-1. And I don’t think that’s the goalie’s fault. We’re just making unbelievable breakdowns giving them two goals.
On the decision to sit Colby Cohen
He hasn’t been playing well. He hasn’t been playing fast enough or smart enough.
On whether the first two RPI goals were the defense’s fault or the goalie’s fault
I think it was a little bit of both on the first one. Guy goes off, one goes out to play his friend. We told them they like to get the puck to the point and then drive down the boards. Same guy takes it down the boards. He didn’t even get blocked. I loved when he didn’t even get blocked. It was no problem for him to be able play that. And he lost him and everyone else just took their man, and he went right to the net and scored.
The second one was a scramble out front. Three guys lost their men, one after another. All the sudden, the puck is in the net. No problems whatsoever, they should be able to control those three guys.
This club gets half their shots off of winning 33 faceoffs. Half their shots were off of faceoffs, one pass and a shot. Losing two-thirds of the faceoffs is a bad sign because it isn’t skill.
On the penalties BU took
Undisciplined play. Stupid play.
On how he feels about the upcoming break
I think it’s definitely a great time. I think we need to just cool off and think about things over the break from a coaching standpoint and from our standpoint as players. It’s going to be good to rest for a little bit and not have to worry about hockey.
On the idea that BU was afraid to lose in the third period
I think once we get up by a goal or into those pressure situations, it seems like we don’t believe in ourselves. We’ve said it time and time again. I don’t know where or why we’re losing that confidence, but it’s creeping in for whatever reason and we need to figure that out.
On how as a captain he’s able to boost team morale
It’s just a matter of letting everyone know that we are good enough. I know it, and Coach knows that we have a great team. It’s just a matter of keeping our younger guys aware of it and letting them know that we have the ability to do something like that.
On whether the defense felt legless in the third
Initially, we had Gryba sick, so he wasn’t at his full potential tonight. Once we get all those penalties and you’re sending out the same guys over and over again, especially in the second period, it definitely kills your energy, not only from a physical standpoint, but mental as well. Coming into the third period, I think guys were huffing and puffing a little bit. That can’t be an excuse. We need to bear down in those situations, and we did on the penalty kill, but we couldn’t do it 5-on-5.
On whether benching Colby Cohen sends a message to the rest of the team
It definitely sends a message to Colby. I know from past experiences that Colby’s rebounded well from it. As far as other guys getting a message, it didn’t really seem like it tonight. So hopefully when it happens to them, it will be a slap in the face, and hopefully it will be a good thing and turn them around.
On whether the penalty kill’s success was able to boost guys’ confidence
It’s obviously a morale booster when you’re killing off penalties, but at the same time we killed off a bunch. I think we were killing a penalty after the second period. We came back out and had to kill off a penalty. That should be something that fires guys up, and like I said, it’s just a matter of us losing confidence in ourselves. We’re not really having any belief that we can build off of things like that.