Game 9: Post-Game Notes

— OK, so I’ll get you quotes from Scott Wedgewood and Vince Williams in a bit.  You won’t find those anywhere else, by the way…I was the only guy in the Titans room after their 2-1 loss to Reading. 

— Will the real Trenton Titans please stand up?  They won their first four, but have now dropped four out of their last five.  Which is the real team?  Was the opening week or so a mirage, or is this a fluke?  It wasn’t a particularly outstanding effort again tonight either, and the score probably wasn’t indicative of the game…felt like Wedgewood absolutely kept them in it on quite a few occasions and without him, this is a 5-1, 6-1, 7-1 debacle. 

— Not sure if Reading has figured out Trenton or what it is, but they appeared to be the better team for the majority of the last 120 minutes of hockey these two have played against each other.  The Titans gave up odd-man rush after odd-man rush after odd-man rush — the D step into the play way too often in this system — and rarely got any of their own with the Royals playing a more conservative style in transition.  Another glaring issue was the ease in which the Royals were able to make cross ice feeds on the power play…seems like the wider a team sets up on the man advantage against Trenton, the easier it is for them to exploit the current PK setup.

— Unfortunately, no video of Andrew Conboy’s fight…and that’s probably for the best as far as he’s concerned.  Alex Berry did some sort of body slam move to end what was a pretty one-sided scrap.  I’ll always respect anyone who drops the gloves, but that wasn’t pretty.

— I expect a lot out of Andy Bohmbach and am not real sure I’ve gotten more than a fraction of those expectations realized over the past two games.  Lots of turnovers and defensive issues, the latter of which also plagued Jason Akeson tonight at times as well.

— Didn’t see a whole lot of Blake Kessel or Tyler Hostetter out there tonight.  Kessel is clearly offensively skilled, and the one time he did stand out was when he had a nice read on a poor Royals neutral zone pass…but if Williams is willing to sit Hostetter for a game, Kessel may be next to try to focus more on the defensive side of the game.

— And now, the quotes…


(On constantly having traffic in front of him and getting bumped) “We started out all right.  They got that lucky little scrum in front, and there was unfortunate bounce off ‘Steeger’s skate and back against me.  You can’t really read those or read into those at all.  It’s just an unfortunate bounce, and that’s the way the game’s been for us the past couple.  We just have to work a little bit harder and try to gain those bounces our way.  I think it was our guy that hit me in the second there and took me off my feet…that’s part of the game, they have to try make their presence known and get in front of me and try to get me off my game.  I took one guy down in the third, so I think I got him worse than they got me.  But, that’s the way it is.  I’ve just got to battle through it, try to find the puck at all times and just keep giving your team a chance to win.”

(On the second goal) “There was a shot coming across ice, it hit somebody…little battle on my right hand side, and the puck kind of squirted behind me.  I was off my post, so the guy tried to do a little tight wrap on the short side, so I jumped back to my left, facing my net and knocked the puck back to the corner.  He had an option to try to throw it in front off me, try to bank it, and I just tried to take away as much ice as possible.  There was a hole, I guess, up top.  I was facing him in the corner, and couldn’t really have any play to in front of my net and they kind of threw the puck out front and a guy somehow got open.  He put it along the ice, and I dove at it, but I was a little bit too far.  I gave it my best effort.  It’s unfortunate that two little scrums turn into two goals.  It’s just bearing down in front of our own net and knocking guys down and getting pucks out and not letting them have those opportunities.”

(On keeping his team in the game) “That’s my job.  It’s a business, and it’s your job to give your team a chance to win every night.  This being my pro night, I’ve got to try to make an impact as quickly as I can.  Right now, it’s doing everything right and doing all the little things and battling as much as you can.  In this league, there’s going to be bad bounces and panes in the glass where the puck squirts one way and it’s a 3-on-0.  You’ve got to make saves, and that’s pretty much how I’ve got here.  I’m not really a butterfly guy or just a reaction guy, I can do pretty much whatever I need to stop the puck, and that’s how I like to play.”

(On getting back to the way they played early in the year) “That was great to start out that way, but it could be a little bit of a backfire too with guys getting away from the system a little bit or get too big of an ego or whatever it might be.  Right now, I think it’s kind of to the point where we have to get back to where we started those first five games.  We were playing great, guys weren’t making too many fancy plays.  Right now, we’ve just got to buy back into our system.  Vince is a great coach and he’s going to get us back into that playing habit.  Guys are going to buy in, but we’ve got to get some more positivity.  Hopefully that next game, we can score first and start building off that right away.  You have to battle for your bounces, and right now I think the bounces are going a little bit the other way.  It’s going to go up from here, guys just have to battle for it.” 


(On the differences between the first two games against Reading and these last two) “This was a pretty intense game, I thought the physicality level and urgency level…there’s obviously some teaching, but I think it came down to execution.  That first goal, I didn’t get to see it, it hit something and went in.  The second one was lost coverage.  But they’ve got some big D back there, and we’ve got to find a way to get in front of Grubauer.  We’ve got to make his life more difficult.  He’s seeing everything, and when we finally do get traffic on him and get some shots, just funneling things to the net, we have chances.  Our execution level, whether it’s our power play and even certain aspects 5-on-5, just to create more offense and get pucks deep.  But from a physicality standpoint, it was a hard game on both teams.  You could see it, it had a little bit of everything.  We’ve got to get back to the drawing board and get back to reeling some things in systematically and start creating a little bit more.”

(On if Reading’s traffic in front of Wedgewood accentuates the point about needing to get more people in front of Grubauer) “You have to.  I mean, Wedgewood’s a good goalie, he played outstanding.  Grubauer is a good goalie, too.  We’ve got to take a page out of that book.  We’ve got to get guys in front that have to pay the price.  We’ve got to have guys that are willing to do that, and they need to do that.  You’re not going to score perimeter goals on this guy, you’ve got to get in front of him.  He was probably the best goalie in the league last year before he got hurt, and he was a huge part of South Carolina’s success, so we’re familiar with him.  But we’ve got to get more traffic and get inside, and guys have to pay the price to do that.”

(On if he saw a sense of urgency in the first two periods from his team) “We played hard.  There were a couple times there were some breakdowns.  But everybody was bumping and everybody was chipping pucks and taking hits to make plays.  It’s good, it’s just not good enough.  It comes down to net presence and traffic and getting stops and starts and not straying away.  There were a couple flurries there where we got caught running around a little bit.  We just have to do more.  There are some veteran guys there on the blue line that you have to get through and work through.  That’s going to be a focal point this week, is shots and traffic and paying the price and standing in front and creating off the rush and getting pucks past them and grinding them down.  But we’ve got to do more in front of him.”

(On if he was more or less pleased with the effort tonight compared to last night) “I’m more pleased.  There was pockets where guys were going to make mistakes, but at the same time, there were signs of guys…I really liked the way Morin played with some jam, and he was finishing checks.  He was better than he was last night.  Ray was better than he was last night.  Hoss came in and was battling.  It was a lot more physical game, and guys are going to need to start understanding that with the skill set that we have, that’s how these teams are going to play against us.  They’re playing hard on our top guys and we’ve got to play harder on their top guys.”

(On scratching Haczyk after he scored last night) “He scored a goal, but there’s more to it.  He scored a goal on the doorstep.  There’s things that we’re looking at with north-south hockey, and some habits we’re looking at.  We see the whole 60 minutes not just from a scoresheet standpoint, and that’s the difference.  There’s more to just watching a game than just seeing a guy tap a goal in.  Great, he was there, but there’s more to the decisions we made.  Coming into a building that’s a visiting team’s building where we needed a little bit more jam, and that’s why Carrier stayed in and that’s why Morin played, because they play with more jam.”

(On at what point he’ll feel like he has a set 10 F and 6 D) “You know what, I don’t know.  A lot of that has to do with injuries and making my decisions easier.  That’s the luxury of having (that many guys), is there’s some inconsistencies with our lineup and it’s been different every game, but those are adjustments that we have to make.  It depends on injuries and who we’re playing and where we’re playing and travel and who has fresh legs.  There’s some patterns with certain guys playing back-to-back games have struggled a bit.  The luxury of having two new guys to put in the lineup with some energy is not going to hurt us.  We’re also still at the point where we want some guys to make our decision a lot harder instead of making it easier.”

(On what needs to change against the Royals with a 3 in 3 coming up against them) “It’s going to be a hard work week.  The things that we need to clean up on is clean up on our D zone and traffic in front.  We’ve got to get more bodies in front…it wasn’t everybody not driving the net, it was driving on the outside instead of the inside.  You’re going to have to push Wellar and Flemming and Stevenson and these guys back.  And if you’re going to do that, you’re going to have to take a whack, you’re going to have to get cross-checked.  There should be a pile of guys every chance we get.  You look at our net, and they’re just falling over them and that’s the difference…”

(On if he believes he has the guys who can do that) “Well, they’re going to have to, otherwise we’re going to have to find guys that do.  We play these guys three in three, but we’re going to have to.  I don’t think it’s a want and a will to do it, you’ve got to have a want to go to the net and if you’re not willing to go, we’re going to have to find guys that are because you’re going to have to do that Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon against these guys, because they’re not going to let up.  Some guys fought through it, and from a physicality standpoint, guys like Akeson and Bohmbach, they’re skilled guys, but they’re playing through traffic and fighting through it and they’re getting physical.  It’s all ten forwards and six D are going to have to play that way.  The urgency in this game, that’s as close as you’re going to get a playoff type of atmosphere this early in the year.  It’s a good test for us.””

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


One Response to “Game 9: Post-Game Notes”

  1. Benni Hanna Says:

    “Will the real Trenton Titans please stand up? They won their first four, but have now dropped four out of their last five. Which is the real team? Was the opening week or so a mirage, or is this a fluke”?

    Said it all last year and will say it again all this year. Vince is just not a good head coach. A good HC doesn’t let Reading dominate these last two games. That makes three in a row in which the team looks listless, uninspired and unprepared.

    Don’t think for a moment that this won’t affect attendance and support going forward. If Lisk is smart he’ll keep a close eye on the situation.

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