Tuesday, June 6, 2006

You make the call



Some say Jason Smith is as much to blame on Carolina's game-winning goal: what do you think? And I swear Pronger gives Conklin some sort of look there after the puck goes in.

(I apologize if it hurts to see this so soon after the loss)


33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Smith was expecting a drop, not a pass, this cross belong to Ty.

LittleFury said...

That's a simple play for Conklin: stop it and move it to the near corner (where there are two white shirts) or reverse it to Smith's side. You can see Gator head to the corner and then turn to the net when Conklin hangs on: Smith is expecting Conklin to leave it there, not decide to move it ten minutes after he should have. Nope: this one is all on Conks.

mike w said...

Yep. On a human level: poor guy. But as an Oilers fan, it has to be Markkenen all the way.

I forgot to mention that MacT did the same thing as Pronger, saying he had full confidence in his goalies, with Markkenen being the first goalie he mentions.

Chris! said...

Oh my goodness, indeed.

Camera's a little too far out to tell, but yeah, that was a tandem effort. You can hear someone (presumably Smith) yelling something that sounds vaguely like, "right there, behind the net" as he streaks back, then two things go wrong. First, Ty doesn't just stop the puck and lift his stick so Smith can continue around the back of the net, instead giving it a little push back that fools Smith and makes him focus on the puck instead of on Brind'amour. Smith takes his stick off the puck for a second and bam, it's in.

Still, I don't know if Smith shares equal blame on this one. Seems like it was a simple miscommunication that would have confounded any defenceman who went back there. Except Pronger, of course. The man's never made a mistake in his life.

I've spent the entire morning reading responses to last night's turn of events, and I admit that I'm starting to feel a little better about our chances. This isn't over, and while I can't even imagine the fury with which the Oilers will come out against the Canes on Wednesday, I nonetheless have to worry that our defensive trepidation will change our system so much that it won't matter. Honestly, it's one game at a time from here on in, and I could see things going either way.

How's that for wishy-washy?

Desdemona said...

Equal blame. Conklin made the first mistake by not just leaving it there for Smith. Brind'amour had to pass Smith to take the puck and put it in. I didn't see any effort by Smith to peg him to the net or the ice or the boards and make sure he didn't get a chance to move. I sure wish Smith had taken a penalty there.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Chris! I'm on board with the wishy washy. If Jussi resembles an NHL goalie we're still in it.

As for the play its on Conklin. He said so himself - "I froze". You cannot hesitate. He did.

I feel for the guy. I do. When he came in I cringed but I thought how neat it would be if he came in and won one in relief and then Roli came back in G2 to lead them to the Promised Land.

Must be tough to be around this team and to realize that all of the suck earlier in the year was mostly you.

Give the guy credit for facing the media too - when the Leafs bomb out to a man they go out the back door rather then face the music.

Earl Sleek said...

Am I the only one who thinks Smith carries the blame on this one? The puck hit him in the stick and he did whiff on a chance to get it around the boards.

As to the drop pass by Conky, it wasn't the best, but Smith was right behind him in anticipation of that very play, I'd assume.

I do second the notion that it was big of Ty to face the media afterward and eat the blame. He was behind the net when the goal scored, but I think Ty could have made the play he did and reasonably expected it not to end up in his own net.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I can see your POV Earl but I don't agree. Part of it too was unfamiliarity - Smith has played with Roli for 37 or 38 consecutive games (save 1) now and Roli tends to stop the puck and get out of the way. Conklin likes to play it so when he went behind the net Smith expected him to leave it - he did not and then when he pushed it to Smith it was probably the last thing he expected.

Smith is not blameless but his is but a tiny part of it, imo. I can see your side too though.

Wishy washy.

Andy Grabia said...

It is Smith's fault. 100%. His job is to tell the goalie where he is on that play.

Andy Grabia said...

Okay. Now that I have watched it, it is clear that Smith did yell something. By the reaction of both Smith and Pronger after the goal, it is pretty clear that Conklin ignored whatever it was that he was told. I would die to know what Smith said. It sounds to me like he said, "leav e it," but I can't be sure.

Pleasure Motors said...

I would be more willing to assign Smith the blame if Conklin didn't have a history of being absolutely terrible with the puck. Whatever Smith said or didn't say, Conklin took way too long to make a decision--he stopped it when Brind'Amour was at the top of the circle, which is enough to flip it to Pronger or Smith, or just get the hell out of the way. He did none of those things until Brind'Amour was right on top of him, which only compounded any miscommunication there might have been.

Alex said...

Andy's right, it sounded like "leave it there" or "right there".

Conklin just acted like a deer in the headlights. I'm not even sure he looked up to see if any 'Canes were coming in. Just a terrible play.

Zanstorm said...

How do you know it was Smith who yelled 'right there!'. It could have been Pronger yelling that out to say: Brind'Amour was coming in strong, or..to pass it to Smith who was right there. Who knows.
It looks like Conklin couldn't tell if he should shoot it up the boards away form Brind'amour, or put it back to Smith and run a pick on Rod the Bod. Either way....shitty buzz

Mike said...

I'm of the opinion that it was 50/50 in that I think what Roloson did was silly. But I also think Smith's positioning forced Conklin to make the shitty play.

Mike said...

err Roloson = Conklin, I think I might still be in shock

Andy Grabia said...

How do you know it was Smith who yelled 'right there!'

I'll assume that was a question, and answer: Because I recognize his voice, and the play is his to call.

I'm just surprised you aren't blaming the loss of Laraque's fight against the Ducks in Game 3, Zanstorm.

Jayke said...

I'm in no position to assign percentages, but the blame is clearly shared. Conklin misplayed the puck, but it wouldn't have turned into a Carolina goal (at least, not an automatic one) without Smith's "contribution".

Desdemona said...

As to the drop pass by Conky, it wasn't the best, but Smith was right behind him in anticipation of that very play, I'd assume.

Being that close to the goalie and the puck, you don't expect him to shoot the puck to you, especially when the shot is made behind him where he's not looking. I still think that Smith could've taken out Brind'amour though.

Earl Sleek said...

Being that close to the goalie and the puck, you don't expect him to shoot the puck to you, especially when the shot is made behind him where he's not looking.

I think 'shot' is a strong word here, but yeah, it wasn't the best drop pass.

I do see goaltenders make this play, however, and most get away with it. I still say it is tough to blame the goalie; most other times I think the d-man gets enough of the puck to move it somewhere else than Brindy's stickblade.

Desdemona said...

He moved the puck, it was a shot. He didn't slide it onto Smith's stick, he shot it there, and it rebounded. Goalie's who do this, usually slide it along the ice towards their d's stick and away from the opposition. I think slide is the operative word.

And again, Smith was 2 feet away from him, why did he have to move it at all? It's not ALL Conklin's fault, but this started the chain of events which led to the GWG.

Coluch said...
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Coluch said...

Just thought I'd share with y'all.
An inspiring article up until after Smyth's quotes.

Bottom line on the GWG last night. Conklin hesitated, NOBODY took Brind'Amour, Smith fumbled, the 3 other visible Oilers had questionable defensive positioning at best. It was a TEAM mistake, and I hate to say it, but if Pronger was back for the puck instead of Gator... the goal would NOT have happened.

and desdemona... it's all semantics, but your argument is rediculous and I feel I should welcome you to the world of hockey. Just a note though, when you move the puck with intent of getting it to another player on your team, it's called a PASS. (airborne, kicked, or otherwise doesn't change that).

Zanstorm said...

"I'm just surprised you aren't blaming the loss of Laraque's fight against the Ducks in Game 3, Zanstorm"

haha, no that parade is over for me now. I ate my sock after game 5!

Cool if you recognize Smith's voice. I'll take your word for it.

Desdemona said...

and desdemona... it's all semantics, but your argument is rediculous and I feel I should welcome you to the world of hockey.

No need, really. What was thought to be a drop pass, I suggested was no drop at all but a shot, which ES suggested couldn't be referred to as such, so I conceded that it would be more of a slide than an actual shot. Less speed is all I was looking for.... so yes, a pass. A really bad pass.

Either way, when Smith says leave it, you leave it. Thanks anyway though.

mordecai, go! said...
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mordecai, go! said...

It was a TEAM mistake, and I hate to say it, but if Pronger was back for the puck instead of Gator... the goal would NOT have happened.

Actually, no, it was not a TEAM mistake. How many people does it take to go play a puck behind the net? The goalie and a defencemen? Both defencemen? All three forwards too? Hardly.

Anyway, Conklin just should've stayed in the net. If he's gonna play it, then play it with some authority like you know what you're doing. Otherwise some really old, ugly guy is gonna use you like his personal douche.

But why is Conklin even out there in the first place? Oh right, because Bergeron got caught flat-footed and tackled Ladd into Roloson AFTER the save was made. Bravo good sir... bravo.

---HockeyDude--- said...

Ty was in there Cold !
Jason is the one who @#$%&* this up, he should've known better
Good one Jason !

bigleaguer said...

Blaming Jason Smith makes as much sense as blaming Grant Fuhr for getting in the way of Steve Smith's insanity. I never thought I'd see another goal as freaky and as important and dramatic as THE goal but Game 1's was frighteningly close. The only good part is the Oilers have way more time to rebound from it.

Coluch said...

Reading an article on NHL.com, I thought I'd point out some stats from game one that grabbed me:

12 - Margin by which the Hurricanes were out-shot (38-26). It was the biggest margin by which an opponent has out-shot Carolina during the playoffs. The 38 shots were also the most allowed by the 'Canes in their 19 playoff games this season. (HOOWAH!)

18 - Shots by the Oilers in the third period of Game 1, the most in any period of a Finals game since Detroit took 20 against Washington in the third period of Game 2 in 1998. (ZOWIE!)

38 - Percentage of faceoffs won by the Oilers in Game 1 (28-45). It was the worst showing by Edmonton in the faceoff circle during the playoffs. (HMMM. UNCOOL YO.)

Brennan said...

Not being an Oilers-fan-first, I wondered about blame right away. It seemed to me that Smith squeezed in behind Conklin without him noticing, and Conklin tried to clear w/Brind Amour bearing down.

I'm sure it's a lot easier to blame a goal that ugly on a backup goalie than on your captain.

KBL said...

It's pretty straightforward... rusty goaltender -> bad play + miscommunication + some bad luck = calamity aka easy goal. But who the @#@% cares who's "fault" it is. Personally, yeah, I'd say it's Conklin's bad, but there's no need to vilify him for all time for it (or Smith, or whoever). Tough situation, shit happens. Get over it. Game 1 is over, Game 2 and the rest of the series is on! Go Oilers!

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Andy said...

Credit where it's due: Brind'Amour. Great heads up hustle, thinking to win. He made the play and scored.
Miscommunication between Smith and Conklin - Smith says "right there" but should have said "leave it right there and get the fuck out of the way, Bonehead," but a guy only has so much breath out there. He probably forgot who was in net for a second, and that's the only way that it should be Smith's fault. Conklin can't be standing still, he went behind the net without a plan, and when you fail to plan you plan to fail. Perhaps Pronger could have yelled "hurry up" or something when he had to let Brind'Amour go in deep. Conklin, when he looked to the puck, maybe thought that Pronger would hold Brind'Amour up and give him time with the puck. It's hard to say, but it was obviously all a product of infamiliararity. And my oh my, did that ever cause me pain.